ARS: When you work for a gaming outlet with a large audience, Activision can make your life very good. The publisher has made a habit out of offering posh "review events" for the press instead of simply sending out early code. When the reviews arrive, few discuss the free vacation they were given.
This is why we were so impressed to see a full description of the event held for Call of Duty: Black Ops reviewers in GamePro. The short story: Activision spent a lot of money to make sure reviewers were impressed before they even played the game.