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Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War: Release date, gameplay, story and more

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War release date, story, gameplay and more
(Image credit: Activision)

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is the unnecessarily complicated title for the fifth game in the Black Ops series. It will be published by Activision while development is handled by Treyarch and Raven Software. 

Treyarch has been the sole developer of the Black Ops series for a decade now, starting with the original’s launch in 2010, so it’s no surprise that its continuing the trend. However, Raven Software’s contribution this time spices up the equation. The company remastered Call of Duty: Modern Warfare in 2016 and previously assisted in the development of many other Call of Duty titles. However, this is the first time it’s being listed as co-developers rather than just providing assistance on a mainstream Call of Duty game.

Want more  info on what to expect from the game? Here’s everything you need to know about Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, including details on its release date, gameplay, story and more.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War release date 

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is set to release globally on November 13 for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and PC. If you’re purchasing the PC version, you’re going to need to do it through

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is releasing four days prior to the launch of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, so it’s probably a good idea to start saving up for a busy November. 

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War gameplay

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is a first-person action game with arcadey gunplay set in realistic, gritty settings. The campaign will likely feature many cinematic moments spliced into gameplay, including running through explosions, shooting at enemies while allies drive away in cars and intense gunfights set throughout iconic arenas.

The game will come with three different ways to engage in multiplayer, including the more distinct features of Zombies and Warzone. As far as stand multiplayer goes, Activision revealed what we could expect from the game in a trailer which featured a focus on traversal across larger maps.

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Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War Release Date, story, gameplay and more

(Image credit: Activision)

As for Call of Duty: Warzone, it’s Activision's attempt at the battle royale genre. This is still its own free-to-play title completely separate from any other game in the franchise, but it seems as if it will somehow be incorporated to live on with Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War. There has already been a collaboration event between Cold War and Warzone, which involved several challenges players had to complete.

And finally Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War will include some form of a Zombies game mode. This shouldn’t be too much a surprise, as it’s arguably the series’ most iconic gamemode. However, we don’t know much about Zombies as of yet, but we’ll probably get more information soon.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War multiplayer trailer

On September 9, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War got its first multiplayer trailer, which revealed a handful of the playable multiplayer maps, including Miami, North Atlantic, Angola, Uzbekistan, and Ural Mountains. The end of the trailer also hinted at a teaser for the Zombies game mode.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War seems focused on increasing the overall scale of its multiplayer maps, allowing the player to fly helicopters, sail on speed boats, zip-line between giant ships, ride jets, cruise on snowmobiles or motorcycles and crush foes in a tank. There's even a small remote control car which can have explosives attached to them.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Zombies

Treyarch revealed a Zombies First Look trailer, which gave fans a taste of what to expect from the highly anticipated game mode. Additionally, a thorough Cold War Zombies gameplay guide is available on Treyarch's website.

As always, perks like Jugger-Nog and Speed Cola will be accessible to the player. Stamin-Up, Deadshot Daiquiri, Elemental Pop and Quick Revive are also available at launch. However, in Cold War Zombies, players can now permanently upgrade their perks. Treyarch details the Elemental Pop upgrades, which are broken up into three tiers. 

Tier I allows damage done by equipment to provide a chance of dropping an ammo mod effect. Tier II reduces the cooldown for ammo mods by 20%. And Tier III allows for random ammo mod effects to utilize the players Skill Tier rather than its base. Treyarch also promises it will be implementing additional perks throughout.

Treyarch is also completely changing the weapons system, as each now comes with a rarity of Common, Uncommon, Rare, Epic and Legendary. For example, players can receive an Uncommon AK-74u or an Epic Magnum. This is meant to add an additional layer of excitement to Mystery Boxes.

Zombies will also have field upgrades, which are meant to compliment the overall feel and lore of the storyline. Frost Blast slows enemies and deals frost damage while Ring of Fire creates a wide radius of flame around the user that boosts damage for allies and hurts enemies who step within its range. 

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Zombies

(Image credit: Activision)

Aether Shroud is a bit more of a utility ability, as it allows the player to avoid enemies by phasing into the "Dark Aether" for five seconds. Healing Aura is a support skill which allows the user to summon beams of healing energy upon the party to heal them to full health. And finally, Energy Mine does what you think it would: it's a mine made of pure energy that detonates on proximity.

Cold War's Zombies will also feature an Armor system, which provides protection from zombies for as long as it remains intact. Armor can be repaired by picking up Armor Shards from fallen enemies, and they can also be upgraded to increase durability and resistance from attacks.

