Black Ops Cold War trailer kicks off a sequel story to the original Black Ops

(Image credit: Activision)

The first trailer for Black Ops Cold War spans two decades and it reintroduces some familiar characters, alongside US President Ronald Reagan.

The two-minute trailer starts in 1968, going back to the Vietnam War. As legally required, it shows a bunch of US soldiers riding in helicopters with Creedence Clearwater Revival playing in the background. Then it fast forwards to 1981, as President Reagan gives new character Russell Adler a blank check to deal with an unspecified threat.

Developers Treyarch and Raven Software are describing the next chapter in Call of Duty as a "narrative sequel" to the original Black Ops, which you can read more about in our Black Ops Cold War single-player campaign preview. That means bringing back familiar characters including Frank Woods (who you can play in Warzone if you pre-order), Jason Hudson, and Alex Mason.

Going back to Adler, aside from wearing the hell out of that red leather jacket, it sounds like he's going to be an extra morally grey character in an already morally grey series. Reagan giving Adler all the resources he needs to do whatever feels like a historical nod to the Iran-Contra affair.

Come to think of it, Oliver North, one of the main participants in the scandal, played himself in a brief role back in Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. Not the kind of person most major game series would try to associate themselves with, but Call of Duty hasn't been shy about courting controversy in the past.

Controversial political figures aside, Black Ops Cold War character creation will let you play as whoever you want. 

Connor Sheridan

I got a BA in journalism from Central Michigan University - though the best education I received there was from CM Life, its student-run newspaper. Long before that, I started pursuing my degree in video games by bugging my older brother to let me play Zelda on the Super Nintendo. I've previously been a news intern for GameSpot, a news writer for CVG, and now I'm a staff writer here at GamesRadar.