Any Call of Duty fan knows that the multiplayer mode of a game is often considered the most important way in which we judge the game. Campaigns and survival or zombie modes are important, but nothing ever compares to the exciting way that are able to compete against other players and play with our friends. It is for this reason why games like Black Ops 2 and Modern Warfare 2 are remembered so fondly, while games such as Ghost are considered to be among the least fun. On This spectrum, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War already ranks among the worst of the COD games in terms of multiplayer due to its dull nature. To understand why, we have to look at what went wrong with it and why other games are so much more fun.
Right off of the bat it is easy to see why the Activision allowed such a bad game to be published: the popularity of Warzone. One of the most popular games right now, and easily the most played battle royale, there is no doubt that Activision sees Warzone as their money maker. This was likely reinforced due to the player base spending more time playing Warzone than the multiplayer modes in Modern Warfare 2019. Along with this, Warzone is a free game while Cold War is a paid game. As a result, they are making primarily comes from people buying skin and weapon bundles in the shop from Warzone, which continually happens as long as people play the game, while most of the money that they will make off of Cold War comes from people purchasing the game. As a result, they do not stand to make much more money off of Cold War, while they will continue to profit off of Warzone.
While Activision not having a profit incentive in Cold War does make since as to why it is so bad, it does not explain what makes Cold War is so boring in the first place. There is not just one reason why, but rather a whole list of them. Each of them is different but they all have the same theme: they lack excitement in their nature. Understanding this requires us to look at other Call of Duty games, and looking at each feature that makes it dull individually.
Score Streaks Do Not Reset After You Die
Score streaks are one of the most fun aspects of COD games. Every life you try to string together enough kills in order to earn something to help you get more points and to help your team win the game. They have always pretty much been the same: you have to earn a certain score or certain amount of kills in one life to unlock them, and your progress resets at your death. Having them this way made it so that you really had to work to get them by focusing on not dying. They do not exist in this way in cold war though.
In Cold War, streak progress does not reset upon your death. Rather, you keep the score you had until you earn the streak, and then there is a cool down timer before you can get the streak again. This draws from the fun of the game in two ways: it limits the amount of streaks you can have per game, and it makes it less rewarding to earn streaks. If there is a cool down between when you can earn a streak, then you can only earn as many streaks as the game can it in cool downs. Compare that with other COD games where you can earn an infinite amount of streaks, as long as you keep getting kill streaks long enough. Knowing that you cannot earn that many streaks takes away from the incentive to do well in a game, which in turn makes it dull to play. The same thing is true about how it makes it less rewarding. When streaks do not reset upon death, you will earn your highest kill streak almost every game, regardless if you do well or poorly, which does not bring you much in terms of joy of playing the game. Overall, this new score streak system just makes it so that games do not bring you a lot to strive for.
You Cannot Earn Nukes
One of the most exciting things you can do in Call of Duty multiplayer is try to earn a nuke. For those who do not know, a nuke is when you go on a kill streak of 30 in game, and you unlock a score streak called a nuke that blows up the whole map, killing everyone, and instantly ends the game with the team that got the nuke winning. While you can always earn a 30 kill streak and get the token at the end of the game the same way you can with a blood thirsty, it is not the same trying to get one when you do not get to reap the reward.
Not all COD games allows you to earn nukes. In fact, they are mostly present in Modern Warfare games and not many others, but they do add an element of excitement to the game when you can earn them. Take MW 2019 for example. No matter what you have unlocked, what game mode you are playing, or what level you are, you can always give yourself a challenge by trying to earn a nuke. It is a difficult task and you most likely will not get it, but that makes it all of the more exciting. Even after you have earned one, the challenge is still one that you can do, and will still be equal amounts of fun to try to complete.
Cold War does not have nukes. While this shouldn’t be a major part of the game, it is just something that could make it more exciting to play multiplayer. Between earning your kill streaks no matter what, and not being rewarded for striving for long kill streaks, every game is just a rinse and repeat of going for a win and nothing else. There is no other way that you feel rewarded simply for playing the game, which really makes it feel boring fast.
The Camo Challenges Are Not Rewarding
Weapon camos are a staple in COD games. Every real player has memories of how frustrating and difficult it was to unlock the mastery camo for a gun, and how rewarding and exciting it was once they finally got to use it. The grind to unlock camos in Cold War does not come with this same excitement though. Unlocking gold is not very difficult in Cold War, and while you can go on to unlock diamond and dark matter after that by complete all weapons in a class and in the game, there is really not much else to do. Then when it’s all done, the Dark Matter camo doesn’t even work on many of the guns, which takes away from all the effort you put in in the first place.
Compare this once again with MW 2019. The camo for completing all of the weapons is Damascus, and it is a grueling task, especially trying to complete the mounted kills part. But once it is done, it works on every gun and feels rewarding to have. This is not the final camo challenge though. After that, you can truly show that you mastered a weapon by unlocking obsidian, which you can only start after earning gold for a gun, and will often take longer than gold to earn. Unless you spend hours every day just grinding to unlock camos for months on end, you will almost never run out of camo challenges in MW, which serves to keep the game fresh. Cold War does not have this, and is another reason why it gets old so quickly.
Snipers Are Underwhelming
Not everyone uses snipers, but everyone notices snipers in a lobby. Quick-scoping is yet another staple in COD games. This is not only because all of the best players love to snipe, but also because powerful and fast sniper rifles are some of the most fun yet difficult weapons to use. Miss a shot and it is an almost guaranteed death, but hit your shot and it is almost a guaranteed kill. While many people get mad at quick-scopers, they serve to make the game less of a camp fest and thus much more fun to play.
Cold War snipers are not that powerful. While they are just good enough to be used to quick-scope, their relatively slow aim down sight time combined with their inconsistent damage makes them very unforgiving. As a result, you are pretty much certain to die to any competent player who sees you at the same exact time. As a result, people are more likely to use snipers to camp, which both slows down multiplayer games and makes them less fun to play.
The Best Maps Are Old Maps Remastered
Good maps are everything in a shooter game. Unfortunately for Cold War, that is one thing that it mostly lacks. We say mostly because that does not mean there are no good maps. Nuketown, Hijacked, Raid, Express, and Standoff are all amazing to play on. There is one thing though, they are all old maps. Each of those maps are remastered from Black Ops or Black Ops 2. While this is not an inherently bad thing, it takes away from the life of the game if all of the best maps are remastered. How is Cold War supposed to feel like its own game if everyone just wants to play on the same 3 old maps all of the time? The answer: it doesn’t, it just ends up being a lifeless version of an old game.
Part of the problem is also that most of the Cold War maps are dark and dull. It is hard to see enemies, they do not flow naturally, and they feel as though they are forced together rather than created well and with thought. There are some good maps, such as Crossroads and Moscow, but the rest are overwhelmingly hard to play and even harder to enjoy. Combine this with the best maps being from old games and all you get is either an old experience or a bad one.
We hope you enjoyed this article about what we think about the current state of Black Ops Cold War’s multiplayer. Overall, we believe that it just does not have anything that brings excitement to it. From a lack of things incentives to strive towards while playing, to bad maps and snipers, there is really nothing that brings joy besides the inherent excitement from playing a shooter. Let us know in the comments what you think about Cold War so far. If you want to check out more of our articles about Call of Duty, click here.