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Game review – Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War

04 Dec 2020

Call of Duty games have been released annually for several years now and it’s starting to show signs of franchise fatigue. Much like annual sports games, there’s not much else the developers can do in order for the franchise to feel fresh and new. 

While not many new things can be added to Call of Duty games, the series continues to be the most popular FPS franchise in history. Last year’s release of Modern Warfare was well received by many offering an entertaining campaign as well as an enjoyable multiplayer mode to boot. 

This year we are back to the Black Ops subseries and this time the game is based on the Cold War. You play a new character nicknamed ‘Bell’ and he/she and the CIA are in search of a Soviet Spy by the name of Perseus. Sure the story isn’t all that original, but it has many twists and turns and is enjoyable like other COD style campaigns. 

What I like most about the campaign is that’s it’s not as linear as other Call of Duty’s single player offering. For one, you get to do more stealth missions in this game plus you’re also able to pilot a helicopter in one section too. 

Another commendable thing about the campaign is that your decisions in the game will directly affect what will happen in the story. There are multiple endings for you to watch so there’s some replay value even if you’ve already finished the campaign once over. 

That being said, the campaign in Cold War is still very short. I managed to finish the game in the normal difficulty in just over six hours long. You can prolong your gameplay time if you increase the difficulty, but it’s still quite short. 

Graphically, Call of Duty: Cold War looks and runs really well on the PlayStation 5 console. The game’s standard mode is 60fps, although you can increase that to 120fps if you have the hardware for it. Even though the graphics are nice, they didn’t wow me like Godfall or Demon’s Souls did. 

In terms of controls, Call of Duty: Cold War feels nice when you are playing it using the PS5’s new DualSense controller. The adaptive triggers make each weapon feel unique from one another as different guns give out different kinds of feedback. If you find it too distracting, you can turn down the option of adaptive triggers. 
 
Outside of the single player campaign, you can also dive into the game’s multiplayer mode too. While Modern Warfare had a newer approach to multiplayer, Cold War feels like a step backwards in a lot of ways. 

One of the reasons it feels backwards is due to the poor map selection and design. The maps included in Cold War feel weak in comparison to last year’s Modern Warfare release. Thankfully, things can improve when more maps are to be added in the near future. 

There are eight game modes for you to choose from that includes both new and classic modes for you to explore. The new game modes in multiplayer are actually quite fun because they offer something fresh for fans to dive in. 

One of my favourite new game modes was ‘Combined Arms’. Here in this game mode, it’s 12 vs 12 people and it features large maps because you can use tanks and gunboats to spice up the usual action. Another new game mode is ‘Fireteam’ where 10 teams of four have to try to deposit uranium into active dirty bombs throughout the level.

Much like many other Call of Duty games, Cold War rounds up the overall package by also including yet another Zombie mode. Here in this mode, you will have to survive waves and waves of zombies. The more you progress; you will also encounter bosses, although they feel repetitive because they are bullet sponges. 

At launch, Zombies mode in Cold War feels very bare bones because there is only one map available so far called ‘Die Maschine’. It can get very repetitive, although much like the multiplayer, things might improve in the future once more maps are added. 

Other than that, the Zombies mode in Cold War still feels too familiar in order to offer anything new for COD veterans. You’re still pretty much doing the same thing over and over again. You earn credits to better weapons, equipment and skills, although it can still feel very monotonous. 

Even though Call of Duty: Cold War looks great on PS5, the game sadly doesn’t offer many new improvements over last year’s excellent release of Modern Warfare. While this year’s campaign offers something unique like multiple endings, the Multiplayer and Zombies mode is where things get dragged down. 

Sure hardcore Call of Duty fans will still love what Cold War has to offer, but for everyone else you might be better off waiting for the game goes on sale instead. At launch, the lack of maps is disappointing to say the least. 

Verdict: 7.0/10