Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is the latest instalment in the ever-popular first-person shooter franchise published by Activision.
Black Ops Cold War is the fifth chapter of the Black Ops series developed by Treyarch and Raven Software. It drops players into the height of the Cold War with an all-new single-player story, a fast-paced multiplayer, and a brand-new zombies story.
The game is a direct sequel to the very first instalment of the Black Ops series which released just over a decade ago.
After a hugely successful Modern Warfare cycle, expectations for Treyarch and Raven Software to continue the momentum were high. Have the two developers managed to live up to the high expectations?
Find a complete review of all three parts of the game here.
One of the few innovations to the single-player experience is the ability to create a character, adding a personal element to the Black Ops Cold War storyline. Other than a few in-game advantages, the creation of a character adds very little to the experience, but is certainly something that can be built upon in future titles.
The second major innovation are the introduction of dialogue options. Throughout various stages of the campaign, players can change the course of the story by selecting a variety of dialogue options. The options make a welcome addition to the story. In previous campaigns, players have had minimal control as to which direction the story but with this particular addition, it puts players in the driving seat.
The story itself is a typical Black Ops experience with a diverse range of missions for players to get stuck into. The likes of “Nowhere Left to Run” features the usual blockbuster action that fans have come to expect while missions such as “Desperate Measures” integrate elements of stealth and secrecy that has never been seen in a Call of Duty campaign.
Raven Software has done an excellent job in adding to the Black Ops storyline. The campaign is a lot of fun and thanks to the multiple endings, it takes a couple of playthroughs further adding to its value in the game.
Treyarch is widely regarded as the best developer for Call of Duty multiplayer thanks to its track record of designing some of the best multiplayer maps ever seen.
Expectations for Treyarch to see the franchise return to some form of classic, simplistic experience were extremely high and after some time, Treyarch has yet to deliver on those expectations.
The beta contained some of the best weapon balancing ever seen in a Call of Duty title, with no standout weapons appearing to take control of the metagame. Just a few weeks into the game cycle, the MP5, FFAR, and the AK-47 have been the dominant weapons, outperforming the vast majority of the weapon arsenal. The weapon balance will come over time, but it feels like a huge step backwards in terms of overall balance.
The maps have been another talking point. Black Ops Cold War released with just eight multiplayer maps and with such a small map pool, a long multiplayer session can often feel repetitive due to the lack of variety. The designs of the maps are relatively solid and offer a wide variety of engagement opportunities. Maps like Crossroads Strike offer a fast-paced, close-quarters experience while others like Satellite cater for long-range engagements and a slower pace.
The core of multiplayer is fantastic. Everything from the movement to the gunplay is extremely good but the negatives outweigh the positives. Once the issues are ironed out, multiplayer has the potential to be up there with some of the very best Call of Duty titles.
The return to the Black Ops series also sees the return of the fan-favorite zombies mode. The endless waves of the undead are back with an all-new storyline, a new map, and more for players to get stuck into.
Zombies features a wealth of innovations including drops, crafting, and an armor system to increase resistance when the undead get too close.
Whether it’s solo or with a group of four trying to tackle the Die Maschine Easter Egg, Black Ops Cold War zombies is a real return to form for the mode after some turbulent times in Black Ops 4. There is plenty more to discover other than eliminating waves upon waves of zombies. There are challenges to complete, intel to uncover, and so much more which makes this particular iteration of zombies one of the most enjoyable.
We’re already looking forward to where the zombies storyline is heading next!
Overall, Black Ops Cold War is one of the most complete entries into the franchise. The campaign and zombies modes are both excellent and with a bit of work, multiplayer can certainly reach those levels.
As soon as the flaws in multiplayer are rectified, Black Ops Cold War is certainly one of the stronger titles to enter the franchise.