CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS COLD WAR Campaign Review; "Fires On All Cylinders...Action-Packed [And] Story-Driven"

CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS COLD WAR Campaign Review; "Fires On All Cylinders...Action-Packed [And] Story-Driven"

Our friends over at Beenox were kind enough to send over a review code for Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War last week, and now we've had chance to experience the game, we have our verdict for you here...

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War arrived on current and next-gen consoles (and PC) last week, and it's fair to say that this instalment - the seventeenth, to be precise - has been receiving a lot more attention than normal. After all, it's being released at the same time as the Xbox One and PlayStation 5, so has the chance to really put those new consoles to the test. We'll hopefully be sharing our impressions of how it performs on the latter later this week, but having played the Xbox One version, rest assured that you're in for a good time with this journey right in the heart of the Cold War in the 1980s. 

Typically, the single player campaign in a Call of Duty game is woefully short, features a few standout moments, and is a glorified tutorial before embarking on the vast array of multiplayer possibilities. Well, that's not the case here as flashy set pieces have been set to one side for a strong, compelling story mode that is both engaging and surprisingly interactive. With dialogue choices in conversations that go some way in shaping the story (there are three possible endings), side missions which require investigative work, and optional objectives which affect what happens in later levels, it's easy to get invested in Black Ops Cold War. This also means that there's a tonne of replayability when it comes to going back and taking a different approach to how things unfold, and that's a big step in the right direction. 
 


Serving as a sequel to 2010's Call of Duty: Black Ops and a prequel to 2012's Call of Duty: Black Ops II, there's plenty here for long-time franchise fans to appreciate, and the 80s setting results in some great tunes and a fun, spy thriller feel. Unfortunately, some missions are far too short (the final one, in particular, ends just as it starts to get going), and those big, blockbuster moments the series has become known for never really factor into proceedings. Yes, prioritising story was the right move, but it's hard not to miss them! Thankfully, an early level set on a runway goes some way in making up for that. Weapons are also a dream to handle, and the way enemies react to them comes across as impactful and real; in other words, they actually feel like weapons you can do some damage with! 

The graphics are incredible, whether it's the cinematic cutscenes or the missions themselves. Unfortunately, the former tend to lag as the game loads, though whether that's just an issue for the Digital version of the game on the Xbox One is unclear. It's an issue which takes you out of the story, though, and consistently occurs from start to finish. There are no problems like that in the playable parts of Black Ops Cold War thankfully, and at 4K, this is an absolute stunner of a game. A few more hours being added to the campaign would have been no bad thing, but it's an enjoyable, exciting experience, and one you'll want to keep returning to. Whether it's infiltrating the Kremlin, fighting your way through a Russian recreation of a typical American town, or fighting in Vietnam, levels are varied and engaging. 

Based on the single-player campaign, we're excited to delve into the multiplayer options, not to mention the returning Zombies mode. We'll have some thoughts on those for you soon, but if you're looking for a strong single-player experience, then rest assured that this game definitely delivers.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War fires on all cylinders with an action-packed, story-driven single-player campaign that delivers an experience which points to a bright future for the franchise.

IF

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