Additionally, Treyarch is introducing Scorestreaks to Zombies, which allow for players to utilize special bonuses if they're doing well in-game. When a player has a high enough score, they can select the "Support" option and choose between a Combat Bow, Sentry Turret, War Machine, Chopper Gunner and Self-Revive to help them in battle.

And finally, Treyarch's latest version of Zombies will feature an optional exfiltration feature. This allows players to ditch the mission after round 10 while battling a colossal horde of zombies in an attempt to earn early rewards.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War story

As the title suggests, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War plunges its players within the midst of the Cold War. Set in the early 1980’s, we’ll get to meet important historical figures, unravel mysteries and make decisions regarding the fate of the world. The game will take players all around the globe, with the official Call of Duty website promising locations such as “East Berlin, Vietnam, Turkey, Soviet KGB headquarters, and more.”

This trailer shows that the game is actually a direct sequel to the original Black Ops. Players will be chasing Soviet Agent Perseus who could potentially be a serious threat to the future of the world and possibly escalate the cold war into something nuclear. The game intends to focus on the player being free to make their own choices, with a character creator and dialogue options. Players can even opt in for gender neutral pronouns, which is a great addition for the sake of inclusivity.

Levels within Black Ops Cold War also won’t be super linear, allowing players to go off and engage with other types of objectives. For example, if you successfully accomplish certain secondary objectives, you’ll be given access to optional missions. We can also look forward to different endings which change depending on the choices the player makes throughout the campaign.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War beta

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War PS4 beta starts on October 8 at 10 AM PST. To access the beta, you'll need to pre-order the game. Additionally, pre-loading is currently available for Cold War and it'll take up around 32GB of storage space.

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If you're not interested in pre-ordering the game to attain access to the beta, three more betas will be available. Between October 10th and 12th, all PS4 players will be able to access the beta. On October 15th and 16th, PC and Xbox One players who have pre-ordered the game and all PS4 players will gain access to the beta 

And finally, between October 17th and 19th, all Xbox One, PS4 and PC players will have access to the beta without needing to pre-order the game.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War pre-order bonuses 

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is a bit light on pre-order bonuses, but they do exist. The most notable reward for pre-purchasing the game includes early access to its open beta. This will obviously occur before the game’s launch, but there’s currently no official date for it. Leaks suggest that the beta is set to start in early October, but it’s hard to determine if this is real. 

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War release date, story, gameplay and more

(Image credit: Activision)

We also don’t know how much earlier those who pre-order the game will have access to the open beta. The other pre-order bonus is a Frank Woods Operator Bundle, which provides access to the character and an Assault Rifle blueprint. 

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War special editions 

Activision currently has three purchasable editions of Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War. These are the Standard Edition, Cross-Gen and Ultimate Edition. There are currently no special bonuses to be gained out of purchasing physical editions from popular retailers like GameStop and Best Buy.

The Standard edition will give players access to the full game and Confrontation Weapons Pack for $59.99. The Cross-Gen Edition will cost you $69.99 and comes with everything in the standard edition along with a free upgrade to the game on the next generation console. For example, if you purchase the Cross-Gen edition for PS4, you’ll get the PS5 version for free when it launches.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War release date, story, gameplay and more

(Image credit: Activision)

And finally, the Ultimate Edition comes with everything previously mentioned along with themed packs relating to Land, Sea and Air, each of which come with an Operator Skin, Weapon Blueprint and Vehicle Skin. Additionally, you’ll get a “Battle Pass Bundle for any post-launch Season of Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, which includes 20 Tier Skips.” 

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War ray tracing 

A Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War trailer showing off the latest ray tracing technology was also revealed at Nvidia’s event on September 1. This gives us a glimpse at the incredible lighting and shadows powered by GeForce RTX. The trailer shows a few impressive things, like a lamp reflecting on the surface of a clock and a ceiling light also bouncing light through a pair of glasses. 

It’s very clear that this trailer is trying to show off the power of the hardware, which is a bit disappointing since the video directly refers to it as a “Gameplay Trailer.” Unfortunately, there’s really no gameplay to be seen here, outside of a few quick clips of cinematic moments that we had previously seen in the game’s story trailer. Even then, what we’re seeing in this trailer doesn’t look particularly next-gen, as it could easily pass off as a trailer shot on current consoles. 

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War PC requirements

The minimum requirements to run Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War include an Intel Core i3-6300 or AMD FX-8120 CPU, 8GB of RAM, Windows 7 64-bit, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 or AMD Radeon R7 260 GPU, and 100GB of free storage space.

The recommended requirements to run Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War include an Intel Core i5-6600K or AMD Ryzen R7 1700X Processor CPU, 12GB of RAM, Windows 10 64-bit, Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 6GB or AMD Radeon R9 390X and 100GB of free storage space.