Review: Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War Multiplayer
The real meat of the annual Call of Duty title is not in the campaign, but in the multiplayer mode. This year is no different. Despite the Cold War campaign is very strong. Ultimately, of course, it's about the Black Ops Cold War multiplayer mode.
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War puts itself in the field somewhat interestingly when it comes to multiplayer. At least for me personally. I'm a big fan of the gameplay, the gunplay and in general the game itself. But at the same time, it's also the sparse multiplayer in Call of Duy we've seen in years.
Cold War Multiplayer
Multiplayer in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is nothing we haven't seen yet. Traditional game modes, where we get one new mode. VIP Escort focuses more on the Search and Destroy players with a down mechanic so you can still pick up teammates before they bleed to death or are killed. It works a bit like Rainbow Six Siege. A mode that is clearly aimed at competitive Call of Duty players.
All other modes are traditional and play as expected. There are only 8 maps in traditional multiplayer mode. Nuketown will be added to this shortly. As you are used to from Treyarch, all maps are classified according to the famous 'three-lane' principle. So every map has three 'main roads' where I think you have much more freedom this time to take between roads and use vantage points. A step in the right direction for multiplayer in Black Ops titles. It seems as if they have incorporated some of the positive feedback from Modern Warfare in the multiplayer map developments.
Although the maps have been improved in terms of design compared to, for example, Black Ops 4, most maps disappoint a bit. There are just not many good or fun maps. Miami is by far my favorite map. It's open, fairly large, and plenty of room for different playstyles. Crossroads went from my least favorite map in the beginning to one of my favorite. It's small, compact, with lots of corners. Again, different playing styles are possible here, although the CQB style has a clear preference here. Since everyone uses an MP5, this is not an issue. Thankfully the MP5 was made a little less effective at long distances the night before this review was written.
The rest of the maps are 'okay' at best and not nearly as memorable as the maps they have had in the past. There's a reason Nuketown keeps coming back. Give us more maps we want to see back Treyarch. Give us maps from the first Black Ops game. This game had some of the best maps in the entire series. Then of course I am talking about: Havana, Villa, Grid, Jungle, Launch, Summit, WMD and of course: Firing Range. The original Black Ops had so many good maps, at least bring them back if there isn't much else interesting to see in the Cold War Multiplayer maps.
My personal opinion is that Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War plays much nicer than its predecessor. It really feels like an old school Call of Duty game again. The Call of Duty games that I fell in love with at the time. Modern Warfare 1 to 3, World At War and the first Black Ops. Still the very best Call of Duty games ever, but Cold War makes me relive these old feelings somewhat. It feels old and familiar again and that is what is most important to me in this new Black Ops game.
Modern Warfare 2019 played very well and innovated in a lot of fronts and ways, but it went a bit too far from Call of Duty for me. This is really an old Call of Duty game.
Gameplay also includes gunplay. It is extremely smooth and responsive. All weapons feel unique and they are all fully customizable with a huge number of attachments. A stock weapon feels vastly different from a fully kitted weapon and even a fully kitted AK feels different from another fully kitted AK.
Gunplay is very nice in Black Ops Cold War and again it is a lot more arcade-like than, for example, Modern Warfare and again, I have no problem with this at all. It's still hard to say what my favorite weapon is. I've only tested a few extensively, but my first picks still go to the M16, the AUG, and the MP5, AK-74. We're only a week after the game's launch, so there's a lot of tweaking going on in the (near) future. The first nerf for the Mp5 has already arrived.
#BlackOpsColdWar update: We've reduced the base effective damage range by 33% and adjusted the initial recoil for Submachine Gun Alpha.
Now get out there and try the other four!
— Treyarch Studios (@Treyarch) November 18, 2020
Zombies are indispensable in a Treyarch Call of Duty. Of course they make their return in the Cold War Multiplayer modes. As in traditional multiplayer, the performance is a bit more sparse than we're used to. Playstation players will temporarily receive an extra Onslaught mode . With this you play on traditional multiplayer maps with zombie invasions.
The main focus of Cold War Zombies is the Die Maschine map. The map is also an expansion of the Night of Toten map from Call of Duty: World at War. The abandoned Nazi bunker from that part is the same as in Die Maschine.
In this mode, the aim is to survive as many rounds as possible. Zombies are getting stronger and getting more lives. As in previous parts, the goal is actually to complete the hidden 'Easter Egg' mission. It also seems to be a bit simpler this time around than its predecessor, IX. IX was very cryptic, Die Maschine is a little more obvious, but no less challenging. You can also put on an Easter Egg song again, but it's not nearly as good as we're used to from previous Zombies maps.
The Error is your worst enemy
Something that currently plagues the Call of Duty community enormously are the many error messages. Without mercy you can suddenly be thrown out of fashion during a Zombies run. error. Sorry, please try again. You have no option to go back into the round, but are forced to start over. Also, many errors and errors occur while playing the multiplayer modes in Cold War. For example, the options button on my DualShock 4 didn't respond all evening. So I couldn't switch classes while playing and had to restart my PS4. This is just one of many examples. Treyarch, do something about it.
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War gives me mixed feelings about the multiplayer. On the one hand I am very satisfied, because it plays like an old familiar Call of Duty again. Nice gameplay, nice arcade without too much fuss. On the other hand, it's Call of Duty's most sparse take on multiplayer yet. The few maps out there aren't even that special. There aren't many weapons and Zombies isn't very extensive either.
Now it is true that we actually had to do without the new Black Ops for another year, but the planning was suddenly changed. Which means that Treyarch has not spent three years on Cold War with support, but two. Also explains why we haven't heard from Cold War for so long. It simply wasn't far enough. And it still kinda feels that way. The game plays very well, nice and old school, but it is a bit on the lean side.
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