Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War: Treyarch slowly evolves the recipe, at least solo. Because online, it's a too classic homecoming. Only two years after giving birth to Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, Treyarch is already back in 2020 to offer us Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, an title that is a bit special due to its shorter than normal development, which includes a single-player mode unlike the previous part of the studio and which is presented as a sequel to the first part of the Black Ops license, the most popular among players in recent years. The bet was risky, and casually, Treyarch is doing well, while slightly evolving the franchise.
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War takes place in the early 1980s, as a group of U.S. Secret Service agents track down Perseus, a mysterious Communist spy who has long been planning to overthrow the United States, l The team had already crossed paths in Vietnam. The player thus alternates missions in the present, but also mainly in the past of the 70s, in order to find clues concerning this Perseus and finally to get his hands on him. We must admit that the single-player campaign of Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War brings a little breath of fresh air to the franchise, with from the start the possibility of personalizing his character with his gender (male, female or non-gender), give it a name that will be displayed at the start of the mission (the NPCs will call it Bell whatever happens), a past in the CIA, the KGB or other secret service which is mentioned in a few lines of dialogue, and especially personality attributes, which have an influence on the gameplay, with for example resistance to damage, explosions, the ability to run longer, reload faster, etc. So no, Call of Duty didn't turn into a role-playing game, it's still very light, but the player feels more in control of a character that matches them, rather than a pair of arms following orders. Moreover, during missions, it is possible to choose certain lines of dialogue, which influences the responses of the NPCs, but not really on the course of the action, except at the end of the campaign, with also the possibility of 'sparing targets, which resurface later. Yes, rather surprisingly, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War has three major endings, including a rather interesting, not at all canon, but which turns the tide in the final minutes of the campaign.
On the gameplay side, there is also a bit of a change. A big part of the game is obviously shooting enemies with a varied arsenal, the title has no shortage of explosive scripted sequences including a chase of a plane taking off with an RC-XD, but Treyarch also offers moments quieter, like an infiltration sequence in the streets of East Berlin or even a visit to a communist base while playing a double agent. This one has to bring the player's squad indiscreetly, and for that, well, he needs a magnetic card, and the player has a choice of art and manner (picking doors, knocking out guards and hiding their bodies) to find this object by freely exploring the base. Rather successful moments and which especially bring a breath of fresh air to the franchise, even if it still destroys the rhythm quite a bit. Retrogaming enthusiasts can have fun on perfectly playable arcades, with old titles from Activision, of course.
A war quickly dispatched
In the end, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is really short, the single-player campaign bends over five hours, and by taking into account these “slow” passages more oriented towards reflection and infiltration, the player remains a little on its hunger when the credits arrive, despite an intense finale and a penultimate mission under psychotropic which is not without recalling the last Far Cry, but also, of course, the first Call of Duty: Black Ops. Moreover, this new installment is not exactly a real reboot, it offers some nods to the first part of the license, which will bring back good memories to players, and which thus make it a direct sequel to Call of Duty : Black Ops, marking the return of good old Hudson, Woods, and Mason to the countryside. However, it is not them who are really at the center of the scenario, it is a certain Adler, a look-alike of Robert Redford in charge of the case by President Reagan. The main story of Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War revisits the Cold War in its own way, taking real facts and distorting them, often to the advantage of Americans elsewhere, to plunge the player into a hunt. of Preseus who goes through big headshots at M16, but also by looking for clues in missions. More than collectibles, these clues can be found on an evidence board (campaign hub used to replay missions) and analyzed to unlock two side missions. Yes, side missions in a Call of Duty, it's surprising, and better yet, you have to connect your neurons to solve these puzzles, not so easy at first. The interest in changing the franchise a little is therefore palpable, but because of a number of rickety missions, a weak lifespan, and a slightly jerky pace, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War remains frustrating. Interesting, offering good replayability, innovative on several gameplay elements, but also frustrating by its lack of real epic moments as the license usually offers us so well.
Graphically speaking, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is one of those games that finds itself in the crossfire because it was developed for two generations of different consoles. I tested it on Xbox Series S, and Treyarch's title here is in the vein of previous games, the textures are very clean, the studio has taken care of the character modeling (Reagan is screaming for realism in the cutscenes), the lighting and reflections are neat, the game is not stingy in visual effects to tickle the retina of the most demanding, but it is not a technological showcase either, and anyway, no Call of Duty has never sought to be. Where the game impresses is its soundtrack, composed by Jack Wall (Mass Effect, and the Black Ops since II), which remains very martial, but which this time is heard, with very present musical themes during missions and reinforce the intensity of the action. At least that was needed to compensate for the scarcity of musical titles of the time, there are very few throughout the adventure, and they only last a few seconds. Treyarch probably didn't want to fall for the cliché of throwing us Jimi Hendrix or Creedence Clearwater Revival, but fans of 70s music are frustrated.
