The campaigns of Call of Duty have taken a back seat in recent years. Black Ops Cold War tries its best to break that trend, but ultimately fails.
The campaign is just another carbon copy Call of Duty storyline dressed up to match the theme of the current game. It isn’t all awful, but the good parts aren’t enough to make up for the shortcomings.
To keep things simple, here's all the pros and cons to consider before buying Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War.
Most of the campaign feels very cookie cutter, but the standout features have to be the RPG style elements.
There's a character profile sheet you can fill out that allows for personality traits that can affect things like your character's health and speed. There's also side missions and optional objectives that don’t take anything away from the game if left incomplete.
This game also has multiple endings, which adds replay value for the campaign mode and makes the story much more interesting.
Regardless of your feelings about the gameplay, this title really pulls off the visuals (and probably makes PS5 and Xbox Series X owners feel proud of their high-performing machines).
The cutscenes seem like they’re out of a different game. Compared to the gameplay of Black Ops Cold War, which is extremely similar to any current Call of Duty gameplay, the cutscenes are beautiful reminders of the story and historical '80s characters.
While the cutscenes do a good job of putting you in the story, the story itself is more miss than hit. There are some subtle tie-ins to other Call of Duty games—it brings back the Black Ops series and at least makes it feel like the Cold War—but overall it's underwhelming.
The story just feels boring and somewhat predictable. Like any good story, there’s a big twist, but even that feels forced and makes you want to just go back to shooting retro guns.
Catch some bad guys, interrogate them, and make your way to the big bad guy. It’s a rinse and repeat process for Call of Duty campaigns, so not much new here.
The side missions are neat add-ons, but they aren’t required to finish the campaign. Perfectionists will find some enjoyment in completing these, but the story struggles to make most players really want to tackle these.
This has been the death knell for Call of Duty campaigns since the very beginning. The locations, enemies, and weapons have changed, but the way they behave haven’t.
Black Ops Cold War tries really hard to have some variety. There are stealth opportunities, vehicle missions, and chances to use kill streaks from multiplayer.
But in the end it just feels like a heavy re-skin of other CoD campaigns. The enemies run around like chickens with their heads cut off, the friendly AI either stays too far back or runs too far up, and any of the other small annoyances or redundancies that bugged you about previous CoD games are still here.
As smaller missions build toward big battles at the end, you see it's the exact formula every Call of Duty campaign has used for nearly two decades.
The Black Ops Cold War campaign gets a 6.5/10.
It’s not a long campaign, but the more it goes on, the more it brings up the thought, “When will this end?”
Truthfully, it’s not awful if you like shooting people and blowing stuff up. Otherwise, it’s the same old shit that Call of Duty has been shoving down our throats for a while, and will continue doing into the foreseeable future.
The only real reason to buy it is for the Zombies.