Another year, another exciting new entry in the Call of Duty franchise. The franchise, virtually synonymous with modern first-person shooter games, stands out from the rest with every iteration. Games like Halo, Doom, and Battlefield may deliver differing takes on the same genre. However, Call of Duty stands apart with its unapologetic reliance on a military focus. Every year, the annualized franchise releases a familiar but technically upgraded refresh of its familiar formula. Enter Black Ops Cold War.
The Call of Duty series comprises of several sub-timelines. Last year, the Modern Warfare series received a reboot, and sequels to the highly successful game will prove inevitable. This year, instead of that, developers Activision, Treyarch, and Beenox revisit the popular Black Ops series.
The original game, released in 2010 to acclaim and success, made use of a unique (often underrepresented) Cold War setting. While subsequent games brought the timeline to the modern era and the distant future, the franchise’s roots lay in the historic 1960s.
Recent trailers and synopses confirm the return of fan-favorite characters, and an exciting new setting
The original Black Ops game consisted of protagonist Alex Mason and supporting characters like Hudson, Woods, and Reznov. The collective series saw these characters and even their descendants combat villains through intense action. Locations such as Vietnam, Russia, and Afghanistan provided memorable settings, and the multiplayer mode provided endless playtime. Furthermore, the entire Black Ops series became recognizable by its signature Nazi Zombies game mode.
This year’s installment, titled Black Ops: Cold War, promises much of the familiar. The multiplayer and Zombies modes recently received confirmations as expanded, tweaked, and packed with new content. This means new weapons, mechanics, maps, challenges, and gameplay improvements. In addition, the use of a prequel timeline allows the return of the aforementioned fan-favorite characters.
Just as exciting as the game itself is the official system requirement tab for the PC version of Black Ops
While the game certainly benefits from the advanced hardware next-gen consoles like the Xbox Series X and PS5 offer, the PC version offers more tweakability. This comes due to the natural uncapped framerate and freedom offered by customizing your own PC hardware. Excluding laptop gamers, members of the PC community have the option to alter their settings according to priorities. For instance, for those aiming for 4k resolutions, and those aiming for high FPS (frames per second), settings differ.
With the new Nvidia GPU’s out now, the RTX 30- series, raytracing saw a marked new emphasis in AAA gaming culture. Also, the recent AMD conference also saw the unveiling of their new cards, all equipped with raytracing capabilities. And, just to ease worries for those without the latest GPU’s, Black Ops also supports several workarounds…
Both Nvidia’s new DLSS 2.0 and Reflex features come fully supported in Black Ops
Like many recent AAA titles, the revolutionary Deep Learning Super Sampling 2.0 feature (and its AMD counterpart) come integrated into the game. This feature, using AI-assisted supersampling, renders resolutions at lower values than the target but upscales it back up. This allows for a significant performance boost, even with raytracing enabled, at high FPS. The Nvidia Reflex feature, meanwhile, reduces input lag and latency during competitive online multiplayer modes.
That means that even if you’re packing a last-gen RTX 2070, with average internet speeds, you still may enjoy the optimal Call of Duty experience. In addition, like other major franchises, cross-play across all other platforms is fully functional. So no reason why a PC gamer can’t enjoy a match with friends on the PS5 or Stadia.
All in all, Black Ops seems like it is shaping up to be one of the strongest Call of Duty offerings in years. With so much hype for the content and tech behind it, it’s certainly no surprise.