The video game franchise I always held closest to my heart was “Call of Duty.” The first game that I spent hours playing was “Black Ops 2,” and I would confidently say that it kickstarted my love for gaming. The most recent entry in the franchise is “Black Ops Cold War,” and although I have not played much “Call of Duty” in years, I had to get this one.
The most commendable aspect of this game is the campaign. The choices and side missions integrated into the game are definitely a step in the right direction for the future of the franchise. Set in the Cold War, the excellent spy thriller storyline entails the player, Bell, who is a CIA operative fighting Perseus, a Soviet operative with the power to end the world as we know it. Bell’s background, gender, and perks can be customized to the player’s liking, a first in the franchise. It is interesting to create the character, but during the game, any choices the player makes changes nothing drastically.
One mission that stood out in particular was when the player went undercover, performing a mission to steal secret files. The many different ways to complete the mission presented a freedom completely absent from any other preceding “Call of Duty” game. However, none of this excuses the fact that the campaign only runs for four hours. Four hours for a $60 video game is inexcusable, even for a multiplayer-centric game such as “Call of Duty.”
The multiplayer aspect of this game is painfully average. Gunsmith, which fortunately returned, is a weapon-customization system that has 50+ unique unlockable attachments for every gun returned. Each gun also has challenges the player can complete for in-game cosmetics. Though weapon customization is a big part of the multiplayer experience, the lack of quality control on maps and weapon balancing quickly turned a fast-paced match of Team Deathmatch into military hide-and-seek, where everybody is using the same weapon.
From a quality standpoint, “Black Ops Cold War” is a good video game. However, in a series with so many generational-defining classics, I do not see this as one of them. I would recommend this game to people who are getting into “Call of Duty,” but if you have been playing for years, you can play “Modern Warfare” until the next one comes out without missing much.