Damage flinch has been a controversial aspect in many Call of Duty multiplayers and Treyarch appears acutely aware of that, as the developers have revealed that the mechanic is redesigned in Black Ops Cold War.
Many Call of Duty titles in the past, including 2019's Modern Warfare, have featured a mechanic called flinching, which causes a player’s aim to be impacted while taking damage.
The effect essentially causes players’ crosshairs to bump upward when being hit with bullets, but it appears that the impact of that flinch has been greatly reduced for Black Ops Cold War.
The flinch initially seems like a detriment to the person impacted, as one could aim for a headshot, only to be shot and have their crosshair bump upward, entirely missing their enemy. But it also leads to “flinch headshots,” where someone aiming at the chest would stutter into a deadly headshot.
Damage Flinch has been redesigned in Black Ops Cold War. Flinch is now primarily a feedback mechanism to help you understand you’re taking damage, without affecting the aim position of your weapon. Your weapon will move with your screen to stay on target. No more flinch headshots
— Tony Flame (@Tony_Flame) September 12, 2020
Tony Flame, one of the game designers who worked on Black Ops Cold War, revealed that, following the redesign, “flinch is now primarily a feedback mechanism to help you understand you’re taking damage.” As a consequence, your crosshairs should remain where you intended them to be and there should be “no more flinch headshots.”
The reactions to his tweet are fairly unanimous, with professional players like Dillon ‘Attach’ Price, Anthony ‘Methodz’ Zinni, and Doug ‘Censor’ Martin responding very enthusiastically. Former CoD World Champion Christopher ‘Parasite’ Duarte said, “thank you. Finally, toughness is built-in … Visual clarity seems like it took a huge step forward this title.”
Demonstrating the redesigned flinch mechanic, content creator ‘Xclusive Ace,' who got to play the game's alpha build, showed in slow motion that, despite taking damage, a player’s crosshair barely moves outside of its normal recoil. This means that your ability to shoot enemies is dictated solely by your aim and not any other factor.
Lots of people have expressed concern (rightfully so) about how high the Headshot multiplier is in Cold War due to flinch but it turns out there's little to no flinch when shot as far as I can tell. The deeper I look, the more I'm seeing a really solid gameplay foundation pic.twitter.com/IGQvKVdotm
— Xclusive Ace (@TheXclusiveAce) September 11, 2020
At the moment, it’s unclear whether or not the mechanic impacts various guns differently, a question many have with regards to snipers. Similarly, people will be curious to find out if Warzone’s mechanics will be adjusted as well when the new multiplayer title releases.
As Black Ops Cold War nears its October 8 PS4 Open Beta and November 13 release date, more specific details are sure to be revealed.