Instead of gaming lately, I’ve been binging on a Croatian television series called “Crno-bijeli svijet” (which translates to Black-and-White World). It’s a show set in 1980s Yugoslavia. It has nothing to do with the Cold War specifically, but at the same time, I’m watching another foreign-language show called “Deutschland 86“. It is a Cold War-era series about an Eastern German spy in 1986. It’s the second part of a trilogy; I watched “Deutschland 83″ about five or so years ago but have only started watching the second part now. The third part, “Deutschland 89″ already aired last year but when I wrote this blog, it was not unavailable in Canada.
While I’ve been watching these recently produced programs based on the 80s, I completely forgot that Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War released only a few months ago. To be honest, I haven’t really cared for Call of Duty (and war-based first-person shooters) for a while. I haven’t played a Call of Duty game in a few years and that includes the fact that I have a couple of them installed because PlayStation Plus subscribers got them for free.
With the Black Ops series, in particular, I don’t think I’ve played one since the original back on PlayStation 3. I didn’t hate Call of Duty: Black Ops, but during that time, I was more interested in the Modern Warfare series and the Vietnam-based setting for Black Ops just didn’t do it for me.
Over the years, I’ve definitely followed the series, I just could never find myself interested enough to want to play any of them. Sure, I worked at EA, who was competing against COD with their Battlefield series; I was just not that eager to play a Call of Duty, regardless if the setting was in the present, the far future, or fifty years in the past.
I still feel this way. Whereas “Crno-bijeli svijet” and “Deutschland 86” have me actively searching up and reading on 1980s history, I don’t see any real reason to play a video game that covers the same decade.
2020 was a weird year but I felt like there was much less marketing for Black Ops Cold War. Unlike earlier years when we got a new trailer for Call of Duty around the NBA Finals in early June, the pandemic made that impossible. But even when they did begin to push the game when they could, I can’t remember seeing much about it. Maybe they went a different route for their marketing and I am just not their target audience and I don’t fault them for that.
If I do decide to want to try it, I think I’ll play it on PlayStation 5 so that I can experience the haptic feedback on the dual sense controller. But, at its current price, I’d best wait for a sale. Unfortunately, I noticed that Call of Duty games rarely go on sale. Steam has most of the older Call of Duty games selling at full-price (Black Ops II is $65 CDN, while Black Ops III and World War II are both $80 CDN). Even on Battle.net, the older games (including 2019’s Modern Warfare) is full-priced. I’m guessing with their free Warzone stand-alone mode and free content updates, they don’t need to offer their games at any sort of significant discount.
This surprises me, especially for the older ones. Yes, they’ve given a few of their older games out for free, but it’s only on Amazon where I can find some games for cheaper. Currently, I can get Infinite Warfare for $14 CDN (I checked, I already have a copy) while Advanced Warfare is $47. Unfortunately, the before mentioned Modern Warfare is $90 through Amazon, which makes no sense.
I’m feeling like I’m going off-topic here. This post wasn’t meant to talk about my feelings towards the weird price points for older Call of Duty games. I was writing this because my interest in something (the 1980s) isn’t translating into other mediums. When I was growing up, games actually got me wanting to learn more about other topics. I got more interested in sports like Golf, Rugby, and Skateboarding because of their respective video games. Japanese-RPGs got me more interested in Japanese culture and the language. Maybe, had I played Cold War first, then I’d be seeking out shows like “The Americans” (which I’ve already watched and loved) or other spy-related Cold War-set series. Instead, I’m enjoying the last few episodes of “Deutschland 86” and hoping that “Deutschland 89” is made available on Canadian streaming platforms very soon!