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Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War (Series) Review

Game image Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War
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Posted: 6 months ago, last updated 8 days ago.

Author: @EamonGaudio, @GeekDadGamer and Jo Robertson.


Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is a shooting game. It's a direct sequel to the original Call of Duty: Black Ops. Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War will have a Campaign, Multiplayer, Zombies, and integration into Call of Duty: Warzone. It's a game that recreates both the thrill and the horror of wartime combat, with realistic visuals and hard hitting (sometimes heartbreaking) scenarios.

The campaign continues the single player narrative focused story of the Black Ops universe. This time set in the early 1980s during the volatile geopolitical battle of the Cold War. The multiplayer brings Cold War area weapons and equipment to the original Black Ops multiplayer experience. The Zombies mode has players working together to solve puzzles and unlock Easter eggs all within a new Zombies universe.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War will have cross-platform and cross-generation play, players will have their profile, progression, and statistics tied to their Activision account. This allows them to switch between platforms, if they choose to do so, without losing in-game progress.

DetailsGame Details

Rating: PEGI 18+

Release Date: 13/11/2020

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Genres: Action and Shooting

Developer: @CallofDuty


Duration: It takes between 10 minutes and half an hour to play a round of this game. The multiplayer game mode has a variety of game modes that take different durations to complete. The zombies game mode duration to complete depends on what Easter eggs the player(s) do and how long the player(s) can survive the waves of zombies. The campaign game mode can take 6 to 10 hours to complete.
Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room and up to 40 players online. Console versions support 2 player split-screen for multiplayer game mode only. PC does not support any split screen.

Players can play only in a party of up to 6 players. The Fireteam mode supports 10 teams of four for up to 40 players. The Zombies mode supports up to 4 players.

Cross-Play: You can play Black Ops Cold War with people on other systems: Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, PS5, PC.


Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War usually costs £59.99 to £89.99.

Call Of Duty: Black Ops Cold War: Cross-Gen Bundle

Xbox One £64.99
PS5 £64.99
PS4 £64.99

Call Of Duty: Black Ops Cold War: Standard Edition

Xbox One £59.99
PS4 £59.99

Call Of Duty: Black Ops Cold War: Ultimate Edition

Xbox One £89.99
PS5 £89.99
PS4 £89.99
Additional in-game purchases are offered for items that enhance the experience. This includes a regular subscription fee (known as a 'battle/season pass') to unlock access to reward items and other aspects of the game.  

You will need Xbox Live Gold (must be 18 to create, then configure family accounts for younger players) to play online with Xbox One or Xbox Series X|S.
You will need PlayStation Plus (must be 18 to create, then create sub-accounts for younger players who need be set as 13 or older) to play online with PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 5. Can buy cosmetic packs with COD Points (CP) which is bought with real money. There is a free Battle Pass that will reward up to 200 CP and cosmetic items. The Battle Pass has a premium level that cost 1000 CP with more cosmetic items and rewards up to 1300 CP.

Ultimate Edition includes Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, a Battle Pass Bundle (that can also be purchased separately), and a cosmetic theme pack, 'Land, Sea and Air Pack'.

If pre-ordered, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War offers the 'Woods Operator Pack in Modern Warfare and Warzone' cosmetic pack and 'Confrontation Weapons Pack' will be included for free.

Age RatingsAge Ratings

PEGI 18 for bad language, violence. Cut scenes include depictions of strong violence, including a sequence in which a foreign intelligence operative is restrained and subjected to questioning. When he refuses to answer he is shot in his head. In multiplayer mode there are occasions when the use of explosive devices, such as a missile or an explosive vest, results in a human character being blown apart. The use of zombies mode results in sight of decapitations, dismemberment and blood. There is use of strong language (‘*!@?*').

ESRB MATURE 17+ with blood and gore, drug reference, intense violence, strong language, and suggestive themes. Players use pistols, machine guns, assault rifles, and explosives to kill hostile forces in frenetic combat. Battles are highlighted by realistic gunfire, blood-splatter effects, and cries of pain. In addition to ranged combat, players have the ability to stab or pistol-whip enemies close-up, or use them as human shields. Some weapons cause characters to explode into bloody chunks of flesh. A zombie mode also depicts decapitation and dismemberment, as players use bladed weapons and guns to kill hordes of undead soldiers/creatures. In one setting, flyers with the words "peep show" and "XXX" can be seen alongside pictures of women in lingerie; a red-light-district storefront is depicted with a neon sign that reads "XXX." During one mission, players infiltrate a drug cartel—drug packages and piles of white powder can be seen in a warehouse. The words “f**k” and “sh*t” appear in the dialogue.

Users Interact: The game enables players to interact and communicate with each other, so may expose players to language usually associated with older rated games.


You can choose to Toggle or Double-Tap for Crouching, Prone, Sprint, Walk behaviour. You can also select to use Toggle rather than Holds for weapon aiming and vehicle controls. You can select to automatically move forwards. You can't rebind the Escape key which is required during the tutorials.

There are extensive assistance for aim, as well as a range of difficulty options.

