Generally favorable reviews - based on 38 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 38
  2. Negative: 0 out of 38
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  1. Nov 13, 2020
    The PlayStation 5 version of Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is the best in the bunch. It tells a solid campaign with branching narrative choices, contains some of the best visuals that you’ve seen on a system not called ‘PC’, and it has some good, new faces on the multiplayer scene. Is it all perfect? Not at all, but it’s a good way for Call of Duty to start on the next generation of consoles.
  2. Nov 12, 2020
    Black Ops Cold War delivers one of the best campaigns in the Call of Duty saga, alongside multiplayer, zombies and a perfect integration with Warzone.
  3. 90
    Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is a return to form for the franchise sub-series. While perhaps not as visually splendid as last year’s Modern Warfare, it gets the Black Ops series back to boots on the ground, introducing new characters and elements while lending adequate time and attention to series favorites. Treyarch expertly steps in to continue the recent interconnected Call of Duty franchise shift, exploring and evolving the series while still creating a game that not just retains but oozes that signature Treyarch style. Perhaps more than any Call of Duty game before it, I’m more excited than ever to see where it goes in the future.
  4. Nov 12, 2020
    If Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War excels at anything, it’s options. This isn’t uncommon for a Call of Duty title, but with a vast array of game modes for myriad player profiles and a fun campaign that retains a summer-blockbuster feel while getting weird and wild, the ride is a good one.
  5. Jul 2, 2021
    Thankfully, a few of the early bugs were ironed out of Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, and subsequent season passes have patched up modes and maps that were lacking. The campaign is genuinely intriguing but may not appeal to those who just want to run and gun. Zombies and Multiplayer modes are plentiful and there should be something for everyone to thoroughly enjoy. Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War should be used as the poster child for PlayStation 5's DualSense controller which has been put to full use for an immersive experience. Casual players will be somewhat put off by the sheer storage space required to fully experience everything that is on offer, especially given that SSD capacity is this generation's gold dust, but Call of Duty die-hards will most likely overlook this.
  6. Dec 11, 2020
    Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War continues the trend of adding a ton of bang for your buck. While I don’t participate in some of the modes there is still enough here to keep me interested enough to make it worth my time and money. The campaign is the best I have played in a while. The multiplayer suite has something for everyone, and the zombies mode continues to be a nice diversion. There is something for just about everyone here, and it is a nice showpiece for these new consoles to boot. The series shows no signs of slowing down, and as long as the quality continues to trend upward I am perfectly fine with that.
  7. Nov 24, 2020
    Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War offers a familiar package: a too-short campaign developed by a reputable studio and multiplayer that provides lots of activities to score points, earn weapon unlocks, and shoot other players. Despite the length, the campaign is a fun departure from the Tom Clancy-esque tone of mainline games. It leans heavily into the aesthetic of the 1980s, from fashion to real-world advertisements. Yeah, it’s kind of gross that Doritos earned prominent placement but at least Raven had the foresight to include vintage brand designs.
  8. Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War does very more-of-the-same in places — it’s the franchise’s 17th instalment, after all — but when a formula has been so fine-tuned, it’s hard to expect the developers to monkey around with it too much.
  9. Nov 23, 2020
    Black Ops is back and darker than ever. With a rich story and plenty of super-spy moments, this game keeps you gripping down on your controller. Always going to be compared to past titles, this iteration stands up to the challenge and delivers a whole new experience on what a Call of Duty title should be
  10. Nov 23, 2020
    Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is yet another entry for the same formula that still stands after more than a decade now. This game goes back to the origins of the franchise with not many novelties to highlight, but it displays huge production values that help avoid any sort of fatal mistake. In the end, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is your run-of-the-mill Call of Duty experience for those who simply want it to keep on coming.
  11. 80
    Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War takes you back to the past, not only in setting and theme, but in its gameplay style and more. It all feels so classic. Between multiplayer, Zombies, and the return of a proper (and surprisingly less-linear) campaign, there is plenty of value for the soldier in all of us.
  12. Nov 20, 2020
    Black Ops Cold War is the ultimate casual shooter. Whether that’s a good or a bad thing is up to you.
  13. Nov 20, 2020
    Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is full of content that series fans will enjoy and offers a few unexpected surprises along the way. Even if its particular themes aren't for you, it's tough to deny the amount of bang for your buck offered with this game.
  14. Nov 19, 2020
    Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War acts as a return to form for the series as Treyarch takes a safe approach to design and online modes. The campaign’s choice-driven narrative is a huge plus as it helped introduce a level of immersion that the series desperately needed, but it relies a bit too heavily on the big twists than the smaller story beats. With a foundation as good as this laid out, it will be interesting to see how it evolves in future updates.
