ALREADY desperate for a new Call of Duty game? There’s already one on the cards for this year – and it’s supposedly called Black Ops Cold War.
We’ve rounded up all the latest news, leaks and rumours about the mysterious Call of Duty 2020: Black Ops Cold War – so you don’t have to.
Call of Duty 2020 – what is it?
Just like Christmas, Call of Duty arrives each year to the delight of gamers.
And 2020 is no different: Activision has confirmed that we have a new Call of Duty to look forward to this year.
It’s called Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War, and is being developed by Treyarch.
The game will run on the PS4, Xbox One, PC and the upcoming PS5 and Xbox Series X.
Call of Duty 2020 release date – when is it out?
The new Call of Duty Cold War will be released on November 13, 2020.
It will be available on all supported platforms on that day, and can be pre-installed on some devices if the game is pre-ordered.
The game will cost at least £59.99, with Cold War being slightly more expensive if you wish to purchase on the next-generation consoles – PS5, Xbox Series X and S.
There are regular beta weekends in the run-up to the full release.
Some of these are only open to pre-order customers, while others are free for all to play.
Call of Duty 2020 news – what’s the story?
This year’s Call of Duty is set during the Cold War.
The Cold War was a period of major tension between the USA and Soviet Union, but wasn’t an outright war in the conventional sense.
Instead, both nations supported “proxy wars” – regional conflicts used to gain global influence.
And the fact that both nations controlled nuclear weaponry meant that neither side was willing to risk a war proper.
The period is generally said to have run from 1947 through to 1991 – when the Soviet Union was dissolved.
We’ve also seen a teaser trailer that gives little away, but notes: “At the hight of the Cold War, KGB defector Yuri Bezmenov issues a chilling warning.
“He claims a spy codename “Perseus” has infiltrated Western intelligence.
“His goal: Suvert the US to ensure Soviet dominance in the arms race.
“To this day, the identity and whereabouts of Perseus remain unknown.”
Bezmenov is actually a real person, and genuinely did work for the KGB.
The teaser trailer uses actual footage from a real interview with Bezmenov, where he warned about the scale of the Soviet Union’s Cold War plans against the US.
“Understand what’s going on around you,” he said during the interview, which was borrowed for the trailer.
“You are in a state of war, and you have precious little time to save yourself.”
He went on: “There’s a slow process, which we called active measures.
“The first stage being demoralisation. It takes from 15 to 20 years to demoralise a nation.
“The next stage is destabilisation. What matters is essentials: economy, foreign relations, defence systems.
“The next stage is crisis. With the violent change of power, structure and economy, a period of normalisation.
“This is what will happen in the United States if you allow the schmucks to put a Big Brother government in Washington D.C., who will promise lots of things.
“Never mind if the promises are fulfilled or not.
“The tomb bomb is ticking. With every second, the disaster is coming closer and closer. The danger is real.”
he hunt for the spy Perseus will play a major role in the new Black Ops game.
Activision says the game is inspired by actual events: Perseus really was the codename of a possible Soviet spy.
Perseus was believed to have breached US Los Alamos during the Manhattan Project, which produced the first nuclear weapons in World War 2.
Call of Duty Cold War Multiplayer – what to expect
HOAR spoke to Treyarch lead game designer Tony Flame about what to expect from the beta and beyond.
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Loadouts are back, with the iconic “pick 10” system to provide plenty of pre-match stress.
You’ll have a bunch of Wildcards to choose from, and they all sound great.
Danger Close gives you more equipment, while Lawbreaker lets you carry two primaries.
Another gives you extra perks, while Gunfighter gives you eight weapon attachments instead of the regular three.
“Gunsmith has more options than we’ve ever had before,” Tony told HOAR.
“For every Primary, you’ve got 54 attachments.”
Iconic weapons like the M16 and MP5 are making a return, but there are plenty of new options too.
Modern Warfare takes place in today’s world, and recent Black Ops games adopted a futuristic approach.
But Cold War takes us back in time, with no thrusters or boosters.
