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Oh no, shader installs are back in Call of Duty: Black Ops - Cold War

(Image credit: Activision)
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Run for the hills, the shaders are coming. During a multiplayer session of Call of Duty: Black Ops - Cold War (opens in new tab) hosted by Activision, I was bummed to see the return of a nuisance that Modern Warfare players on PC know too well: shader installation.

For those that haven't been dealing with Call of Duty's shader addiction for the past year, they're sluggish 5-10 minute installs that ambush players when they load the game from a fresh install or new patch, effectively forcing them to sit around on the main menu while shaders are reconfigured for the campaign and multiplayer.

(Image credit: Activision)

Why does Call of Duty have to do this? I have no idea, and I doubt anyone working on the games is psyched about it either. It appears to be a necessity tied to the new engine that Modern Warfare and Cold War are built on. I'd hardly mind the shaders if it only happened on the first launch, but in Modern Warfare installs pop up after major and minor patches. Yet another shader install is the last thing I want to see after downloading Modern Warfare's famously gigantic patches (opens in new tab). I was hoping that Cold War would sidestep this annoyance, but signs point to another year of shader woes.

Morgan Park
Morgan Park

Morgan has been writing for PC Gamer since 2018, first as a freelancer and currently as a staff writer. He has also appeared on Polygon, Kotaku, Fanbyte, and PCGamesN. Before freelancing, he spent most of high school and all of college writing at small gaming sites that didn't pay him. He's very happy to have a real job now. Morgan is a beat writer following the latest and greatest shooters and the communities that play them. He also writes general news, reviews, features, the occasional guide, and bad jokes in Slack. Twist his arm, and he'll even write about a boring strategy game. Please don't, though.