Takeaways From Call of Duty Cold War First Playthrough

Call of Duty Cold War released last week after months of teaser trailers and anticipation. I caught up with Twitch Streamer Christopher Floro on the playthrough.

Improved Maps and New Game Styles

First look footage of Activision’s Call of Duty Cold War
Courtesy of Christopher Floro

A gamer with over 2 decades of experience in beta testing huge titles like Halo and every iteration of Call of Duty as well as recent breakouts Among Us, Rogue Company and Dead by Daylight, Twitch personality and Razer streamer Christopher Floro had some feedback about the new maps and formatting of the game. The maps were “refreshing” he notes

…they really are unlike previous installations of the franchise. Activision seems to be comfortable reformatting familiar maps to capitalize on the nostalgia and familiarity of previous maps, but the maps at release have not had that recycled feel and that is a really good thing!

Christopher Floro, November 14, 2020

During our interview, I was able to watch each of the 10 new maps and see just how detailed they were. The multiplayer maps reflected little easter eggs from inside the larger single-player campaign and offer new game types as well. The new VIP game type in particular is a refreshing take on the type of stand your ground styles that first-person shooter games are known for. If you haven’t gotten your hands on a copy of Cold War yet, VIP is a 5 person team, one of which is a VIP, that must safely escort that VIP to exfil with a waiting helicopter at one of two designated points. The catch? The opposing team will hunt you down and you only get a single life, no respawns. If the opposing team executes the VIP it is game over.

The most exciting addition to Cold War might just be the new Zombies play mode. Highly lauded as an exciting addition to the new installation with a theatrical trailer that went viral, the Zombie map offers 3 different options for players to select — a non-stop mode where hordes just keep coming until the player expires, a 20 wave action-packed mode where you experience waves of the undead and the well-loved arcade option. Long time fans of the franchise might get a tingle of nostalgia playing the arcade mode as they see an element that Call of Duty has been well-known for in the past. Make no mistake, though, the amazing graphics are a welcome upgrade from past games and the plot is well-integrated into the major campaign.

Loadouts and Operators

Factions are historically accurate and nod to major entities during the time Cold War is set in
 Photo by Марьян Блан | @marj
Factions are historically accurate and nod to major entities during the time Cold War is set in
 Photo by Марьян Блан | @marj
Factions are historically accurate and nod to major entities during the time Cold War is set in
Photo by Марьян Блан | @marjanblan on Unsplash

Loadout advancement is a long-time incentive in the franchise. You rack up wins, points, and awards as you play through multiplayer options and complete the campaign. You can also buy operators, stickers, weapons, and custom features which is a successful upsell for Activision. Loadout and operator selection are really no departure from the most recent Call of Duty Modern Warfare released in 2019. Floro had some feedback about that process.

I am not a huge fan of only having 4 operators to begin with. I am trying to stay optimistic, Call of Duty usually releases new operators and makes continued play exciting in that way, but it is lackluster starting out. I feel like the loadout advancement process is slower in Cold War. My biggest gripe so far is the really limited sniper rifle selection. The 3 you begin with aren’t really that great. I am hoping to see more options as we go.

Christopher Floro, November 14th 2020

The upside of the beginning loadouts is that they tend to offer something for any player. If you prefer a sub-machine gun, light machine gun, shotgun, or rifle you can find a beginning loadout you can work with until you rank up. Gaining new add-ons for your weapons is relatively automatic as you play, which is typical of this franchise, but the weapons you begin with have a nod to the plot as well. Most notably the upfront availability of the AK, a versatile and trusty Russian rifle used during the actual Cold War in the 1980s.

The operators have the same macho Call of Duty macho feel that the franchise is known for. As you play you will gain more operators. They are classified into two separate factions — NATO and Warsaw Pact. Currently, Activision touts 7 operators in the NATO faction and 6 operators in the Warsaw Pact faction. Gaining new operators to customize your play experience will be part of the fun.

Cool New Perks

Scorestreaks are versatile and give the player advantages over the opposing team
 Courtesy of Christopher Floro
Scorestreaks are versatile and give the player advantages over the opposing team
 Courtesy of Christopher Floro
Scorestreaks are versatile and give the player advantages over the opposing team
Courtesy of Christopher Floro

Perhaps one of the coolest new elements is doubling down on scorestreaks in Cold War. Notice I said scorestreaks. In previous installations of the franchise, the goal was narrowly focused on kills to gain care packages and other in-game perks. In this game, you can score by wounding players and getting assists in successful downs, not just by killing opponents. Even better you can double down. Previously, you would forfeit a chance at a second scoresteak bonus no matter how many opponents you downed without dying yourself. In Cold War you can receive unlimited scorestreak bonuses, this means multiples.

Care packages in particular are interesting. Remember Inspector Gadget when the message would self-destruct? The care packages in this game also self-destruct, giving you a built-in explosive that can down opponents lurking near your package. Once you retrieve your item it will explode in about 8 seconds, so get away from the package quickly. This might be a throwback to the espionage feel of the war itself and a reference to the Russian spy accusations of the time.

The scorestreaks include artillery bombings, a spy plane, an RC-XD, exploding round combat bow, counterspy plane, sentry turret, napalm strike, cruise missile, air patrol, a fully automatic explosive war machine, attack helicopter that looks suspiciously like an Apache, a chopper gunner that looks eerily like a Huey, an escort VTOL, and a gunship. Lots of help from above comes in these in-game streaks. Imagine piling these up and unleashing this arsenal on the opposing team.

Overall Impression

Multiplayer map Moscow holds true to areas of the time of the real Cold War
 Courtesy of Christopher Floro
Multiplayer map Moscow holds true to areas of the time of the real Cold War
 Courtesy of Christopher Floro
Multiplayer map Moscow holds true to areas of the time of the real Cold War
Courtesy of Christopher Floro

Players can expect some familiar elements and some new additions in this exciting release. If you are new to the franchise, Cold War is a great way to jump in feet first with an exciting storyline cast in a war that does not really get a lot of screen time in the gaming community. If you are a long-time fan of the franchise then the user interface, progress, and pace of the game will feel comfortable to you.

The gameplay seems a lot smoother than previous editions. Some game types that I’ve played like domination seem host heavy, though. It reminded me of Gears of War in that way. If you get to an objective first, it is really tough to flip the area or retake objectives. I really like the multiplayer options overall and the play is easy. The controls are intuitive, even if you haven’t played before. I really like it so far, I am looking forward to updates and new options.

Christopher Floro, November 14 2020

Cold War is a cross-platform and the full complement of starting options are available at the time of release. The game is also sold in a package that will be compatible with the new Xbox and Playstation console offerings. The game offers an action-packed, fantasy walkthrough of tensions between NATO forces and Russian entities at a trying time in world history.

Grab a copy of Cold War and jump into the action as players around the world race to compete for gaming glory. Be among the first to fully upgrade all of your loadouts, earn all of the operators and finish the campaign to discover who will come out on top in Activision’s newest exciting Call of Duty installment.

Originally published at https://aroono.com on November 23, 2020.

Blogger, horror writer, poet and militant feminist

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store