Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Review In Progress

After a few days with Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, I've played through the campaign twice to see both main endings, spent some time in multiplayer, and scratched the surface of Zombies. I still need to play more multiplayer (particularly...

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Review In Progress

After a few days with Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, I've played through the campaign twice to see both main endings, spent some time in multiplayer, and scratched the surface of Zombies. I still need to play more multiplayer (particularly on live servers) and delve much deeper into Zombies before this review is final, so keep in mind that details, including the score, are subject to change in the coming days.

The key takeaway from Cold War thus far is that Call of Duty fares far better when it errs on the side of fantasy. This is true within Cold War's campaign, where the inclusion of Ronald Reagan is a bizarre fit for an otherwise larger-than-life story about espionage and brainwashing, and it's true when comparing its story to that of last year's overly serious Modern Warfare. Cold War plays up its far-fetched premise, and that extends to some of its more inventive and creative multiplayer maps, too.

Campaign

Like any Call of Duty campaign, Cold War is theatrical. From the '80s-themed montage that opens the campaign to a Vietnam flashback set to Steppenwolf--along with plenty of explosions, helicopter crashes, and slo-mo shootouts--Cold War's campaign is as action-movie as you'd expect. It largely works with the inherent over-the-top nature of a Black Ops story, and although some bits can be kind of goofy, it's both easy and fun to buy into the spy drama and massive gunfights in equal measure.

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