After many months of anticipation and hype, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War was finally revealed by Activision. Developed by Treyarch and Raven Studios, this will be a direct sequel to the critically-acclaimed original Black Ops. So, you will see some familiar faces return in this game like Mason, Woods, and Hudson.
However, what is different from the last time around is the fact that this game will feature real historical figures. Since the game is based right in the middle of the Cold War in the 80s, you’ll see renowned political personalities like Ronald Reagan in the game. The mission? Hunt down a Soviet spy called Perseus who has returned from his dormant state.
The game will take inspiration from the original Black Ops in terms of gameplay. However, we still don’t know what the Multiplayer aspect of the game will look like. What we do know though is that it will be integrated with Warzone and we can expect the Modern Warfare and Black Ops elements of Battle Royale to work cohesively with each other.
Free Next-Gen upgrades are dividing the industry
With the next generation of gaming consoles on the horizon, things have been rather tricky for games releasing near the launch window. Microsoft has tried to streamline the process of upgrading to the Xbox Series X with Smart Delivery. Smart Delivery essentially allows you to buy the game once, on either Xbox One or Xbox Series X, and play it across both generations.
Most third-party studios have opted to use Smart Delivery like Ubisoft and CD Projekt Red. So, you only have to buy games like Cyberpunk 2077 or Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla once. On the other hand, Sony has been rather quiet about its upgrade strategy for the PS5. However, it is presumed that it would work in a similar fashion to Smart Delivery, albeit missing some features.
Some studios though have decided to opt-out of free next-generation upgrades for their games. For instance, 505 Games announced that only those with the Ultimate Edition of Control will get a next-gen upgrade for free. Since Control is an older game, this sparked a lot of outrage.
Following suit, Take Two and Activision have also opted to not give upgrades to their players for free. And, since Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is also published by Activision, you won’t be able to play it for free on the PS5 or Xbox Series X if you buy the current-gen version.
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War has confusing upgrades
Activision has announced the pricing and next-gen upgrade structure for Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War and it is super confusing. Some versions include the next-gen copy while others don’t.
In addition to that, certain next-gen versions of the game are backwards compatible while some aren’t. And, if you don’t read the official marketing for the game about 50 times, it is almost impossible to distinguish which version gets you what. So, here’s a (hopefully) easier breakdown for you:
What works for both consoles:
- If you buy the digital version of the game on PS4 or Xbox One, you can upgrade to the next-gen version for an additional $10. However, you can still play the current-gen version of the game on next-gen consoles for free via backwards compatibility. If you have a Digital PS5 though, you won’t be able to play your physical copy on it.
- If you buy the Ultimate Edition of the game that costs $70, you get the next-gen versions as well.
PlayStation Physical Upgrades:
- In case you decide to get a Standard Physical Disc on the PS4, you can upgrade it to the PS5 version for an additional $10. However, since you need to insert the disc into the PS5 to upgrade, this upgrade won’t work if you have a Digital PS5. So, don’t buy the physical version on the PS4 if you plan on upgrading the game on a Digital PS5.
- If you buy the physical standard version of Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War on the PlayStation 5, you can only play it on the PS5. There is no backwards compatibility with the PS4 on this version.
Xbox Physical Upgrade:
- If you buy the physical standard version of Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War on the Xbox One, it will not upgrade to Series X. Unlike the PS5, even paying extra won’t get you an upgrade unless you get the cross-gen bundle.
- In case you buy the Xbox Series X physical standard version of the game, it will work on Xbox One via backwards compatibility.
Apart from the overall confusing marketing, the box arts for the game are incredibly confusing as well and this is definitely not the right move by Activision.
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War comes out on November 13, 2020, on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X.