How Black Ops Cold War is changing the Call of Duty campaign formula

Black Ops Cold War gameplayActivision

Treyarch and Raven Software have revealed plans to shake up the traditional Call of Duty campaign experience with a number of unique features coming to Black Ops Cold War.

Since the first core release in 2003, Call of Duty games have featured globetrotting storylines across all eras of warfare. From realistic portrayals of historic battles, to sci-fi infused fiction in futuristic titles, the games have seen and done it all.

Dipping back into the Cold War period with the next release, Treyarch and Raven Software have a few tricks up their sleeves to make this experience stand out from the rest. Lined up as a “direct sequel” to the original Black Ops title, players will be back in action with the iconic cast of characters such as Mason and Woods. While the familiar faces will help you feel right at home, don’t expect the campaign to feel all that similar.

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The developers have built the campaign experience around new features that will drastically shake up the narrative. While we already knew about custom characters and multiple endings, there’s plenty more going on under the hood.

Instead of simply going through the motions in Black Ops Cold War, you’ll need to think outside the box. Players will be required to find evidence and “solve puzzles that’ll unlock a different part of [a] side mission,” Raven Software Senior Creative Director Dan Vondrak told the PlayStation Official Magazine.

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While much of the narrative will be streamlined and accessible, some sections can clearly be missed. Failing to find evidence, or not putting the pieces together could have you missing out on content. This additional content is crucial in determining the game’s outcome, as player input will affect the ending you see.

This manual input doesn’t just pertain to side missions, however. In the midst of heated arguments, players will be given dialogue options akin to those in Role Playing Games. Individual missions will have branching storylines with multiple possible endings. Choices are at the core of every beat in the Black Ops Cold War campaign, Vondrak stressed.

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“This culmination of ideas and experiences are crystallized and harnessed into Black Ops Cold War,” Raven’s Creative Specialist Miles Leslie added. It’s a blend of “some RPG and some action.” When these “ingredients” are put together, it results in a “super-tasty” campaign that can be played through multiple times.

Black Ops Cold War gameplayActivision
The Black Ops Cold War campaign will be a direct sequel to the fan favorite 2010 release.

Developers have clearly placed a ton of emphasis on new features in the campaign. However, players are still demanding new tweaks to the multiplayer experience this time around. The recent Alpha test was well-received, though one key issue stood out: skill-based matchmaking.

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Many pro players lashed out at its inclusion in the early test, and a poll with more than 80k votes revealed how the community feels about the feature.

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