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Black Ops Cold War engine gets revamp to give modern take on 1980s

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Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War brings the franchise to the next-generation of consoles when it launches in November. 

Raven Software’s technical team discussed during our virtual briefing what the team is doing to make the game look and play incredibly well. 

Engine

First off, Treyarch’s Dan Bunting says that they are not fully using Modern Warfare’s engine for Black Ops Cold War. Infinity Ward debuted a brand new engine with Modern Warfare that was in the works for years, which dramatically transformed Call of Duty’s graphics. 

Treyarch says that while the teams share the ‘underlying technology,’ the engine and technology being used in Black Ops Cold War was created back in 2015. Bunting says that the team worked hard to revamp and re-build a lot of their tools starting with Black Ops 3, and Black Ops Cold War showcases the power of what they were able to do. It’s important to focus on making tools and specific functionality versus a whole engine, and that’s where they focused. 

The tool set built with this game was intended to be scalable and broad to work on future platforms, including PS5 and Xbox Series X. The teams are sharing tools, but there is new stuff in Black Ops Cold War. 

Black Ops Cold War tool set

Raven’s Lighting Director Alberto Noti spoke during the briefing as to how the team worked to bring the 1980s to life in Black Ops Cold War. Noti says that the team pushed to make the game ‘visually stunning’ and ‘push Call of Duty visual boundaries.’ 

The team was able to create photorealistic visual experience with the next-generation tools to bring this game to life. They wanted to make sure they could capture the essence of the 1980s. And, the teams did that through building vintage aesthetics through modern tools. 

The game features the latest display and next-gen technology, supporting 4K and HDR across the board. Black Ops Cold War was designed to be a ‘modern’ looking game that was ‘visually sharp’ but also ‘era appropriate environment.’ 

In designing the lighting, the teams had to target. Showcase and use photorealism to bring the 1980s style to life, and use real time lighting technology. 

Raven and Treyarch identified color pallets for the different places players will travel through in the game. Examples shown to use included a teal color look for Berlin location, and a pink, purple, and red combination for the 1980s vibes. They added in 1980s props to highlight through the lighting technology. 

The teams also built Real Time Lighting technology to be able to adjust the lighting in locations in real time during development. This unlocked the team to showcase precise shadows in each area that realistically matched the location. In a clip shown, they showcased how the lighting team is able to go in and update the look and feel of locations in real time and in render. 

Raven’s Lighting Director says the teams pushed the ‘limits of the engine’ to make the ‘most realistic adventure’ in the Black Ops saga. Engine was ‘vastly improved’ over the last few years to build on the next-generation. It’s a next-gen experience and ‘lives and breathes’ the 1980s feel.  

The last piece Raven Software shared on this was the volumetric and how the fogs/effects are displayed in game. With this game, light rays are no longer invisible. Fog will be able to showcase and be more immersive throughout the entire game’s journey. 

Get the latest Black Ops Cold War news by checking our category page.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War

How to get free pre-season bundles in Black Ops Cold War

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Treyarch has announced a couple of free bundles available for Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War ahead of the start of Season One.

Players will be able to get two free bundles as part of a pre-season offering for Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War.

Players need to log into Black Ops Cold War between December 8 at 10AM PT and December 15 at 11PM PT in order to acquire the two new bundles.

Two free bundles will also become available to all Black Ops Cold War players through a new Pre-Season offer! Simply log in between 10AM PT Dec. 8 and 11PM PT Dec. 15 to claim both bundles.

Here’s what the two bundles include:

“Field Research” Bundle

  • 1 Epic Operator Skin (Park)
  • 1 Epic SMG Weapon Blueprint
  • 1 Epic Reticle
  • 1 Epic Calling Card
  • 1 Rare Weapon Charm

“Certified” Bundle

  • 1 Epic Operator Skin (Garcia)
  • 1 Rare Assault Rifle Weapon Blueprint
  • 1 Epic Reticle
  • 1 Epic Weapon Charm

Season One of Black Ops Cold War & Warzone will officially begin on December 16.

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Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War

Black Ops Cold War: New Update arrives Dec. 8

New patch update incoming with much needed fixes.

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Activision and Treyarch has announced a new patch update for Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is coming on December 8.

With the news that Season One has been delayed till Dec. 16, Treyarch has announced a rollout schedule for Black Ops Cold War in December, in terms of updates.

The studio has announced that there will be a new patch update for Black Ops Cold War on Tuesday, December 8.

This update will be live on PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and PC. The update will bring a number of quality of life improvements and prepare the game for Season One.

Patch notes for the update are expected to come once the update drops on December 8, but we’re hoping to see a variety of bug fixes and more from the new update.

The first of these is an update to Black Ops Cold War, which will be available to download on Tuesday, December 8. This update brings a host of quality-of-life improvements to Black Ops Cold War, and prepares players for new Season One game content integration, which becomes available December 16.

