While we’ve talked a fair bit about Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War’s multiplayer based on the alpha, we’ve sunk our teeth into the Black Ops Cold War beta, and spent days poring over the gameplay, new scorestreak system, maps, guns and more, we’re here to give our Black Ops Cold War review of what we thought of the experience now that it’s over.
Time to Die
First off, when the first week of the beta hit the PS4, I immediately felt a difference in the time to kill (TTK) compared to the alpha. While YouTuber Xclusive Ace did the legwork and found that it’s essentially the same, the thing to blame here is the netcode.
Sure, things changed during the second week, but Treyarch has been mum on what they changed. By and large, gunfights sometimes felt inconsistent and I attribute that mostly to the netcode. Thing is, Treyarch has avoided talking about it, and has even taken out any sort of ping meter in the game, so players have no clue what their connection quality is like, unless it’s super terrible that we’ll get a “lag” or packet burst icon on the right side of the screen during gameplay.
While netcode and connection issues have always been issue in Call of Duty, it seems to have been hiked up a notch in the Black Ops Cold War beta. Hopefully, this won’t be an issue come launch.
We’re Going Streaking!
We here at MP1st will have a feature on the stuff we want to change based from beta feedback, and one of main points is the scorestreak system. Even so, we think it’s important enough to warrant an entry here. Simply put: the new scorestreak system feels inferior to the old one in every way. Not only is there no tension or feeling of reward when you do get it, but the multiplier/scoring is whacked too. It does not reward objective play at all, and hanging back and playing super conservatively will net you a ton more points than taking objectives, which is the anti-thesis of why the scorestreak system was introduced in the first place.
(Gameplay by James Lara and captured on PS4)
As long as you’re getting a few kills, getting assists and doing objectives, you’re guaranteed to get your scorestreak rewards unless the game is over quick. This takes out all the tension one would feel in earning ‘streaks in the first place given you know you’ll get them regardless of what you do or how you perform.
With the way the new multiplier works, matches get bombarded in the latter half with streaks! Prepare for loads of UAVs, Counter-UAVs and the like to constantly be in the air. This means that the Ghost perk is esssentially a crutch perk.
I’m hoping Treyarch sees the light and just reverts the scorestreak system to what it was originally, but I doubt it’ll happen.
You Can’t See Me!
Another issue we had with the beta (which was shared by the community and even content creators) is how bad the enemy visibility was. It made some gunfights freel unfair and cheap given how hard it was to make out certain enemies, and whe you see the killcam, they can see you perfectly.
I’m honestly not sure how Treyarch will fix this. Will they add bright glowing markers on enemy characters like in Black Ops 4? Maybe add in an outline for enemies so they don’t blend in the background too much? Or maybe they’ll leave it as is (I hope not)? I’m hoping there’s an easy solution here and kinda curious how and if they’ll change this due to feedback.
Another thing that adds to this annoyance is how Operators on both sides can be similiar-looking characters. So say someone is using Sgt. Frank Woods on your team, the enemy team can also have the same Frank Woods which would make figuring out who is from which team another hurdle in identifying enemies.
Pace Is Ace
Sure, we’ve talked about some of the bad stuff in the beta, but it’s not all doom and gloom. For one, the pacing is excellent. If you got tired of Modern Warfare 2019’s overly slow pace, and reliance on doors and whatnot, then the Black Ops Cold War beta provided a bit of a respite. Here, you can actually run-‘n’-gun without feeling like you’re being penalized for it.
That feeling of using an SMG (submachine gun), rushing enemies? Yeah, that feeling is back in Black Ops Cold War.
You can choose to snipe, use an LMG (lightmachine gun) and hang back a bit and pick people out, or just go all out attacker mode with SMGs, and all are viable options — something I sorely missed from playing Modern Warfare 2019.
The maps play an important part in this too. Don’t expect doors or tons of windows for every lane in every map. Sure, Cartel is kind of a clusterfuck due to the grass obstructing your view in the middle area of the map, but for the most part, the maps are mostly free of any obvious camping places.
Yes, the pace this time is faster, so don’t expect TDM matches to finish due to the timer. This fact alone might make the return to COD multiplayer worthwhile.
Overall, the Black Ops Cold War beta left me with mixed impressions. While I’m still anxious to try the final version of it out, part of me is worried that the scorestreak system, visibility issues and the like won’t be sorted at launch — or at all, which would seriously dampen my excitement for it. However, given how we’re now able to run-‘n-gun again after 12 months of being forced to play in “safe spaces” and approach things slow or die in Modern Warfare, that part of being able to play COD like it was before fills me with joy.
There are issues with the Black Ops Cold War beta, but most of ’em are changes Treyarch can do in a short amount of time, so for now, I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt that these will be sorted come launch, though the studio hasn’t made any mention of the issues mentioned above, which is a cause for concern for me personally.
At the very least though, proper running and gunning in COD multiplayer is back in Black Ops Cold War, and that fact alone makes me excited to see how things turn out on November 13.
There are loads to talk about which we’re leaving for the actual review. Stay tuned to our Black Ops Cold War beta feedback feature where we list the things we want changed! That’ll be hitting the site very soon.
Did you like the beta? Share your thoughts on our experience playing it down below in the comments,