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The Two Sides of Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War

If there is one thing I have learned in all my experience in the writing world, it’s that it is always important to know both sides of a story. This is why I have decided to start an article series which takes a deep dive into two separate, distinct opinions of a game to allow readers to get the full story before they decide to buy it. Welcome to The Two Sides.

Cold War

I searched my talented group of co-writers for someone who had a very different opinion of Black Ops: Cold War than I did and let them tell their side of the story before I told mine. I personally liked Black Ops: Cold War and thought it was a solid game for what it was. Jarrod, on the other hand, really started to dislike the game the more he played. Without further ado, here is Jarrod’s opinion on the game.

Why I didn’t like Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War

Jarrod Castillo

If you’ve followed my work on Stropse, it’s almost assured that you’ve read something about my experiences playing Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War (BOCW). In all honesty, I don’t like BOCW all that much now that it’s been out for a few months. 

When I first reviewed the game, I initially gave it 3.5 stars out of five. At the time, I felt like it was a pretty fair score; although the game had some issues – especially since it crashed my Xbox One multiple times – I figured that in due time, the issues would be fixed and it could be a pretty fun game, all things considered. As time went on, I realized the more I played, the more issues kept popping up with seemingly no fix in sight, which soured my experience. 

Regarding the issues, where do I even begin? Should I start with the lackluster campaign, which can be done in a few hours? What about the constant crashing and bricking of consoles, which still don’t have a fix? Or maybe the extremely frustrating matchmaking, which makes it difficult to enjoy multiplayer? There are so many other issues with BOCW that it’s almost impossible to keep track of them all. 

All these issues should have been foreseen since the game had an extremely rough development cycle, what with Raven Software and Sledgehammer Games failing to see eye-to-eye on BOCW’s production. So, Activision put Treyarch in charge to finish the game with only two years to work on the title instead of the usual three. 

Couple that with the fact that a pandemic broke out during development and BOCW was looking like the entire deck was stacked against it. That said, BOCW should not have been released in such a broken state and fans would have understood if the numerous developers opted to delay the game for a few months or even an entire year.

However because of Activision’s extremely rigid Call of Duty release schedule, BOCW was released, and if I’m being honest, it feels more like a beta. That’s why I had low expectations for Season One and still don’t have expectations for future seasons. 

The additional content Treyarch has released for Season One and will release for future seasons – which players have discovered are already in the game but are kept locked until their seasonal release – just isn’t going to cut it. There needs to be an incredible overhaul of BOCW’s foundation as a whole for me to enjoy it.

To that end, I’m giving immense credit to the developers for finding ways to work around the pandemic. Their jobs are incredibly difficult as is and releasing a game during a global crisis gives me so much more respect for them and the work they did. 

That said, I still didn’t like BOCW. It’s a disappointment to me.

Why I liked Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War

Joseph Endler

I am a Call of Duty fanboy. No other way to say it. I know Cold War was not as well-received by the public as some previous games, but there were still plenty of good aspects to this game I feel have been unnoticed by many fans. Let me break it down for you.

The first thing I liked about Cold War was the fast pace of the game. Warzone, which appeared in the last game in the series, gave fans a brand new CoD battle royale experience. But with any battle royale experience comes a slower-paced game. Warzone is fun, and I still enjoy playing it to this day, but I do admit I missed a more fast-paced experience. This is exactly what Cold War gave us. The quantity of small maps in the game made for a totally new type of play compared to the last addition to the series.

I also really enjoyed the Zombies mode in this game. I know it has not been really liked by many fans, but I truly believe that the direction they went for with zombies this year will change the way zombies mode is made forever. It is still a pretty glitchy mess, but I can respect the balls it takes to totally change up a formula in place for years. I can see the next zombies mode taking what Cold War has tried to make and running with it to create something amazing.

Courtesy of Activision

The campaign mode in this game was actually my favorite part. I know this sounds kind of sad for the quality of the game as a whole, but campaigns for me have always been a special treat that I always feel go unappreciated by fans. The story this year was riveting and kept me on my toes from start to finish. I do not want to get too much into the actual plot, but what I can tell you is that something feels off from the very beginning, and the story does not go where you would think it would go.

So, can I honestly say you should buy this game? That is a loaded question. I personally feel that I did not waste my 60 bucks simply based on the fact on how much I have enjoyed the zombies and campaign modes. Is the multiplayer worth it? Well if you have found yourself getting tired of the slow pace that Warzone offers, I would say yes. But if you still are having fun with what Modern Warfare 2019 has to offer, I would say no. I think the bottom line for this game is what each individual person makes it out to be, and mine is a definite thumbs up.


I hope that after reading both sides of the argument for this game, you have a better understanding on whether buying it will be worth it for you. This game, like many others, is especially interesting to dive into because of the many different opinions that fans have on it. Stay tuned for more iterations of The Two Sides.

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