Everything We Know About Black Ops: Cold War

Welcome to your Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War HUB. As we approach the November 13 release date and more details are revealed we will cover it all here, in one place. In order to maintain chronology, the news will be organized by date so the further down you go the more recent the information.

08/26/20 | In a typical release year, we would have already seen the 2020 Call of Duty months ago. However, due to the release of Call of Duty: Warzone and the COVID-19 pandemic, along with other factors we have yet to know, it's at the end of August before we even get a reveal trailer. However, to mix things up, along with the trailer simply going up on YouTube, a new playlist was added onto Call of Duty: Warzone titled "Know Your History" that made players work their way to the worldwide reveal of the direct sequel to Treyarch's Call of Duty: Black Ops.

The Warzone event dropped players into a redacted map, in typical Black Ops style, with a 4 step plan called "Steps to Freedom." In the allotted time, 5 pieces of intel had to be collected, a key had to be secured, map codes had to be cracked and a weapon had to be wielded. While this may sound cool, all this really did was unlock in-game customization items. Then players were redeployed onto the map, this time with the voice over from the teaser trailer playing in the background, and told to run to the football stadium for cover. Presumably from a nuke. Then, the very first trailer for Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War premiered.

Moving onto the trailer itself, the date at the start reads 1968, the end of the Black Ops 1 storyline, and fast-forwards to 1981, the height of the Cold War conflict. The story revolves around a few familiar characters, such as series favorites Frank Woods and Jason Hudson, as they follow the trail of Project Perseus under the oversight of President Ronald Regan. While the trailer didn't show off too much gameplay, Black Ops: Cold War looks visually incredible with character and environment details looking even better than last year's already stellar Modern Warfare.

Alongside the trailer, the game also went up on digital stores for preorder. There are 3 different versions of the game available: Standard, Cross-Gen, and Ultimate Digital. Standard comes with the base game on current-gen consoles and is $59.99. For $10 more you can get the Cross-Gen Edition which comes bundled with current and next-gen versions of the game. Lastly, the Ultimate Digital Edition, which sells for $89.99, comes with games from both generation and a Battle Pass Bundle and a Land/Sea/Air Pack, for special skins and blueprints. One thing to note is that while all 3 Editions are available on Xbox as well, due to Xbox Smart Delivery program, the Standard Edition game on Xbox One will be playable via backwards compatibility on Xbox Series X. Pre-ordering any of the digital editions of the game gives players access to the Open Beta, which will start early on PlayStation 4, and gives instant access to Operator Woods as well as a weapon blueprint for Modern Warfare and Warzone. It is important to note, Black Ops: Cold War is a cross-gen and cross-platform game, meaning players on any of the released systems can party up and play together. (For more details on the physical editions, head on over to the Activision FAQ.)

To wrap it up, let's talk about the dates. Black Ops: Cold War will release on November 13, 2020. This puts the game within a week of other AAA heavy hitters like Assassin's Creed: Valhalla, Cyberpunk 2077, and more. Although there was a small teaser at the end of the trailer, the full multiplayer reveal will be on September 9. Based solely on the information we have now, Black Ops: Cold War will feature its own version of Warzone, probably the map that was teased in the trailer, but weapons and equipment will be shared with the current title.

09/09/20 | A little over two months until release and we finally have our first full look at Black Ops: Cold War multiplayer. The trailer, set to the tune of Duran Duran's Notorious, gave a small peak at the gameplay but the real information was in the forty-five-minute presentation that followed. So without further ado here's all you need to know about Black Ops: Cold War multiplayer, without the fancy adjectives and frequent camera changes.

In the event, there were five multiplayer maps that were highlighted: Satellite, Armada, Moscow, Miami, and Crossroads. These are a diverse set of maps that span across different seasons, locations, and terrain. Gaging from reactions online, the two fan-favorite maps so far are Armada and Miami. Armada is inspired by the real events of Project Azorian and has you fighting on two ships connected with zip lines that are in the middle of the ocean. There are small boats and jet-skis (or whatever the military term for jet-skis is) that players can control to navigate the map. Miami lets players loose on 80s Ocean Drive in Miami, full of neon lights and club music.

