Raven spills juicy details about Call of Duty: Black Ops - Cold War campaign missions

black ops cold war
(Image credit: Activision)

Between betas, trailers, ARGs, and Warzone integrations, there is no shortage of ways to get amped about the next Call of Duty. Now, less than two weeks from Cold War's launch, Raven creative director Dan Vondrak is promoting the game by telling us way too much about three of its campaign missions.

If you're looking to play Cold War's campaign with zero context, now's the time to jump ship. Included with each story description is an in-engine flyover of environments from that mission. Spoilers ahead.

The first mission detailed is "Nowhere Left to Run," the kickoff to the story that Activision has been keen to tease in its trailers. Vondrak describes it as a meetup at a neon-lit bar in Amsterdam that eventually breaks into a desperate rooftop chase. "Nowhere Left to Run is a great example of how we wanted to pay homage to the original Black Ops in a few ways that fans will recognize," he said.

Regarding homage, Vondrak might be referring to the first mission of the original Black Ops that also began in a bar. Whereas that mission quickly turned into an all-out-war in the streets of Cuba, "Nowhere Left to Run" is a hunt for a single target in an ongoing hostage crisis, so it may prove less bombastic. Vondrak also mentioned that this first mission will feature the RCXD car that has been dismembering my legs for the past decade.

"As the mission comes to an end, the story kicks off in dramatic fashion as a ghost from the past is revealed to still be alive and planning something that could shift the balance of power in the Cold War." That "ghost" they're referring to is Perseus, a supposed Soviet spy whose existence was never confirmed.

Next up is Cold War's second mission, "Fracture Jaw," which takes players back to the Vietnam War to witness a "first encounter" with Perseus. This is the first of several flashbacks to Vietnam, according to Raven. "It was great being able to push the big war feeling in these levels, from flying helicopters to being a soldier on the ground fighting through jungles and rice paddies," Vondrak said.

Vondrak says that, through flashbacks, the characters of Cold War are slowly trying to "unblur" events from their past. This feels like another throwback to the original Black Ops, which surprised players with its willingness to throw reality at the window and serve up twists. If that's the case, the player character may not always be a reliable narrator in Cold War.

The last mission detailed is another that we've gotten a limited look at in the past, "Desperate Measures."

"After tracking down several leads in the hunt for Perseus, the team find themselves faced with the unthinkable: they must go behind the Iron Curtain—into the heart of the Soviet Union—and infiltrate the KGB headquarters," Vondrak said. Huh, the Perseus hunt must be going pretty bad if the only way to catch him is to crack into the Soviet Death Star.

We got to see a pretty good chunk of this mission in a preview presentation by Activision a few months ago. Players begin undercover, sneaking around the Lubyanka building gathering intel and performing stealth takedowns like a small Hitman level. Though, it wouldn't be CoD unless stealth was eventually broken and exploded into a bloody escape.

That's a surprising amount of info to drop about the story so close to release. Thankfully, these new details mostly stick to missions we already knew about. At this rate, Vondrak will blurt out the identity of Perseus by next week.

Morgan Park
Staff Writer

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.