As has become a CoD tradition, players can unlock Atari 2600 games from the publisher’s earliest years as playable mini games in Black Ops Cold War.
As is the case with many Call of Duty games of the past few years, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War has a slew of hidden classic games from Activision’s past that are completely playable in-game. Much like Sega including Virtua Fighter and obscure insect-based card games from its own heritage in Yakuza, Call of Duty has become the unlikely steward of games from the earliest days of publisher Activision’s output. It’s one of several categories of bizarre unlockables that has pervaded the series, especially in Black Ops titles and its arcane Zombies modes.
In the past of the franchise, players could play through classic PC text adventure Zork from the Black Ops menu, go on a River Raid on Nuketown 2025 in Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, and try from a list of 10 classic titles like Chopper Command and Fishing Derby while waiting for multiplayer matches in Call of Duty: WWII. In each case other than the first, the games come from the Atari 2600 era, although there are a few original minigames produced for the Call of Duty franchise that pop up from time to time. Whether it’s Pitfall or Dead Ops Arcade, these playable novelties provide a brief distraction from the infinite warfare of the popular first-person shooting franchise.
As reported by PC Gamer and others, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War carries on the tradition of featuring old Activision classics throughout the campaign. Players can unlock fully playable renditions of Enduro, Barnstorming, River Raid, Grand Prix, Fishing Derby, and the one that no Activision collection would be complete without, Pitfall. The list of games include those that have been included before and new entries, all playable via anachronistic arcade cabinets that get a pass because they light up with neon real good. The entire arcade area can be seen below courtesy of Twin Cherry Studio on YouTube:
If hunting down old Atari games isn’t enough, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is full of additional easter eggs to distract players from the high-stakes 1980s war story. In the campaign, there are references to past games in the series even outside the Black Ops subseries, including one nod to Modern Warfare that was likely too good to pass up for the development team. On the Zombies side of the equation, the hunt is on for its expected Easter Egg quest, which has players scouring levels together for secrets that could unlock special abilities and items in the mode. No matter what an FPS fan wants out of a Call of Duty game, its seemingly packed somewhere into Black Ops Cold War‘s massive install size.
While it’s odd that Activision’s main avenue of releasing retro games appears to be within games like Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War rather than some sort of standalone collection, it is nice to see the company taking advantage of its back catalog in some way. So many times, companies seem willing to let their defunct franchises rot in storage, perhaps because of some worry that rereleases would sap sales from tentpoles. One hopes Activision keeps ups this trend, perhaps even upping the generation next time out and giving shooter fans a taste of The Adventures of Rad Gravity on NES.
Next: COD: Black Ops Cold War Zombies Easter Egg Quest Starts Friday Worldwide
Call Of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is available now on PS5, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, Xbox One, and PC.
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