The year is drawing to a close, and that means we are on the cusp of a brand new Call of Duty game. As with each release, this new instalment looks to bring its own character to the franchise, but Black Ops Cold War looks like it is going to be especially interesting. It is a direct sequel to the fan favourite Call of Duty: Black Ops, released way back in 2010, and will be the series’ long-awaited return to the Cold War era. This means fan-favourites Mason and Woods are back, alongside an immensely alluring chapter of history.
But while anticipation is high, we still don’t know much about the game. The official announcement was not made until late August, and since then we have not had many updates. News surrounding the game has largely focused on the campaign, with a lot of information coming from the official story trailer. But there is so much more to speculate on. When it comes to zombies, multiplayer or Warzone, the developers have yet to publish many details.
So what do we want from the new game? What are some of the biggest things on our wish lists that we want to see? In this list, I’ve compiled my top 5!
5. Seamless Warzone Integration
It has been confirmed that Call of Duty: Cold War is going to allow players to play Warzone, the hit battle royale mode introduced in Modern Warfare. While this is great news, my biggest hope is that the mode is integrated smoothly with the rest of the game. Call me cautious, but something could go wrong.
The possibility of players joining the same online match from two separate game titles really shows how far gaming has come in recent years. Gaming always seeks to innovate, but large strides in our beloved field are rarely without their stumbles. Players on the new title trying to jump onto the game mode for a few games with their Modern Warfare pals could face connection or server problems at first, and that wouldn’t be good for anyone. I don’t want perfection, but it would be really great for the experience of Warzone to be relatively smooth for those jumping into the action on the new game. The mode is a hit, so the less turbulence, the better!
And it’s not just technical issues I’m thinking about. Cold War is a completely different game to Modern Warfare, and it brings a new era of guns and aesthetics with it. There are forty years of history between the games! These contrasting periods of warfare intermixed within the game mode would be amazing to see, with weapons, locations and objectives from both games being equally present in the map. The new game needs to have a presence in the battle royale mode, but not one that players notice as alien from the usual flow of the action. Warzone will soon be a multi-title mode, and it needs to show.
4. Campaign Freedom
Call of Duty games are famous for their campaigns, and year after year fans are keen to embark on a new and exciting narrative. Injecting a bit of flexibility into this beloved mode, however, would be really interesting. A game genre renowned for their stories are RPGs, whose core elements of choice and character never fail to entertain. The ability to choose the outcome of events through decisions adds another layer to missions and quests, and they also improve the replayability of campaigns, keeping players coming back again and again.
Now, I’m not saying that Call of Duty stories are bad. Nor am I arguing that an element of choice is needed to keep players interested. I have no doubt that this year’s narrative will be very compelling, especially since it is going to follow the iconic characters from Black Ops. The historical setting alone should offer a unique and vibrant series of missions to complete. It would just be an added bonus if the campaign offered players the choice to alter how things play out.
The choices and actions of individuals characterised so many significant events of the real Cold War, and so it would be fitting for players to impact the story in a similar way. The ‘Know Your History’ trailer for the game stresses the importance of good decision making, and so to see this in the actual gameplay would only improve player experience. Should we support this revolution? Do we assassinate this political leader? Should I launch this nuclear missile? The potential is endless! A dynamic and decision driven story would work wonders in a Call of Duty game, so why not?
3. Era-specific Killstreaks
No game quite executes killstreaks like Call of Duty. They have been a staple of the game for years, and during that time we have seen some real corkers. Chopper gunners, attack dogs, tactical nukes, napalm strikes. The list goes on and on, and this year will hopefully produce a few more. And here’s why…
One of the greatest things about the original Black Ops was undeniably the RCXD. That plucky little killstreak let players control a remote control car that could explode once an enemy was discovered. It wasn’t the most effective form of killing opponents, but it was a fun and unique bit of kit that felt exclusive to the time period in which the game was set. A remote control car? With a bomb on it? It was an unprecedented killstreak, and that is something I want to experience again!
The setting of this year’s game could once again be used to its advantage. Returning to the Cold War will hopefully bring era-specific killstreaks that draw on the interesting technology of the time. Not only would it be cool to see the RCXD make a return, but a whole host of new killstreaks could be introduced which utilise military technology from the 1980s. The second half of the twentieth century was a golden age for innovation and design. Creativity and progress was the aim of the game, and that is exactly what I want to see with killstreaks! While enhancing the atmosphere of the game, they would offer new and exciting ways of getting a one-up on the enemy, just like the RCXD did back in 2010.
2. Original Black Ops Maps
Black Ops is a Call of Duty undoubtedly famous for its multiplayer maps. They have become iconic and some have even been remastered in newer games, which just goes to show how good they really are and how much fans love playing them. Nuketown, Summit, WMD. These maps are some of the best the series has ever seen, and seeing them return in Cold War would be truly special.
These maps are fun in their own right, but its scary to think that they were so good so long ago. It’s been ten years since they first appeared on our playlists, and a lot has changed since then. A new generation of consoles has blossomed, and we are on the brink of yet another jump in progress. These beloved maps were great on the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3, so it would be awesome to see them on 2020’s best gaming hardware with an entire extra decade’s worth of graphics and gameplay mechanics thrust into their production.
Just imagine playing Jungle in 4K on an intense run of Search and Destroy. Its humid atmosphere and dense foliage crisp and full of life. Or maybe jumping into a Domination match on Launch and seeing the rocket bursting into the air with its taking off sequence completely remastered in today’s best graphic design. Not to mention the capabilities of next gen consoles that will give these classic maps even more beauty and power. It would be an amazing combination of old and new, and I hope it happens.
1. A Return To Form For Zombies!
Back in 2010, gamers wanted to do few things more than hop online and play zombies with their three closest pals. It was a revolutionary game mode that the original Black Ops took to a whole new level. It progressed the basic format from World at War, transforming it into the classic that it is today. Since then, however, it has declined, with the most recent game ruining it in the eyes of many fans. Some players like it, but many feel like it just isn’t the same anymore.
In Black Ops IIII, Treyarch changed zombies a lot. They got rid of the famous perk machines, allowed players to customise their playing style, and (for some reason) added hitmarkers. In an attempt to innovate, these changes altered the zombies formula, taking away its arcade charm. It also became more complicated, which too took away from its iconic feel. Bosses and construction tasks started to take priority over the fundamental fun of killing zombies and getting high rounds. Overall, these changes created an almost new mode altogether that did not live up to its legendary name. But I want this to change!
All I want is for the old zombies to return, along with everything that made it what it was. I want to spawn in without any predetermined perks or abilities to work with. I want to start each match with the intention of surviving and climbing above my friends in the high round leaderboard. And most of all, I want to walk up to the Juggernog machine, hear its funky tune, and get its special ability, just like how we all used to do it. It would not matter so much what maps we go to play – although remasters of the old classic would be cool – as long as we felt like we were playing zombies, the mode we all fell in love with. Call of Duty: Cold War has the chance to make that dream a reality, and I really hope it does!