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Call of Duty: Cold War (PS4)- The cold war is heating up


Sanctuary legend
Sanctuary contributor
Right, first things first. Why is this game so fucking huge?! Its taking up ~190gb (~250 on PS5). Do they not understand what compression and optimization are?
Secondly. Why, when I've brought a physical copy, do I still need to download the campaign? I needed to download three separate files (13.5gb, 17.9gb and 11.5gb) before I could even touch the campaign, and before I could even do THAT, I had to download a day one patch (~20gb) to even play the damn thing. What was the point in me buying a physical copy if you're just going to make me download the damn thing?

Now that's out of the way, time for the review itself.
Cold war serves as a more direct sequel to the original Black ops, which I really appreciated. The major characters from the first return (Hudson, Mason, Woods), though you'll only play as mason a handful of times. Instead you get to create your character. Sort of. You're really just giving it a name, gender, race and background. You can just leave it all as classified though, since it barely affects the actual story, aside from a twist at the end. The only thing that does affect the game, is you "psych profile' that allows you to pick traits that give you various benefits. Of course you could just leave it classified for no bonus, if that's what you want, But I chose Survivor (extra health) and reliable (one extra magazine), though honestly, reliable really wasn't worth it. Ammo is plentiful so I kinda wished I'd chosen something more useful.

Gunplay is still just fine. Like I said in my previous CoD review, its what they're good at so no major complaints or praise there. What was nice are some of the new features. Sniper scopes now glint in the sun, making them easier to spot. You can reload while looking down sights (can't remember if Modern Warfare 2019 did the same). You can now use enemies as human shields, you can even strap a grenade to them and kick them into a crowd. And a stealth bar (it more of an Alertness indicator though).
Yeah, CoD now has stealth sections. Admittedly there's only really two missions where stealth is viable, with it appearing once or twice in other missions. The first one has you sneaking across a small city section, entering a house and finding some Intel. The second has you playing as KGB double agent, sneaking around KGB headquarters to find a bunker key. This was the far more interesting stealth mission, because there are four potential solutions to the same objective and you need to figure out how to accomplish them. I did kinda break the game by starting one, then deciding to go another route and a characters dialogue cycle broke. It just kept repeating and staying on screen, which was kinda funny and kinda distracting. The second half of that mission is just your standard corridor shooter though.

Speaking of different paths. You've now got optional objectives that can affect latter missions, which was really interesting. Great example, In the city stealth section, an informant has been captured and you can choose to save or kill them. I choose to save them, leading to them betraying us. Then in the KGB mission, your optional objective is to find and kill them to prevent them from defecting to Russia. It's completely unmarked and you need to do some investigation to find them. That mission is definitely one of the more stand out ones. You've got other choices like choosing what teammate to save, or whether to kill or capture certain charcters. There's also one at the end that leads to one of two endings. Not sure what one is "cannon" and what isn't. You've also got dialogue choices, though with a few exceptions, they don't really change much. You can also talk to your teammates between missions and get to know them, though again, not really sure what, anything, they change.
You've also got two optional missions that can be unlocked by finding Intel in other missions. They only affect the ending, but you'd be missing out about 30-45 mins of gameplay if you don't play through them, so they're worth playing.

Story was interesting. Don't really have much to say about it though, other than that I liked it. There's a very interesting plot-twist at the end, that I didn't see coming, but was just a little reminiscent of the first games plot-twist. Speaking of the first game, you go back to one of the previous locations from it and it was cool seeing the aftermath of your dirty work. You even get a little hint that some of masons KGB programming is still there.
I think my biggest complaints are the cutscenes and the dialogue being kinda broken.
Pre-rendered cutscenes looked great, however the in-engine cutscenes did not. The framerate dropped so low, that it was like watching a slideshow, combined with the dialogue becoming completely out of sync, they where unwatchable.
Dialogue outside of cutscenes was often broken too. If you where looking at the speaker, it'd be nearly inaudible. Looking away from them, and it felt like they where shouting. I tried playing with all of the audio settings but couldn't seem to fix it, which was rather annoying, but that's why I play with subtitles on.

Never played the multiplayer or zombies, because neither of those modes appeal to me, outside of split-screen, so no idea if they're any good or not.
Overall, It was a good game, albeit a very short one (~6 hours). I'd be tempted to give it a seven, but due to its massive file size and unnecessary downloads, I'm giving it a 6 out of 10.


Sanctuary legend
Sanctuary contributor
Cookmaster supreme
Yeah, one of the biggest complaints of this game that still remains is the insanity of the file size and the downloads, and the updates. Sure it looks pretty great but, damn son there is literally no compression of any kind to make it easier to download. I sure as hell don't even wanna try to download the full file size if I ever got my hands on a digital copy.