  15. Nov 18, 2020
    Black Ops Cold War is a good game, no question about it, but it's also a warning shot for Activision in regards to the Call of Duty franchise. The story campaign of this game was lackluster way too often and the multiplayer aspect of the game will probably be overshadowed by the more popular Warzone. The next game in the series needs to do something drastically different.
  16. Nov 17, 2020
    Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War brings the series back to the start in a much-needed way. Treyarch proves yet again that it is the king of multiplayer, providing exceptional, genre-defining gameplay along with a decent mix of new maps and modes that help with the lack of Zombies content. And Raven Software takes the single player campaign in a different direction that stumbles a bit in execution but lays the foundation for games to come.
  17. Nov 17, 2020
    Overall, there have been better Call of Duty games in the past, particularly around the single-player campaign. But Black Ops Cold war gets both the multiplayer mode and zombies just right and those are the ones that really count most for fans.
  18. Nov 17, 2020
    The game captures the setting -cold war espionage- in early 80s very well, the tension between the two powerful countries is well displayed. There is more than enough content here to satisfy players too, but the not-so-great story missions disappointed.
  19. Nov 17, 2020
    Call of Duty needs to lean on three pillars every year. If one staggers, like multiplayer, the taste in the mouth that leaves is not what we demand of an annual product, and that is the case of Black Ops Cold War. Luckily, it shouldn't take much more than the start of the Seasons and the arrival of new content to fix.
  20. Nov 16, 2020
    Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is a solid entry in the blockbuster franchise that looks stunning on next-gen consoles. While its campaign fails to deliver on its potential, it still takes you on a thrilling tale of explosive espionage as you uncover the true identity of Perseus. Combine this with an old-school multiplayer component and expanded Zombies mode and you’ve got a shooter experience I can easily recommend.
  21. Nov 12, 2020
    As a next-gen launch title, the presentation delivers excellent lighting and effects across its campaign, but multiplayer does get hit with a visual downgrade. Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is a reliable package that brings the Black Ops franchise back to its roots. This Call of Duty is safe to declassify.
  22. Nov 12, 2020
    I don’t think it’s as good as last year’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, which was so disturbing and thoughtful and had an excellent and long single-player campaign.
  23. Jan 11, 2021
    he campaign is a blast and quite unique for Call Of Duty (though not that weird for Black Ops more specifically) and multiplayer is a lot of fun if you don’t need split-screen which is irredeemably and inexcusably broken. If you’re a fan of Black Ops games I think you’ll enjoy this one a lot. If you prefer Modern Warfare I suspect you’ll like it less. It’s good, not great.
  24. Dec 4, 2020
    Call of Duty has been an annual franchise for 15 years, but this year feels particularly unnecessary because Warzone and Modern Warfare continue to thrive. It’s a solid game, but with limited maps and a campaign that fizzles out, it’s a hard sell for players already committed to where they are. As the seasons continue, Cold War could certainly improve, but for now, it isn’t an essential purchase.
  25. Nov 22, 2020
    Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War feels like a backwards step for the franchise. A pretty forgettable campaign and an ok multiplayer, makes it a good, but not great new Call of Duty.
  26. CD-Action
    Jun 9, 2021
    I have no doubt that the latest Call of Duty will earn ridiculous amounts of money once again, but I will remember it as a dip in form, a game that’s closer to mediocrity than greatness. The story campaign has a satisfying finale but as a whole is rather uninspired, while the multiplayer has lost the tactical feel I enjoyed in Modern Warfare Remastered. [01/2021, p.56]
  27. Playstation Official Magazine UK
    Jan 8, 2021
    Modern Warfare’s a tough act to follow, and Cold War struggles to keep up. It’s still enjoyable though, and with many updates to come, it’s just getting started. [Issue#184, p.95]
  28. Dec 8, 2020
    What I didn’t expect from the new Call of Duty was downtime, and the suggestion, at least in the first half, that guns, while great for going in blazing, can provide just as potent a thrill when holstered.
  29. Nov 25, 2020
    The single-player and campaign modes are actually really great stuff. But like nearly all Call of Duty games, that is the content you'll breeze through within your first week playing if even for just a few hours a day. The bulk of the ride ends up being multiplayer and zombies and that is where the problems really lie. This is a game that I'm sure will eventually get the extra content, balancing, and bugs worked out along a series of patches and end up being much better than it is today. But unfortunately the buggy, laggy, unbalanced, and content-sparse game we get at launch is the only one I was given to review. And the balance of the excellent single-player with below average multiplayer ends up for an average overall experience.
