Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is finally here, bringing plenty of new ways to explore the signature multiplayer Treyarch coined across its previous CoD titles. We threw some questions over to the Californian developer asking about its plans to make this multiplayer better than ever, with Black Ops Cold War Lead Designer Tony Flame sending some answers back.
Gamereactor: Treyarch has announced that post-launch Zombies content will be free to access. Will this be the same for Black Ops Cold War's multiplayer?
Flame: Yes, players can expect a continuous stream of free gameplay content for Black Ops Cold War coinciding with our seasonal schedule. Each season will have a lineup of new maps, game modes, and even gameplay content such as Scorestreaks, which are just going to be available for everyone right off the bat. In addition to this, there's going to be personal customisation content and even weapons that can be earned for free with the Battle Pass or through in-game challenges and other methods as well. So there's a lot of content that we're offering either right off the bat for free, or that can be earned in-game.
Gamereactor: How will the new 12v12 Combined Arms mode change the dynamic of Call of Duty multiplayer?
Flame: Combined Arms is an awesome new experience for a number of reasons. Increasing from 6v6 to 12v12, we can expand the size of the maps with more areas to explore while still keeping the action fast-paced. There's a fleet of vehicles to choose from depending on the map. Some of these are fast and fun, like snowmobiles, jet skis, dirt bikes, fast attack vehicles, or you can go heavy duty with a tank or even a fully armed helicopter. With bigger maps come bigger game modes that utilise more of the map, so many of the game modes that you'll find in Combined Arms are custom made for 12v12, such as the new Assault Mode that plays like a giant tug-of-war, or big-map takes on classics like our 6-flag variant of Domination.
Gamereactor: How does the new 40-player mode Fireteam: Dirty Bomb differ from Modern Warfare's Ground War mode?
Flame: It really is an entirely new and different experience. Fireteam: Dirty Bomb is what happens when we explore the gameplay space between core multiplayer and the Battle Royale genre. So, like in Battle Royale, you're parachuted into a huge battle with your squad of four. Once you land, you'll be exploring defined objectives, resources, and items that make you stronger or give you a tactical advantage like Scorestreaks, armour, or vehicles.
Then the transition to core multiplayer comes in when you're out there collecting uranium. You need to find it and bring it to one of several objective locations, which will be drawing a lot of attention. You're going to have chaotic fights around them, like an MP objective mode, but you'll have a much bigger space to utilise more intricate tactics. Like in MP, players will always be able to respawn. But to get the pacing right, there's a spawn delay, and there's a penalty if your entire squad gets wiped out. And of course, throughout all of this experience, you're ranking up, earning towards your Battle Pass, leveling up your weapons and using your custom loadout, earning challenges, so that you've ranked up in Gunsmith and create-a-class.
Gamereactor: VIP Escort is the new kid on the block, how did this new game mode come to fruition?
Flame: VIP Escort was born from the theme of a Cold War game. The Cold War revolved heavily around spies, sensitive intelligence, moving and securing these valuable personnel assets across borders, and in and out of countries. So, VIP Escort is exactly that. One player on the offense has been designated as the VIP, and that's who needs to be extracted across the border. As the VIP, you'll only be armed with a pistol and some extra armour to provide some different gameplay, which means you've either got to be stealthy or rely on your team to escort you safely to one of the extraction zones. So the tension of escaping or preventing an escape is something you can feel in every match, which truly brings that sense of the Cold War spy games to life.
Gamereactor: There was a series of new mechanics added in Modern Warfare, one of which is mounting. Will it return in Black Ops Cold War at all?
Flame: We'll continue to evaluate gameplay features that are important to our fans and prioritise the ones that are highest impact. Currently, mounting is something that we received a lot of beta feedback on. The players were happy that they didn't have to worry about running into mounting enemies. So right now, it's not something we're currently working on. But we'll keep monitoring the community sentiment on this feature and others moving forward.
Thanks to Treyarch and Tony Flame for answering our questions. You can check out our Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War review here, where we explore what the latest CoD title is really bringing to the table. Likewise, you can get your hands on Black Ops Cold War now, available on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series.