Call of Duty: Black Ops – Cold War Review

Call of Duty: Black Ops

Another year is almost over and that means it is time again for another Call of Duty game. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare last year for me was one of THE best games in the franchise for a long time and in a modern setting too (of course). Now in 2020 we get a new COD title and Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is looking to continue what Modern Warfare has achieved, but does it?

The Campaign in Cold War is something straight out of an action movie of the 80s, with over the top explosive action setups and classic 80s soundtrack thrown into the mix. The story is based around you trying to capture a Soviet spy going by the name Perseus, who has stolen data from the Manhattan Project and is set up to rule the Cold War. The gameplay and visuals you experience in your playthrough of the Campaign is everything you would expect from a Call of Duty game and Cold War does not disappoint. Get ready to have your senses and mind blown by some of the action sequences that will be laid out in front of you. You will also get to interact within the cutscenes and it makes you change up the dialogue based on your choices that you make, which in turn will give you two different endings by the time you finish the game.

Call of Duty: Black Ops

At the start of each of your missions, you get a chance to do some side missions or optional objectives, but they have little significance in terms of adding to the overall story. What I found odd in relation to the Campaign is that you get to create a character, but you remain invisible in terms of you having no voice or even relate to any of the characters you come across. It’s still fun to play though and should be played to appreciate the work that has gone into the game, but I feel Modern Warfare out hits it. I did have some issues with the Campaign on my Xbox Series X with the game freezing or crashing and it was really off putting that I stopped and just went on to the multiplayer.

When you have had your fill of the Campaign, whether it’s the story or with the crashes, you can jump right into where you will spend most of your time in Call of Duty and that is multiplayer. Whether you are playing Zombies with friends, jumping into Warzone, or playing some classic COD online, this is where it all can happen.

Zombies is where you will team up with friends like in previous Black Ops games and it’s pretty much the same with the only difference this time around that you can use the Operators and loadouts from Multiplayer/Warzone. Also, your progression carries across to the other modes too which is handy enough. For the first time in Zombies, players can opt to “exfil” the map, which will put them in a difficult wave with increased enemy spawn that they must survive before they can escape.

Cold War’s multiplayer seems to have a more arcade feel to it than Modern Warfare was. The gunfights last longer than they did too, while the shooting feels more like Black Ops 2, which I wasn’t really a fan of. They have continued using Gunsmith from Modern Warfare, which is a great customisation option, but we get a more detailed view of what each of the attachments do this time round, which is a welcomed addition. When it comes to the game modes in Multiplayer, the game modes are the same as you would expect from a COD game. You get the usual 6 v 6 maps and in Combined Arms we get 12 v 12 maps.

Combined Arms is a clone of Battlefield Ground War mode but toned down quite significantly. It has a great sense of flow when you are playing and gives you the freedom to let you run and drive about the map as you please.  There are other new modes like VIP Escort, where one player must be escorted to an extraction point, while being always protected by their team

Then there is Fireteam, which is a very large-scale game mode that sees you dropping in with teams of four, ten teams in total, onto the map. Here we must defend a bomb

Fireteam: Dirty Bomb is really new. This very large-scale mode drops ten teams of four onto the map, after which they must collect uranium and defend the bomb that they set on. It can be quite chaotic due to the spawn frequency of teammates, but otherwise it’s quite a refreshing way to play. Most importantly, though, with the major maps Alpina and Ruka, it comes across as a preview of the new Warzone map, which will be unquestioned in the coming months. Until then, Verdansk is still our permanent home base for a nice game of battle royale.

Your progression through all game modes adds well with the cross-generation and cross-play support that Cold War offers, and it makes this latest Call of Duty title more of a service than an actual game. Cold War offers up two extra battlefields of Fireteam and along with the 10 maps that are there for you to play about in. While it may seem a little be sparse right now, Activision has provided a constant flow of free maps across all game modes for Modern Warfare and it should only be a matter of time that Cold War will receive the same treatment too.

When it comes to the gameplay and visuals of Cold War, it really is an amazing upgrade from previous titles, especially on the Xbox Series X. You get to enjoy playing the game at a dynamic 4K with 60fps and some cool ray-tracing effects, along with HDR really makes the game pop visually in the Campaign. The game looks stunning with lightning effects and refractions from windows and puddles as the world bounces off them. From lush green jungles to snowy mountains, everything in the game just wows you as you play. In multiplayer you can even choose a 120fps option which is insane for consoles and really moves the pace of the game at a blistering pace when playing online.

Call of Duty: Black Ops – Cold War is a fun game at times to play with and while you have plenty to keep you entertained, it’s nothing that will blow you away like Modern Warfare did, but fans of the Black Ops series will still enjoy it nonetheless.

Overall

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is not a bad game by any means, but there feels something a bit off about it as you play. Perhaps it’s just me and that I loved playing Modern Warfare so much and was expecting something amazing from the team. The gameplay in terms of the gunplay game mechanics are tight and spot on, but again it feels like something is slightly off. With Black Ops we get the Zombie mode thrown in, which is probably the saving grace of this years Call of Duty, but probably not enough to keep me coming back for more.

GoG Rating: 7/10