Yesterday, September 10, 2020, Treyarch exhibited their newest Black Ops multiplayer build straight from their bunker. The reveal has had us all abuzz with excitement. The curtains have been pulled back ever so slightly to give us an expectation of what is to come this fall. Join us as we break down what we saw and what we are looking forward to on Nov. 13. Black Ops Cold War is slated to release on PC, PlayStation 5, and the Xbox Series X / S.
Essentially, the Black Ops sequel’s multiplayer follows a similar theme that players will recognize from the Call of Duty franchise entries of the last few years. However, there are some differences and the devil is in the details. There are new maps, weapons, vehicles, locales, perks, and game modes. All of this is accompanied by an updated Create-A-Class system and a new scorestreak system. Read along below for all the nitty-gritty.
Warzone and Cross-Progression & Cross-Generation
The new chapter in Call of Duty will feature cross-progression in Warzone. This also means that cross-play will be heavily featured between not only next-gen systems but also cross-generational play. For example, the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox Series X. Warzone will share progress in a similar way that Modern Warfare currently does. You will have the same rank in both multiplayer and Warzone. Weapon and gear unlocks will follow you as you play in both modes. Yes. Your existing Warzone progress will carry over. All unlocks such as operators, weapons, gear, will be available post-launch.
Work Together, Not Against Each Other
It seems that Treyarch and Infinity Ward will be working in unison between the most recent installments to create a seamless experience between the two games and Warzone. Because of this, Cold War may very well feel more like a continuation of Modern Warfare gameplay rather than a Black Ops sequel. That is ignoring the historical context of course. I say this for the following reasons; pace, create-a-class, and scorestreaks.
The pace of multiplayer seems to be much faster. There is an improvement to sprint that gives an initial boost of speed that then plateaus out to a slower pace. Auto-health regeneration is back in lieu of manual healing that was featured in the predecessors. Ultimate abilities are not making a come back. Similar to Modern Warfare, quick movement, accuracy, and knowing your surroundings will be key in this installment. As is evident in the live multiplayer stream following the presentation, bullet damage seems to be turned up in the current build of the game which also leads to quick deaths and kills.
Black Ops Cold War brings back some fan favorites such as Team Deathmatch, Domination, Search and Destroy, Hardpoint, and Control. However, these have been updated with improved respawn systems, larger control zones, and a preview of the next Hardpoint for meaningful gameplay.
New game modes have also been developed such as VIP Escort. This game mode is a 6v6 extraction game mode in which your primary objective is to work as a team to securely move your teammate, or VIP, across the map for an exfil to win the round. If you are the VIP, your only job is to live, make it to the end of the round, and escape. You are kitted out with a pistol and support gear, such as smoke grenade and spy plane. If you die, that ends the round. The VIP can come back into play using the Last Stand perk or they can be revived by another team member.
In the new mode, Combined Arms Domination, you will be subject to large-scale battles in a 12v12 map that features vehicular assault with infantry gameplay into one cohesive experience. The maps will feature tanks, snowmobiles, wakerunners, gunboats, and more. It was really interesting to hear the dev’s commentary on the gameplay. Because this mode seems to really strive to capture some of those moments that were once unique to the Battlefield franchise and bring them to CoD in a more scalable approach. This mode is actually smaller than its Ground War predecessor from Modern Warfare, which featured 64 players. I am interested in seeing how the vehicular assault will fare, as I am a big fan of the Battlefield franchise but less a fan of running for days when there is no vehicle around. Perhaps this mode will do what Ground War did not seem to capitalize on. Make vehicles easily accessible during a match.
Fireteam is a brand new game mode that is being championed by Treyarch. This game mode allows large scale battles. In Fireteam Dirty Bomb, you will deliver uranium to deploy a dirty bomb, detonate it, and escape the toxic fallout. This mode appears to be narrative-driven and features vehicles. Treyarch promises to reveal more Fireteam modes and maps in the weeks ahead.
Maps. Maps. Maps.
