Here at MKAU, my colleagues and I, in particular, have dove headfirst into Call Of Duty Black Ops Cold War and there is just SO much new, improved, and classically COD stuff to talk about that I had to split it into two reviews. As well as the Campaign, Black Ops Cold War is split into the famous Multiplayer and Zombies modes, Warzone, and the not so famous Store for all your purchasing addictions.
For my full comprehensive review of the campaign in Call Of Duty Black Ops Cold War, head HERE. Now, let’s dig into the Multiplayer and Zombies modes.
It was nice to see the inclusion of a backstory for the Multiplayer with it taking place years after the events of the campaign. Still in that era, these are battles that the big wigs of the world said, “never happened”. It was also good to see that Treyarch and Raven have also stated that they will support a calendar of free, post-launch content for the Multiplayer providing maps and more modes. I will be very impressed if they stick to this statement because that would be an awesome deal.
As usual, there are customisable operators and also with a fully stocked Gunsmith, you can tweak your loadout to the absolute fullest. The newest feature of a ping system, I was definitely skeptical about but a simple tap of the D-pad means you can highlight the location of enemies and loot. While this was definitely useful, not many people utilise it and because it is such a fast-paced game it becomes redundant very fast.
All the classic modes are there too. You can quickly slip into TDM, Free For All, S&D, and more but also three new additional modes. ‘VIP Escort’ was one I was very familiar with during the Beta and is a protect the player type mission with no respawns, requiring you to revive downed players before an impending squad wipe. ‘Combined Arms’ is a 12 v 12 hardpoint style mode with capturing the enemy’s’ point the main goal. The use of vehicles in this I found pretty fun even if their handling is yet another shopping trolley ride. ‘Fireteam: Dirty Bomb’ is a huge 40 player, 4 man team based skirmish that is frankly just a shit storm. Very unbalanced, too hectic, not very enjoyable, it was as if they are testing the waters for a new type of battle royale.
While the guns and gameplay mechanics feel generally balanced at the moment, and matchmaking has been a dream, I do feel the maps are a tad lacklustre. Not many of them are interesting or that fun to play, and while they are better than the last few CODS, Miami is probably the one I like the most when people aren’t camping in a room with snipers.
I’ve never been a huge fan of Zombies; the horde wave mode hellbent on survival as it gets harder and harder. I literally have not touched it since my obsession with ‘Buried’ back in the Black Ops 2 days however Cold War has definitely breathed a new life into this muchly loved game mode. Zombies had me hooked straight away and I had so much fun, especially with my friends and the gang from MKAU HQ.
Stuck in a WW2 bunker, your mission in Chapter 1 ‘Die Maschine’ is to discover and harness a dark unknown power, the ‘Dark Aether’. Playing solo, in a party of four privately or online, you must fight off the zombie menace that is always not so slowly advancing on your position.
All the classics are there; the mystery box, the soda can perks, and the Pack-A-Punch machine but the game just feels so sparkling and new with only minor but refreshing adjustments. Firstly, the map design is impeccable with lots to do and see but not enough to get lost and the new weapon rarity feature has you gunning for that perfect attachment. Exfil is also a new feature, essentially evacuating the squad from the map in one last wave of blaze and fire, giving you XP through the roof and bragging rights you made it out alive. Zombies also have health bars now, minor but the visual is so helpful in the throes of battles.
Zombie mode in Cold War also means the revival of the classic Dead Ops Arcade. For what felt like a little tacked-on add-on, this mode is actually super addicted and where a lot of our staff hung out. This little top-down, retro, arcade twin shooter was actually more complex and dynamic than anyone would imagine with its array of creative weapon upgrades and levels. The perk that switches your character to first-person was a particular favourite as it came out of nowhere and was a pleasant and game-changing mechanic.
Another promise from Treyarch is that all post-launch Zombies content will be free and I couldn’t be happier, however, locking Onslaught Mode to Playstation users is just awkward. Come on guys, it’s 2020, no one is benefiting no one with exclusives.
This game sneakily adds in that extra content with its recycling of Warzone. Building on and supporting the free-to-play ‘Call Of Duty: Warzone’, the battle royale stand-alone from earlier in the year, launches the previously downloaded free content developed by Infinity Ward and links straight to your Cold War account. Genius.
Fans would be happy to hear Cold War and all its modes are cross-gen, cross-play, and K&M compatible. This is awesome as up to 5 types of hardware can now enjoy playing together. PC players are definitely noticeable though as they run around slapping people but fortunately, it is still an option to turn it off if need be. As usual, there are loads of ways to map out your controls; something I have always respected about this shooter franchise.
New also is the global progression feature. This means rank, weapon levels, and even load outs can transfer over and connect via the Campaign, Multiplayer, and Zombies. Such a nifty and underappreciated feature.
Overall, Call Of Duty Black Ops Cold War is a more than solid iteration into the franchise. Multiplayer is fun but for this installment in the franchise, the Campaign and Zombies certainly stole the spotlight away from the anticipated aforementioned mode. This is one COD that will not take the back shelf fast as others have in the past.
Below is the breakdown of my scores of Call Of Duty Black Ops Cold War:
- Zombies: 9/10
- Multiplayer: 8/10
- Campaign: 10/10
Overall Experience 9/10
- Lots of post-launch free content- Zombies and Multiplayer
- Customisable characters
- Gunsmith fully loaded with weapons
- Most multiplayer modes are fun
- Most guns are pretty balanced.. Except you MP5
- Matchmaking is a dream
- Zombies is the most fun I’ve had in years
- New features add a new freshness to Zombies
- The revival of Dead Ops Arcade is surprisingly addictive
- Warzone is launchable
- Global progression of all modes
- Fully cross-gen/cross-play
- Mappable controls
- Ping system pointless in such a fast-paced game
- Fireteam is not an enjoyable experience
- Maps are lacklustre
- Onslaught Mode walled to Playstation users