But CODBLOPS: Cold War doesn’t reach the levels of self-awareness required to overpower its poor taste. It feels written to justify the actions of ruthless men and doesn’t offer the most basic character development required to give its deathsquad the benefit of the doubt. As a game, it’s a predictable ride. As a piece of fiction, it is servile.
In the end, I do think it is too “hurt me plenty” for me, only just. The sensation of being slapped right back to the start every time and having to repeat the opening level is as likely to produce a frustrated sigh as it is to inspire a “one more go” mentality. In this case, new minibosses have started to appear to offer some variety. But I’m probably bowing out, at least for the time being. That’s okay. I can appreciate the knuckle-cracking attitude of improvement-by-death while also being ready to lay down my demon razor and die no more. You win this one, ScourgeBringer.
The game is also, yes, small in stature, it is one-note, it can be enjoyed in one sitting until you reach the crest of conditioning and competence, if not completion. It is single-minded to the point of being playable with precisely one digit. You might play it for a single day, as I did, have a wonderful time covering yourself with blood, and be satisfied to never touch it again. But if these are flaws they are also proof of focus and refinement. Disc Room might be readily slept on, but if you are the kind of tough game obsessive, a connoisseur of arcade death, or a bullet hellion who cannot resist the call to mastery, these rooms should be approached wakeful and willing and ready to die.
For anyone hoping it would bring a little modern fluidity to a long-stagnant genre, you might have to moonwalk upwards from this one. But for Ragers, it’s a sturdy score-attacking blowout to while away some hours, perfecting your flying knees and enflamed uppercuts, arguing over who deserves the trash salad.
I can’t overstate the fact that it’s a funny game – funny enough that the humour keeps you going from fight to fight, searching not for the source of your mysterious enemy, or for the answer to all the sub-mysteries surrounding Jesse, but for the next episode of the Threshold Kids.