The reveal showed off several maps. The maps were intricately detailed and they all featured various themes and locales from the different historical contexts of the Cold War. Some of these include:
- Miami – This map featured pool houses, clubhouses, neon lights, along long streets filled with abandoned cars and beachfront hotels. The devs described being able to hear 80’s club music through the walls while flanking to get abound long sniper alleys.
- Armada – this map feature multiple ships afloat at sea with zip lines connecting them. There are huge warships and smaller frigates that make up the map. Gunboats are available to use to defend zones. Swimming is a great way to traverse the watery gap covertly.
- Satellite – This map is featured in the set of Angola. A downed satellite’s wreckage is featured in the middle of the map. This allows for some close-quarters combat. The terrain also provides cover in the way of large sand dunes.
- Moscow – this is a city map that features street battles with intricate building layouts. This is very similar to the Verdansk map featured in Warzone.
- Crossroads – This map looked the most intriguing to me. It features a military complex and forest blanketed in snow. It may not seem like much now, but I envision this being great for vehicular warfare and running and gunning while weaving through the trees to close the gap with some C4.
The new Create-A-Class system has been designed with a less is more approach. The goal is to empower the player in a way that is no longer governed by the 10 slot system. You will always be kitted out with a full class of a primary, secondary, tactical, field upgrade, and a set of perks. Field upgrades are currently featured in Modern Warfare. They allow the team much-needed equipment such as armor and munitions boxes and they work on a timer. There are some changes. One of the most impactful changes is that the secondary weapon slot now includes shotguns, pistols, and rocket launchers.
Wildcards are making a come-back. A wildcard will allow you to pick one of the four:
- Gunfighter – Unlocks 3 additional attachment slots for your primary weapon.
- Perk Greed – Equip 3 extra perks.
- Danger Close – Extra lethal and tactical equipment and start with max ammo. (Can I have this for my “Code Blue” Warzone loadout please?)
- Law Breaker – Equip any weapon in either slot and equip any perks
Weapons & Gunsmith
While one should not expect modernized weapons such as those featured in Modern Warfare. One can still be excited to be kitted out with fan favorites such as the AK-47, the predecessor of the M4, the XM4, and the M16. Semi-automatic snipers will be replaced by their bolt action predecessors. Gunsmithing will once again be featured. Each weapon can be equipped with up to 54 different optics, attachments, and modifications. These can be attached over 8 various slots allow for 6 options per attachment. By default, you can equip 5 attachment, but with the Gunfighter wildcard you can slot 8. The gunsmith will now show what each attachment does as a positive or negative percentage.
Scorestreaks and Killstreaks
Treyarch has opted for Scorestreaks over Killstreaks in the new installment. This means that the streak is not lost when you die, as the score is carried over. Instead, the developers have set the requirements for a scorestreak higher and multipliers can be earned for achieving multiple kills per life or in quick succession.
I personally feel that I will enjoy this since my playstyle is somewhat aggressive and I typically put myself in harm’s way to secure an objective or assist a teammate where others might not choose to do so and solidify their hold on a killstreak. I can continue to play my run & gun philosophy while racking up a nice scorestreak to call in some much-needed support.
Another change that has been added to the system is that there will now be cooldowns on scorestreaks so that they cannot be spammed to often. I am also a fan of this change, I know I grow tired of multiple VTOLS being called in at once in Modern Warfare. There will also be counter-scorestreaks. These were not talked about in much detail during the reveal, but a shot was shown of what I believe were Harrier jet bombers taking out enemy air support.
Overall, I am really excited about Black Ops Cold War. It is really exciting to see that the two studios are working together to create unique games that seamlessly transition to Warzone. It will be interesting to see if there can be increased stability across servers and decreased instances of cheating in the PC community, which has caused some console players to disable cross-play. In short, the multiplayer looks like it will be a blast. I am eagerly waiting on my chance to run and gun on the watery Armada map and utilize the zip lines. Perhaps I will swim stealthily. through the waters as well to pop up and take out a target with a silenced weapon too. I am very interested in learning more about Fireteam modes in the upcoming weeks. Stay tuned and let us know what you are excited about in the forums or in the comments below.