Call of Duty: Black Ops - Cold War is a direct sequel to the first Black Ops, though like Black Ops 2, it won't be entirely linear. At Gamescom's Opening Night Live today, Raven Software's Dan Vondrak said that "player choice and player freedom" will drive the campaign of Black Ops - Cold War.
That freedom includes creating a character and completing (or not completing) optional objectives. There will also be "player choice moments" throughout the campaign.
"Some of those choices earlier in the game, and some towards the end, will actually shape the ending of the narrative, of the campaign," said Vondrak, who confirmed that he meant there will be multiple endings to Cold War, like there were in Black Ops 2.
We also saw a new trailer (embedded at the top of this article) which features a rosy-cheeked Ronald Reagan giving the OK to an illegal CIA operation. As Morgan mentioned in his preview yesterday (opens in new tab), it's true that the real Reagan administration was involved in illegal CIA operations, but what the game presents as freedom fighting was actually the illegal funding of war crimes in Nicaragua (opens in new tab) by selling weapons to Iran's Khomeini government, and that just scratches the surface. I typically expect a little more self-awareness from Call of Duty—not much, maybe, but a little more. (Then again, Oliver North himself was in Black Ops 2, so I might've just been fooling myself.)
Black Ops - Cold War will be out on November 13 (opens in new tab).