Call Of Duty: Black Ops – Cold War Review
Tis the season everyone, time for Call of Duty to release a new game, Time for them to climb the sales charts with another new title, Time for wives to mourn the loss of their husbands as we all prepare our bodies and new consoles for some elite level pew pew action.
The Campaign mode of Black Ops Cold War was designed and developed by Raven Software which was already designing a campaign based on the Cold War before Treyarch took the project over. The game is a direct sequel to the original game Call of Duty: Black Ops. In 1981, US President Ronald Reagan tasked CIA operative Russell Adler to hunt down Soviet agent Perseus to prevent an attack on the free world. Adler assembles an elite team of operatives including “Bell” with the help of Alex Mason, Frank Woods, and Jason Hudson.
I firmly believe that the stories in the Black Ops Series are some of the best COD campaigns hands down. They just take things in a totally different direction and give you more of a spy feel vs standard military ops. Sure the core of every Call of Duty game is get from point A to point B while tearing down waves of enemies and capturing or killing your objective, this doesn’t change in Black Ops Cold War. However what is alot of fun are the set pieces in between the chaos, from infultrating bases while disguised, to sabotaging your enemies, there is some depth and layers here vs the standard level after level of just shooting down everything in sight.
Some of my favorite parts of this campaign was actally the optional missions. Now I know some of the Call of Duty “Bros” are just there for the multiplayer and might just play through the campaign for the story as well. But in this entry there are two specific missions marked as optional, but guess what, you can’t just go in and play them. That would be too easy and against the feel this game was going for. Instead you need to collect evidence in the other missions to help you crack the code and decipher what they are looking for to decrypt a disk or find out who the targets covert agents are by tracking their travel plans during the span of a couple years. I realize that most players now a days would give it a brief shot and either pass on the mission or just look up the answers on how to solve. Having played this game a bit early on, those options weren’t there for me, I cracked them the hard way. Ironically it felt extremely rewarding to do so, and gave the game more of a spy feel, which is alot of fun.
I won’t get into spoilers (I don’t like doing that in reviews) the story is very well done and well written. With a great set of characters and twists and turns along the way. Just when you think you know where the game is going it throws you a few curveballs to deal with. Plus the settings of the early 80s and Cold War era are a great change of pace from the last bunch of games, seeing Regan in full effect and even an appearance from Mikhail Gorbachev was a great bring the history class to life moment. I wish all the campaigns were as well written as this one. For those interested and tracking, I think it’s just around half the length of last years campaign, which to be honest felt a bit short but every mission felt solid with purpose so dragging it out might have hurt the narrative, but maybe throw in a few more optional missions with some spy work would have added to it.
As far as graphics, it’s Call of Duty you know what to expect. High frame rates, fast action, very little slow down. The audio engineering is second to none with their sound effects, gun blasts, ambient noises and voice acting. This is really one of those gold star standards in gaming that we might actually take for granted at this point a bit, because we just expect it from the Call of Duty Series. The game controls well without any real complicated aspects thrown into the mix just a solid performance overall.
Multiplayer is what most folks are here for I did really enjoy the addition of the new Combined Arms 12 vs 12 maps. I tend not to do so great when in the smaller 6 vs 6 settings and such. I enjoy having some room to move around and not die every 5 seconds, but I’m also not great at COD multiplayer. The issue here, which I completely understand why it is given the competitive nature of COD is everything seems improved and too good for the time setting in this mode. Reloading is faster, sniping is much more accurate, and forget about calling in air strikes….waaay to OP and accurate. But again, I understand why it’s that way. I think fans and enthusiasts of the multiplayer modes will also really enjoy what Cold War brings to the table.
Zombies mode brings in a new story to the insane mode that also is set in the Cold War era, involves nuclear reactors, Nazis (it’s always the damn Nazis), and an international strike team to try and take them down. There are 20 levels to get through to get the full breakdown of the story. Admittedly I didn’t get very far, playing with randoms is tough, but I am really looking forward to playing with some friends and having a good time with this mode as it’s one of my favorites to work with.
All in all, I think Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War (despite it’s long title) is another solid entry in the franchise that lends enough to entertain almost any type of gamer from Casual to Competitve to playing with friends, this one no doubt will be another stellar hit all holiday season.