By Juan Calvillo
“Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold Wars Alpha” is a fun, albeit-run-of-the-mill experience, but the series’ new mode shows hope for the franchise.
“Black Ops Cold Wars Alpha” shows off a taste of two of the yet to be released games multiplayer modes.
The modes included are six versus six and a new mode called combined arms, which mixes 12 versus 12 player battles, alongside large-scale vehicles.
The alpha gives players a large enough canvas to check out some of the new additions that are implemented in the new title.
Both multiplayer modes had domination, a capture-and-hold style of battle. Six versus six has an additional two modes, kill confirmed, where dog tags must be collected to score points, and good old-fashioned team deathmatch.
The most interesting aspect of what is to come when the game actually releases is the new combined arms mode.
This mode seems to have simplified and, in some ways fine tuned the 12 versus 12 battles that fans have come to love.
Battle royales seem to be the current kings of the first-person shooter scene, yet the new mode Black Ops Cold War has in store looks fun enough that it might draw some players away.
The mode plays well with the 12 versus 12 players on each team, and allows for the mixing of vehicle warfare.
Activision hits the sweet spot for large-scale battles by thinking a bit smaller than most have in the past.
Game modes each have expansive and detailed maps. Six versus six game mode has three maps, Miami, Moscow and Satellite.
Combined arms game mode has two, armada and crossroads. These maps are detailed and fun to play on. Each has areas players can scout out and use for sniping, as well as clearings that are good for opening fire against enemy teams.
The most interesting map shown is a combined arms map called armada. The location is a sea-battle which adds attack boats and jet skis for players to use to win the match.
The water map provided is fun and has high mobility. This makes the setting fun to play, since the fighting goes through three different levels.
In the air, zip lines allow for a bit of aerial battle while crossing from cruiser to cruiser. This section of the map seems influenced by Respawn Entertainment’s “Apex Legends.”
Once on the battle cruiser, the areas are open and perfect for shootouts. Each of these areas has cover and rooms to run in and out of during fire fights.
Finally the ability to go under water, while shooting the opposing team, makes the gunfights frantic and incredibly thoughtful for tacticians.
Each player loadout is leveled up enough to show off a lot of the more interesting arsenals that players can mix and match for their characters.
Most weapons are of the era with slight tweaks to make them more video-game friendly.
The game includes fun extra pieces of equipment that range from landmines to microphone sound detectors. These additional tools take time to build up the opportunity to use, but they don’t have a limit to uses.
This addition is an interesting wrinkle to the game play this time around.
If there is one thing that is constantly a distraction as much as it is a wonder to hear, it has to be the audio content.
The Call of Duty themes and exciting score is there in between matches, like the soundtrack to an action-packed ‘80s flick.
Unfortunately the weapon sounds effects are odd and animated a bit. Luckily, the explosions and the sound design for the battles is intense and fun to experience.
With the closed beta coming in early October, Activision and its studios are preparing fans for a fun ride.
The inclusion of some more focused large-map modes in the form of combined arms is a positive idea for the future of one of the biggest gaming franchises.