Review: ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War’ treads familiar path

Although the “Call of Duty” seems like a monolithic franchise, it actually contains different eras and subseries. The early games focused on World War II, where the series established itself. It became a gaming phenomenon when it moved to “Modern Warfare” and starred characters such Capt. John Price and Soap MacTavish.

“Call of Duty” has has other iterations in between but arguably the most beloved line is “Black Ops.” It’s the subseries, in which Treyarch established itself as the lead developer of a franchise that Infinity Ward started. It also set the standard for the robust multiplayer experience that fans have come to expect.

Players will battle across several maps that include locales in Berlin, Moscow, Miami and beyond in “Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War.” (Activision)

“Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War” Zombie mode is updated with more ferocious creatures. (Activision)

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“Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War” has a little bit of something for everyone, including a solid single-player campaign and a diverse set of multiplayer modes such as Fireteam. (Activision)

Fan favorite characters such as Frank Woods return in “Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War.” (Activision

The competitive multiplayer is as addictive as ever in “Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War.” (Activision)

The bow is a useful weapon to take out enemies silently in “Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War.” (Activision)

“Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War” Zombie mode is updated with more ferocious creatures. (Activision)

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With “Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War,” Treyarch and Raven Software again return to the world of espionage. Set in the 1980s, it follows a new character named Bell, who is part of a special unit hunting an infamous Russian spy named Perseus. The operative has been responsible for major incidents in the Cold War and his re-emergence alarms the intelligence community.

Over 17 chapters containing 12 playable missions, players embark on a global campaign to stop Perseus’ plans to obtain a nuclear weapon. Although Bell is the star, “Black Ops Cold War” switches perspectives to fan favorite characters such as Alex Mason and newer cast members such as Russian double agent Dimitri Belikov.

The shift gives players a mix of familiar run and gun missions while also introducing more stealth-oriented gameplay filled with cloak and dagger tactics. These chapters not only provide a needed change of pace from the firefights and explosions, but they also expand the diversity of experiences.

“Black Ops Cold War” has a surprising amount of puzzle elements and exploration involved as Bell and the team led by Russ Adler infiltrate Berlin and Moscow in search of clues to Perseus. The stealth component lets them explore a detailed world that contains diversions like playable arcade machines and secret collectibles called “evidence,” which is used for the two side quests.

These pieces of intel deepen the story for careful explorers and they also get the player invested …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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