I’m not necessarily the best at Call Of Duty, but I play it year after year. It’s one of the games I continually go back as a game to unwind and catch up with mates. Year after year, I’m continually surprised that the various studios are able to keep the multiplayer feeling fresh, and I’m definitely happy to confirm that after four hours spent with the multiplayer portion of the game, Black Ops Cold War is still as fun as ever, and somehow feels like a fresh multiplayer experience.
Heading straight into action, we played 6v6 match-ups exclusively. Starting off with some Kill Confirmed on the Satellite map, which took place in a vast desert. It was easily my favourite map off the three that we got to play. It had a good amount of open hilly areas, lots of ditches to weave in and out of, and lots of walls to flank enemies. Other maps that I played included Miami (which was delightfully Neon filled) and Moscow (which was your typical street map). All three had a really good combination of open-areas, and tight and narrow passages.
The game handled similarly to that of Modern Warfare. It was grounded and the guns felt as good as ever. For the first time, you can play with a keyboard and mouse on console. I didn’t get to try it, but I can see that being a really popular option for those that don’t have a PC, but want a more traditional PC experience.
There’s a few key differences when it comes to Black Ops: Cold War’s multiplayer. Perks are still around, but you now can equip one Wildcard. These are equipped in addition to perks and generally have a larger impact. The four in the multiplayer preview session that I played were:
Gunfighter: Unlock 3 additional attachments slots for your primary weapon
Lawbreaker: Equip any weapon in either slot and equip any perks
Perk Greed: Equip 3 extra perks
Danger Close: Equip extra lethal and tactical equipment, and start with max ammo.
The multiplayer portion of the game feels more accessible, and this is mostly due to the new Scorestreak system. Scorestreaks no longer reset when you die, and you’ll also earn Scorestreak multipliers by stringing kills together. I feel like this is a great change. As I mentioned, I’m not the best Call of Duty player, and I don’t get to often use the more useful Kill/Scorestreaks, but I could feel that more Scorestreaks were being played in Black Ops Cold War, and it made the firefight more dynamic and allowed to bigger comebacks late in the match.
The Scorestreaks that were in the game are:
600 Points: RC-XD: Remote controlled car strapped with explosives
800 Points: Spy Plane: Reveal enemy positions through the Fog of War
1900 Points: Artillery: Launch a targeted airstrike on three locations
2400 Points: Napalm Strike: Launch a targeted carpet bomb strike of explosive napalm
2750 Points: Air Patrol: Call in a squadron of jets to attack enemy air streaks
3150 Points: War Machine: High explosive grenade launcher
3750 Points: Attack Helicopter : Call in an armed support helicopter.
6000 Points: Chopper Gunner: Be the gunner in a close air support helicopter
I could go on and on about how I had a great time playing modes like Team Death Match, Domination or Hardpoint, but truthfully, they’re as good as ever. It’s the new modes that you want to hear about, and VIP Escort is definitely going to become the Gunfight of this year.
Think of it as CS:GO or Valorant, in the fact that two teams are alternating in attacking and defending positions. You’ve got a limited amount of respawns each mode. It’s fast, frantic, more strategic than any Call of Duty mode than I’ve ever played and I can see it being a massive hit. When it gets down to those last few respawns, I found myself tensing up and really thinking about my approach. It’s going to allow for all new gunplay, and that’s genuinely exciting.
I didn’t get to play Combined Arms, but it’s a 12v12 match where you control capture zones using transport and assault vehicles to attack objectives. There’s also a 40 player objective-based mode called Fireteam, which I didn’t get to experience.
Visually, the game feels fresh. The fonts used are bold, and vibrant and words such as ‘Half Time’ or ‘Your Team Wins’ takes up majority of the screen, similarly to that of Control. It gives the important parts of the match so much more impact.
Coming into a next-gen year, and knowing that I can play on PS5/Xbox Series X with higher frame rates and ray-tracing, or knowing that I can utilise DLSS on PC, I’m really excited to get stuck into Call Of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, and push the latest tech to the limit.