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Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War review: Zombies lead the way

Written By | Dec 15, 2020
Call of Duty, Cold War, Black Ops, Activision

The zombies return to Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War (Courtesy Activision)

WASHINGTON — Throughout its many game modes, ​Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War ​(Activision) is a mixed bag when compared to its predecessor, ​Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War: The good and the bad.

True, the multiplayer for ​Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War ​has all-new maps, with the guns consisting of familiar favorites such as the AK-47 and the return of the AK-74u and the MP5. But my biggest qualm with the multiplayer is two-fold:

  • The maps; and
  • The movement.

Some of the maps are amazing, with Nuketown’s return allowing it to become a fan-favorite, and Crossroads Strike presenting a new favorite for close-quarters combat. However, many of the maps, such as Cartel, involve multiple levels, with some teams spawning at an advantageous high ground, and the others stuck below them. It is difficult to overcome these issues. But the multiplayer still remains enjoyable.

Has Activision improved the user experience?

I’ll be honest. I didn’t think I would like the scorestreak system when compared with the killstreak system of Modern Warfare. But it adds an aspect to the multiplayer that forces players to play the objective, rather than simply camping on one side of the map. I am a huge fan of the Cruise Missile scorestreak, as it gives you multiple missiles to launch, rather than just one.




Second, the movement is a huge step down from ​Modern Warfare. Modern Warfare’s ​movement was highly realistic, with the gun moving with you as you sprinted or slid. However, in ​Cold War, ​the gun just seems to bounce in front of you as you run. That can prove jarring when first playing the game.

Despite these flaws, the multiplayer is an enjoyable experience, and can most likely be improved over the course of the game’s lifecycle. The leveling up system is also a lot slower than in ​Modern Warfare, ​so it is harder to level up guns and prestige than in ​Modern Warfare. However, the Zombies game mode helps with this issue.

Enter the Zombies

Without a doubt, the Zombies game mode is the best part of Cold War so far.

It is much more enjoyable and playable than past Zombies in older ​Call of Duty Black Ops games, and it also allows you to bring your own loadout into the match, rather than just being restricted to wall loot and guns.

The Zombies game mode is also embedded with tons of Easter Eggs and side modes, which adds some variety to the beloved game mode. In older ​Black Ops ​games, the average players were lucky to be able to get past round 10, but in ​Cold War, ​even the newest players can get to round 10 and above.


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The perks and skills involved are also a huge bonus. You can add these to your loadout and you can get upgraded as you earn Aetherium Crystals, the “currency” used in this Zombies game mode.

Ring of Fire and Aether Shroud is my favorite perk. The first emits a ring of deadly fire, killing nearby zombies while increasing your damage enormously. This allows you to take down larger enemies in as little as four headshots. The Zombies game mode also has its own camo mastery challenge separate from the multiplayer’s. It comes with tons of new and interesting camos to unlock for your weapons.

More on the Cold War

Cold War’s campaign places you in, you guessed it, the Cold War. Here, you become a CIA operative named Bell. You can choose your gender, special skills, and more to customize your experience. The campaign is also variable, as certain choices affect the campaign’s storyline. Action-packed and fast-paced, the campaign flies by. In fact, my main critique is that the campaign seems too short.

The plot twist at the end is sure to delight audiences. It allows you to make a decision that determines the fate of all of Europe. With its multi-layered characters, the campaign is extremely cinematic and plays out like an action movie.

Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War: Final thoughts

Overall, ​Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War ​is an enjoyable first-person shooter. But it is not without faults. But I have faith that the Activision developers can patch and fix bug issues that are present in the game. If they do, the game will continue to improve over the course of the new seasons to come.



— Headline image:  The zombies return to Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War (Courtesy Activision)

Noelle Henein