There are also two new game modes that were announced, starting with VIP Escort. This 6v6 mode has one team that is trying to escort the player who is designated as VIP off the map. The VIP player is equipped with a pistol, a smoke grenade, and a spy plane for intel. The other team's goal is to try and stop them. While downed players can be brought back, if the VIP goes down, it's game over.

The other mode is Combined Arms: Domination. This 12v12 mode takes the regular infantry gameplay and adds in vehicles such as snowmobiles, tanks, gunboats, and more into the mix. Those were the only two new game modes officially announced, but more were teased to release after the game comes out.

Veteran fans will be happy to know that the gameplay is now boots on the ground and create-a-class will no longer be based on the pick 10 system. Instead, it will revert back to the good old slot-based system. For those wanting more freedom from their classes, Wildcards are back, allowing you to equip more perks or extra weapons as you see fit.

As for scorestreaks, scores earned will not reset upon death. This is so that players who are less experienced in the game can still earn and use the streaks. However, after use, the streaks will have a cooldown so they cannot be spammed.

There is also a new category in Cold War multiplayer called Fireteam, which has players team up in groups of four to complete story-like objects. The first type is called Dirty Bomb, where you retrieve Uranium and deposit it into dirty bombs while also avoiding radioactive fallout. More information on that will come at a later date.

To wrap up multiplayer, Cold War will be integrated into Warzone, and progress in Cold War multiplayer will also carry over to Warzone and vice versa. For those interested in visuals, this is the best looking Call of Duty yet and they took some time to talk about the game's 4K, ray-tracing, high dynamic range capabilities. That's all for the details. If you want to see some gameplay, select streamers, YouTubers, and press members were given access to the five maps that were revealed. Click here to watch that along with the rest of the reveal event. Lastly, here are the dates for the Black Ops: Cold War Beta and what platforms it will be playable on.

09/30/20 | Since Call of Duty: World at War, Zombies have been an integral part of Treyarch's Call of Duty formula. Now, after a bit of teasing, we have our first look at the Black Ops: Cold War Zombies mode. This next chapter, titled Die Maschine, is a departure from the previous Zombies timelines but tells a new story that's still very much a part of the Black Ops: Zombies universe. To start it off you can watch the intro cinematic and reveal trailer, and continue reading on for more details.

According to Corky Lehmkuhl, Studio Creative Director at Treyarch, you play as a member of Requiem, a response team backed by the CIA and lead by Weaver. To be more specific, Grigori Weaver, the eye-patch wearing Special Agent who appears in the previous Black Ops titles. Much like the US and Russia's fight to get on the Moon, a similar fight echoes in Zombies with Requiem having a Soviet counterpart called Omega Group. Of course, there are other characters that work outside both groups as well. However, this being Zombies and not the Campaign, this story is told mostly through Intel.

Regarding gameplay specifics, it has all the round-based-perk-poppin-mystery-box-filled fun that players have come to expect from Treyarch's Zombies. As we learned earlier this month at the multiplayer reveal event, player progression carries over throughout Call of Duty modes and titles, and that now includes Zombies. This means that instead of starting out every game with a pistol and upgrading through mystery boxes and wall buys, you can now have load-outs to bring your favorite weapon into Zombies. This makes way for individual weapon rarity progression, so the more you play, the better weapons you can find and equip.

On top of weapons, just like in multiplayer, there is also equipable lethal and tactical equipment and a new support equipment slot that holds high powered weapons or scorestreaks such as Chopper Gunner. Perks like Jugg and Speed Cola are also back, though these are such a core part of Zombies that it's not a surprise. A new Field Upgrade system has been added to encourage teamwork and can be activated to call in offensive and defensive buffs.

Unlike in previous Zombies, where completing the long and intricate easter eggs or dying was the only way to end the game, there is the option of calling in a chopper for exfil, but this requires players to survive for a few more rounds at an increased difficulty to make you work for the rewards.

