Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War First Impressions

It’s that time of year again. Just before the holidays, every year without fail for what? Fifteen years now? The new Call of Duty title graces our screens, this time returning to the original Black Ops storyline. While we don’t know much about the story yet, the multiplayer alpha and the first open beta have concluded and given fans their first experience of Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War.

First things first, after experience with the alpha, there was one major issue that was glaringly obvious in the game. The sniper rifle’s aim speed was way too quick. Ninety percent of the experience with the alpha was getting ‘quickscoped’, no matter where you went. Thankfully, this issue has been resolved, and sniper rifles feel stable, being able to consistently kill in one hit.

Black Ops Cold War First Impressions

Voting for maps makes its triumphant return.

Of all the primary guns available in the beta, this includes the submachine guns, assault rifles, tactical rifles, and sniper rifles, only one stood out as unbalanced. The M16 makes its glorious return to the Call of Duty franchise, being a staple in majority of the games and being able to easily kill in one burst regardless of range. Shotguns are once again a secondary weapon and with every experience I’ve had with them so far, they’re not a one shot kill unless you’re pressed up against the enemy. Don’t rely on it, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to have.

Black Ops Cold War First Impressions

Strawberry jam all over the screen.

Scorestreaks have also returned. Instead of relying on being able to kill enemies consistently, everything is now reliant on actually playing the objective. Which may be a foreign concept for a lot of Call of Duty players. Scorestreaks consist of staples like UAVs and Counter UAVS, sentry guns, attack coptters, and choppers gunners. As well as the fan favourite RC-XD. Without playing the objective, you’ll be lucky to get much more than a UAV per game.

The maps available in the beta are split between a few small and a few large maps. Smaller maps are dedicated to your core playlist (team deathmatch, domination, kill confirmed), while the bigger maps are generally used for big team domination, which has six flags instead of three, and assault. One big thing that is nice about Black Ops Cold War is the removal of symmetrical maps, something Call of Duty has always fallen into one way or another. All of the maps feel unique from one side to the other, whereas in older games each side would imply feel like a flipped version from the other.

Black Ops Cold War First Impressions

Loading screens are no longer static screens, plus, map by map stats in the top right.

A couple new game modes were on display through the first open beta. Assault, which is reminiscent of War from World At War, sees each team fighting for flags and pushing the other team back towards their spawn until one team is completely dominated. The other is VIP Escort. One player is randomly chosen to be the VIP, given a minimalistic loadout, and must either evacuate or your team can just kill the entire other team. Obviously, the goal of the opposing team is the kill the VIP.

Black Ops Cold War First Impressions

Kill/death ratio is much more obvious now, but you can only see your own.

So far with what has been shown from the Black Ops Cold War beta, the game is shaping up to be great. The multiplayer part of it at least. While the multiplayer is looking to be as big of a hit as Modern Warfare has been, Warzone will also see an overhaul. On top of that, fans of the series are eagerly awaiting a chance to see more of the Black Ops storyline. Plus, the long awaited return of Zombies. With that, if you’re purely in it for the multiplayer, this will be great for you. It’s smooth so far, and all we got to experience is a few game modes and maps. The cross console open beta launches this weekend, and a couple days early if you’ve pre-ordered the game.