After the very good campaign of Modern Warfare, Raven Software had a big task in the latest CoD part. Whether they mastered it, you can find out here.
Black Ops Cold War’s campaign is going in a more classic direction for the Call of Duty series than Modern Warfare. However, in order to evaluate the story, we have to tell you some details. So if you don’t want to be spoiled, be warned.
As the name of the game suggests, the story takes you back to the Cold War, where you operate in Europe as part of a top-secret U.S. reconnaissance team led by Russell Adler.
At the beginning you can create your own identity and choose certain personality traits that will give you advantages in the missions. In total, you will take on three roles in the campaign: Agent Bell, whose identity you can create yourself, Alex Mason from the old Black Ops parts and, in one mission, the Russian double agent Belikow.
Innovations in campaign design
After the first missions you will be transferred to a base in Berlin, which will serve as a hub between your missions. There you can talk to your colleagues and get to know them better. You can also choose your missions on the whiteboard set up there.
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But there’s more to it than that: You can look at found items and secrets and learn more about the characters. For two side missions there are even puzzles that you can solve. This will influence the outcome of the campaign, but it will not change the following missions.
Here, a little more impact would have been desirable, especially since the side missions are the shortest in the game and therefore look as if they were added afterwards.
Decisions with consequences?
During and especially towards the end of the campaign you can make some decisions. However, these decisions usually only influence the outcome of the specific mission and provide the corresponding achievements. You only have a real influence on the end at a certain key point where you have to decide for or against your comrades. Depending on which side you choose, there is a different end.
If you choose the Soviet side, there will be another decision whether Bell survives or dies. In both cases the game ends with the same cutscene.
CoD Cold War Gameplay itself
From a playful point of view, the campaign is what you can expect from Call of Duty. There are some missions where it’s worth sneaking around to infiltrate the Russians, then there are rail shooter sequences from a helicopter in Vietnam.
Some missions leave you a lot of leeway and several routes on which you can fight your way through the enemy rows. But also the famous hose passages will not be missed out. However, these are always kept pleasantly short and offer short action highlights between the more tactical sections.
A good example is the mission “Lubyanka meeting”. You start out as Belikov, who has to prepare access for American agents through tactically clever action at the headquarters of the Russian secret service and must not be exposed himself. Then you change roles and shoot your way to freedom through the bunker hose under the base. This is a very good time change and makes a good mood.
Is the campaign good?
Overall, the Black Ops Cold War campaign is definitely worth targeting. But if you hope for a war-critical and emotionally charged drama like Modern Warfare was, you expect a little too much from the plot.
In return the campaign is playfully very well done and offers a nice new feature through the base, which will let you go deeper into the story. By listening carefully and reading the many proofs you can guess before the big decision is made that not everything is as it seems.