Skip to main content

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War release date, setting, and everything else we know

Black Ops Cold War
(Image credit: Activision)

Black Ops Cold War has a tough ask following on from last year's Call of Duty. But it's a good choice after Modern Warfare's more grounded and realistic take on big soldier action. This year's COD is a direct sequel to the first Black Ops and sees Mason, Woods, and a new team, raise hell in the 80s as they search for a Russian spy called Perseus. 

So far we've seen some single player campaign action, some multiplayer and, while it's yet to be shown, we know zombies and some big Warzone changes are on the way. We're going to take a look now at all the new info, footage and details we have on Black Ops Cold War so it's all in one place and easy to keep track of. 

The Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War release date is November 13

(Image credit: Activision)

Activision has revealed that Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War will launch on PS4, Xbox One, and PC November 13. Though, it's less certain when it'll launch on PS5 and Xbox Series X. Thanks to some peculiar wording from Activision on the matter, it sounds like Black Ops Cold War could be releasing on one next-gen console before the other. Here's an excerpt from some official marketing material:

"The PlayStation 5 version of Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is scheduled for release Holiday 2020 in the U.S. and Canada, and in late 2020 for the rest of the world. The title is also scheduled for release later this year on the Xbox Series X."

We currently have a Black Ops Cold War PS5 release date of 'Holiday 2020' release date still stands, along with the different Xbox Series X date - despite both consoles now having firm release dates themselves. Presumably we'll get more clarification on when later but it looks like Activision are prioritizing a current gen release first, and that the next-gen versions will arrive later and possibly desperately.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War trailer revealed in Warzone

Following months of rumors, leaks, and teases from Treyarch, Black Ops Cold War was at-last fully revealed in the most Call of Duty way: you had to sign into Warzone and complete a special Contract in order to view the trailer. Of course, it was uploaded online shortly thereafter, so you can watch it right here without having to move a trigger finger.

The Black Ops Cold War single player campaign gameplay shows a direct sequel to the first game

After Black Ops 4 went a multiplayer only route, it's good to see Black Ops Cold War promising a strong story. In this case a direct sequel to the first game set in the 80s that happens before BLOPs 2. In it, Woods, Mason and a new character, Russell Adler, are searching for a mysterious Russian agent known as Perseus. The player character is called Bell and can be completely customized however you see fit in the Black Ops Cold War single player campaign. It's not the only playable character though, as that gameplay shows - you'll also be playing as Mason and Adler at the least, with flashbacks and time hopping missions that will see you visit places like Vietnam, Ukraine, Berlin and more. 

Black Ops Cold War multiplayer is all about scale and new modes

(Image credit: Activision)

Having gone hands on with Black Ops Cold War multiplayer we can tell you there's a bigger feel to the maps and more of a focus on objective play. Some of the Black Ops Cold War maps we've tried show a bigger play area - like Armada, for example, which takes place across three battleships at sea. Or Satellite, which is set in a desert with some rocky outcrops. Both have enough space and variety to accommodate both open areas and narrow fighting spaces. That's going to make loadsouts interesting as you balance long ranges with more closed in areas. Even smaller maps like like the more urban Miami and Moscow have enough varied site lines to keep thing challenging.

(Image credit: Activision)

Then there are new modes, like VIP Escort. This mode sees two teams of six take turns to either escort a player controlled VIP to an extraction point, or prevent the escape. Then there's Fireteams, a large scale objective based mode featuring 10 teams of four, fighting in what's been called a 'sandbox'. 

Black Ops Cold war will change Warzone

(Image credit: Activision)

There are already some Black ops Cold War Warzone changes, in the form of some teaser bunkers that appeared in the lead up to the reveal for the new game. In them you'll find Soviet paraphernalia and the parts of an RC-XD.  

However we know that some big changes will come to Warzone when Black Ops Cold War launches. Treyarch studio design director David Vonderhaar stated in a multiplayer event that Black Ops will “bring Cold War into Warzone, and vice versa.” What that means for the game so far isn't clear but new locations have been mentioned, along with weapons and vehicles. There's also talk of themes crossing over while there will also be “a unified progression journey shared with Warzone, adding inventory items that can be used in both titles,” according to Activision. 

Black Ops Cold War Zombies mode has been confirmed

Black Ops Cold War Zombies

(Image credit: Activision)

We know that Black Ops Cold War zombies is coming. We just don't know what it is yet. A brief tease after the multiplayer reveal showed someone exploring a dark underground area filled with graffiti and discovering full of uniformed zombies before being attacked. 

The graffiti at least suggests its taking place in the same 80s setting as the main game, and will supposedly intersect with the Cold War narrative told in the main story. The press release promises a "brand-new Zombies experience," and goes on to say this: 

"In addition to the story campaign, Black Ops Cold War will bring an arsenal of Cold War weapons and equipment into the next generation of Black Ops Multiplayer combat and an all-new co-operative gameplay experience with Zombies."