The campaign doesn’t work for a simple reason: It convulsively tries to mimic the solid story of the original Call of Duty: Black Ops, but it has no script, no characters, no graphics, no scenery, no length, no ideas. It has just been set in the Cold War and quite an interesting ending, which is by no means enough for a positive evaluation.
Conspiracy of conspiracy is piling up here again, double agents threaten to blow up the whole of Europe, you shoot Islamists in Amsterdam, Russian agents in Miami and a lot of other people in a lot of other illogical places, and the Soviets and Americans are, of course, halfway through magical methods brainwash and impose false memories.
It’s just as hair-raising as when Alex Mason once could have missed a sequence of red numbers, except that you’ll find almost no mitigating circumstances here this time. The original Black Ops were accompanied by the great Reznov and the charismatic, albeit goofy Mason. Here the main character is dumb and Russell Adler, your direct superior agent, is so overly harsh, American and boring that he acts as a parody of himself.
In the original Black Ops, you went through unforgettable scenes – the uprising in Vorkuta, the attack on the production of chemical weapons, the massacre of the poor Soviets after World War II, these are all moments that remained with me for ten years. Cold War has literally no such moment.
What comes closest to him is probably the infiltration of the KGB headquarters in Lubyanka, where an oppressive paranoid atmosphere prevails in places, but again it’s just a cheap copy of a much better sequence, which was spying on the Germans in Paris in Call of Duty: WWII. For the rest of the time, the game tries to amaze you with breathtaking events, such as a plane exploding next to you. Or a helicopter. Or a car. Or a rocket launcher. The explosions are such a confidential part of everyday reality for CIA members that Adler et al. they felt uneasy if they didn’t mix a triggered hand grenade into the muesli every morning.
In addition, the campaign is unusually short, a few missions and the end. The authors cunningly (read: completely transparent and unsuccessfully) try to stretch the game time with two side missions, for the correct fulfillment of which you have to solve puzzles and clues to these puzzles are scattered throughout the other missions. So you happen to shoot some Russians somewhere, go back to the base and find out that you didn’t notice any tapes or diary. And you can start the mission again if you want the best possible end to the story.
Yes, there are several possible endings, which deserves careful praise. Although the story elections through dialogues usually have no great effect and, on the whole, they seem completely redundant, but the last, fundamental one, will radically affect the form of the final mission and the message of the whole narrative. Exceptionally, when Cold War does not steal all its ancestors, it can obviously bring even the (only) really nice novelty.
Still old, still good
Multiplayer is also trying to shoot some of the new cartridges, but they are aiming quite far from the target. On the other hand, old, time-tested cartridges hit black. It’s a fast, fast-paced, familiar arcade game where you kill fast, you are killed quickly and you are born again quickly, you don’t have to worry about some complex tactics and you can play nicely with great eighties.
The power of Cold War multiplayer lies in Team Deathmatch, in Domination, in other modes where you don’t wait for respawn and just let yourself be carried away by the frantic rhythm of continuous combat. You grab a good old M-16, sigh happily about how fun it is to shoot in batches instead of a machine gun, switch to a pumping shotgun, clean the entire corridor of enemies with two bullets, and finally send them a napalm raid on spawn.
On the contrary, I don’t like Search and Destroy much, nor the new VIP Escort mode, where you protect one member of your team, suddenly armed only with a pistol and chased by an aggressive opponent. Although it is possible to pick up fallen species, the opponent is usually cynically executed and the result is a long wait for the next round, which is difficult in a game like Cold War, which instead of a tactical experience in Counter-Strike style prefers to offer me a constant stream of unpretentious fun. accept.
The most controversial part of multiplayer, however, are maps. They are bothered by the same problem as the missions in the campaign: There are really, really few of them and you will soon see all the environments that a multiplayer game can offer you.
But there’s one lifeline: The maps are really good. Whether you are fighting indoors or outdoors, there are plenty of ways to surprise your opponent, how to attack his side or back, how to exchange risky overruns for a convenient defensive position.
In addition, the developers have taken full advantage of the Cold War, a global, not a localized, conflict, and will truly take you around the world. You will spread democracy / fight imperialism in South America, in the German warehouse, in Miami at night, in Moscow and in the desert – and not only patriotic duty but also the pleasure of virtual tourism will drive you everywhere.
This is despite the fact that the game is objectively uglier than last year’s Modern Warfare, which, to be fair, looked really excellent. However, Cold War uses an older engine (it’s worth remembering that, unlike the previous part, the Treyarch studio is behind it), so definitely don’t expect any splendor. Especially the facial animations of the characters in the campaign sometimes seem extremely outdated.
On the other hand, the developers have managed to make a lot of power, especially in multiplayer, and the result is a fairly decent visual experience. The campaign can’t sell it, also because otherwise impressive moments shoot a silly script in the back, but in multiplayer, the simple fact that the eighties are cool stands out in full. There is something strangely reassuring about shooting kágébáky in Afghanistan, especially compared to last year’s work, where one had to (even in multiplayer) defend the heart of present-day London from terrorists.
Let’s summarize Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War with the help of something we all know about: Content that can be found on Czech television. The story campaign is basically the Exchange of Wives – it can be paid for a few hours, sometimes it’s stupidly fun, but at the same time you shake your head and wonder what the hell is going on on your screen for an unsympathetic individual.
Multiplayer is such a Survivor. It’s also not exactly food for the soul and brain, it can be monotonous series after series, but at least something is still going on there and you watch beautiful people in beautiful exotic locations who often force you to think about yourself, specifically how you could be better (the equivalent of someone meeting a difficult challenge in the jungle is a Cold War record of the best moment of the match, where unfortunately I almost always figured only as an unfortunate victim of a far better sniper).
So what about zombies, the third mode I haven’t worked on here yet? Well, Zombies is a First Republic movie – not so much because of the number of dead people on the scene, but rather because we’ve seen it, in one form or another, a thousand times. You just pick up a few friends, take a picture of the carnivorous Oldřich Nový, block the path of the rotten Adina Mandlová with a few planks and try to survive in some way until the final headlines.
A decent entertainment package
And that’s Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War. He seldom offends, he never gets excited. It’s a competent shooter with good multiplayer and a stupid, and worse, unforgettable campaign. In short, it is a significantly worse game than Modern Warfare, emotionally by more than one grade.
In the final, however, I find plenty of reasons to carefully recommend the game to fans of the series, mainly due to the fact that it is an extremely busy package of content. You will go through the story to enjoy the view of Reagan and Gorbachev, enjoy the meli in multiplayer, then kill some undead with your friends. Plus, when Cold War merges with the well-supported battle royale Warzone on December 10, you’ll be able to use your clever loadouts there as well.