Lastly, and most importantly, post-launch content will be free for all players. So no more dividing up of the player base based on paid DLCs. Part of the reason for this seems to be that Treyarch wants the narrative throughline of Zombies to be experienced by all players. Considering this isn't a reboot and remains in Black Ops: Zombies canon, it's teased that things from the previous games may return in Black Ops: Cold War. Which seems very plausible when considering the "true ending" that was presented in Black Ops 4 Zombies. A cherry on top for Zombies fans is that, just like the rest of Black Ops: Cold War, Zombies will have cross-play and be cross-gen.

10/23/20 | Just one week away from launch month and while we've had small bits of information here and there since Zombies first looks, nothing quite as substantial as PlayStation exclusive bonuses. It's no secret that over the last few years Activision and PlayStation have had a partnership that has resulted in extra content and timed exclusivity to game modes and that continues this year.

These benefits include a Double CP bonus, which will give PlayStation users monthly Double XP events, Battle Pass Bundle Bonus, which unlocks new items and gives extra level skips, PlayStation Party Bonus, which PlayStation players who are playing in a party to get a 25% boost to weapon XP, and lastly, 2 extra load-outs for Create-A-Class.

Perhaps the biggest exclusive however is the new Zombies Onslaught mode which will be exclusive to PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 until November 1, 2021. One thing to keep in mind is that a similar PlayStation mode was added to last year's Modern Warfare. However, the mode was more or less forgotten by its release on other platforms and didn't make an impact on the game or its overall player base.

But what is Zombies Onslaught? Well. the mode is similar to the base Zombies mode and outs a Warzone style twist to it. You and one other friend can pick your loadout to get deployed onto one of the Multiplayer maps. There you will be confined to the Dark Aether Orb which is over a specific part of the map. Leaving the Orb, just like stepping outside the zone in Warzone, will cause the player to take damage. The more zombies you kill, the more the Orb powers up until it eventually moves. And just like in the traditional Zombies mode, zombies get tougher the longer you play with Elites spawning in in the later rounds that will result in a Bronze, Silver, or Gold ranking depending on how many you bring down.

11/05/20 | As we get closer to launch the question on millions of players' minds is what will happen to Warzone? We already have confirmation that Black Ops: Cold War will have Warzone integration but how and why is still unclear. Well, we now have some details on how the Cold War + Warzone roadmap looks. Season 1 of this new Warzone will start on December 10. As seen above, there will be new maps and modes along with the return of 2v2 gunfights. For current players of the massive Battle Royale game, although Black Ops weapons will be added to the game, Warzone will still run on the same Modern Warfare engine, meaning gameplay shouldn't be drastically different. 

One thing to note is that in the Call of Duty blog post where this new roadmap was detailed, they say "Like every off-the-books clandestine operation, expect to uncover more secrets, and experience memorable moments as the Cold War heats up across Verdansk (and beyond) in the months and seasons ahead." This confirms that while there may be new maps, Verdansk, the current map, will not be changing or going anywhere. It is also iterated that player progression will be universal across Black Ops: Cold War, Modern Warfare, and Warzone.

11/10/20 | The PlayStation news continues, though this is less of a bonus and more of an enhancement of the experience. Ever since the PS5 was announced, Sony has been very vocal about how important the DualSense controller is to the new console experience. Featuring advanced haptic feedback and adaptive triggers games will feel different than ever before.

Today a PlayStation tweet showcased just what that means for Cold War on PlayStation 5. Due to adaptive triggers, every gun in the game will feel distinct with a different resistance level on the L2 button. Meaning small guns like pistols will be a regular L2 press while equipping a big RPG will require more pressure due to added resistance from the internal motors.

11/13/20 | Release day is here and our timeline is complete. From the game's announcement to release, everything you need to know about Black Ops: Cold War is written above. Now players around the world across multiple platforms will be able to get the game and play through its campaign, hop on multiplayer, or survive in zombies. And if you were lucky enough to get your hands on one of the next-gen consoles, you can play the game in high resolution or switch to 120fps for a smooth first-person shooter experience. With the promise of free DLC content on the horizon along with cross-platform play and progression, this will be the most united a Call of Duty player base has ever been.

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