What would the end of the year be without its famous Call of Duty? For over ten years now (14 years to be precise), Activision’s juggernaut has been awaited as the messiah by millions of players across the planet. Every year, we have the right to a short single-player campaign and its famous online mode that has made Call of Duty famous. At least, for two years now it has been the famous online game modes.
The year 2020 is no exception to the rule and offers its new Call of. Last year, Activision made the choice to go back to basics with the very good remake of Modern Warfare. This year, it seems that the firm is extending its “back to basics” strategy with the direct sequel to Call of Duty Black Ops. The absurd time of futuristic scenarios without tail or head finally seems behind us.
The particularity of this new opus is that it offers new features related to the DualSense of the PS5. And clearly, most of this test will be focused on next-gen additions and what they bring.
The Return of the Cold War
The Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War storyline is set just after the first Black Ops (2010) and just before Black Ops II (2012). We are in the middle of the cold war and the conflict between the United States of Ronald Regan and the USSR of Gorbachev is at its peak.
The Americans are convinced that the USSR is spying on them in order to prepare a terrible coup which could cost the lives of thousands, if not millions of innocent people. And since we’re in a Call of Duty, that’s what is about to happen. The Russian spy Perseus (who is considered a myth for many soldiers) is said to be preparing one of the biggest attacks ever orchestrated on the planet. The “Greenlight” project, which aims to detonate several nuclear bombs in the largest cities in Europe. The problem ? It is because Russia has devised a small ploy to make people wear the hat … In the United States!
Time is running out, and President Ronald Regan’s men are putting together their best team to hunt down and find Perseus in order to stop him and save the lives of millions of innocent European citizens.
Behind these very “basic” scenario looks, the Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War single player campaign is very pleasant and can surprise at times with well thought-out screenplay choices. Personally, I was pleasantly surprised by the last part of the campaign with a well-rounded twist that allows the series to try new things and it doesn’t displease me.
So not everything is perfect in this Call of Duty campaign either with new things that are not very convincing. For example, the proposition of multiple choices which will not have a great interest or great impact. You are going to have some pretty absurd possibilities of deterrence or corruption. For example, you are going to have to convince a soldier to disobey very strict orders (which could cost him his life) just in exchange for … A cigar. And I’ll pass you the details on the credibility of the dubbing, the dialogue and the corruption scene.
In addition, although I appreciate the fact that I can completely create the identity of my character (name, first name, gender, secret section [CIA, FBI…]) I regret that the developers of Treyarch and Raven Software did not bother to offer a voiceover to our hero. We end up with a silent character throughout the adventure and that clearly breaks the immersion. And then again, I’ll skip the details of the awkward scenes when we are asked questions and our character remains silent once again.
Besides that, this campaign will make us travel all over the world allowing us to discreetly infiltrate the jungle. But also on the snow-capped mountains of the tundra, through the rice fields of Vietnam or the streets of East Berlin. The game is beautiful, sublimated by the use of Ray Tracing which is perfectly balanced. The Treyarch and Raven Software teams do not abuse this technology which thus manages to bring a real plus to the game.
The different missions are linked together relatively quickly. It will take (only) three to four hours to complete this very short single player campaign. During your adventure, you will participate in several rather interesting moments such as helicopter piloting, handling the turret on an armored tank in the middle of a Russian base, the zip line or even infiltration missions in the upper districts of the USSR in Moscow.
Even so, it lacks epic moments. However, this campaign is well paced. The missions are linked, there is no downtime, the soundtrack is really good quality. Whether it’s for the sound-design (which is even better with the Pulse 3D headphones of the PS5), but also for the soundtrack which is very present and really nice.
“Thanks” to its relatively short lifespan, we do not experience this effect of length or weariness. Each mission is varied, interesting, dynamic. For once, it is rather a good point.
The magical DualSense
This is clearly the big novelty of this year 2020 and a nice little exclusivity for the PS5. The addition of the haptic feedback and adaptive triggers of the DualSense. From the first minutes, it has its effect. Whether in cutscenes or in “normal” gameplay phases such as a helicopter ride where you will feel the vibrations of the blades of the device directly in your hands thanks to the haptic feedback of the controller. You really feel thanks to the vibrations the rotation of the propellers and it’s quite pleasant. It will be the same in a sequence where you are going to take the metro, you will feel each passage of the metro’s wheels on the rails. It is really excellent.
But the most interesting is necessarily in the action phases, when you are on a mission and not a simple spectator. The adaptive triggers will play a role in the handling of your weapons. The “L2” key is therefore the key to aim and the latter will therefore be more or less flexible depending on the weapon you are going to handle. If you’re with a point weapon, you’re going to barely feel the trigger force feedback and you’re going to aim normally. On the other hand, when you are with a sniper rifle, the L2 button will have a little more trouble to sink.
But the most pleasant will be the “R2” key which is used to shoot. The latter responds like the real trigger of a weapon. Again, with a sniper rifle the latter will sink very slowly before activating suddenly when the bullet leaves. With an automatic rifle, the trigger is pushed in very slowly and as soon as the first bullet leaves, it stays in and vibrates with each bullet exit. It is truly immersive and impressive.
When you are on the battlefield, the haptic vibrations will combine with the triggers since the explosions will be felt in the controller just like enemy fire. Really, it’s a little glimpse into the next-gen’s immersion capabilities, and it’s definitely a big plus.
As for the inline options, note that it’s entirely possible to turn off haptic feedback and adaptive triggers at any time. Whether solo or online against PC and Xbox players.
A not very convincing multiplayer
We are not going to dwell on the multiplayer issue of this Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War. Like last year, you will be able to participate in various online missions (in cooperation or not), in traditional general scrums or general scrums as a team. But also in the famous Warzone mode and in zombies mode.
We end up with only eight maps (which is very few and quickly repetitive) with very bad matchmaking. The game ranks you according to your performance and level. Which can be a good thing at first, but very quickly players with a fairly acceptable level find themselves in very difficult games where every game is intense as if you were in a competition. It becomes quite difficult to play just for fun.
We are not talking about badly thought out maps where more and more players are camping, where spawnkill is commonplace (the fact of appearing and dying instantly, because a player is waiting for you about to respawn). A real lack of balance that clearly spoils the most important part of this Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War.
My opinion on Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War
Far from being a big fan of FPS games or the Call of Duty license for a few years (especially since the latter got lost in its futuristic concept), the Activision series has started to catch my eye again. two years and his homecoming with Modern Warfare. Nice production, good staging and a more serious script, Modern Warfare was a nice surprise. This year, Black Ops Cold War extends this nice surprise with an even more effective scenario.
All this, sprinkled with next-gen flavor thanks to Ray Tracing, but also to the features of DualSense. Between haptic feedback and adaptive triggers, we are in an unprecedented immersion that gives us a real taste of next-gen FPS. Too bad the single player campaign is so short and the multiplayer is missed.
Also be careful, this Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War will require more than 130GB of free space on your console to be able to install it. Yes, it stings.
buy call of duty black ops cold war
Call Of Duty: Black Ops Cold War
- Very beautiful visually (graphics, 4K, RayTracing ..)
- An interesting and well-paced campaign
- Very charismatic characters
- A good sound-design and a good soundtrack
- The features of the DualSense which are a real plus (only PS5)
We like less
- A very short campaign (4h max)
- Unnecessary side missions in solo
- Good ideas not exploited enough in the countryside
- A very perfectible multi with a catastrophic matchmaking
- We quickly tour the different game modes