New Year is the new Call of Duty. Although we were scheduled to receive the game from Sledgehammer Games this fall, something went wrong and the poor fellows from Treyarch (with the active participation of Raven Software) had to put together another blockbuster in just two years. With a story campaign, with multiplayer and with an immortal zombie mode. One item from this list has already been tried out by all PlayStation 4 owners - last week an alpha test of Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War multiplayer took place.

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Last year's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare impressed even audiences that hadn't shown interest in the series for a long time with its online component. A dramatic improvement in the quality of many elements, including shooting, animation and sound, instilled confidence in the bright future of Call of Duty - some of the players did not even want Modern Warfare to be abandoned a year later to develop the next part. But Activision remains true to tradition - billions are never superfluous, especially if you raise prices for versions for next-generation consoles.

It is quite predictable that the creators of Cold War did not use the developments of Infinity Ward and decided to go their own way - each team has its own vision. Therefore, one should not expect a second Modern Warfare from the novelty. And the point, of course, is not only in mechanics, but also in quality. The weapon in the hands feels equally "toy", the sounds of shooting are not so juicy, and the animations do not cause delight when reloading. In addition, the "alpha" was not without periodic drawdowns in the frame rate, moments with lags and problems with lighting on one of the cards - on "Miami" the lights seemed to shine brighter when you run up to them.

Players complained about the simplicity and strength of the quickscopes in the alpha, but in the full version the sniper rifles will not be nearly as powerful.

That is, in a sense, this is a step back compared to its predecessor (if we consider it the last part of the series, and not the previous game of the studio), but at the same time, the gameplay here will appeal to those who were not enthusiastic about the latest games in the series ... This is a classic Call of Duty, in which they tried to add as little unnecessary as possible. The doors in Modern Warfare were annoying - they are not here. I was annoyed by the characters with "abilities" in Black Ops 4 - they are not here either. Although it is a pity that the mechanics of first-aid kits from the fourth part were removed here - out of habit, after being wounded, you press L1 and waste a valuable stun grenade.

You can't stick to the wall with a weapon, there is no more tactical running - after Modern Warfare it can be difficult to get used to it all and the new product seems less dynamic than the previous game. Therefore, the decision to continue supporting the battle royale from the last part looks strange - of course, Warzone turned out to be a resounding hit and will continue to be profitable, but the difference between it and the multiplayer of the novelty will be too noticeable. The new audience (hello, Russian PS4 owners!) Will not understand at all how these components relate to each other.

When all the points are constantly captured in "Superiority", it is hardly possible to change the course of the match alone.

But in general, I liked the multiplayer - precisely because in Modern Warfare it did not catch on as much as in the earlier Call of Duty. Particularly pleasing here is TTK (time to kill) - it is not as low as in MW, but not too high - almost ideal. And the most important thing for me is that the sounds of footsteps of opponents are heard very clearly, you can determine with an accuracy of a split second when they will run out from around the corner or go down the stairs. True, many players began to use the Ninzdya perk, which muffles steps.

There are also complaints about the game, and so far they are mainly related to the design of the cards. In the playlist of classic six-on-six teams, there were three maps, and two of them seemed great for such squads. In Miami and Moscow, when I played Team Fight and Murder Confirmed, running aimlessly in search of someone was a bit too much compared to the map in the desert - every time I hoped that they would vote for it (yes, the vote returned for the next card). But in the "Control Point" mode, these locations sparkled with different colors - the dynamics are much higher. The rest of the cards are good - both visually diverse and allow you to use different tactics.

The other two maps are designed for the clashes of two teams of 12 people each in Domination mode - they are much larger than the others. They are completely different from each other: one resembles a classic Battlefield map with six points, tanks and snowmobiles, while the other offers to fight on the high seas, riding between large ships on boats and jet skis. There is no feeling of lack of players here, since the locations are large and open, and exciting sniper duels take place regularly. But personally, I still hope that more classic modes in the full version will be given more attention - in Call of Duty, many primarily play for them.

The agony of choice

In the new game, Treyarch ditched the Pick 10 system, doing something akin to the system from Modern Warfare. The class equipment includes a main weapon with five attachments, an additional weapon (pistol, shotgun), two grenades (or C4), tactical equipment (for example, a field microphone showing enemies in a small radius on the minimap) and three perks. Another slot in the inventory is occupied by the Joker - a standard feature of Black Ops, which allows you to get a special bonus. In the "alpha" there are only four such "Jokers", but the bonuses are really useful: three additional perks, three additional slots for weapon modules, additional combat and tactical equipment, as well as the ability to take any two types of weapons with you - at least two sniper rifles.

It's dangerous to ride on a big map like that - snipers are on the alert.

There are a lot of attachments for weapons - even though in the "alpha" more than half of them were blocked, it was still difficult to choose. You can change sights, stocks, magazines, handles, muzzles, receiver - everything significantly affects the behavior of the guns. With something it is more convenient to control the recoil, with something the range of damage becomes higher, something allows you to shoot more accurately from the hip or to aim faster after running. If you choose "Joker", which grants three additional cells, you can create almost the weapon of your dreams.

One of the main innovations in Cold War is related to the kill streak rewards. Here they are awarded not for a streak, but for points earned, which are not reset after death. The player receives bonuses for successive eliminations of opponents, if he does not die himself, so that arm users will still call airstrikes and helicopters faster than others. But the inept now have a chance to summon spy planes (in other words, UAVs) and carpet bombing. I did not notice a big difference between this system and the classic one - players still activate a lot of rewards, but after using them they now have to wait 90 seconds before they are restored, even if the necessary points have already been accumulated.

On the one hand, Cold War seems like a step back from Modern Warfare. If you liked last year's Call of Duty, it's hardly worth switching to the new product - it is inferior in quality. But if the creation of Infinity Ward was not to your liking and you want something more familiar, Cold War seems like good entertainment - the shooting is pleasant, there are plenty of weapons and body kits, and the TTK is absolutely amazing. Only the size of the cards is a little upsetting - making them a little more compact, and the game will become more dynamic. But you will probably be able to get used to it, but how this multiplayer will be combined with Warzone is a very big question.

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