According to the senior creative director at Raven Software, Dan Vondrak, the studio wanted to make its new instalment interesting both for the fans of the franchise and newcomers.
The main aim for the developers was the comeback of the original trio – Frank Woods, Alex Mason and Jason Hudson; however, along with them, the authors introduced new characters – in order to show their nature and relationship with familiar heroes. The developers also noted that there would be references to precedent parts of Black Ops, but new players wouldn’t be overwhelmed by new information.
In the first mission of Black Ops Cold War named Nowhere Left to Run, the heroes would find themselves in Amsterdam, where they have to reach out to the source and then capture one of the two key players of the operation.
According to the developers, with this mission, they wanted to pay their respects to the original Black Ops, which begins in a similar setting. In Nowhere Left to Run, there would be shooting on the rooftops of Amsterdam, and later a pursuit in a Turkish airport using an explosive remote-controlled car.
The action of the second mission, Fracture Jaw, takes place during the Vietnam War – this level is provided as a flashback, and the players would gradually learn more information about the mysterious operative nicknamed Perseus.
Vondrak named the mission in Vietnam his favorite, noting that it gives much more freedom to the players. According to the senior creative director, this is one of the most unique missions he has ever worked with.
In the third level named Desperate Measures, the heroes must infiltrate the KGB headquarters in order to gain more information about the operative Perseus.
In this mission, the player could choose his own objectives and methods – for example, speak to someone about the pass or find another secret entrance. Like many other stealth missions in Call of Duty, the entry into the territory of the KGB base ends up with a big shootout.