  30. Nov 21, 2020
    As solid as the package is, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War has to be one of the safest series instalments for quite some time. Multiplayer is seriously starting to show its age with tired ideas and even duller gameplay, leaving the campaign to rescue things. Its open-ended approach allows player choice to take prominence while Zombies is just as deep as ever. A passable effort for the start of the PS5 generation, but Activision must buck up its ideas for next year.
  31. Nov 20, 2020
    Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is one of the best Call of Duty games in years, with vibrant new gameplay additions and robust multiplayer offerings. Despite that, it still feels hampered by aspects of its approach and tone that would have better been left in Call of Duty's past.
  32. Nov 20, 2020
    It's reasonable to expect updates to Cold War at a steady clip. Weapons will be tweaked, issues will be patched, and gameplay will be balanced. Zombies has a strong foundation and may very well be improved further by potential updates, but the gap between multiplayer and the Warzone ecosystem is too wide to be bridged by small tweaks. Zombies is a good co-op time overall, but multiplayer falls flat, leaving the strong campaign to do most of the heavy lifting.
  33. 70
    I've never played a game more thoroughly unpleasant than Black Ops Cold War...
  34. May 10, 2021
    Call Of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is the video game equivalent to that one kid in class with a sugar rush and an addiction to pixie sticks. Sure, it might be entertaining for a little while, but the more time you spend with it, the more you realize it’s just rambling on aimlessly. Ultimately, with its lack of a clear vision and focus on what makes a game fun, Cold War isn’t going to entertain you for long.
  35. 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.
  36. Dec 10, 2020
    While there are redeeming qualities in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, the multiplayer offering just can’t hold up to its predecessor and the cross-platform bundle doesn’t offer enough to make up for the price boost on PS5.
  37. Nov 17, 2020
    In keeping with the period aesthetic, Black Ops Cold War feels like a throwback in all senses of the word. It’s unlikely to be remembered as a Call of Duty classic but throw in the multiplayer mayhem of Zombies too and there’s enough here to help keep the lockdown blues at bay. Which, frankly, is the most any of us can ask for right now.
  38. Nov 16, 2020
    Despite its enjoyable campaign, Black Ops Cold War feels like an anachronistic package. The era of one game containing three completely disparate modes feels so long ago in the age of Warzone.
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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 12, 2020
    Call of Duty’s moment-to-moment gameplay is still primarily a well-dressed shooting gallery, but Black Ops Cold War succeeds in making its quiet time a defining part of its experience rather than just a deep breath between the loud and explode-y sequences. Its story is less successful at leaving a Black Ops 1-level mark, but the importance placed on finding and deciphering evidence as well as the multiple endings give good reason to stick with it beyond its typical six-ish-hour runtime. [Single-Player Review Score = 70]
  3. Nov 16, 2020
    Cold War takes all those positives from Modern Warfare, and now we’re one step further with pretty much cross-everything. The multiplayer and Zombies matches are crossplay and cross-generation, meaning no one gets left behind if they couldn’t score a new PS5 or Xbox. There’s also cross-progression, so you can switch platforms without losing your progress.
  4. Nov 24, 2020
    Cold War is a perfectly fine dose of video game pulp, but at times it teases something vastly richer. With four huge game modes, Call of Duty is so big and complicated now that it would be easy to break off the story mode and try something different without sacrificing the core game’s sales potential.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 710 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Nov 15, 2020
    Fix your god damn game!!! Charge an extra 10$ for a buggy mess, do NOT buy this game right now, isn’t worth it right now
  2. Nov 14, 2020
    This game is complete utter trash. There are so many glitches in this game. I thought they would polish this game but it was unstable as wasThis game is complete utter trash. There are so many glitches in this game. I thought they would polish this game but it was unstable as was modern warfare. I am disappointed by this. Full Review »
  3. Nov 14, 2020
    The game is insulting. I already asked for a refund on this.
    The game is awful. Gameplay, AI, it's just insulting how bad it is. The campaign
    The game is insulting. I already asked for a refund on this.
    The game is awful. Gameplay, AI, it's just insulting how bad it is. The campaign is shorter than ever.
    It's impossible to play multiplayer, the connections and the dc's amount are tremendous.
    For them to ship a game like this is tells how much respect they have for their audience.
    Don't waste your money.
    Full Review »