There are good audio queues about the location of enemies, by your team mates calling out whether they are on the left or right. This is in addition to the stereo audio that relates to where shots are coming from.

You can opt for subtitles and specify the size. However, the other fonts of mission planning and menus are smaller and can't be resized.

There is a good overview of these accessiblilty options in the DAGERSystem video from Kyle Abbate.


How you can adjust the challenge of play, and assistance the game offers when you fail or get stuck.

Difficulty Options

Select Difficulty: Select difficulty from a range of presets.

Competitive Difficulty: Difficulty not adjustable, because you compete against other players.

Adjust After Setting

Adjustable Anytime: You can adjust the difficulty while playing.

Adjustable Between Levels: You can adjust the difficulty between levels/rounds.


Assistance With Controls: You can get the game to assist aiming, steering, reloading, jumping, running etc.

Practice Area: You can practice freely without opponents or time pressures.

Tutorials: There are helpful tutorials, instructions and tips.


How much reading or listening comprehension is required, and how accessible this is.

Simple Minimal Reading: Minimal reading is required.

High Text Contrast: Text colour contrasts to background.


Large Clear Subtitles: Subtitles are large and clear, or can be adjusted to be.

Some spoken content has subtitles: Some spoken content has subtitles.

Speaker Indicator: Captions or icons and speech bubbles indicate who is speaking.

All Dialogue is Voiced: All of the game dialogue and narrative can be voiced.


How the game provides guidance and assistance to navigate its worlds and spaces.

Head-Up Display

Way-finding information provided to aid navigation.

Head-Up Display: Indication of where to go next with arrows, cookie trails and the like.

Adjust Head-Up Display: Remove or resize the head-up display to remove distraction and make it more visible.


How you control the game, different options for alternative inputs and whether you can remap these settings to suit your needs.

Multiple Buttons & Two Sticks: Can play with multiple buttons and two sticks.

Mouse and Keys: Can play with mouse and multiple keys.

Motion Controls Not Required: You don’t need motion controls to play the game.

Remap Controls

You can customise the controls for the game as follows:

Select Preset Controller Mappings: Select preset button layouts.

Remap Mouse and Keyboard: Remap mouse and keyboard.

Remap One Action to Multiple Buttons: Map multiple buttons to a single action.

Remap Game Menu Access: You can remap buttons to pause and access game menu.

Invert X/Y Axis: You can invert the direction required to control looking and aiming.

Button Combinations

Specific button operation required to play

Holding Down Buttons Optional: Holding down buttons not required or can be turned off or switched to toggling the action on and off.

Rapid Pressing Optional: Quick, repeated button pressing not required or can be skipped or disabled.

Vibration Optional: Controller vibration not used in the game or you can disable it.


You can adjust

Adjust Mouse/Stick Sensitivity: Adjust how sensitive mouse/stick controls are.

Adjust Mouse/Stick Sensitivity, Deadzones and Thresholds: Adjust how sensitive mouse/stick controls are and the related deadzones and thresholds.


How you can adjust the visuals to suit your needs, and offer additional information if you can't hear the game.

Audio Cues for Visual Events

Audio Cues for Visual Events: Audio is provided to indicate visual events.

Audio Depiction of Event Location: Indication with stereo audio of where directional events are on the screen for things like damage, footsteps, environmental elements or way-finding.

Motion sickness friendly: Option to reduce motion sickness (motion blur, depth of field, field of vision).

Colour Options

Colourblind friendly: Game doesn’t rely on colour or can switch to colourblind friendly mode.

Colour adjustments: Adjust colours of characters or game elements for greater visibility

Turn Off Dismemberment: Disable graphic depiction of dismembered bodies and corpses.


How you can adjust the audio of the game and whether audio cues compensate for aspects of the game that are hard to see.

Adjustable Audio

Balance Audio Levels: Set music and game sound effects separately.

Customise Audio Levels: Control volume levels of specific events and elements in the game.

Audio Events

Visual Cues for Audio Events: Text or other visual indicators of audio events.

Visual Depiction of Directional Audio: Indication on screen with arrows, icons, located colour splashes and the like, to show where directional audio for damage, footsteps, environmental or way-finding sounds are coming from.


How you can communicate with other players in the game and what options are available to customise and control this interaction.

Player-to-Player Communication

Text Chat: Chat to other players by typing text.

Voice Chat: Chat to other players by speaking with headset.

Ping Communication: Send quick preset messages to teammates as safer alternative to open communication.

System Settings

Windows has extensive accessibility features. Some, like colour correction, work with games. Lots of accessibility software can be used with PC games, from voice recognition to input device emulators. PlayStation 4 has a range of accessibility settings. Some are system only, some work in games (invert colours and button mapping). PlayStation 5 has a range of system-wide accessibility settings. Xbox One has a system features, the excellent co-pilot share controls mode and adaptive controller support for all games. Xbox One has a system features, the excellent co-pilot share controls mode and adaptive controller support for all games... read more about system accessibility settings.

Supported by PlayabilityInitiative and accessibility contributors: @EamonGaudio and @GeekDadGamer

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