Go Behind the Iron Curtain in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War

The 1980’s was filled with amazing movies, great music and some really bad hairstyles. However, behind the scenes there were a group of men and women who tried to prevent World War III from starting. Will you be one of the brave souls that can stop the world teetering on the brink? Or will the world succumb to the forces of evil and perish in a pillar of nuclear fire? This is the setting of Activision’s latest entry in the Call of Duty franchise. Welcome to Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War.

The single player campaign was the one part of this game I was worried about as multiple entries in this franchise had skimped on this in order to deliver a better multiplayer experience. This time I was pleasantly surprised as the single player experience was not only enjoyable, but different! You start out the first two missions as a non-descript agent and then you are assigned the code word “Bell”. During a part of the game you can assign the character’s skin tone, sex and first and last name. However, you also take on some psychological profiles and each of these attributes will help you during gameplay. For example, you can take a perk that will give you less damage if you are stationary. And while people will say that the single player campaign is short (at around 5-6 hours) it is an enjoyable time well spent and there are side missions that you can take on as well. I also love how between missions you can interact with other people at the safehouse giving you a deeper layer to the story that is unfolding. Without giving a lot away for the campaign you are tasked with bringing down a Russian agent named “Perseus”. This agent infiltrated the Manhattan project giving the Russian’s their nuclear capabilities. What does he have planned now and why has he resurfaced? Lets just say this will take you all over the world to various environments that are beautiful as well as action packed.

Whether you love or hate it the multiplayer makes up a big part of the Call of Duty franchise and this time it has been revamped. The game feels a LOT faster in matches as you will be running around, shooting enemies and trying to survive. There are a few differences this time around however, and the first part has to do with how killstreaks are handled. Usually killstreaks are handled for getting x amount of kills without dying and if you do die it is reset. That is gone from this game as everything that you do in a match gives you points that rack up to your killstreaks. As soon as one bar is full you can use that killstreak which levels the playing field somewhat as you can get points for capturing objectives, defending, etc. There are a variety of different maps ranging from the scorching deserts of Angola to a naval conflict deep within the ocean. Some of the more popular game modes are team deathmatch and domination along with some new ones. One of the modes are to secure the VIP as you have to protect this asset by getting them to a helicopter while another group is trying to eliminate them. The perks system is back as well as a wildcard system which will give you the extra edge in combat. Gunsmith is also making a return and you can customize your weapons appearance and functionality as you rank up with kills on that weapon. Warzone is also part of this package as well which is the battle royale part of the game where you compete with other players to be the last person standing. For me this is the least interesting part of this game so I really haven’t touched it.

Zombies has been a mode that either players have loved or hated since its inception in the Call of Duty series. From my previous experiences it has been a frustrating experience as you really don’t know what to do or where to go. This has been rectified as there are now markers that highlight your next objective. This is amazing as you now feel as if you have a sense of purpose as you work your way through the storyline. There are also three different modes that you can select and you can select an endless mode, twenty rounds or dead ops arcade. After the tenth wave and every five waves after that you can call in for evac. If all of your party manages to survive until extraction you will receive a bonus. However, if you fail you are rewarded with seeing your rescue helicopter shot down and failing the extraction. Along with weapons you carry a field upgrade that can help you out of a tight situation. Have more than a few zombies chasing you? Freeze them all in place with the Frost Blast field upgrade. Surrounded by zombies? Get out of there quick with the Aether Field upgrade. For the first time you can carry weapons that you have ranked up in multiplayer into the zombies experience. So if you have a weapon that you have ranked up you can take it along with you in zombies and acquire even more experience towards upgrades. The story of zombies is that an agent had sent in a tape of what happened at a facility during World War 2. The facility was filled with zombies along with some type of advanced machinery as a large Russian force cleared it and sealed it for good. Now you are charged to find out what happened at this facility and what secrets it holds.

I had reviewed Cold War on the PC and for the most part there were no problems as I encountered some Direct X errors. However, these were fixed as I updated to the latest graphics driver and ran the game (an important tip: ALWAYS get the updated drivers FIRST before you run the game). The game will install shaders and because I updated drivers it went ahead and did the shader check twice. This will take a bit of time and you will not be able to play until this check is done. However, there is also good news as you can manage the parts of the game you want installed to your hard drive. So if you have completed the single player campaign and you want to save some space you can uninstall it. This to me is an amazing feature as the game clocks in at 80gb so a feature to have me save disk space is awesome.

With an engaging single player campaign, fast and fun multiplayer and an improved zombies mode Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War is a must have in your game library. For more information on this title head over to www.callofduty.com and get ready for this cold war to get hot.