Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is a breath of fresh air for the franchise. Starting when Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare came out, I started to lose interest in everything Call of Duty. The multiplayer wasn’t for me, the campaign while critically acclaimed as one of the best campaigns in COD history still didn’t grab me. Then Call of Duty: WWII came and I was only in it for the zombies. The campaign didn’t catch me nor did the multiplayer. After WWII came and went, Black Ops 4 came out and was a mixed bag all around. In the end I enjoyed the zombies, but I was hesitant. Finally came the 2019 reboot of Modern Warfare where I played for a few days then quit. I thought to myself that maybe I was just done with Call of Duty as a whole, but boy was I wrong. Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War brings everything I have been missing back to the table. Fun game modes, exciting multiplayer, a crazy campaign, and an amazing zombie experience

The Exciting Gameplay of Black Ops Cold War

Building the best AK74u

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War hits on a different level with its gameplay. Not only are the developers listening to fan feedback constantly but the changes that are made are for the better. Everything feels so smooth and responsive. It feels great to shoot the many guns no matter the mode. They all feel unique and their own. The slide is back once again from previous Call of Duty games and it feels great to use. All in all this is the true boots on the ground feeling I have been missing from recent games. WWII to Modern Warfare 2019 felt okay, but it didn’t  capture the movement that I have been longing for. 

Multiplayer Mayhem

Multiplayer map Miami at night

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War features one of the best multiplayer experiences in COD history. Not only does it feature the core game modes many fans have come to love such as Team Deathmatch, Domination, Kill Confirmed, Hardpoint, Search n Destroy, etc. They also bring in a new game modes such as Fireteam: Dirty Bomb, VIP Escort and Combined Arms Assault | Domination. Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War also features Skill Based Matchmaking and no it is not a problem. If you want to destroy noobs then make another account. SBMM has been in Call of Duty for a long time and nothing has changed other than people are just better than you at the game.

Fireteam: Dirty Bomb

I can talk for days on Fireteam: Dirty Bomb. Essentially it is a massive multiplayer experience that has 10 teams of 4 battling it out on a huge map collecting uranium to deposit into the “Dirty Bombs” to blow them up. The first team to 500 wins. I can’t stop myself from playing this with my friends. It can get so chaotic with all the players dropping in from above while Chopper Gunners are circling around. It truly is a blast. Not only that but there are different vehicles you can drive and cause even more chaos.

VIP Escort

Another new multiplayer mode is VIP Escort. VIP Escort consists of one random player on the Escorting side becoming the VIP. The goal of the escorting side is to get the VIP to either of the two Excavations zones. While the other team tries to stop the VIP from escaping. This mode is a ton of fun with a full group of friends that can communicate on where to go and where the enemies are. While Fireteam: Dirty Bomb is my go to multiplayer mode, VIP escort is still a lot of fun with friends.

The thrilling return of Treyarch Zombies

The mysterious Dark Aether surrounds the plot the storyline while the famous Raygun returns

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War sees the return of Treyarch Zombies. While many have tried to make a similar experience (the closest imo being Infinite Warfare) it is great to see it back again. Coming into Cold War I was nervous about how the gameplay of Zombies would feel and play. There were systems in Black Ops 4 Zombies that I wasn’t a huge fan of but I still enjoyed nonetheless. However Cold War Zombies is all around insanely fun. From head to toe is it one of the best experiences I have had with Treyarch Zombies. The amount of customization and replayability the mode has to offer now is immaculate. I was put off with not starting off with a pistol at first, but with how the game mode is designed it feels great to start with a different weapon choice. For example you can bring in an AK74u to start off with or even a Krig 6. The possibilities are endless. I also want to bring up the excellent main Zombies theme “Echoes of the Damned“. It is by far one of the best pieces of music Kevin Sherwood has made.

Die Maschine

The first map in Call of Duty: Zombies history returns in a new reimagined way. Nacht Der Untoten is revamped into the sinister Die Maschine. Die Maschine sees the mysterious Omega group awakening dimensional portals that lead into the Dark Aether. Opening these portals has lead to the dead reawakening and other technological advances. The story continues after the events of Black Ops 4 map, Tag Der Toten, where Primis and Ultimus sacrifice themselves to end the multiverse. With their sacrifice they also sent children, Samantha and Eddie into this new world. Now grown up, Samantha seeks to help prevent the Dark Aether and its inhabitants to return.

