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Five Things You Need to Know About “Call of Duty: Black Ops”

Five Things You Need to Know About “Call of Duty: Black Ops” (photo)

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Ever since dev studio Infinity Ward put out “Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare” three years ago, Activision’s contemporary military first-person shooter games has electrified gamers all over the world. Prior to “Modern Warfare,” the “Call of Duty” games re-visited various sides of World War II conflicts. Then, “COD4” transported gamers into a stunningly photorealistic world that had them tracking and taking out terrorists in a post 9-11 fictional construct. Sucessive games have upped the ante either in the graphics, gameplay or controversy departments so “Black Ops” has an intimidating legacy to live up to. If you’re a “COD” noob, here’s what you need to know.

1. No “No Russian”, No Problem
Since the game came out on Tuesday, “Black Ops” has already shattered the sales record set by 2009’s “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.” That game sold 4.7 million units at launch but the U.S. and U.K. day 1 sales numbers for “Black Ops” have been reported at 5.6 million. It’s also on track to out-perform “Halo: Reach” and “Medal of Honor,” too. In the first hour alone, about one million players logged onto Xbox Live to play the game online. Guess they were excited, huh?

2. Deep Cover
The single-player campaign for the new “Call of Duty” unspools a fictional account of the birth of the “Black Ops” program, which specializes in fully deniable military actions done in secret. The plot follows several characters as they skirmish in Vietnam, Russia, Cuba and other politically sensitive hotspots. A paranoid plot about a biological weapon conspiracy loosely ties the missions together, but mostly it’s about globe-hopping and terminating bad guys with extreme prejudice.

Xbox 360 GamesE3 2011Call of Duty: Black Ops

3. Ich Bin Ein Zombie-Killer

Like many a game of late, “Black Ops” lets players face off against hordes of the undead. In fact, developer Treyarch introduced zombies in “Call of Duty: World at War,” the last game in the series that they made. Unlike many games of late, the characters blowing holes into the re-animated corpses are John Francis Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Fidel Castro and Robert McNamara. The mode in question obviously isn’t as deadly serious as the single-player stuff in “Black Ops.” And, if zombies make everything better, then killing them as iconic Cold War heads-of-state just makes this game presidentially better.


4. Coming at You in 3D
Unlike some of this year’s other high-profile releases–like “Halo: Reach,” “Medal of Honor” or “Fallout: New Vegas”–“Black Ops” ships with full support for 3DTVs. If you’re one of the few, the proud who own a fancy, added-depth flatscreen, that means you can enjoy the entirety of the single-player and multiplayer content with all manner of blood, snow and shrapnel flying right at your face. In particular, the enhanced multilayer visuals are of note in the various multiplayer modes because what happens on the screen when you’re playing against other humans isn’t scripted in advance.

5. Basic Training
Speaking of multiplayer, “Black Ops” offers several new modes designed with both “COD” veterans and ew recruits in mind. For those dipping their toes into the ultra-competitive waters of online firefights for the first time, the new Combat Training mode puts you in one of the multiplayer environments and populates it with AI-controlled enemies so you can practice your skills before going up against other players. If you already know the basics and want new challenges, players can dare each other with variable mission types in the new Wager Matches. You can put up some CODpoints (the game’s fake money) as a stake and bet on the successful outcome of a mission. Meet the objectives and you’re that much closer to buying sweet new rides or even deadly weapons. Finally, in one of the most technologically impressive aspects of the game, every online game is being recorded and you’ll be able edit and share a video of a play session with other “Black Ops” enthusiasts.


Final Countdown

The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at


Rev Up

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.


Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.

Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…