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"Call of Duty 17" single-player mode review: an 80s-style spy drama

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War “is the fifth work in the” Black Ops “series. Although the game name is not numbered, from a plot perspective, it returns the story perspective to real-life themes and continues the setting of” Call of Duty: Black Ops “, which can be seen as” Call of Duty: Black Ops 1,5 “. In this story mode, players will be involved in the center of the Cold War period. Previous characters such as Alex Mason and Frank Woods, as well as historical figures such as Reagan, will appear in the game. Although the story mode process is still short, this game focuses more on shaping the story itself and gameplay, so it has a good degree of completion.

This article is only for the evaluation and rating of the single-player plot mode of “Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War”, excluding multiplayer and zombie modes.

The main story of “Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War” takes place in 1981, which is located between the first and second Black Ops movies in terms of timeline. It can be regarded as a sequel to the first Black Ops movie. The early plot of this game still follows the pattern of “there are bad guys who want to destroy the world and establish a new order. We must stop them!”. Players will track a mysterious spy named Perseus and obstruct his plan. However, as the process deepens, the development of the story is not as simple as it seems on the surface. Players will face plot twists and choices.

The flashback mission of the game spans Vietnam in 1968, while other missions allow players to be in Amsterdam, East Berlin, Cuba, the Soviet Union and other places in 1981. You can see a lot of scenes and products from the 1970s and 1980s, such as old-fashioned CRT TVs, 56 submachine guns, imitation AK, etc. In terms of some details, “Cold War” is still relatively meticulous and restored.

During the process, players mostly play as a character codenamed Bell. Unlike other Call of Duty campaign modes, players can customize the protagonist’s real name, identity background, gender, skin color, and psychological characteristics. Among them, psychological characteristics represent the protagonist’s combat characteristics, and players can choose two of the 15 characteristics to arrange for the protagonist. Each characteristic will have a slight impact on the combat and shooting experience. For example, [ aggressive behavior ] can increase loading speed by 50%, [impatience] can improve the accuracy of waist shooting when moving, and so on… This character creation mode is not new, but compared to fixed protagonist settings, custom characters are more suitable for the special plot performance of this game and make some choices more logical.

It has been ten years since the first installment of this game, but the appearance of familiar characters such as Mason and Woods, as well as the arrangement of some scenes and Easter eggs, can still allow players to connect with the previous plot. For example, in the aftermath of the Cold War, the location where Mason and Woods stole the console is the Yamanto Mountain where Hudson went to find the Steiner Laboratory in the first installment. Steiner’s photos can be found there, and players will also have digital illusions when controlling Mason.

Woods once mistakenly subdued a dummy as an enemy. Embarrassed, he signaled Ling not to tell anyone about it.

These old acquaintances are not the core characters of this work. The game mainly focuses on the new character Russell Adler. He is the leader of the entire group. Compared with Price, who comes from the military, Adler, as a senior CIA agent, is more like a spy leader who will do anything. The tasks and experiences of Ling in the game often accompany him. As the plot deepens, his traits will also be more obvious. However, due to the limited length of the plot mode, the portrayal of other group members and opposing characters appears to be weak. Just like an American heroic movie, the focus is on the main actors.

In the process of the plot mode, players will face many choices, some of which are just simple dialogue options, but some will have a substantial impact on the collection of task leads, achievement challenges, plot development, etc. For example, the rescue, capture, and silencing of some target characters, and the answers to questioning, etc. The plot mode ultimately provides two routes and three endings, which makes the game’s plot performance more rich. The direction and ending of the story have twists and unexpected places, and some seemingly unreasonable plots are also foreshadowing for the later plot. Compared with some stereotyped scripts, this work can see some new ideas in the ending and the handling of the plot of the United States and the Soviet Union, and some settings are also a bit brain-burning, which can make players feel fresh and curious.

▲ Adler

Sometimes you also need to memorize some conversation information to deal with other people’s questioning

Spy dramas from the 1980s

In addition to the innovative plot performance, the single-player mode also provides players with a more diverse experience in terms of visuals and gameplay. In addition to facing various explosive scenes, helicopter crashes, tank shooting, and chasing enemies, players also have to complete some infiltration and infiltration tasks, which is basically in line with the Cold War theme of this game.

One of the more distinctive levels is the “Extraordinary Means” level. In the mission, the player will be in the KGB headquarters and play the role of an insider. The purpose is to help Adler obtain access control so that he can infiltrate and obtain the files. The experience of the whole process is like playing “Hitman”. Players have multiple ways to create trouble to obtain access control, such as poisoning, framing, falsifying, persuading prisoners, etc. Each way has a mission line, which is interspersed with a large number of elements of infiltration and puzzle solving. Players need to connect useful leads in the map to complete the mission smoothly. There are no weapons in the process, and players can only deal with patrolling guards by knocking them down from behind and hiding corpses. The scenes with a sense of age give people a feeling of early spy movies.

Mission Map

Between each mission, players can return to the safe house as a relay point, where they can have conversations with other characters to further understand their backgrounds and personalities. However, the main function of the safe house is to select missions and analyze intelligence on two side quests.

This game combines common document and other collection elements with mission leads. Players need to collect enough leads in other levels and analyze them to perfectly solve the two Side Missions. The puzzle difficulty of the side quests is not high, mainly by finding patterns and different ways to solve them from numbers and locations. Overall, in order to cater to the Cold War theme of this game, the plot mode has added more stealth puzzle-solving processes, making the game have a strong espionage flavor. Collecting some leads may take some time, but it will not cause too much hindrance to the smooth experience of the game.

As for the feel of firearms, similar to the previous game “Black Ops”, the recoil of most firearms in this game is not particularly obvious. In the game, helicopters, armored vehicles and other vehicles can be used, and there is also a plot of manipulating RC-XD self-destruct vehicles in the opening plot of the game. However, the overall mode is short, so the time to experience these content elements is also very short.

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