Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 28
  2. Negative: 0 out of 28
  1. Nov 23, 2020
    While my frustration and bitterness towards the multiplayer remains stubbornly rigid in this most recent Call of Duty outing, it simply isn’t enough to impede my adulation for the campaign. If nothing else, you should play Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War for the campaign alone. I really do believe it’s a worthwhile experience, and marks a return to form for Treyarch of old.
  2. Nov 12, 2020
    Treyarch's latest feels like it's only a few quality of life changes away from being the perfect revival of the Black Ops series. It delivers on all three fronts and manages to subtly freshen some of the series' most stale ingredients.
  3. Jan 13, 2021
    Overall, I love the old-school feels of Black Ops in Cold War and I love the storyline. All of the modes are fun to play and offer a lot for old players and new players alike. It is fun to get back into the action with players from all consoles and on PC to make the action that much better with cross-play. There are some issues with multiplayer that will seemingly never go away but such is life for an online multiplayer game.
  4. Nov 23, 2020
    Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War comes to PC with superior graphic detail and advanced effects, but also a solid ray tracing implementation and very smooth performances thanks to DLSS 2.0 resampling.
  5. Nov 16, 2020
    This is the great return of a much-appreciated saga: lots of content, a non-linear campaign and various improvements manage to overshadow some technical imperfections. And above all, shooting is pretty damn fun.
  6. Jan 4, 2021
    The question of whether to pick up Call of Duty: Black Ops - Cold War on the PC is situational, despite it being a solid title. If you're the type of player who likes the campaigns that each entry brings forth, then you'll be fine with Cold War. The branching paths of the short campaign give it some replayability beyond simply increasing the difficulty. Fans of Zombies mode will also be fine, even though it suffers from having only one map (for now) and a PlayStation-exclusive mode that'll be unavailable on the PC for a year. Multiplayer fans are in more of a pickle. If you're tired of the maps in the prominently featured Modern Warfare but want traditional modes, then this is perfect, especially since the cross-play feature is going strong and there are people on both the last- and next-generation platforms ensuring the game gets a healthy shelf life. If you're primarily a Warzone player, you aren't going to bother with this one, since that free-to-play game is getting Cold War elements soon to keep it fresh.
  7. Nov 30, 2020
    Although short on content, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is a dependable entry in the franchise with fast action and a variety of solid modes. The great zombies level and the nostalgic campaign are definitely the highlight, and the competitive multiplayer should become strong once it gets more maps and tweaks.
  8. Nov 20, 2020
    Altogether, this year’s entry in the Call of Duty franchise is as solid it gets.
  9. Nov 19, 2020
    As close to true call of Duty as you're likely to find in recent years, for better or for worse. The campaign does branch out a little, offering you side-missions that are unlocked through evidence gathering, which is fun. It's also engaging, featuring a good number of entertaining set pieces. However, it's also insane and has way too many throwaway 'features'. Multiplayer, and the zombie mode, are both very enjoyable to play and multiplayer has been made more engaging for those who used to struggle to get massive kill streaks. However, there's no doubt that the multiplayer is seriously lacking in maps. Also, the game needs some technical polish. Still, all in all, this is still a strong FPS and one that will keep fans coming back for more.
  10. Nov 19, 2020
    Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is a solid entry in the long-running franchise, and a return to form for one of the most iconic titles in first-person shooters. The campaign goes big on thrilling espionage and exciting set pieces, though it does feel quite tone-deaf at times. Multiplayer is more of the arcade-feel that became synonymous with games like Black Ops 2, and will likely only get better once Season 1 kicks off and adds Warzone integration in December. Zombies doesn’t disappoint, as it once again proves to be the best alternate mode in Call of Duty. Treyarch reminds CoD fans that they’ve still got it with Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War.
  11. Nov 17, 2020
    Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War brings Treyarch’s winning formula back with a few stumbles in content, but manages to deliver on a bombastic story, refined multiplayer and vintage zombies with tons of neon glow.
  12. Nov 17, 2020
    Cold War is a solid entry that still delivers hours and hours of fun, mostly in its multiplayer modes, as usual. However, we miss some bigger changes like previous entries offered.
  13. With Modern Warfare, which took its place in the market last year, a brand new era began in the Call of Duty series. You will feel all the coldness of the war.
  14. Nov 13, 2020
    Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War feels like one of the best ways to rely on old traditions: sure, you know what to expect from pretty much every aspect of the game already, but at least it’s fun, immersive and to some extent, refreshing. Puzzles and investigations are more than welcome for the campaign whereas big maps and VIP escort are cool, different paced additions to the same old modes we’ve been playing for ages.
