COD gets a next-gen upgrade.
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is the first title I’m reviewing for the next-gen consoles, specifically for the Xbox Series X (as I am still waiting for my PS5 pre-order). Even if you haven’t played it, chances are you already have an idea as to what the Call of Duty franchise is. The annual game release franchise tackles nearly every storyline in history, along with multiplayer modes that are usually its best selling point.
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War’s campaign takes place well, during the height of the Cold War. Serving as a direct sequel to Call of Duty Black Ops released 10 years ago, the story follows Russell Adler as a CIA officer in pursuit to capture Soviet spy Perseus.
What comes next is a series of action set pieces that bring you to different locations around the world. The action is fast-paced and at times movie-like. While that might be favorable to some I still personally enjoyed it. Various missions are available for you to finish, which also offer various puzzles that unlock more of the story. The plot is probably repetitive, but the action was fun enough to keep me entertained during the campaign’s six-hour gameplay.
But a majority of you would probably get Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War for its multiplayer mode – and it doesn’t disappoint. The maps are well-made, and the overall feel is familiar yet fresh. I certainly enjoyed going around zip lines and stealthily attacking enemies. Most of the previous modes return here like the Create-a-Class system from Modern Warfare, with some new additions that include Fireteam that supports up to 40 players. As an added perk, the progress you’ve made in multiplayer will also be integrated with Call of Duty: Warzone, including the different gears and weapons that you’ve unlocked.
Zombies make a return in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War as well, reminiscent of the first Black Ops game. The co-op mode lets you enter portals to another world and fight off the undead. It also continues the Aether storyline from Black Ops 4, and introduces a bunch of new mechanics. I’ve had more fun playing Zombies this time around, where the added mechanics add to more challenging gameplay.
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War runs 4K at up to 120fps on the Xbox Series X, but since my 4K isn’t one of the new expensive ones that support HDMI 2.1, I’m stuck only at 60fps. Still, that doesn’t you’re getting the upgraded graphical benefits of the next-generation systems. Ray tracing also works its magic here, showing an almost real reflection on the puddles on the street. It’s a true testament one what the power of the next-gen consoles can do.
That being said, I’ve encountered some performance bugs while playing the game. This included dark screens or the game loading back to the main screen after ending a cut scene. There was also an instance that the game couldn’t connect to a server due to overloading. These are minor quips, which I hope could be fixed in the future.
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War retains the same addicting first-person shooter excitement that made us love the series. While it isn’t perfect, there is enough content here to keep you glued for hours, and it’s a great game to showcase the power of the Xbox Series X.
+ Amazing graphics
+ Immersive gameplay
+ Great Cold War storyline
– Some performance bugs
Final Rating: 4/5