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Here's why Black Ops Cold War has multiple endings

Call of Duty: Black Ops – Cold War was recently revealed to be the next game in the Call of Duty franchise. Not only that, but Cold War will function as a sequel to Black Ops 2. Almost immediately, fans began to wonder what the story of the game had in store for them. It was recently revealed during the Gamescom Opening Night livestream that Cold War will feature multiple branching storylines, along with multiple endings. 

In an interview with GameSpot, Raven Software's Dan Vondrak explained the reasoning behind these multiple mission paths. It seems that the team decided early on that the new game should feature several endings, as a way to truly follow up on the mechanics of Black Ops 2.

Black Ops 2 had multiple endings with some slight variations between a few. However, in terms of biggest consequences and differences, there were four main endings to the game. Most of the endings revolved around which characters lived and which ones perished, although there were multiple smaller choices and objectives throughout Black Ops 2 that influenced how the final act would play out. Some of these endings were a little more open-ended, while one showed the deaths of all of the main characters and the fall of civilization. So, you know, there was plenty at stake there.

The multiple endings of Black Ops 2 were notably a great incentive to replay the game to see the different outcomes. However, the branching story paths also received criticism from some outlets like Kotaku, which maintained that some of the objectives needed to get the good endings were needlessly obscure. This resulted in many players getting a bad ending even if they'd ostensibly saved the day.

Hopefully Black Ops – Cold War will learn from some of the mistakes of its predecessor and deliver the best story mode of the series. With the game acting as a direct sequel to Black Ops 2, there are plenty of reasons to believe that Treyarch and Raven are aiming to give fans the ultimate Black Ops experience, and those criticisms will likely be addressed.

According to Vondrak, "When we started creating the story, we had multiple endings in mind right away. And that really helped. I think if you try to add those later, or if they just don't fit the story you're telling, then you shouldn't add them. But we knew right away that we wanted to do that. I absolutely loved the idea that we could [have a] little bit of homage to Black Ops 2 by having these [multiple endings]."

"I think even if Black Ops 2 didn't have it, it would make perfect sense for our game to have it," Vondrak continued. "But I loved that this game was trying to say, here's all these great pieces of the entire Black Ops series that we loved, and we can kind of pay homage to those different pieces."

The game's story was written with input from Hollywood screenwriter David S. Goyer. In addition to writing for such blockbuster films as the Blade trilogy and The Dark Knight, Goyer also worked on the script for the first two Black Ops games. Considering the fact that this new game is being billed as a sequel to the events of Black Ops 2, it seems like the perfect fit.

Not too much is known about the overall plot of Call of Duty: Black Ops – Cold War. What is known is that it will feature several returning characters. The game's villain was also revealed in a cinematic released earlier this week. The primary antagonist of Cold War appears to be a Soviet spy bearing the codename "Perseus." According to the cinematic, Perseus has evaded the United States military for decades, stealing information on the Manhattan Project in the 40s and nearly inciting a nuclear incident in the 60s. Now that Perseus has resurfaced in the 1980s, the protagonists are assigned by Ronald Reagan himself to bring Perseus down, once and for all.

Despite the fact that the game is set during a very turbulent time in history, the team behind Cold War insists that the game isn't trying to make any kind of political statement. This may come as news to censors in China, who notably banned the first teaser trailer of the game for using footage of the Tiananmen Square protests, among other landmark moments in '80s political activism. 

As the game's November 13 release date approaches, fans will probably get more information regarding the storyline and characters of Black Ops – Cold War. In the meantime, it's exciting to know that the game will encourage plenty of replay.