The Black Ops Cold War campaign emphasises player choice – with a character creator and Hitman-style levels

The first Black Ops Cold War trailer debuted in Warzone today, unveiling a lot more information about the next Call of Duty game – including a release date of November 13th for current-gen consoles and PC, with next-gen versions for PS5 and Xbox Series X to arrive alongside the consoles themselves. Here’s what we learned, centring around the game’s setting and story, a cast of new and returning characters and a newfound focus on player freedom – one that even manifests in a character creator, dialogue options and Hitman-style nonlinear levels.

As leaked information suggested yesterday, the Black Ops Cold War is a direct sequel to Black Ops 1, starting in 1981 and continuing throughout the decade. There are some clear parallels between the prevailing attitudes of that time and our own – a kind of deep unease with the state of the world, with distrust and the prospect of global war juxtaposed against an explosion in culture and technology. Call of Duty generally does a great job of portraying the flavour of its settings, even if its stories tend to be far from subtle, so it’ll be fascinating to see how Cold War deals with the neon stripes of the 1980s.

The game follows a US task force that aims to resist the plans of Perseus, a mysterious Soviet agent attempting to topple the established world order. Your group operates at the behest of Ronald Reagan and under the leadership of the mysterious Russell Adler. On the team are Hudson, Woods and Mason, with some other familiar faces from the original Black Ops making supporting appearances. These are some of the best characters the series has produced, so it’s no surprise to see them return.

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