Activision have now officially unveiled Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, and following that reveal, previews of the campaign have been going up on several outlets. The Digital Foundry preview in particular has some really interesting details that point to this being one of the most different campaigns in the series’ history.
Interestingly enough, while Treyarch are in charge of the game’s multiplayer side of things, Black Ops Cold War’s single player campaign is being developed by Raven Software. As the leaks suggested, it is indeed a direct sequel to the first Black Ops game, and as such, will see important character such as Alex Mason, Frank Woods, and Jason Hudson will be making a return.
When a Soviet agent known as Perseus – who has apparently been undercover in the US for a while – becomes active again, a task force is formed on orders of President Ronald Reagan and under the command of the mysterious Russell Adler to deal with the threat.
What’s most interesting about Black Ops Cold War’s campaign is how much emphasis it is putting on player choice. You will be playing as a character that you will create at the beginning of the campaign, with customization options such as appearance and gender.
Additionally, some customization options will also have gameplay repercussions, like psychological profiles that affect gameplay options and even things such as your sprint speed or aiming. And yes- there are dialogue options. In fact, the choices players make will also lead to multiple endings, which is a first for the series.
Player choice is something that will be baked into the gameplay and missions as well. Players will have multiple paths they can take to get to their objectives, doing optional activities using missions might uncover missions that unlock side missions to provide greater narrative context, and some missions will even let you get your objective in multiple different ways. The Digital Foundry article talks about a mission that allows you to poison a general, interrogate an enemy, steal data, or blackmail an officer as some of several different ways to achieve your objective, Hitman-style.
It definitely seems like Raven Software are being allowed to flex their creative muscles, and the prospect of a Call of Duty campaign that places so much emphasis on player choice – while seemingly paying homage to one of the most beloved games in the series by directly following up on its story – is certainly an exciting one.
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War releases for PS4, Xbox One, and PC on November 13, and will also be coming to PS5 and Xbox Series X- though free next-gen upgrades are not supported. The shooter is also confirmed to be making an appearance at Gamescom Opening Night Live tomorrow. A multiplayer reveal has been confirmed for September 9, but a recent leak may have spilled some details on some of the game’s maps. Check it out through here.