The Call of Duty franchise has been out for a pretty long time now. Following the decline of other first-person shooters like Medal of Honor and Battlefield, the Call of Duty series remains a constant in the genre. However, when Call of Duty decided to go back to the Black Ops part of their series, people were intrigued. When the series showed the trailer for the new game, Call of Duty Black Ops 5, revealed the upcoming title to be Black Ops: Cold War, people’s interests were piqued.
Fast forward to November and the release of the PS5 and the Xbox Series X, and we finally have our hands to Call of Duty Black Ops 5, aka Cold War. Let’s find out whether or not this latest title in the famous CoD series deserves to be in the next-gen hype train.
What Kind of Game is Call of Duty Black Ops 5?
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is an FPS game published by Activision and created by Treyarch and Raven Software. It’s the fifth main installment of the Black Ops titled series (Sixth if World at War is included in the count). Also, the Cold War is the 17th game in the Call of Duty series overall. The game serves as the direct sequel and prequel to Black Ops and Black Ops II respectively.
The game is available on PC, Xbox One, Series X, PS4, and PS5. Depending on where you play, there’s quite a bit of contrast between all the platforms, specifically the previous and next-generation ones. Meanwhile, the game’s performance on PC is consistent all day, every day. PC players will only notice differences if their machines are on the medium- to low-end variety.
Call of Duty Black Ops 5 Setting
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War follows after Call of Duty: Black Ops, the first game of the Black Ops series. The Cold War is at its peak, and tensions are at an all-time high. Returning characters like Mason now work for the US Government’s Black Ops division once again to hunt down Perseus, a terrorist who has some pretty nefarious plans for a world in the middle of the Cold War.
New Features in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War?
There are several new features on Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War that might be interesting to both new and returning players. Here are some of them:
Let’s start with several of the things that are now added due to the game being on the PS5 and Xbox Series X.
For one, the haptic feedback of the new-generation controllers has significant improvements when compared to the previous-gen. They now come with more feedback and can simulate the recoil when firing a gun, which makes each shot and firing burst feel more authentic to the senses. Players can now feel the whizzing of bullets on their controllers, and even know the direction of where the shots came from because of the controller feedback localizing itself on one side of the controller to the other. This improvement is a nice touch in itself.
Next on the agenda is the graphical improvements. The game’s graphical improvements aren’t that apparent when compared to the haptic feedback. The game looks good, don’t get us wrong; it’s one of the best Call of Duty games in terms of graphic quality. However, the series has improved itself graphics-wise through slight increments, with the Modern Warfare reboot being the more prominent example of these improvements.
A side-by-side comparison between the Modern Warfare Reboot and Black Ops Cold War will reveal that the Reboot looks better in terms of graphics. Make of that what you will, but it seems that Black Ops Cold War is lagging behind its Modern Warfare counterpart in terms of graphics.
We’ll review the game’s game modes, story elements, it’s multiplayer, and more below.
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Game Modes
Other than the Single Player Campaign, this title has several game modes for players to enjoy. Here are said game modes and what they are below:
Now we might be cheating by including something that isn’t a game mode but hears us out. Activating Hardcore allows players to drastically change the flow of a match in several small but impactful ways. These can range from reduced HP for players, limited HUD, no regeneration, and friendly fire among other things. When the game launched, there are Hardcore game variants for the Team Deathmatch, Search & Destroy, Domination, Kill Confirmed, and Free-for-All modes already available.
Do note, though, that trigger discipline is not only advised but actively encouraged due to friendly fire being enabled. You don’t want a friendly fire to be the deciding factor to a match.
This is the quintessential PvP mode that quite a few CoD Players know very, very well. Two teams fight each other in an elimination-based mode. The first team to get the maximum number of kills wins the match.
Players immediately respawn after they die. If by some divine intervention or dumb luck both of the teams have the same score when the timer’s out, the game ends in a draw.
The premise of this game mode is simple. Any eliminated enemies, as well as your teammates, drop dog tags when they die. Get the dog tags of your enemies to obtain a better score for your team and retrieve your teammates’ dog tags to stop the enemy from getting any points.
