It’s been a long time since I’ve had so much fun with a Call of Duty campaign. The campaign of Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War feels less pre-chewed and that’s one of the biggest pluses for me.
Where in most Call of Duty campaigns you had little choice in how to tackle a mission. There is now, from time to time, the feeling of free will without this resulting in endless searching or trying again.
Which road do I take, do I go for a brutal attack, should I stay undetected, do I kill him?
The Cold War, historically seen, was a golden age for spies and double agents. You didn’t know who to trust. The Raven Software team, who led the development of the single-player campaign, have done a great job, in my opinion, to reflect in the game, this constant feeling of distrust and tension in which one must have lived at the time.
The campaigns of Call of Duty are known for action-packed epic chases, slow-motion breaches and brutal battles. This year (2020) is no different. Where in recent years, I could not fully enjoy these sometimes beautiful cinematic scenes. I fully enjoyed them this year. I have to admit that my expectations were not high, which can contribute to how pleasantly surprised I was. Still, I’m going to take a shot at what I think was better (for me) than before.
I like a good story as well as an adrenaline-pumping action scene. Who doesn’t! But give me action scene after action scene without a good story and I lose interest. When building up to a climax, and rest assured, gunshots and explosions are certainly allowed during this buildup, there must be moments where I can prepare myself (mentally), where I get time to empathize with the character I’m playing, and the situation he or she is in. When this is done correctly, and the moment is finally there, all my inner demons break free. At that moment, I hate every opponent as much as our beloved protagonists do.
Is all this happening while I’m ziplining, operating helicopters or falling through floors from a blown building? All the better! But are you telling me that I zipline, glide and fall because, oh yeah there seems to be a bad guy somewhere… Then thanks but no thanks.
The scriptwriters have done a good job in setting the pace, for this, they deserve a solid B. When I add the intrigues, plot twists and certainly the psychedelic last missions, ( where there were a lot of: “What’s happening!?”, moments) then I like to raise this result to a nice B+. I don’t want to spoil too much and I would repeat myself more than once if I did, :-p those who have already played the game will understand but you could say they finish with a BANG BANG BANG !
What freedoms and variations are there in the game?
In addition to the action described above, you can choose, for example, to hide the corpses of the guards you have knocked down with a silent attack, pick locks of doors, choose the order of the missions on the evidence board,
collect intel that will grant you access to optional missions,
and much more.
Most missions remain fairly straightforward, but certainly towards the end, and I don’t want to ruin it, so I’m not going to be specific, there are moments where your choices are of great importance for the further course of the story!
Things I didn’t like so much
I would be lying if I said there were things I really didn’t like, but were there things I expected more of? Absolutely!
When it comes to the graphic side, I found that there was quite some variation in the degree of finishing. There were scenes that were really nicely worked out (e.g. in Vietnam) and others where maybe an attempt was made, with “cheap tricks” like reflections and volumetric lights, to make a scene look fuller then it was in reality. Maybe this is just because of the limitations of a “now” obsolete PlayStation 4 and do these effects come into their own on the PlayStation 5.
In general BO Cold War felt a bit less realistic than for example, Modern Warfare 2019 did, but this doesn’t necessarily mean it was worse.
All in all, it looked quite nice, and there were certain locations that could make me genuinely “anxious”, “nervous” or “excited”, just by eg the size of a building or the way it was decorated.
Audio. In some cases, the dialogue was a bit on the quiet side when using my surround sound system, on the other hand, with headphones it was nicely balanced.
The only thing I might have been a bit disappointed with was the AI artificial intelligence of the opponents. It can’t exactly feel real when you’re looking at someone sitting there, looking at a wall, while everyone around him is attacking, dying or hiding. I did like the moments where characters pushed over a table to hide behind it, but in general, the opponents felt pretty damn stupid.
Final verdict: 4,5 Stars
The single-player campaign of Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is definitely worth playing. It only takes a few hours to play through the entire storyline including side missions: Operation Red Circus and Operation Chaos. All these main and side storylines are the place where the game shines. The characters have depth, excitement is built up and a grand finale awaits you. Where in some areas small steps have been taken back in terms of realism and artificial intelligence, I am glad that they have made progress in terms of offering variation in playing style and possible choices. I had fun with the single-player campaign, and I recommend it to everyone.
If you want to know more about everything that Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War has to offer, take a look at this page where you can find a complete overview, trailers, articles, tips and more!
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