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Call Of Duty: Black Ops Cold War

Posted by GG Goblin On December - 1 - 2020

‘Tis the season to be CODding.

 
When it gets to this time of year, all thoughts move to Activision’s juggernaut that is Call of Duty. Well, it does for the multiplayer fans, who are well served each and every year. For those of us that are maybe not so interested in the idea of being shot repeatedly in a Team Deathmatch over and over again, the launch of a new Call of Duty will lead to hopeful thoughts of something outside of the usual multiplayer modes. Whichever faction you fall in, a new Call of Duty is always a cause for celebration, and after the utter mess that has been 2020, it really needs to be something special. In these miserable times, what we really need is former President Ronald Reagan. Oh yeah!

 


 
So, it would already be well known that Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War brings a new campaign, something that was missing from the previous entry in the series. But what wasn’t known until launch was just how much fun the single player campaign would be. Of course, there will be plenty of COD players that simply ignore this mode all together, and that is fine. But for those who relish the single player game and a bit of hammy story, Cold War delivers. It may be short, not wanting to take too much attention from the suite of multiplayer modes and other points of interest, yet it still manages to pack in pretty much everything that is good about Call of Duty for the solo player to enjoy.

 
When it comes to the story, Cold War gives the subject away with the title, and the appearance of Ronald Reagan reveals the time period, although in reality the action covers the 60s to the 80s, including a dip into Vietnam. The player gets to create their own character for this story, including their Black Ops background, and then will join a group who have been charged with tracking down the story’s big bad, Perseus. Some fan favourites from previous titles will make an appearance, keeping the players happy. The big thing here is how different this campaign is from previous campaigns, hopefully giving a glimpse into the future of the single player COD games.

 
The high intensity, bullets flying from all directions levels are there, exactly as would be expected. The gun play is smooth and varied, and that whole feeling of not really knowing what the hell is going on as there is no time to think is enough to keep most multiplayer fans busy. Variety is the spice of life though, and this short campaign, throws in plenty to keep the player on their toes, from controlling exploding remote controlled cars and manning the gun in a helicopter gunship, to more thoughtful, puzzle-like sections. The interesting thing here is the inclusion of optional missions that have the player going off the beaten track to gain extra intel that can actually affect the outcome of the story.

 


 
The campaign is mostly linear, but the action never lets up. The visuals are stunning and, as always, there are some impressive set pieces that will make players jaws drop. I will say that it is perhaps not as over the top as some previous campaigns, but the pacing is spot on and doesn’t let up until the very end. All in all, this is a welcome return for the single player campaign and is something quite different.

 
But the truth is that most players will hop straight into the multiplayer suite and never look back, which is a shame. When it comes to the online multiplayer, the differences are much fewer over the last title. Most fans of this mode will be happy with the usual Team Deathmatch or Domination, but Treyarch have thrown some new game modes into the mix with the likes of Combined Arms which involves capturing points but throws all the fun of vehicles into the mix, and Dirty Bomb with loads of small teams trying to set off their bombs. While each mode has its fun moments, and all of them are worth trying out, their longevity is something that we will have to wait to be revealed. I honestly don’t think anything can beat a simple Team deathmatch for quick, shooter fun though.

 
Cold War doesn’t feel as friendly for the less capable players as previous titles though. Despite the fact that in Cold War it seems to take longer to bring an opposing player down, it takes more skill to land those shots in the first place. It is also easy to be outclassed due to the better perks, weapons and the like being locked behind levelling up. Still, those more casual players will likely already be used to spending their time being repeatedly shot, so it may not be of any consequence. The important thing is that the game includes plentiful options, and the mechanics, including the feel of all the guns, are solid. It may be beginning to feel a little stale, but this is Call of Duty multiplayer at its finest.

 


 
Then there is the co-operative Zombies mode. This mode has always had its tongue firmly in cheek, but this time around it feels somewhat tamer than previous versions. The over the top characters of previous games have been replaced with the players very own operative, and this time they are given their choice of load out rather than starting with a mere pistol. A side effect of this is that things get tasty rather quickly, and starting with a halfway decent weapon doesn’t mean it will be any easier. Things do feel more familiar from there on though, as the player rushes around the map, unlocking new areas to explore, secrets to find and ever more powerful weapons to use against those pesky zombies.

 
Shipping with only a single map, the Cold War Zombies mode may seem a little lacking. Happily though the map, Die Maschine, is pretty big and filled with all of the sort of weirdness that Zombies fans would expect, including portals to yet more strangeness. Zombies are zombies at the end of the day, but the variety here is nice and will keep players on their toes as they survive wave after wave. They even have the option to escape after a set number of waves, rather than carrying on to the death, which is a nice touch. This is a mode that will grow and grow over time, but the fans will find plenty to get started here.

 
The Call of Duty games have always been generous with the amount of content that they include, and Cold War is better than most. Including something for the solo player, the co-op player and anyone who wants to shoot other players, with both large scale and smaller, more intimate modes on offer, there is always something to do in Cold War. It’s an impressive bundle, albeit perhaps not too dissimilar to what has come before, but playing on one of the new generation of consoles, PS5 or Xbox Series X, really raises it above and beyond all predecessors. Whether the player is looking for the top quality visuals with 4K and Ray Tracing, or a silky smooth 120fps, Cold War will not disappoint.

 


 
Fans of the series will find nothing to be sad about with Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War. While the single player campaign throws out some new ideas, the overall package feels safe rather than innovative, but I think that most players will be happy with that. The upgrade for new generation console players is as remarkable as ever, giving another good reason to jump on the PS5 or Xbox Series X/S hype train. For those who buy each instalment in the series, keep on going. Those players who have taken a break, either from Black Ops or Call of Duty overall, won’t find that much that has changed, but will still find it all great fun, and oh so good to look at. Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is another solid COD game that fans will be playing into the new year and beyond.

 

 ★★★★★★★★½☆ 



 

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