Treyarch got fancy and added in a good ole meme

Overall the map is super fun and is barely a Nacht Der Untoten remake. It feels like its own with Nacht tacd on. While some may think that is a bad thing I wouldn’t. It just goes to show how well Treyarch did with making Die Maschine feel like its own map. I am very excited to see where the future of Zombies will go. If they are anything like this then I know for sure I will be happy. Reinventing old maps with these new gameplay changes is an amazing thing.

Opening the elusive mystery box hoping for a Legendary Variant
Mystery Box time!

Customization and loadouts are not the only change made to the core gameplay of Zombies. The mystery box as well has had an overhaul. In this game the mystery box works on a beefed up rarity system. In previous Treyarch Zombie maps, you would normally get the “two really good” guns and never hit the box again. To circumvent that, Treyarch brings in the rarity system. Each gun now has five different tiers to it Common, Uncommon, Rare, Epic, and Legendary. As the tiers get higher the guns get better with different attachments on them. Say you get an Uncommon gun from the box. That Uncommon gun will maybe only have two attachments while a Legendary variant will have maxed out attachments. This new system allows players to constantly hit the box to try and get the better variants. 

Exfil

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Zombies also introduces a new optional way of ending a match. In previous games players would either have to go down or simply quit out of the game. The new option is called Exfil. Exfil will have players survive a few more moments starting at round 10 with ramped up difficulty. However if players exfil completely with no problems then they will be rewarded. Exfil is a great addition to the core Zombies gameplay. Not only that but it makes story sense that they would have the option to drop and leave when needed.

Dead Ops Arcade 3

Dead Ops Arcade makes a grand return in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War. Originally debuting in Black Ops 1, Dead Ops Arcade is a top down arcade like side mode. Of course the main goal is to survive endless hordes while going from room to room. Watch out for the Cosmic Silverback though. The Astronaut Gorilla is back alongside other boss zombies to stop you from winning. Dead Ops Arcade 3 is a fun side mode that brings back the charm the previous two had. If you want to kill some time but don’t want to worry about the regular Zombies difficulty. Then Dead Ops Arcade 3 is just for you. Sit back and let your bullets reign over the hordes.

The excellent pick your own Campaign

The return of Alex Mason and Frank Woods

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War offers up an insane campaign. The campaign follows new character CIA official, Russell Adler. Adler’s main goal is to stop a top Soviet Spy dubbed, Perseus. Perseus has stated that his objective it subvert the United States and tip the balance of power to the Soviet Union. Fan favorite characters return such as Frank Woods, Alex Mason, and Jason Hudson from previous Black Ops games.

This new campaign has twists and turns that I would dare not spoil. That is the magic of this campaign. Going in blind and seeing everything unfold. Everyone will play it differently as well. There are multiple endings but only one “good ending”.

Frank Woods scoping the area for enemies

For example there are moments where the game makes you pick a choice between two options. Either tell the truth or lie. That one decision will impact the entire game. These are the sorts of things you are going to want to watch out for and really plan out your next moves. Depending on the situation you are in it may change whether a character lives or dies. The campaign should also take around at least 5 hours to complete like previous Call of Duty games.

The Grievances

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is almost a perfect game in my eyes but there are problems. One of these problems is with Zombies. The first few rounds are still pretty slow moving. Yes it starts to get crazier past round 10, but needing to power through the first 10 rounds each time to get to that point is kind of tedious. I just want to get the action right away with my packed weapons. Not only that but Exfil can get pretty annoying. Especially in Solo where you can run out of time just because the amount of Zombies to kill is overwhelming. I also have one problem with the Campaign and that is it drops a ton of information right at the end out of nowhere. Everything before was a nice slow build up but the sudden “here is everything” took me back for second. It isn’t a huge problem but I feel like they could have done better there.

Time to exfil and get back to playing

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is an amazing experience. Not at one point did I ever think I would be this into Call of Duty again. Trying to balance these three modes will be tough but no matter what it will be fun across the board. The Campaign, Multiplayer, and Zombies are some of the best Treyarch and Raven Software have ever made. I would go the length and even say that this is up there with previous games such as Modern Warfare 2 and Black Ops II as one of my favorites. It is all around a ton of fun especially with friends.

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Hey I'm Conner! I'm a Voice Actor that loves the gaming industry. Fighting games are the best.