Console Corner: Call Of Duty Black Ops Cold War PS5 review

Damien Charles Lucas December 28, 2020
Console Corner: Call Of Duty Black Ops Cold War PS5 review
Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images

Today, let’s review Call Of Duty: Black Ops Cold War for PS5. It’s hard to believe we’ve been playing Call Of Duty games for 17 years. But if there was ever a year when the hours of escapism it provides were needed, it has been during this pandemic-ruined 2020.

Call Of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is the sixth instalment in the Black Ops series and 17th CoD overall. It’s actually the direct sequel to Call Of Duty: Black Ops from ten years ago and the direct prequel to Call Of Duty: Black Ops II (2012).  

Set during the Cold War in the early 1980s, this brilliant campaign follows CIA officer Russell Adler as he pursues Perseus, an alleged Soviet spy, whose stated goal is to subvert the US and tilt the balance of power towards the Soviet Union. 

But when it comes to Call Of Duty we know multiplayer is where it’s at. And there are new game modes, more customisation options, dynamics and elements.

Call Of Duty Black Ops Cold War on PS5: Big bang for your bucks

The first thing to say about Cold War is you get a heck of a lot of bang for your bucks.

The campaign, multiplayer and zombies modes could be indepedent releases on their own – and for that we should be grateful.

Honey? I think our flight might be delayed.

I did have the common issue on PS5 when first installing Cold War. It defaulted to the PS4 version and then bricked my PS5 when I deleted the PS4 one.

Those issues were quickly resolved, though, and it has been plain sailing since. I have 100mbs broadband running on wi-fi and had no real lag issues in online multiplayer worth mentioning.

As with any franchise that hits consoles with the regularity Call Of Duty does, it’s sometimes difficult to differentiate between scenarios.

Ronald Reagan and James Bond

In terms of campaign, Cold War trounces Modern Warfare’s offering from last year. Ronald Reagan is at the centre of a fantastical plot that wouldn’t be out of place in a James Bond movie. And that is meant as a compliment. This is video gaming after all and I personally lose interest rapidly when Call Of Duty takes itself too seriously.

We begin bombing in five minutes.

Zombies also surpasses Modern Warfare’s Spec Ops – but has a steep difficulty curve. 

Cold War versus Warzone

Multiplayer has received some criticism. But it was always going to be tough to match the benchmark set by MW’s Warzone.

I can see why there has been criticism. The difference between MW’s multiplayer and Black Ops’ is glaring. And with MW considered the gold standard, that doesn’t bode well for Black Ops.

When you have Call Of Duty: Black Ops Cold War on PS5 you can download Warzone for free and play cross-gen with PS4 and PS5 gamers.

It’s almost as if the developers have held their hands up and admitted defeat from the off. It says to gamers: ‘We know you’re going to want to play Warzone still – so here you go.’

Runway party

On PS5, the DualSense controller’s adaptive triggers give more depth to each gun and is a game changer in that respect. Lengthy stints will drain your battery, though, as you would expect.

So much to love as a standalone

Overall, when judging Black Ops Cold War as a standalone game there’s so much to love.

Comparing it to the high multiplayer benchmark set in previous Call Of Dutys – with MW looming large over proceedings – multiplayer doesn’t come out favourably. Campaign is excellent and Zombies, once you’re a red hot marksman, is a great option for co-op.

We never truly see how a franchise such as Call Of Duty will look on next generation until the second year. And there’s plenty of promise for the future in Cold War.

Rating: 8.5/10

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Damien is a vastly experienced, award-winning journalist who has worked in the industry for over 20 years in a wide variety of roles from sports reporter to video and digital editor, head of news and now senior editor. Damien was adamant from an early age that if he could not play football for a living then he wanted to write about the beautiful game instead. Armed with a degree in English and multimedia journalism he embarked on that mission and specialises in his beloved West Ham United. He has seen it all as a West Ham season ticket holder of 30+ years. Well, everything except a major trophy - sorry Intertoto. Jimmy Walker would have saved it!