Call of Duty’s in-game Black Ops: Cold War reveal gets an ‘E’ for effort

Call of Duty today revealed the official trailer for Black Ops: Cold War, the next entry in the venerable series, with an in-game event in the free-to-play battle royale title Warzone.

To the best of this reporter’s knowledge, this is the first time the franchise has held a live, in-game event to reveal an official trailer and it was exciting to the say the least.

If you just want to watch the trailer, here you go:

It looks really cool, but the letdown is that it’s a trailer for the single-player campaign only. There’s a few seconds of vehicular mayhem that could be indicative of some new multiplayer designs towards the end, but otherwise we’ll have to wait until September 9 for more info on the game’s multiplayer components.

And no, there wasn’t a single mention of zombies — though they’ve been confirmed in Black Ops: Cold War.

Aside from the perennial joy of watching a brand new Call of Duty trailer, there was also the excitement of being part of something new. I logged into Warzone about 30 minutes before the event began and wasn’t quite sure what to expect.

Based on official tweets, I assumed the trailer would unlock after taking on a special contract in one of the battle royale modes. I spent a long time avoiding conflict in order to stay alive – figuring at some point the contracts would show up.

After I lost that game I noticed the normal playlists had been replaced in the lobby by a single one titled “Know your history.”

Upon selecting the playlist I was tossed into a battle royale quads game (a standard match featuring teams of four players) and sent off to the main map to search for intel. My team started the match by gearing up and then… hunkering down to fight. I thought this was an odd choice considering there were map markers urging us toward the various steps of intel gathering, so I ditched them.

Eventually someone on a different team unlocked the intel and we were all treated to the trailer above. Once the trailer ended, the match ended and we were awarded the usual XP. Players also received a pair of cosmetic unlocks for completing the mission.

I enjoyed the experience, but it was a bit… shallow. The screen glitched throughout the match and there were a few cool aesthetic modifications such as the titles of different map areas being blacked out on the map screen. But otherwise, I was a bit underwhelmed – we didn’t even get to finish the match.

I would have like to have seen a bit more thought go into the crossover. If I’m being honest, I think it would have been a smarter move to wait until they were ready to reveal multiplayer, a Warzone update, or multiplayer details. Trailers for any of those would make more sense in a free-to-play online-only game than a cinematic trailer for campaign mode. 

That being said, Black Ops: Cold War looks fantastic. I got chills watching the trailer and various other tidbits that played through the match because it’s impossible not to juxtapose it against what’s happening in the US right now.

You should still be able to check out the new Warzone playlist and earn the trailer in-game if you’re so inclined. Otherwise, scroll back up to watch it again.

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