Another day, another season. It’s hard to believe we’re already this far into the life cycle of Call Of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, and with the announcement of Call Of Duty Vanguard (you can check out our preview here) we’re in the twilight of its rotation. That might be a bit untrue, as even Modern Warfare 2019 has seen content updates, but we’re approaching the last hurrah for the title. While that may be correct as far as timelines go, Black Ops Cold War is far from finished, and with a nice beefy start to Season 5, it’s looking to go out with a bang.
This season features one of the biggest content updates for regular multiplayer I think we’ve seen, with three new weapons and two 6v6 maps in the rotation. Yes, one of said maps is a remake, but so far both feel great. It also has a crazy new mode that many compare to Among Us named Double Agent, but more on that in a bit. All together we have a robust amount of stuff to do as well as a bunch more incoming mid-season, which is a boon to those dying for more of the grind.
Let’s start with the two new maps, Echelon and Slums. Echelon is a huge map by Cold War standards, falling in with Satellite and Armada. I would honestly argue that it’s probably the best of those three, featuring some fantastic sightlines and flanking routes. It’s also a rooftop map, which is among my favorites, and until I can get a remake of High Rise (you heard me for the next Modern Warfare now, Infinity Ward) this will have to do. What’s really well done about it is the verticality, with multiple high ground power positions and a lot of fun routes, like a crane-lowered batch of wood for the construction site bridging a portion of the map to a lower lane bridge between buildings. The map surprisingly works well for Search and Destroy as well; I expected the defense to immediately have the advantage with power positions, but the flow of the map allows for the offense to make their way in without exposing themselves too badly.
As for Slums, you probably have a handle on this one the same way you do Raid, Standoff, or Express. Another remake from Black Ops 2 (this game is almost a BO2 reskin, not always in a bad way though), Slums takes you to Panama, but this definitely isn’t as fun as a Van Halen song. The streets are desolate, walls have holes punched in them, it’s the definition of a war torn village. I’m enjoying the flow of the map, but I have noticed that you can be easily trapped in the spawn area that is in the alleys, and even if you make your move forward there are so many power positions in the garage, around the fountain and memorial, and in or behind the electronics shop that can really make you mad. That’s not even mentioning the jump spots on top of cars that allow you to see over certain spaces (I’ve had trashy people jump snipe me frequently).
The two new guns might be the best combination of new weaponry since Season 2’s LC10 and the Fara 83. Incoming are the EM2 and the Tec-9, an AR and SMG that are both good and, at least for the Tec-9, unconventional. The EM2 is probably the steadiest AR outside the Krig 6 and Fara, with a faster rate of fire than the C58. It packs a smaller clip, which is the only real flaw, but even the stock ironsight is pretty darn good on it. As for the Tec-9, this may be the weirdest gun, but in a good way. This submachine gun starts out as a semi-automatic. Yes, you heard that right, a submachine gun that’s semi-auto. The crazy thing is that it actually works quite well- firing quickly and having a decent range as well. You can upgrade it via two specific barrels, giving it the ability to burst fire or go full auto, but no matter what the configuration it’s a pretty solid weapon, albeit with a decent amount of recoil with full auto on. It’s controllable though.
There are two, technically three (the Marshal shotgun pistol was a quick addition) other weapons that have also dropped, but they aren’t as impactful as the others above. The cane is a melee weapon, and doesn’t have the same sprint benefit the shovel seems to have. As for the Marshal, I already hate it, with it having an insane range with attachments that just don’t make sense. Because it’s a pistol, it can also be dual-wielded, making it even more overpowered. The shotguns are already bad enough in this game, so hopefully we’ll see nerfs quickly. Lastly, you have the flamethrower, which is a streak rather than a weapon, but it functions just like the rail gun, War Machine, or hand cannon. I feel like you’re going to die more times than not with it, especially in hardcore, but it’s not too much for the meta.
I’m sure one of the things that drew you here was wondering how the whole “Double Agent/Among Us” mode went. So, this isn’t the only mode as of late to “rip off” the Among Us idea that has been so popular, which is itself technically a copy of the old “Mafia/Werewolf” schoolyard games. Fortnite Imposters has apparently completely Xeroxed the concept, with even the map seeming like a carbon copy in it, but Black Ops Cold War is using their own maps, and while the idea is the same, it plays out very differently.
Let’s just start with this: I overall am not a big fan of the mode, but mainly because no one really plays it like Among Us. You start off with a pistol, and there’s a waiting period where you run around the map finding good weapons and equipment. Once that is over, one person becomes the inspector, looking for clues around the map to decipher who the “double agents” are, two become double agents who either want to kill everyone or plant a bomb at one of two sites, and the rest are operatives tasked with protecting the inspector. The problem that runs in these lobbies pretty rampantly is that everyone tends to shoot first and ask questions later. With this mode allowing for friendly fire (I mean, otherwise you shoot until someone starts dying), you generally are killing your own inspector or operators.
If you’re interested in this game mode, the best thing to do honestly is to get the largest group of friends available to play together. You also need to make sure everyone has a mic in chat, because if no one is communicating with each other, Double Agent just doesn’t work. I think the biggest issue is that in a game like Call Of Duty, everyone expects to just run and shoot each other. Playing nice isn’t in the DNA of the game, so I’m not sure how well this mode fits. I can see the potential for it, but I’m not sure the community will gravitate towards it, with the Twitter reception I’ve seen being all over the place.
Overall, this is a really solid season, and I’m looking forward to seeing the two new mid-season maps in Drive-In and Zoo from the original Black Ops. I’ve said before that I’m somewhat fresh to playing this intensely in Call Of Duty, so many of these remasters are more nostalgic to me than long time players, but I’m especially happy to see Black Ops 1 remakes, which haven’t been as common (Zoo and Drive-In haven’t ever been redone). As much as we love Raid and Standoff, it’s nice to get a remake that hasn’t made it into half of the Black Ops series. In the end, the maps feel good, the guns are phenomenal, and I’m looking forward to what comes next. I’m guessing we have one more season to look forward to until Vanguard, and I’m going to keep squeezing all the fun out of the remaining time with Call Of Duty: Black Ops Cold War that I can.