  15. Nov 24, 2020
    One of the more middling entries in a franchise that is feeling more than its fair share of fatigue, and although it offers up a solid enough and serviceable experience for players, it unfortunately falls short of the lofty standards established by Modern Warfare.
  16. Game World Navigator Magazine
    Dec 25, 2020
    Single player campaign turned out to be a disappointment, but for CoD series, story mode is usually just a warmup before you go online. In multiplayer Cold War performs exactly as expected: it has a lot of modes, but suffers from poor performance and weird matchmaking. [Issue#250, page 48]
  17. Nov 23, 2020
    Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is a good game that should be easier to stomach for franchise veterans than Modern Warfare. The campaign is fulfilling, albeit short. The faster-paced multiplayer is also easy enough to jump into and have fun with. It's just a shame that I can't shake that feeling that Treyarch's true vision has been held back by Activision forcing its ideals onto them.
  18. Nov 19, 2020
    The campaign keeps the player on the edge of his seat, to the point where you want to know more and hope to see a sequel to this story. The mechanics brought by the Story Mode, the dialogue choice and the impression of being protagonist give a real boost to the campaign, even if it represents only five to seven hours of play. The new multiplayer modes are great and bring a new dynamic, but the operators' movements limit our experience on these big maps. We're waiting for Season 1 of Black Ops Cold War to bring a lot more content and, most importantly, to see the integration of Warzone. The Zombie mode also brings a nice touch, with new mechanics that are great fun, except for the lack of cinematics.
  19. Nov 30, 2020
    One of the best Single-Player segments we've seen in a Call of Duty game, combined with rather lacking Multiplayer, comprise a title that goes in with guns blazing but ultimately falls short.
  20. What feature, or lack thereof, would compel a Call of Duty fan to buy or skip a new entry at this point? It plays fine, and it’s the most recent one. That’s usually enough.
  21. Dec 8, 2020
    The campaign of the new Call of Duty is unusually stupid, but the multiplayer doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel and cheerfully exploits its attractive Cold War setting. Together with the Zombies mode and Warzone integration, this is one hefty chunk of military content.
  22. Nov 18, 2020
    Cold War offers its share of highs and lows during the net exciting campaign, and familiar multiplayer. The best moments are when the developers allow themselves to slow down the pace, and let the player feel the tensions of varying aspects of the Cold War.
  23. Nov 16, 2020
    A Call of Duty title that reigns everything in and is afraid to try something new, Black Ops Cold War gets the basics spot on but doesn't have enough content to warrant the price tag.
  24. Nov 16, 2020
    The campaign brings enjoyable new mechanics to the formula but multiplayer and Zombies both fall short of expectations and needed performance, with weaker gunplay and an unstable framerate respectively.
  25. Nov 16, 2020
    Cold War is an inessential distraction from the best Call of Duty on offer.
  26. Dec 24, 2020
    I see no reason to pay a full price for a mediocre single-player campaign, watered-down (compared to last year's offering) multiplayer and a zombie mode with just one map. I’d recommend trying a free Warzone instead.
  27. Nov 23, 2020
    At the end of the day, video games are about personal preference. I do not have the time I used to for mastering individual games, and Black Ops Cold War doesn’t demand it of me. I have already reached first prestige in the week it has been out, and that is in addition to playing the campaign AND tackling launch titles on the PS5. Cold War would seem perfectly positioned for the casual Call of Duty player if it weren’t for Warzone. Warzone is entirely free, and offers an experience that has been built upon for over a year, and will continue to be built upon and supported long after Cold War is not the “current” Call of Duty. For the more hardcore players, I think after a few weeks in Cold War, they will be returning to Modern Warfare (2019) to wait for the next installation.
  28. Nov 19, 2020
    While its campaign is very fun and features great gameplay ideas wrapped in 1980s action movie codes, its multiplayer is disappointing. The weapons lack punch, the cards are few and unequal, the new modes are anecdotal, the whole is unbalanced.
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  1. Nov 19, 2020
    Treyarch delivers an impressive package considering the circumstances, but Black Ops Cold War feels like a step back from last year.
  2. Nov 17, 2020
    On the one hand, the game seems to recognize the arbitrary divisions of the conflict, its false messaging and self-fulfilling propaganda. On the other, it heaps upon the player an endless stream of heavy-handed jingoism, of defending the “Free World” from the evil, Communistic threat.
  3. Don’t get me wrong, I think the guns feel great and the maps are equally well designed, but I need more, Treyarch. I can’t even customise my Operator, and there’s like, hardly any to choose from really. It didn’t take me long to unlock practically every weapon and see every map, and I can’t envision myself sticking around for too much longer if the game doesn’t get updated pronto. And I think this is the heart of the issue. It’s like Cold War has stalled on the way to a patch it scheduled in advance to save time, and we’re now just awkward passengers growing more impatient as we wait for it to lurch forwards. [Multiplayer review]
User Score

