To put it bluntly and simply, Black Ops Cold War can be enjoyable at times when it works, and god awful the rest of the time.
I spoke about the campaign a fair bit in my initial review, and my opinion on it hasn’t changed. The campaign is among the most fun I’ve had with a single-player for the franchise, which, to be fair, isn’t saying much, but still. The campaign is at its best when you’re sneaking around, but the rest is the same forgettable arena shooting we’ve all seen a dozen times or more.
The multiplayer is where things start to fall apart. Again, I touched on this in my main review, but the game shipped with eight maps, six of which you play in the standard multiplayer modes. To say that Cold War shipped with a pitiful number of maps is putting it gently. Within a handful of hours, you’ll likely play every map, and after a few more, you’ll likely have them all memorized.
There are only a couple maps that are worth playing, with maps like Satellite and Miami being more or less awful while maps like Cartel being enjoyable. Oh also, if you were hoping for more maps like classic Treyarch three-lane maps, those are absent. Every map is as open as any from Modern Warfare, and it’s usually a bad idea to go running out into an open field.
The weapons in the game are balanced terribly, with three or four actually competitive weapons. The problem is now that everyone knows what they are, and that means they’re everywhere, with everyone using them. The MP5, XM4, AUG, and M16 are among the most widely used because they’re the most effective.
To be fair, the weapons themselves are about the most overpowered, with killstreaks, perks, and throwables being pretty balanced. Stims are still pretty widely used, but you can’t really have a way to heal faster and expect anything else in that slot to actually be used.
Zombies is where things fall apart so severely it’s almost a joke. Regular, widespread, unstoppable frame drops, constant lag, host migrations, and general bugs and glitches leaves very little room to actually enjoy the mode.
I love the tiered weapon system, which I’ll probably be in the minority for. It gives a reason to actually use some weapons, especially since the box has a higher chance of giving higher rarity weapons in later rounds. Besides upgrading your current weapon with scrap (which is really expensive and basically impossible to do if you ask me) your best bet to get better weapons is to hit the box and take the first higher tier weapon that comes out.
The perk system could use a bit of tuning as well; I don’t think the price scaling is working the way it was intended. As it stands now, players who go down in one round and come back the next have to spend most of the points they get on perks and maybe one weapon, sending them into a cycle of going down and coming back every other round.
Extraction is also one of the most annoying aspects. You need a majority to agree to exfil, and the sheer number of zombies means that unless you’re playing with friends, all communicating and using purple weapons that have been pack-a-punched at least once, you’ll fail to clear out the zombies and lose the match.
Of course, extraction only matters if the game doesn’t bug out and drop everyone, freeze the lobby, or just straight up crash, which was the majority of my experiences while playing the mode. The one upside is that Treyarch did patch the weird bug that would freeze the game if you went into the upgrade screen after a match, so that’s cool, I guess.
All in all, Cold War is a hot mess most of the time, peppered with moments that are actually enjoyable when the game works and you get a match in your chosen game mode that runs properly and doesn’t crash on you and cost you a few hours of playtime. It happens, but I wouldn’t say this game is worth the money as it currently stands unless you have some friends to play with.
OSG News & Deals Newsletter
Get the latest gaming news, reviews, and deals sent to your inbox, FREE!