Here's the Call of Duty: Black Ops - Cold War launch trailer

Call of Duty: Black Ops – Cold War is still a few weeks away, but the launch trailer is here today, setting up a guns-blazing tale of Frank, Al, Jay, and a global conspiracy that threatens to wipe out half of Europe.

"1981. The Cold War is at its peak. World powers grapple for control and a hidden threat looms," the YouTube listing says, breathlessly I assume. "In Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, players will engage in deniable operations, fighting the battles that never happened to stop a conspiracy decades in the making."

The source of that existential threat is presumably Perseus, a Soviet agent—or agency, perhaps?—based on a "real" 1970s spy who allegedly infiltrated Western intelligence agencies and then got away clean. The official story is that his identity was never uncovered, but perhaps the truth is something different. Something... darker.

Ronald Reagan figures prominently in the trailer, because of course he does—he's basically the avatar of Cold War machinations, which is why he's also front-and-center in games like Wasteland 3 and the newly-announced Mobius Front '83 from Zachtronics. More interesting to me is the Robert Redford-looking guy with the sweet shades and sexy scars: The Call of Duty Wiki says that's veteran CIA spook Russell Adler and IMDB says Adler is voiced by Bruce Thomas, but he sure sounds a lot to me like Michael Ironside, the man behind black bag badass Sam Fisher of Splinter Cell fame. Could some kind of Activision-Ubisoft franchise mega-crossover event be in the works?

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Well, no, obviously not, and Thomas also said back in August when Black Ops – Cold War was revealed that he's voicing Adler. But it's weird, right? Rock and roll has destroyed my hearing, it's true, but if I didn't know better I'd swear that's Ironside.

Call of Duty: Black Ops – Cold War is out on November 13. It will kick off a "completely new chapter" of Zombies, but snipers are the same as they've always been.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.