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 777 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Nov 15, 2020
    My focus is on the multiplayer, it's awful. Honestly, The maps are a mess, they feel unbalanced and uninteresting. Can't bloody navigate anMy focus is on the multiplayer, it's awful. Honestly, The maps are a mess, they feel unbalanced and uninteresting. Can't bloody navigate an area without getting screwed by the spawn system. The guns are alright, but man do they lack variety. 5 assault rifles, 3 pistols, 2 launchers, 2 shotguns, etc. What the hell. That why the progression is slow as ****

    This game has been rushed, there is no point in denying that. It speaks for itself. Don't buy this, you are not missing anything worth experiencing.
    Full Review »
  2. Nov 18, 2020
    It blows my mind that people are praising this game. Buggy as all get out and their servers are terrible. This is a BILLION $ publisher and aIt blows my mind that people are praising this game. Buggy as all get out and their servers are terrible. This is a BILLION $ publisher and a studio that has been making games since 1996. I understand they had to "pick up slack" from the other studio but my god what they released is just so bad and uncompetitive it pains me that I even wasted time trying to like it.

    Controller aim assist is actually better than some aim bots (aim bots use skeletal tracking and usually don't compromise for bullet velocity or player direction, whereas this aim assist does) and nobody talks about it because the majority like to feel like they are skilled players when it's really just the game. With no input-based matchmaking, turning off crossplay doesn't matter because everyone still uses controller. Snipers are slow but incredibly broken, no flinch, glint is hard to see, movement speed is fast, and they one shot "chest level" or if you're on controller - foot level and it will magnetize to the chest.

    The campaign was dull and felt like a Michael Bay movie, all action no story.

    Zombie. Pretty good, but that's it. One map with a 30min easter egg and bosses that are more annoying than intimidating.

    Hackers are back. Turning off crossplay to try actually playing against some M&K players I ran into hacker after hacker, blatantly aimbotting.
    Full Review »
  3. Nov 16, 2020
    This is honestly one of the worst Call of Duty games and a huge downgrade from 2019 Modern Warfare. I expected much more from Treyarch thanThis is honestly one of the worst Call of Duty games and a huge downgrade from 2019 Modern Warfare. I expected much more from Treyarch than this lazy cash-grab. It's like any other Call of Duty there is, no innovation, nothing. The only things this game does better than MW2019 is the objective play and in-game statistics, also move to scorestreaks. Campaign isn't too bad, it's just very generic gameplay wise.
    The weapon/character animations are janky and some look straight up horrible. Graphics are also pretty mediocre and downgraded, same for player movement and the maps. There is no more parkour, it's all very basic level design. The in-game camos are a joke, it's like from 2011. I know people say that the game is "old-school", but we don't live in 2011 anymore, people should higher standards than this.
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