Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War comes with a standard sized campaign, a zombies mode, and standard multiplayer mode. That is about all you need to know if you want to buy this game, it is Call Of Duty as it has been for the last couple of years, so you know what to expect. Even with these great graphics, some smart campaign design, and good multiplayer modes, it still feels exactly like every other Call Of Duty game in the last 10 years. I’m not saying that it isn’t fun at all, there are a lot of exhilarating missions and addicting multiplayer aspects, but the formula still feels very much the same, and it’s hard to justify such a similar experience costing so much money and memory on my PC.
The major part of Cold War is obviously the campaign. Fighting the Russians and going through different levels of gunplay, vehicle control, and chases do make each level feel pretty gripping. However, it lacks the “Black Ops” of it all. I still feel like I’m just running and shooting everything; I’m not smartly using gadgets or technics to do much of anything covert. There are a few really great moments that make me feel like a Black Ops operative inside missions. Also, putting together evidence and going back through levels to discover new evidence and complete puzzles does increase the replayability, but that’s about all of the spy and secretive stuff there is. It’s a fine campaign, and you get what you pay for, but just throttle your expectations and remember that it’s still very much a “by the book” Call Of Duty game.
Multiplayer is where I found the most fun and reason to come back. I found the larger game modes with dozens of players to be the most entertaining and satisfying. But it still looks exactly like Warzone. It looks like, but I could have mistaken it for a skin and map DLC instead of an actual new game in the franchise. If you like COD, you’ll enjoy the multiplayer like you have years before. But with so many game modes, Warzone, Zombies, and Modern Warfare’s multiplayer all happening at the same time, I’m finding the player base to be spread a little thin, and it is affecting quality and queue times.
The last main component is the Zombies game mode, which does add in some cool narrative beats this time around. With some previous Zombies things added, some old guns, there is some fulfillment of nostalgia and reminiscent feelings of the first time Zombies came out. However, the actual gameplay feels a little blander, and the pacing of gaining weapons and other abilities or special items isn’t super great. For being a real arcade-like mode, it feels very grounded and sluggish, more than the campaign. It’s a fine mode, and if you really wanna play Zombies, it’s there. But Cold War adds relatively nothing new or deep to the formula.
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War does intrigue players with the at time interesting campaign, but not much else. With hardly any noticeable changes in the core gameplay or visual from previous years, it seems just a little odd to keep playing the same games over and over again. This addition to the franchise is fine but adds more to the argument asking, “Do we need a new Call of Duty every year?” and the answer becoming more and more apparent that we don’t.