Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Beta Preview

October 12, 2020 at 4:00am
By Jason Stettner

This is my second go at Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War with the first being during the open alpha on PS4. I wasn’t necessarily blown away by that showcase, with this second offering being a better time when it comes to the technical elements of the experience. The slow loading textures have been fixed, though I did notice some performance issues while playing across the maps.

I do imagine with this being a work in progress, that those will be smoothed out as most Call of Duty games do end up looking good and running well upon their full release. Now, when it comes to the visuals I’m not necessarily wowed by what I’ve been seeing.

It definitely looks on brand with Black Ops, and the Treyarch design aesthetic, though coming from Modern Warfare it feels like such a step back. It’s got a neat gritty style, but it’s not quite as stunning. There are so many smaller mechanical elements that have been removed in favor of this style and visually it’s far from the realism brought on by the last one.

I don’t know if I’m just not yet used to what this providing, or if I just really enjoyed the realistic look they had with Modern Warfare. This one just doesn’t quite look right, feeling like an older entry in the series. An odd situation as I’m somewhat expecting this to be a bold showcase of what the next generation can do.

Now, with this being early I’m optimistic we’ll see it smoothed out performance wise, but I’m just not sure the visuals are quite right for me. Whatever the case, this does have some neat changes to the formula and the final version will have extra modes. That includes the Zombies, a Campaign and it seems a Warzone integration into the menu.

Treyarch usually provides interesting stories, and the zombies is always fun. I very much look forward to those. Focusing on just the multiplayer here though, I’m not too thrilled yet. They have traditional multiplayer match setups with maps that feel like game maps instead of a chunk from a real location that I felt in Modern Warfare.
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Beta PC
That leaves room for some neat atmospheres, and they’re alright mostly. There’s also the larger competitive option with more players within increased arenas of conflict. Here you get vehicles that are either land or water based depending on the setting. They feel sort of odd land wise, whereas the sea ones were fun to use.

There are also some ziplines to take advantage of and powerful turrets. It’s a neat expansion upon competitive multiplayer, at the same time not nearly as impressive as Ground War. It’s just, not as impressive in my opinion overall. I do like that they’re playing around with the modes a bit, and I like the setting. I think I’m going to have to see what the full multiplayer is like upon release to really judge.

At the time I’m just not feeling the same level of “blown away” that I was with Modern Warfare. You may very well disagree, and that’s fine. That one just felt more next gen in comparison to what we’re seeing here. There’s still more beta type events to come, and of course the full game will be a rounded package.

I’m also very intrigued by what they have to offer when it comes to next gen upgrades. For now I’m left thing this is alright, and on brand yet perhaps slightly disappointing. You can read a review of the battle royale Call of Duty Warzone below, or check out the franchise hub for further coverage of the series.

Read our Call of Duty Warzone Review
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Gamerheadquarters Reviewer Jason Stettner