Impressions from the Call of Duty: Black Ops – Cold War Alpha
Activision had prepared some sort of surprise for all Call of Duty fans out there. For most of last weekend, PS4 owners could test out the newest game in the series, Call of Duty: Black Ops – Cold War. The Alpha version of the game was only available for a limited time, featuring the multiplayer component of the game.
I had the chance of playing it for more than a couple of hours during the Alpha phase. While it’s certain that the game is still not ready for release yet, the Alpha version is a really close version to what Activision will be releasing in two months when Cold War comes out. The gameplay seems to go back to its roots with this entry. Just like in Modern Warfare, there are no powerups, wall running, or any other form of high-tech gizmos.
During the Alpha, there were only two game modes available. The first was the 6v6 mode, Kill Confirmed, where players collect dog tags from their fallen foes. This mode offers three main maps during the Alpha: Moscow, Satellite, and Miami. Satellite puts players at the crash site in the middle of the desert, filled with canyon. The other two maps take us to the urban areas of Miami or Moscow, making the popular locations your battlefield. When playing the other mode, Combined Arms, you’ll visit maps such as the snowy Crossroads, or the secluded warships of Armada. This 12v12 player mode puts a bigger focus on vehicles, giving different options depending on the map.
The maps were varied enough to please most gamers, and the loadout seems very well balanced. You can use most weapons and get similar results. No more worrying about picking the more OP weapons, as it’s just a matter of preference now. While it might seem a bit too “vanilla” for some, this is exactly how I wanted the series to evolve. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one frustrated with the high-tech era of Call of Duty.
Gunsmith was also present in the Alpha, and it’s pretty much the same as it was in Modern Warfare. You’ll be able to choose from different attachments for your weapons, each one having a slight impact on how the weapon behaves. You can build ranged based weapons, adopt a hybrid weapon, or just run with the highest stats in each category.
My main gripe with the game is that the graphics seem to be a bit of a downgrade when comparing to Modern Warfare. This is still an Alpha, so things can change, and maybe they’ll look a lot better on the next-gen consoles. Even if the difference isn’t substantial, the gameplay alone can be a good motive for anyone to pick it up. Call of Duty was always about gameplay first, and then everything else.
I’m also not sure how things will evolve with the Warzone component of the franchise. Activision promised they have it in mind and at least the progression and items will be shared between Modern Warfare and Black Ops. Will we receive a brand new map and new vehicles? That remains to be seen, but my hopes are high. Warzone is a very interesting example of how a game as a service should be, and I hope they won’t ruin the experience. The first win I had in Warzone is one of the highlights of the COVID-19 quarantine in my home country. This could easily attest how great the game is, or how uneventful 2020 was for me.
Call of Duty: Black Ops – Cold War will launch on November 13th on current-gen consoles and PC. And if you decide to pick it up before the new consoles come out, don’t worry. If you pick up the Cross-Gen Bundle or Ultimate Edition, you’ll also be able to continue from where you left off on the brand new PlayStation 5 and/or Xbox Series X.