During the Cold War, the two greatest powers in the world at the time, the United States and the Soviet Union, were just waiting until one of them decided to take the initiative in a direct war attack, which would lead to a new large-scale world combat, something that luckily it didn’t happen. What happened in the period was the support of both nations to certain regional conflicts, but there is always that suspicion of operations that have taken place behind the scenes and that only a tiny group of individuals is aware of.

Back to the Cold War

The Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War campaign focuses precisely on that, with missions in places like East Berlin, Turkey, Vietnam and even the KGB HQ, all around a plot involving a serious threat to the West by a Soviet agent named Perseus. His main objective is to find out who he is, where he is and what he intends to do to destroy the western way of life. There are historical figures present in the game, such as the former US president, Ronald Reagan, a staunch critic of socialism and communism, who played a prominent role during the Cold War in the 1980s, making his presence something natural and necessary in history. about the game.

You start playing as Alex Mason, one of the veteran characters from the Black Ops saga. Frank Woods and Jason Hudson are also in attendance, as expected. There are newcomers too, with the main one being CIA agent Russell Adler. None of them is the protagonist however, this role being reserved for the player, who a few minutes after starting the campaign must create his character, giving him name, background, gender and even special passive skills, which cannot be changed once. chosen.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is very focused on giving freedom to the player, whose certain decisions in some missions can change the course of certain points of the campaign, including its outcome, which will be quite unexpected for many who play.

For example, there’s a mission where you have the option of rescuing or killing an informant. When you get to where he’s being held, there’s a document on a table suggesting he’s spouted. The decision to kill or rescue him influences not only how this quest ends, but also one of the aspects of another quest, which you won’t see until after a few hours.

All missions can be accessed on a blackboard located inside a hideout, where your companions and you prepare to carry them out. You can chat with them, allowing you to find out more about each one’s history, if you so wish. There’s also a locked room that can only be accessed after figuring out the code on the door’s padlock, using clues that are hidden around it. Inside it, there’s a little surprise, which I won’t say what it is to avoid spoilers.

Another interesting aspect of the campaign is that there are two optional missions whose success depends on the evidence you find in the mandatory missions. When finding all this evidence, it is necessary to examine them in order to draw up the best plan of action, because only then will you be able to complete these tasks correctly. Fortunately, this is not a difficult thing to do, just pay attention to the clues contained in each piece of evidence. However, players who don’t like that kind of approach and prefer the traditional focus on action might be a little disappointed with this aspect of the game.

The gameplay itself doesn’t change much from what we’re used to in Call of Duty, but there’s something new that you notice right after the first few minutes of playing. It is now possible to use enemies as human shields, which helps a little in certain situations. There are also moments in the campaign where you can focus on stealth, rather than simply shooting everything in sight.

Overall, the campaign is fun, even having some easter eggs in the form of full versions of classic Activision games for Atari, and fulfills its role well, despite being short, lasting about 5-6 hours. The way it was made gives the player the option to play it more than once if they want to discover all its outcomes and see all the endings, and the espionage aspects are very good. However, it lacks a lot in character development, as it focuses almost entirely on the character created by the player, with this becoming very clear as you progress through the story.

Multiplayer is solid and fun, but will it be enough?

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War has great multiplayer, with several game modes for the player to enjoy, including even the famous Zombies, which is still as fun as ever. I didn’t have any difficulties finding games, thanks to the blessed crossplay, which every developer should put in their game if it supports online play. Disconnections and low latency didn’t affect me either.

There are several multiplayer-related unlockables in the game, obtainable simply by playing and leveling up. So, the more dedicated you are, the more benefits you will receive.

Overall, the multiplayer experience I had was rewarding and I intend to keep playing for a while longer. However, this may not be the case for most players in the long run and there is a clear reason for this, called Warzone.

While the multiplayer in Cold War is great, there’s nothing about it that would justify buying the game just to enjoy it when you can play Call of Duty: Warzone for free. The new Fireteam mode, which supports 40 players, offers a similar battle royale experience that’s pretty good, but Warzone’s is still better.

The visuals lacked a little more whimsy

Graphically Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is very competent in some moments and weak in others. The cinematic videos are jaw-dropping, but when it comes time to see the graphical aspect of gameplay moments, the situation changes. Missions that take place in dimly lit environments, where lighting comes from certain points in the scenery, look much nicer to the eye than stages that take place during the day, with fewer points of light. The Vietnam mission, for example, even running smoothly on the PC with ray tracing, in no way resembles a next-gen game visually, whether in 1080p, 1440p or 4K.

Speaking of Ray Tracing, on PC it is very present and makes shadows look more realistic. The DLSS of the GeForce RTX cards helps a lot so that you can take advantage of this feature without losing much of the visual quality. I played most of the time on an RTX 2070S with the graphics options all maxed out at 2560x1080x75fps with Free Sync, with only a few moments of noticeable drop in frame rate. I also tried the game at 1440p and 4K, which resulted in a gain in the quality of some textures.

Speaking of the audio, it really impressed me. Much more than graphics. Playing with headphones, it is possible to hear everything around you very accurately, with a clear indication if the sound is coming from your left, right, or from your back, making it very easy to react as needed.

Conclusion

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is another good addition to Activision’s already established franchise. Its campaign is short, but due to the way it was conceived, it leaves the player wanting to play it more than once to see all its outcomes, while fighting to unravel the whereabouts and identity of the terrorist Perseus, which leads to some unexpected surprises. The multiplayer is great, but for now there’s nothing about it to justify switching Call of Duty: Warzone, a free option, for the one offered in this game, which you have to pay to access.

pros

  • Campaign gives the player options to change certain details in the story
  • Investigative and stealth aspects of the campaign are pretty cool
  • fun multiplayer
  • Zombies Mode is still as good as it ever was
  • Seeing Iconic Characters Frank Woods, Alex Mason and Jason Hudson Once Again

cons

  • Graphically it doesn’t draw much attention, even with Ray Tracing
  • While the multiplayer is good, some players will prefer to continue playing Call of Duty: Warzone as it offers a better battle royale experience.
  • Characters in the campaign could have been better used

Grade 8.5

A PC copy of the game was provided by Activision and Nvidia for this review.