Between December 7 and December 16, expect lines of communication to be open as we preview numerous elements of Season One, showcasing the massive expansion of incoming content.

Stay tuned as Season One approaches.

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Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War

Black Ops Cold War & Warzone Season 1 delayed

Some changes to the release of Black Ops Cold War x Warzone Season One.

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Developing story… 

Activision and Treyarch have announced that the upcoming Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War and Call of Duty: Warzone Season 1 has been delayed. 

The news comes as fans were eagerly awaiting information on what to expect with Season One, including many leaks over the last week highlighting some of the upcoming content

The company has announced, however, that the new Season of content is being delayed. 

Season One of Black Ops Cold War & Warzone will now begin on December 16. 

Here’s the info from the Call of Duty blog:

An Unprecedented Amount of Free Warzone Content

Battle Royale is set to go beyond Verdansk: prepare to drop into a new Warzone map and mode at launchWarzone’s arsenal gets even bigger with over 30 Black Ops Cold War base weapons, as well as Blueprint variants! Also, make sure you’re ready to face down fellow prisoners of Warzone in a new Gulag experience.

An Undeniable Offering of Black Ops Cold War Content

Prepare for an incredible amount of free content in Black Ops Cold War, including new Multiplayer maps, new and fan-favorite 6v6 modes and playlists, the return of 2v2 Gunfight with four new maps, and a massive new Fireteam map. This offering includes a battle through a sprawling luxury complex within the Hollywood Hills of Los Angeles. That’s right: the legendary Call of Duty: Black Ops II 6v6 map known as Raid will be ready to play in Black Ops Cold War at Season One launch.

Make room on your Gunsmith table for free-to-acquire weapons and prepare for new Zombies modesSeason Challenges, and the full cross-title launch of the Seasonal Prestige system, with up to 1,000 Season Levels to progress through!

It’s an unprecedented amount of free content and the teams are currently prepping for the biggest Season One launch week ever seen. For this to occur, we’re taking a few more days to finalize everything before unleashing this massive drop of new, free content to the community.

2XP + 2WXP Weekend and Free Bundles Incoming!

To thank you for your continued support and patience, and to help you level up before Season One, Treyarch will be enabling Double XP and Double Weapon XP in Black Ops Cold War from 10AM PT Saturday, Dec. 12 until the launch of Season One.

Two free bundles will also become available to all Black Ops Cold War players through a new Pre-Season offer! Simply log in between 10AM PT Dec. 8 and 11PM PT Dec. 15 to claim both bundles, including:

“Field Research” Bundle

·       1 Epic Operator Skin (Park)

·       1 Epic SMG Weapon Blueprint

·       1 Epic Reticle

·       1 Epic Calling Card

·       1 Rare Weapon Charm

“Certified” Bundle

·       1 Epic Operator Skin (Garcia)

·       1 Rare Assault Rifle Weapon Blueprint

·       1 Epic Reticle

·       1 Epic Weapon Charm

Content Roll-out: Preparation for Season One Launch

Over the next week, expect additional communications on this channel, as well as the Treyarch blog, and across social media as we ensure you are updated as frequently as possible.

During this time, content updates for Black Ops Cold War, as well as Warzone and Modern Warfare are scheduled to occur. See below for details.

Black Ops Cold War Update: Dec. 8

The first of these is an update to Black Ops Cold War, which will be available to download on Tuesday, December 8. This update brings a host of quality-of-life improvements to Black Ops Cold War, and preparesplayers for new Season One game content integration, which becomes available December 16.

Between December 7 and December 16, expect lines of communication to be open as we preview numerous elements of Season One, showcasing the massive expansion of incoming content.

Black Ops Cold War Update (Dec. 15), Warzone Update (Dec. 16)

A pair of content updates will deliver Season One game content for players of Black Ops Cold War and Warzone. For more information on the content of these updates, consult Treyarch’s Game Intel blogs for patch notes.

Once the second content update becomes available in Warzone, Season One will launch simultaneously across Black Ops Cold War and Warzone.

We want to thank you, the Call of Duty community, for your tremendous support and patience. We’re honored to serve the most passionate community around.


This is one of the first times Activision has delayed a massive post launch release.

The company announced in early November the now-delayed release date for Season One, and gave fans extensive info on Warzone’s integration

Season One is expected to feature new 6v6 maps & modes, the return of 2v2 Gunfight mode, new Zombies modes, a new ‘Classified Warzone Experience,’ and more. 

The season will also bring the first Battle Pass for Black Ops Cold War. The Battle Pass will feature a free and premium tier which will host a variety of cosmetic content for players to earn. 

The start of Season One will also see Warzone’s full integration into Black Ops Cold War. Right now, Warzone remains tied to Modern Warfare. With Season One, progression systems will be synced and matched between Black Ops Cold War, Warzone, and Modern Warfare. The integration will also see Black Ops Cold War’s loadouts become available in Warzone. 

More information on the content included with Season One is set to be announced soon.

Stay tuned for updates. 

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