This game mode is pretty much self-explanatory: it’s every man for themselves. The player that gets the most amount of kills before time runs out or the first player that gets to the score limit wins the match.
Two teams fight to gain control of three locations that are marked on the game map with lettered waypoints: A, B, and C. Teams can earn scores for each zone that their team controls.
Match Halftime occurs after one team obtains 100 points. The teams will then switch sides on the map after that. The first team that can obtain 200 points wins the match.
This time, 2 teams fight to control the rotating objective area that’s the Hardpoint or “hill”. Players need to be inside the Hardpoint to obtain team points over time.
A Hardpoint lasts for one minute before going to another designated position. Players who die respawn shortly after so they can rejoin the action.
The first team that manages to reach the score limit or gets the highest score after the timer has run out wins the match.
A fan-favorite mode from Black Ops 4 returns to the latest installment, Control tasks players with getting/defending two stationary objectives that they can locate on the map.
Each round of Control lasts for one-and-a-half minutes. Both teams of six players have a maximum of 30 lives. The attacking team will also get additional time when they capture one of the two objectives. Compared to Domination or Hardpoint, the attacking team is the only team that can capture the objective, and the objective vanishes from the map after they do so.
The attacking team wins a round if they manage to obtain both points successfully. The defending team wins a round if they manage to defend objectives until the round timer is over. Last but not the least, any team can win if they manage to deplete the 30 lives that the other team has.
Search and Destroy
Both participating teams will act as an attacker or the defender. They then switch roles after a round is finished.
The game mode is similar enough to CS:GO in terms of gameplay. The attacking team transports a bomb to one of two bomb sites. They win if they manage to plant the bomb and the bomb explodes on either of the two sites. They also win the round if they managed to kill the entire defending team. The defenders win if they manage to kill off all of the attacking players or defend the bomb sites until the timer runs out.
Fireteam: Dirty Bomb
FIreteam: Dirty Bomb takes its roots from, you guessed it, Fireteam. A 40-player Battle Royale experience that has 10 squads of four players fight each other until the last team standing. The new iteration, Fireteam: Dirty Bomb is an objective-based multiplayer mode that has squads working together to eliminate enemies, gather Uranium caches, and find dirty bombs sprinkled all over the map. At the dirty bomb sites, the Uranium that they collected can be deposited until the site is primed for detonation.
Teams earn a score in three ways: killing enemies, depositing gathered Uranium, and detonating the dirty bombs. Do note that detonating the dirty bombs causes radiation to immediately leak out to the surrounding area. This will force players to instantly bugger out to another location or suffer the consequences.
Combined Arms: Assault
Combined Arms modes that Black Ops: Cold War offer includes Assault and Domination. To know what the game mode entails, however, we need to add a bit more context.
Combined Arms is a game mode that has several teams of play on large maps complete with vehicles like tanks, snowmobiles, gunboats, and more. The available vehicles will depend on the map you will play on.
The Assault variant of Combined Arms is similar enough to a game of tug-of-war where teams must obtain objectives located on the map that lead towards the enemy’s base. The match starts with a single neutral objective located smack dab in the middle of the map. The first team that manages to capture it will turn on the next available capture area, found further back leading to the enemy’s base.
Killing enemies and capturing zones will allow players to get momentum. Momentum shortens how much time is needed to capture the next zone on the map. However, overtime will begin if the timer runs out and the game results in a draw. In overtime, the first team that manages to obtain a neutral zone wins the game.
Combined Arms: Domination
You remember the Domination game mode, right? Well, this is that but done on a large scale. Combined Arms: Domination is a scaled-up version of Domination, with 24 players divided into teams of 12.
Like OG Domination, Combined Arms: Domination has two teams attempt to capture objectives and defending said objectives from each other. Because it’s Combined Arms, the number of objectives that players can capture is increased to compensate for the bigger lobby size.
