The first Black Ops remains one of the best experiences in videogames, a psychological thriller that climaxes in a mind-bending twist. It really felt unique amongst the more, to-the-beat action stories seen in Modern Warfare 2 and World at War.
This was taken a step further with its sequel that brought choices into the fold, which changed not only the ending to the game, but also how certain levels played out. In a sense, Black Ops was always pushing for more unique experiences from Call of Duty. Which is why, the lack of campaign in Black Ops 4 was sorely felt.
Luckily, this time around not only is the campaign coming back, but Treyarch is once again mixing things up in a good way, something that Call of Duty has definitely needed. Don’t get me wrong, Modern Warfare’s campaign was one of the best in the series with some high quality cinematic direction, but it still felt a little by the numbers.
When Black Ops Cold War was first revealed, there was a lot of mention of how open-ended the levels would be, with comparison to Hitman thrown around. It sounded exciting, but I had yet to put my finger on what it actually meant. However, the new gameplay trailer might have just solved that for me.
In the new gameplay snippet that debuted in Playstation’s showcase, we got to see a brief glimpse of some of the unique mechanics being introduced to the series. Mechanics, that make me think that it will be similar to Ubisoft’s Far Cry games.
What really set off this comparison was how in the trailer, the protagonist not only took an enemy as a shield, but also did an explosive takedown by shoving a grenade into him before kicking him away, something that has been a possibility in the recent Far Cry games. A different takedown was also shown, where the player got close to an enemy before doing a choreographed finisher.
These are definitely cool additions on their own, but when mixed with the open-ended selling point of the campaign, it does feel like the game will let you take out an area full of enemies in a variety of ways similar to Far Cry. I also think that the binoculars the player used isn’t just for a scripted moment, but will actually be used to survey and tag the area, similar to ubisoft’s game.
Honestly, this all sounds amazing, and could be something that potentially not only makes Cold War’s campaign really memorable, but also to an extent, replayable. It makes me glad that Treyarch is trying to push for some of the best features in games again, just like it did with the first two Black Ops game.
I am surprised some of these mechanics weren’t already in the previous games, as Far Cry is one of the best action experiences you can get in gaming, rivalling some of the biggest action blockbuster films.
On an ending note though, another thing that stood out to me was how good the original music sounds, and I am curious to know if Jack Wall will be coming back as the composer, as his work on Black Ops has always been memorable.
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War will be available for both current and next gen consoles, including PC, Playstation 4, Playstation 5, Xbox One and the Xbox Series family from the 13th of November.