Cold War Heating Up

Everything we know about Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War

Your squad's assignments will be doled out by ... Ronald Reagan?


After months of leaks, Activision has pulled back the proverbial iron curtain on the 2020 installment of its blockbuster Call of Duty franchise. Enter: Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War.

Here's everything we know about the next big Call of Duty game.

When is the Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War release date?

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War will be released on November 13, 2020. You can purchase it for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and PC.

Will Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War have smart delivery?

Smart delivery is a feature allowing players to purchase a game on a current-generation console and receive a free upgrade to play the game with upgrades on next-generation platforms once they make the leap.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War will be backward compatible on both next-gen systems, but you'll have to pay a nominal $10 fee to get the game on next-gen consoles. In short, there's no smart delivery. You'll just get a steep discount on a full game purchase.

Is there a trailer for Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War?

Yes, you can watch it below.

The trailer introduces the cast such as the returning Sgt. Woods. We also get a glimpse at the 1981 time period and news about the Soviet agent, Perseus. Then it's a simple sizzle reel of all the exciting gameplay segments that you can find in the upcoming Call of Duty game.

What is Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War?

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is the 2020 installment in the Call of Duty video game series. It follows 2019's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and continues the Black Ops sub-franchise last visited in 2018's Call of Duty: Black Ops 4.

In addition to a single-player campaign that explores various points of the Cold War, the game will also feature multiplayer and co-op Zombies, a popular feature associated with the Black Ops games. The game will also work in concert with Warzone, the popular battle royale mode rolled out by Activision in late March.

Black Ops Cold War takes place in 1981, at the peak of US and Soviet Union tensions. The player is tasked with hunting down the Soviet spy "Perseus," a figure the real CIA believes to have existed successfully infiltrated the U.S. government during the Cold War. Story missions take place at various points in history, dropping players into locales like Laos and Ukraine.

The games features characters associated with the Black Ops games, including Alex Woods, Frank Mason, and Jason Hudson, all of whom first appeared in the first Black Ops in 2010. David S. Goyer, the screenwriter behind movies like The Dark Knight and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and previously the first two Black Ops games, returned to assist in the story of Black Ops Cold War.

What's notable about the campaign in Black Ops Cold War is that players create their own character, a first in Call of Duty games history. As reported by Washington Post, Black Ops Cold War allows players to choose their gender — male, female, or "classified," for non-binary players — or those looking to cultivate an aura of espionage.

"The thinking from the developers is that rather than forcing players into a decision they don’t want to make," writes Washington Post's Gene Park, "people will appreciate the feeling of being shrouded in mystery and letting their imagination define their character. The developers also rerecorded dialogue to use them/they pronouns for the 'classified' gender."

Tapping into its period setting, Black Ops Cold War will feature — wait for it — President Ronald Reagan, said to assign the player at least one mission directly in the game's story. In an election year, the lifelike digital replication of Reagan, idolized by modern Republicans and demonized by others, will undoubtedly be a source of tense conversation. When asked by Washington Post about Regan's inclusion, Activision — in a moderated chat — merely answered about studying archived speeches and interviewing former Cabinet members who knew Reagan personally.

The game also introduces a new potential villain: Russell Adler, a CIA operative Treyarch nicknames "America's Monster." Bearing a striking resemblance to actor Robert Redford, whose starring roles in films like 1975's Three Days of the Condor and 1976's All the President's Men defined the Cold War era.

Who is developing Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War?

The primary developer of Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is Treyarch, the developer behind the Black Ops games.

Reported by Kotaku, Call of Duty: WWII developers Sledgehammer Games and Raven Software, the makers of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Remastered were originally co-developing the project. But "tension" between the studios led to Treyarch becoming the primary developer, downgrading Sledgehammer Games and Raven Software to support studios for the game's campaign mode.


Is Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War a reboot?

Black Ops Cold War, as reported by IGN, is a "direct sequel" to the 2010 game Black Ops. Whereas 2019's Modern Warfare completely rebooted the original Modern Warfare trilogy, Black Ops Cold War is taking a neo-horror movie sequel approach by ignoring certain installments and continuing the story of the original.

Timeline wise, it takes place between Black Ops and the Black Ops II flashbacks. It will likely act as something of a soft reboot, allowing new players to join the fray.

A report from Eurogamer, which revealed the Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War title, describes the game as "returning to its roots with a historical setting" and "a similar situation to Infinity Ward's Modern Warfare, which after several sequels got a soft reboot last year."

What do we know about Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War's story and gameplay?

In a video from The Gaming Revolution, the game is set during the Vietnam War and will show the conflict from the perspectives of American, South Vietnamese, and Viet Cong soldiers.

One of the main objectives is to locate a Soviet spy named Perseus, who's a threat to the entire United States populace. He's believed to have direct access to weapons of mass destruction and other threatening ordeals. It's up to Sgt. Woods and his crew to stop Perseus.

In previews played by IGN and Washington Post, an early campaign mission — a training stage set in the Ukraine — deploys players in a facsimile of a suburban American neighborhood. What starts as a training mission ends in a live-fire exercise, one that plays Pat Benatar's '80s pop rock hit "Hit Me With Your Best Shot." Washington Post called it "an early highlight for the campaign."

Helicopter Strat reloadedActivision

It also seems clear that Black Ops Cold War will eschew the science fiction elements that the Black Ops series became known for. No mechs, no androids, no armored power-ups. This is grounded and gritty. If you were turned off by the sci-fi direction that Call of Duty was going in for several years, then find solace that Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War will once again feature "boots on the ground" gameplay.

Will Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War have multiple endings?

Yes! There will be multiple endings, players in general will be given oodles of choices. You can play as your own custom characters, adjusting appearance and gender. You'll be able to experience multiple endings to the campaign and missions will be rife with optional objectives, making CODBOCW perhaps the most customizable game in the franchise.

Why is Ronald Reagan in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War?

Ronald Regan, the 40th president of the United States and progenitor of Reganomics, is back from the dead as a Call of Duty character. His role? Reagan is seemingly a supporting character in the game similar to other adaptations of world leaders in the franchise. His role is to likely dole out missions as the then-sitting president. In previous titles, you could even play as world leaders like John F. Kennedy, Fidel Castro, and Richard Nixon. They were all playable in the Black Ops Zombies map "Five."

Playable Ronald Regan, please.

Will Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War have a Zombies mode?

Yes, Black Ops Cold War will again feature a Zombies mode. Little is known about the mode other than it will be a part of the game. The Gaming Revolution also claims that Tranzit will return, which should please longtime zombies players.

When is the Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War beta?

During the multiplayer reveal for the game on September 9, 2020, Activision revealed more about the Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War beta. For PS4 users, early access will begin on October 8 for those who pre-order. An open beta will then begin on October 10 and the servers will stay live until October 12. The next week, early access for the Xbox One and PC betas will start on October 15.

The PS4 open beta will also reopen at this time on October 15 before the open beta expands to all platforms on October 17. The beta for Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War will conclude across all platforms on October 19, 2020, less than a month before the game is out.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War will be released on November 13, 2020.

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