Pure Black Ops Online
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is also multiplayer, but here you can forget everything that has been said about originality and surprise in the single-player campaign, Treyarch is just reciting his lesson, only he has known by heart for several years. But when the poem is recited so beautifully, why change anything? The player thus finds multiplayer modes that he knows inside out, with Team Deathmatch, Confirmed Elimination, Domination, or Search and Destruction, it's classic but still too effective. The gameplay is nervous and fast-paced, players can run without limits and slide, reload while continuing to aim in the sights and life regenerates on its own. The ten maps included at launch are varied, as always quite tight in sizes, and the developers wanted to avoid camping with Scorestreaks (which replace Killstreaks) which are no longer canceled upon player death. On paper, this is good, but in reality, it always sticks, and very good players quickly have ultra-powerful assets to make the game boring (getting killed in the respawn by an attack helicopter, always a pleasure in a Call of Duty, that doesn't change). Treyarch nevertheless introduces the VIP Escort mode, inspired by Counter-Strike 1.6 of the good old days where each team includes a very important member, equipped only with a pistol, whom he must escort to an evacuation point without that he be shot down by the opposing team. And players can also turn to Dirty Bomb mode, where 10 teams of four people battle it out over a large map, having to harvest Uranium from chests (or from the bodies of enemies) and then bring it to a bomb location to detonate it and cover part of the map with poison gas. Here it is possible to relieve allies if they are simply injured and to reappear alongside them more quickly. It smacks of the Battlefield spirit, even though these features were already present in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare's Land Warfare. Between games, players can customize their gear with weapon accessories and perks, and there are some welcome new features, such as a ping system to point to an area or danger with the directional pad, cross-play ( to activate or deactivate in the options), and even a field of view adjustment (the FOV), well known to PC players, but much less on home consoles. Options obviously available in Zombies mode.
Yes, Black Ops is a cult for the exciting Zombies modes, the fourth title has rebooted the storyline a bit, and Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War starts on new bases with Die Maschine, the first chapter of Dark Aether, a new scenario presented as a revisited and improved version of Nacht Der Untoten. The players thus find their paraphernalia of the multiplayer mode, but can obviously buy weapons on the map, with a degree of rarity changing according to the power, find the famous Pack-A-Punch machine to modify the effect of the balls, or still get ultimate weapons in the Mystery Box, if you're lucky. Power-Ups, to eliminate zombies quickly, replenish your ammo, or simply earn more points, are also part of the game, for a classic Zombies experience, but one that will delight fans of the time. Small novelty, players can opt for the classic mode with infinite waves, or a mode with 20 waves, it is then necessary to call the reinforcements with a radio, which will have the effect of rousing a bunch of living dead, but the reward is high. Regarding this first map, it is large and labyrinthine, with many passages to be opened for money to progress through the level, and players will have what to do to unearth the secrets. A single map at launch is low, but it's ultimately huge and rich, designed to keep fans occupied for quite a while, and the rest of the maps will be free when they release. Finally, lovers of the living dead and action can find the Dead Ops Arcade 3: Rise of the Mamaback mode, a cooperative mode with top-down gameplay, top-down shooter style, asking to eliminate a bunch of zombies to advance through the levels, a fun and amusing arcade atmosphere with friends. As if that weren't enough, the Call of Duty: Warzone Battle Royale is included, even though the title is free-to-play.
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Review Conclusion
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is a nice surprise for the franchise. Despite a year less for development, Treyarch offers us here a real Black Ops, with a nice scenario and which above all dares to finally evolve the license, with more varied gameplay and small customization options that are good. However, the single-player campaign lacks pace and is far too short, ending without actually marking the player. There remain the Multiplayer and Zombies modes, which are ultra classic, do not change the recipe but offer gameplay and a gaming experience that will delight fans of the Black Ops franchise. A daring title, which is sometimes missed, but which ultimately remains a solid Call of Duty. For more information regarding that video game, I invite you to check out the Call of Duty official website for all details. Please feel free to comment below at any times and share with us what you like about the game.