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Review: Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War – Par For The Course, But Undeniably Fun

Jingo all the way.

Call of Duty: Black Ops returns with a brash and bombastic Cold War campaign that hammers home the series’ usual heavy-handed jingoism as it funnels you through shooting galleries full of dim-witted enemies and bashes you over the head with OTT set pieces. This is Black Ops returning to its roots somewhat, steering mercifully clear of the recent Modern Warfare’s hyper-realistic misery – and this spin-off series’ very own wall-running future shenanigans – in favour of a paranoid spy caper spliced with big dumb 80’s action flick that starts very loudly and ends very quickly.

Within just minutes of launching into the Reagan-era main campaign here you’ll have been involved in a rooftop chase, blown an escaping airship to pieces with a tiny RC car and razed Vietnamese villages to the ground from the comfort of a US Marines helicopter. Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War feels like it’s in one hell of a rush to give you a little sample of everything, a run-down of the franchise’s greatest gameplay hits and, with a total running time of just under five hours, this is perhaps for the best. Pretty much everything you’d expect to find in a Call of Duty game has been crowbarred in here and it all feels just as slick and polished as ever, even if it rarely makes a jot of sense. There’s a brilliant soundtrack, hugely stylish cutscenes intermingled with real-world historical footage and a sense of urgency about the ludicrous plot that keeps you hooked in for the game’s very short – and very loud – duration.

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