New Call of Duty game brings the Black Ops narrative back to the Cold War
By giving us a single-player campaign and a narrative that is tied to historical events, Black Ops Cold War is the best Call of Duty game in years.
I was a teenager in the ’80s, and anything that takes me back to that time—book, movie, or game—immediately gets my attention.
Black Ops Cold War opens with a digital Ronald Reagan—he was the U.S President at the time—authorizing the creation of a covert-ops team. The fictional storyline is triggered by the siege of the U.S. embassy in Tehran which ended violently in early 1981.
It’s called Cold War for a reason. The bad guy is a Soviet agent and you’ll be chasing him through time, including a flashback mission in Vietnam.
You play as the covert operative codenamed Bell. Configure Bell any way you want—you can even select a backstory for the character. You work with a team of other agents, operating out of a safehouse base where you can choose missions that progress the story forward.
You can also embark on side missions that have an increased likelihood of success if you’ve collected intelligence in the story missions.
Black Ops Cold War provides the usual crazy set pieces, like the taking down of a cargo plane with a remote control car loaded with explosives, alongside exploits behind enemy lines.
It’s a welcome return; there was no story campaign at all in the last Black Ops game, which focused on multiplayer modes instead.
Cold War’s multiplayer integrates with Activision’s free-to-play Call of Duty: Warzone. As such, progression and weapons unlocked in Cold War will carry over with you. What’s more, you’ll be able to use the gear from Warzone and Modern Warfare (2019) in the Cold War multiplayer.
You can also use those multiplayer loadouts in the popular Zombie mode which has players facing waves of enemies.
But it’s the single-player narrative that sets Black Ops Cold War apart. It’s like playing an action spy novel, full of conspiracy and plot twists. There’s delight in having the narrative unravel as you move through the story.
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is available now for PS4, PS5, Windows, Xbox One, and Xbox Series S/X. Rated mature.