I doubt anyone reading this hasn’t heard of Call of Duty before. So rather than my quick intro to Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, I will start by saying *ahem*; shooty shooty game make me blow stuff up.
Blow stuff up is fun.
“Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”
The vast majority of COD players are all about that multiplayer, but personally I’m in it for the campaigns. They’re consistently entertaining popcorn action flicks in the first-person shooter format and, like dumb action flicks, I love them.
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is no different, telling a story of a team of interagency operatives including MI6 and the CIA trying to stop a Soviet terrorist from blowing up a nuke. Early missions take place in both the present and past, to figure out where the ominous antagonist Pegasus is so you can stop him killing en masse.
One area these games can be a bit sketchy is when they tell a story of American heroism in wars filled with controversy and horrors. Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War disconnects itself with a clearly fictional premise, going in an unexpected direction at the end which draws a line in the sand for realism. This disconnect elevates it to the ‘dumb fun’ status that makes the eight or so hours of campaigning an entertaining time.
“Here’s my strategy on the Cold War: we win, they lose”
The gameplay in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is, as with most of these games, outstanding. The shooting and movement is fast and smooth, which lets you feel like you are a master. That said, ten minutes into the multiplayer and you will see what masters are like.
Diving in there are plenty of modes, but I had the most fun sticking to the classics. Team Deathmatches and Domination for instance, where working with a team I was able to rack up the kills and points. Jumping into a normal death match, it was clear that my casual enjoyment of COD every few years is not enough to stand on my own.
There are also some interesting new mode attempts, like one where you have to escort someone to a certain place without them dying. Escort missions in multiplayer; be still my heart. I don’t think I ever saw anyone get to the end of that because, once all of the opposition narrowed down and aimed for the VIP, it was over pretty quickly.
“I’d like to ask the Soviet leaders one question […] Why is the wall there?”
One thing that irked me more than it should is some of the menu design choices. I was playing from a disc, but when I booted up the game and after installing its patches I had to download the campaign in three packs. I found this to be a bizarre choice. What’s the benefit of physical anymore?
I figured that had to be so there was space for Warzone, because Warzone appeared on the main menu. Clicking that though takes you to the separate app or the PS Store to download that game individually. I don’t know why it was there. It seems like, unless you are here just for the game’s main multiplayer, there are plenty of walls for no reason I could ascertain. Other than, ya know, Cold War themes.
Annoyingly if you put the console to sleep the game shuts down, so even in campaign it doesn’t let you resume where you left off. Instead you load at your last checkpoint, so there were times I lost a lot of progress.
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is another dumb, enjoyable, action-packed campaign I highly recommend. The multiplayer is, as always, fun as hell, and on PS5 the adaptive triggers are a neat addition to pulling the triggers on your guns.
I’m hot for this Cold War.