Your mission is simple enough. Escort the VIP out of the play area if you’re the defender, or kill the VIP if you’re the attacker. In this new game mode, teams are divided between the escorts and strike team.
On the escorting side, a random player is made to be the VIP of the round. The team wins if they manage to successfully escort the VIP to one of two exfil sites or they manage to kill the entire opposing team. The attackers win if they manage to kill off the VIP. They also get the win if they held off the escape points and the timer runs out.
Scorestreaks in this game mode is disabled, and players except the VIP can use their normal loadout. Those players can only use a pistol of their choice, two smoke and frag grenades, a spy plane, and a Field Mic Field Upgrade. They’re outgunned if they’re left alone.
Last but not the least, players can’t respawn in the middle of around. When players are shot and eliminated, they immediately go into a downed state. They can be revived by their teammates. However, this is only if the enemy doesn’t kill them off first.
This game mode ends when a team wins four rounds.
Last but not least is the ever-popular Zombies game mode. This should be a familiar game mode for Call of Duty players as the franchise adds it in on almost all the games. It’s still a pretty straightforward game mode: all you need to do is survive the ever-increasing hordes of zombies that are swarming you with the intent to kill.
Of course, there is some variation on the game mode’s maps. There are some minor and sub-objectives that players can accomplish to make their lives easier. Add in some pretty whacky guns (examples of which are the rayguns and D.I.E), and you have a recipe of fun for the player a group of their friends.
Black Ops: Cold War Review
Now that we’ve talked about the game itself, let’s take a look at how it stands today as one of the titles for the next generation of gaming consoles.
What Was Done Well
First off, a player who loves competition and multiplayer play will have a blast playing Black Ops: Cold War. The game has a lot of multiplayer modes for people to enjoy, from your typical Team Deathmatch to the ever-popular Zombies. Anyone who wants to go on and play with friends can go for the game’s multiplayer modes and find a great time.
In addition to this, players have the option of choosing which game modes they wish to keep in part thanks to Black Ops: Cold War’s capability of selectively deleting certain game modes if the player wishes to. This allows them to customize their experience with the game.
What Was Bad
This will be painful for fans who love the game, but there are some questionable decisions that have to be brought up.
Other than what was mentioned on the good parts of the game, several things are not in this game’s favor. The first is the fact that players have to download an incredibly exorbitant 133GB just so they can play the game. Most of these requirements go to the game’s HD graphics as well as the multiplayer, which they can remove if they wish. However, it’s still annoying to have to download that much data. Moreover, the PS5 only has around 667.2GB worth of space in its storage. The fact that you would spend a good portion of it for just one game.
In addition to this, the game is slightly inferior when it comes to its graphics when compared to the Modern Warfare reboot. This is surprising enough as the game was released last year.
The campaign is also a bit on the lackluster side. While choices do matter, it’s not a long campaign as it only lasts for four hours. Here’s hoping they add in more campaign content as DLC, but there’s no guarantee that will happen.
Are Story Elements Better?
The game’s story has some elements that keep it interesting and contains enough surprises to add some spice.
First off, the game’s story elements can be guessed quickly if you have enough know-how of the previous Black Ops entries. In addition to this, there’s not that much focus given to the game’s single-player campaign. After all, it’s only four hours long if you don’t do the minigames and find all of the collectibles hidden in the campaign.
The only thing that makes the campaign interesting and gives it a spice of replayability is the fact that the player has choices that can influence the campaign’s ending. But even then, the game only has three endings, with the third one deviating only slightly from the path to the second ending.
There’s a ton of potential on the game’s campaign and setting that we wish was explored more thoroughly. Unfortunately, they weren’t given the opportunity to mature. Here’s hoping that they give more on the campaign on a future DLC, fingers crossed.
As of right now, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is a lackluster addition to new-generation titles and the Call of Duty franchise. The game has some pretty good multiplayer modes. However, the lacking campaign and giant storage requirements might turn off some players. However, it’s not like people are still buying CoD titles for the campaign these days. If you’re looking for a good Next-Gen FPS game to play, then this is a great addition to your library.