This means big changes to the way you move – but it won’t necessarily slow the game down.
“This game is spiritually a sequel to the original Black Ops,” Tony explained.
“We’re going back to that time period of clandestine operations, ‘60s ‘70s ‘80s Cold War era.
“It’s that type of warfare, so it needs to feel real and relate-able.
“We don’t have any future mechanics like in Black Ops 2, 3 or 4. So we don’t have things like Thrust Jump.”
You’ve got automatic health regen once more, and slide-in remains – but without a boost.
And crouching is now much more important.
“When you slide, you always slide into a crouching position,” Tony said.
“Think about a crouching position, that’s something we haven’t indexed much on from a design perspective.
“But in Black Ops Cold War, crouching is very important.
“It lets you move effectively silently, so you don’t need a perk: you can just move around.
“We know traditionally players may not want to do that because they move too slowly, so we’ve increased the speed at which you move when you crouch.
“You have accuracy improvements when you crouch.”
There’s no running stamina system, and you’ll always move a little faster when you start a sprint.
This speed boost tails off over long distances, but you’ll cross short distances quickly.
And the classic mini map is here, with red dot pings and UAV markers aplenty.
There are huge changes to weapons handling, which are subtle but very effective.
“We’ve almost rebooted all of our weapon tech systems,” Tony revealed.
“The way that the guns animate when you’re moving, when you’re walking, jogging, sprinting. Those are entirely new animation systems.
“The way that your gun shoots: we have a new system for recoil, gun firing animations, even the way the gun renders in your hands, the ADS perspective looks more authentic now.”
There’s also a ballistics system in the game.
If you’re shooting beyond a weapon’s given range, travel time for the bullet will kick in.
“At a distance, those SMGs are accurate but it’s going to take a long time for that bullet to get there,” Tony warned.
Floating health bars also feature in Black Ops Cold War, making it clear when you’re hitting someone – and exactly how much damage you’re dealing out.
Scorestreaks make a return for Cold War.
This time around, anything you do contributes – including helping to kill someone, assisting with an objective, and getting eliminations.
Your scorestreaks will continue building even through death, but kill streaks earn a multiplier that helps you climb the ladder faster.
Scorestreaks also have cool downs “so people can’t cycle through them too quickly”.
Tony says there’ll be increased “terror” going up against airborne kill streaks.
For instance, artillery strikes are now instant, and can be saved up.
Each airborne kill streak also has its own unique audio cues.
“Napalm streaks: when you see those jets, your screen starts shaking and you hear the rumble,” said Tony.
There are plenty of new modes to enjoy in Cold War, including VIP Escort – a new 6v6 match.
“We wanted to dive into the fiction of the Cold War, and that’s how we came up with the VIP Escort game mode,” Tony said.
“One team starts protecting and acting as bodyguards for an important Cold War operative.
“It’s a one-elimination game mode, where each player can be downed and revived.
“There are two different extraction points, which can change every round.
“One team is escorting the VIP to the extraction zone. You can all go together, split the enemies’ attention.
“It’s very strategic, very cat-and-mouse, very high tension.”
There’s also a Combined Arms 12v12 playlist that includes a six-flag domination, and classic “tug of war” mode War.
The big new mode for Cold War is called Fire Team Dirty Bomb.
It’s a 40-player game mode with massive maps – and a “Battle Royale vibe”.
“You’re in a 4-player squad, looting items, finding scorestreaks and going to capture objectives,” said Tony.
You’re tasked with arming and detonating dirty bombs, with 10 different squads playing on the map.
“It’s very tactically nd you’ve gotta be very careful about when to engage and when to disengage,” Tony added.
If that hasn’t sold you, one of the maps – Ski Slopes – features snowmobiles. Enough said.
Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War is out on November 13. The first beta weekend is available to PS4 pre-order customers from October 6, with Xbox and PC joining on October 13.
- Call of Duty Cold War at GAME – buy here
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What would you like to see from the next Call of Duty game? Let us know in the comments!