Now that Call of Duty: Black Ops - Cold War has been officially unveiled, Activision is revealing more and more information about the upcoming title.
Story details, gameplay features, editions, pricing and more are steadily being announced. The barrage of information may be overwhelming, but worry not - we've collected everything we know about the game so far in one handy resource. We'll be keeping this post up to date with all new key information as it is announced.
When, and on what platforms, will Call of Duty: Black Ops - Cold War be released?
TOP GAMEPLAY HIGHLIGHTS
Call of Duty: Black Ops - Cold War launches on PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 on Friday, the 13th of November, 2020.
November has been the usual release month for mainline Call of Duty games for many years now, and this year's title is keeping up that tradition.
The open beta for the game will begin on the 8th of October for PlayStation 4 players. Activision has announced a Sony partnership, continuing on from Modern Warfare, which will see PlayStation players receive timed-exclusive content ahead of other platforms.
How much will Call of Duty: Black Ops - Cold War cost on next-gen platforms?
There has been a lot of discussion and controversy around the idea of next-gen games getting a price hike due to the vastly increased costs of producing AAA titles, whereas the accepted MSRP for new games has remained $60 for decades. Many publishers have floated the idea of pricing AAA games at $70 going forward, and some have already announced decisions to do so.
Activision has officially confirmed that PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X versions of Call of Duty: Black Ops - Cold War's standard edition will cost $69.99 upon release. Special editions reportedly won't see price differences depending on platform.
This decision is bound to cause some complaints, as the general next-gen pricing issue has in the entire gaming scene. Some players decry large corporations complaining about increases costs while posting hundreds of millions of dollars in quarter-over-quarter revenue growth. Many of the major AAA companies that have announced a switch to $70 pricing for next-gen titles are also known for overworking developers during crunch time, neglecting to address workplace harassment, and giving executives multi-million dollar bonuses
Will Warzone progress carry over?
Activision has been very open about their intentions to maintain Warzone even after the franchise has moved on from 2019's Modern Warfare. Warzone is directly integrated into Cold War, inventories and progression will be shared across the two games, and any previous progress you have made in Warzone's current iteration will carry over completely, allowing you to pick up the thread right where you left off.
Warzone's season-based content support will also continue, with upcoming seasons thematically tied into Cold War.
What kind of special editions will the game have?
Call of Duty: Black Ops - Cold War will launch with three editions spread across all platforms, alongside pre-order bonuses applicable to all.
- Standard Edition - $59.99, PC, PS4 and Xbox One
- Cross-Gen Edition - $69.99, PS5 (includes PS4 version) and Xbox Series X (includes Xbox One version)
- Includes Confrontation weapons pack
- Ultimate Edition - $89.99, all platforms
- Includes Cross-Gen edition if bought on consoles
- Land, Sea and Air Pack
- 3 Operator Skins
- 3 Vehicle Skins
- 3 Weapon Blueprints
- Battle Pass Bundle (1 Season Battle Pass + 20 Tier Skips)
- Confrontation Weapons Pack
You can also gain early access to the beta, 10 tier skips in Warzone, and immediate access to the Frank Woods operator and a legendary blueprint also in Warzone.
What is the setting of Cold War?
The cold war, of course.
More specifically, the game is set a couple of years after the events of the first Black Ops, released in 2010, and is a direct sequel with Frank Woods returning. Based on the footage we've seen, this game is part bombastic war shooter, part spy thriller - though in keeping with Call of Duty's usual tone, you should expect a lot less sneaking and a lot more explosions than in your usual spy-fare.
You'll be hunting a Soviet spy codenamed Perseus who has been an instrumental element of the on-going arms race and hostilities between the USSR and the USA and its western allies.
Considering the backdrop of the Vietnam war and Reagan's presidency playing major roles in the storyline, we're curious to see if the writers manage to avoid Modern Warfare's mistakes of "creatively contextualizing" certain less than moral (and in certain cases less than legal) military operations the USA has conducted during its history.
This franchise has brushed up against, and plowed right through, problematic depictions of war crimes many times in the past, and considering the sensitive nature of some of the themes being explored here, it's hard to say what sort of controversies may arise.
Activision already bowing to Chinese censorship over the reveal trailer doesn't exactly instill confidence.
What are the features of Call of Duty: Black Ops - Cold War's campaign?
Players will be able to customize the playable character in the single player campaign, Treyarch revealed. This indicates that we won't be stepping back into the shoes of Frank Woods, nor will we control any of the characters who appeared in the story trailer. The extent of this customization is yet to be revealed.
The campaign also features multiple endings. How this affects Cold War's status in the Black Ops canon, and whether it is compatible with Black Ops 2 and other sequels, is yet to be seen. It is possible that of the multiple endings, only one is considered "canon" and the others are presented as bonuses or interesting what-if scenarios.
Though technically using the same engine newly developed for Modern Warfare, the developers have stated that the engine was modified to such a drastic extent - for the sake of bringing the best out of next-gen hardware - that functionally calling it the same engine would be underselling its capabilities and the work that went into it.
Significantly faster load times, higher framerates and hardware-based ray tracing are among the next-gen features Cold War will be packing on the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X and PC.
When will Cold War Multiplayer be revealed?
Treyarch will be revealing the Multiplayer mode with gameplay footage and more on the 9th of September.