Video Game Review: Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War


“Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War” is one of the most highly anticipated “Call of Duty” releases to date. Whether it was a tedious and confusing easter egg hunt for the zombies community or the public Alpha and Beta stage, Activision and Treyarch generated a massive amount of hype around this game. The future of this game looked bright, but, sadly, that light has faded. 

I was really looking forward to the high-quality multiplayer experience that Treyarch games have always brought to the table. However, I feel they missed their mark this year. The multiplayer is very disappointing to both newcomers and seasoned veterans. There are dozens of problems degrading the experience for players, ranging from a terrible party system to awful gameplay. 

One problem I don’t see being an issue for long is the party system. It is basically impossible to join a friend’s party without resetting the app a few times. In my experience, it took several tries to join an in-game party and I have yet to have a smooth experience. On top of this, the servers are atrocious and the game crashes frequently. The one upside to this is the refresh rate. “Black Ops: Cold War” offers up to 120 hertz servers, meaning they update 120 times a second. This provides smooth gameplay and fantastic hit detection and allows players on the Playstation 5, Xbox Series X and PC to reach 120 frames per second. 

Another problem I ran into while playing the multiplayer was the whole experience. I won’t sugarcoat it, this multiplayer is terrible. The movement is sluggish and momentum is lost quickly. The slide feels more like a lunge and doesn’t take you very far. The main problem lies in the time-to-kill. It is significantly longer than most CoD games and makes any fights larger than one versus one impossible. This game feels like a port of “Black Ops 4.” “Black Ops: Cold War” is a massive step in the wrong direction for “Call of Duty.” It’s only saving grace is the gunsmith system, but even that can’t be attributed to Treyarch; they stole it from “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019).” I doubt I will be playing this game mode for more than a month.

On the other hand, I have fallen in love with the zombies mode. After going well over a year without a zombies mode, it is one of “Black Ops: Cold War’s” few saving graces. Treyarch took the community’s advice after “Black Ops Four’s” failure and produced a fantastic and fresh experience. Although this zombies mode is very different from anything we’ve seen, I really like it. 

“Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War” zombies mode features several perks: a weapon rarity system, a class system and a continuous upgrade system. At first glance, these features scared me. I was expecting another monstrosity, similar to “Black Ops 4.” However, Treyarch killed it. The game is perfectly balanced and isn’t too easy because of the class system. The game allows you to start with a weapon of your choice. However, this weapon is in the red rarity category. This means it does very little damage and is practically useless after round seven. The game also allows you to upgrade any weapon to a higher rarity, greatly increasing the damage. On top of this, Pack-a-Punch has been revised to have three different tiers, each offering a huge damage increase. Buying a secondary ammo type has been separated and can be done for less points. I understand that returning players might be turned away from these changes for fear they ruin the game. I think the opposite; I love this change. It provides a new system of progression zombies hasn’t seen yet, creating a new and vastly different experience. 

In addition to a new weapon system, the maximum for perks was increased to six. There are only six perks currently in the game: quick revive, which decreases the time it takes to revive a player; juggernog, which grants you additional health; speed cola, which decreases reload time; elemental pop, which gives your weapon a random chance to fire a secondary ammo type: deadshot daiquiri, which snaps your crosshair onto a zombie’s head whenever you aim down sights and stamin-up which allows you to full sprint infinitely. I think this change to the perk system complements the revamp to the game well. The returning players are pleased by the return of perks like juggernog and quick revive and the new perk, elemental pop adds a fun twist to the already great perk system. On top of this, in each game you earn aetherium crystals, which can be used to upgrade perks, weapon classes (SMG’s, AR’s, Shotguns), field upgrades and secondary ammo type. I think this system is great. It adds the game-to-game progression that zombies was missing in the past and finally rewards the game. Overall, I love this zombies and cannot wait to play more.

Last but not least, the campaign (don’t worry, no spoilers). Once again, this Treyarch brought an amazing campaign to the table. The goal of the campaign is to find an elusive man named Pegasus. The player lives through the memories of veterans and C.I.A. operatives as you interrogate them for any information on the location of Pegasus. The story is absolutely gripping; it packs interesting characters and amazing missions. In addition to the compelling story, the campaign is gorgeous, the graphics are unreal. I can’t even describe how beautiful every scene is. Not only are the graphics insane, the lighting is spectacular. I would highly recommend this campaign to anyone purchasing the game; it is definitely worth a playthrough.

In the end, this game was a bit of a letdown. The multiplayer takes up a big portion of my in-game time and it is just hard to recommend a game with a multiplayer produced as poorly as this one. I wouldn’t recommend “Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War” to players wanting to play multiplayer, although the campaign and zombies are spectacular. To anyone looking for a fantastic zombies or campaign, “Black Ops: Cold War” will do nicely.