Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War is the latest instalment to the Call of Duty franchise. The game is set during the early 1980’s of the Cold War (no surprises there!) and chronologically takes place between the original Black Ops game and Black Ops 2. Black Ops: Cold War was released in November 2020 and is available for Xbox, PlayStation and Windows.
The Cold War campaign may just be one of the best Call of Duty campaigns to date! It is certainly one of the most unique single player campaigns I have played with not only a focus on gunfights but also a big focus on puzzles and game-changing decisions. It’s rare for a Call of Duty game to have such a variety of options available to players, we’ve become so accustom to the usual scripting of single player stories that it’s refreshing to have so much choice in situations which really do affect the outcome of the game.
Being set during the Cold War, there is a lack of big open warfare as you would expect, instead we get a number of missions where stealth is the main focus or even going undercover to gain intel. I must say, I was really engaged with the storyline and whilst Call of Duty thrives in its fast paced run and gun action, it was great to play at a bit of a slower, more methodical pace on some missions. The campaign actually offered a fascinating insight into the Cold War and genuinely got me interested into finding out more.
The campaign actually has multiple endings, each of which dependant on your individual choices throughout the main missions – something which really made my jaw drop when playing through for the first time. Each of the endings really offer something different and dependant on your choices, you will actually play one of two very different missions. I loved the amount of options and choices you were able to make during the campaign and I really hope it is a constant feature in future Call of Duty games, although it does make me wonder how they will be able to implement any direct sequels into the Call of Duty timeline.
Multiplayer on Call of Duty is as finely polished and familiar as ever, with a number of returning game modes as well as new modes and features. One of my favourite modes is Dropkick, whereby each team tries to gain control of a nuclear briefcase for as long as possible in order to earn points, with the team in control of the briefcase having a limited number of lives. This often results in the aptly nicknamed ‘briefcase’ frantically running around the map with only a pistol and briefcase in hand, attempting to survive for as long as possible.
The gameplay in multiplayer has an arcade style to it and as a result, the gameplay can be a little fast. Despite this, I think online matchmaking feels much more balanced and as a result is as frantic and fun as ever. I have ran into a few visual issues playing on the Xbox Series X, particularly on some of the larger maps when using a sniper or long range scope, resulting in the background in my field of view distorting and causing the frame rate to drop. Hopefully these will be resolved sooner rather than later.
There is a disappointing number of maps available on online multiplayer, particularly when you compare it to Modern Warfare which had a huge variety. Most of the maps in Cold War are well thought out and designed, with personal favourites being Armada and The Pines, but I soon became bored of playing the same maps over and over again. Thankfully though, all DLC for multiplayer and Zombies is completely free which will help keep multiplayer fresh.
I was a huge fan of the original Zombies game way back in World at War, I loved its simplicity and the one main goal of staying alive for as long as possible. ‘Nacht der Untoten’ was a beautifully uncomplicated map, featuring only 3 rooms, one mystery box location and that ever elusive ray gun. I really do wish Zombies would revert back to this pure map recipe, or at least include it as a mode in future games! Nevertheless, Cold War Zombies is a fun and entertaining battle against the undead, albeit more complicated than necessary!
I have played all of the Zombie renditions since the game modes inception in World at War and other than the original and Black Ops (which I also have a soft spot for), Cold War Zombies is probably one of the better entries in the series. The map is an expanded reimaging of Nacht der Untoten (bonus points for that!) and is huge in size, meaning there is plenty of areas to explore and decide where the best base of action is for facing hordes of zombies.
There’s a number of new features for Cold War Zombies, including two new enemies in the form of Heavy Zombies and the radioactive Megatons, which can disrupt players with their ability to hit players with radioactive blasts. The inclusion of these new enemies helps to add variety to the gameplay as well as posing a different kind of threat to players. Another new feature which I did enjoy was the ability to start with a unique loadout, allowing for a single customised weapon to be loaded into the game with, making it easier to mow down enemies and progress through the early rounds.
Cold War’s splendid campaign with its overabundance of game-changing decisions as well as its dynamic online multiplayer and zombie modes make this one of the better Black Ops games in recent years.
You can purchase Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War on Amazon here – https://amzn.to/3jaYKs0 (As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases).