“You are stuck with them. You cannot get rid of them. They are contaminated. They are programmed to think and react to certain stimuli in a certain pattern. You cannot change their mind even if you expose them to authentic information, even if you prove that white is white, and black is black. You cannot change the basic perception and illogical behavior. In other words, [for] these people, the process of demoralisation is complete and irreversible.” –Yuri Bezmenov
In 1981, SAD/SOG operators Russell Adler, Alex Mason and Frank Woods capture Quasim Javadi shortly after the Iran Hostage Crisis, learning from him the whereabouts of Arash Kadivar. They pursue to a Turkish airfield and manage to neutralise him, but not before Kadivar speaks of the enigmatic “Perseus” as being the organiser behind the crisis. Back in the United States, President Ronald Reagan approves of a black ops assignment to take out Perseus, sending Adler to West Berlin, where he meets up with Lawrence Sims, Eleazar Azoulay and Helen Park, as well as the newcomer, Bell. Bell flashes back to Operation Fracture Jaw in Vietnam thirteen years earlier, when the name Perseus first surfaced: here, Bell and Sims secure intelligence on Perseus from a Viet Cong-held village before heading back to defend their base from the Viet Cong counteroffensive. Later, Bell and Adler sneak into East Berlin to capture Anton Volkov, who is suspected of having ties with Perseus. When his initial meeting at a bar unexpectedly changes, they tail Franz Kraus to his apartment and, after Bell sneaks in, he plants a tracker in his briefcase. However, Bell is captured and brought to meet Volkov. With help from Park and Azoulay, Bell is able turn the tables on his captors and defeats Volkov’s men before capturing Volkov himself. This is where I stand in Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War (Cold War from here on out for brevity) after an hour of play, and insofar, I am thoroughly impressed. In this first hour, I’ve visited the humid jungles of Vietnam, Berlin’s Geisterbahnhöfe and the Berlin Wall on assignments to locate any scrap of information related to the mysterious Perseus, who is only presented as being the single greatest threat to the Western world. There’s a sense of urgency to get ahead of things and thwart whatever his plans are, although standing in contrast with traditional Call of Duty games, Cold War also gives players a chance to experience the espionage side of the story, as well. It’s a fantastic start to a game that certainly held my attention from the first day the reveal trailer was announced in August: this trailer proved controversial for featuring segments from Yuri Bezmenov, a Soviet KGB defector who spoke of something known as Active Measures. For its controversy, the trailer did succeed in creating curiosity in Cold War: who was Perseus, and how was he related to the ideological subversion that Bezmenov had spoke of? While an hour into Cold War, it should be clear that the game has nothing to do with psychological warfare, Bezmenov’s interview nonetheless raised some insightful points about where the Western world was headed. In Bezmenov’s original interview, he suggested that the Soviet’s efforts in undermining, or subverting Western civilisation was concentrated in psychological warfare, which would take place during what he referred to as “demoralisation”. A demoralised individual is one who lacks morals, refusing to differentiate fact from fiction and blindly agree with their own ideology at the expense of facts, rendering them vulnerable to destabilisation. During this time, vital infrastructure in a country (economy, security, international relationships) would become fragile as more people lose the skills (or willingness) to do their jobs properly, and all it would take was a spark (crisis) to plunge a nation into chaos. From the ashes, a “new normal” would arise: in this society, all of the things that were previously present would be dismantled and destroyed.
Bezmenov’s interview seems hauntingly accurate in retrospect, and almost immediately, Activision was attacked for featuring Bezmenov in their promotion of Cold War: one particularly disreputable games journalist called out the trailer as being a “tacit endorsement of [Bezmenov’s] deeply flawed ideology”, being “irresponsible for the developers to disseminate his ideas without context” and expressed concern that people were suggesting Bezmenov had been describing the modern world with frightening accuracy, that leftist ideals would lead to the undermining of society as we know it. This is untrue: Bezmenov, while an opponent of Marxism, was speaking more broadly to the fact that a society unable to accept facts as being integral to reasoned discussion would be doomed to destruction. Bezmenov indicates that people whose thinking has changed as a result of having been indoctrinated early on will have a difficult time separating fact from fiction, and will tend to think in terms of black-and-white. Despite said games journalist’s attempts to discredit this, demoralisation is very much a problem that most evident on social media, where extremists with agenda mingle with those seeking approval and validation. On social media platforms, follower count, retweets, upvotes and karma matter more than the correctness of a given statement – so long as a statement adheres to a certain narrative and is published or shared by a source one approves of, it is automatically counted as authentic. Sharing is done in the hopes of getting one noticed enough to partake in the imagined benefits attached to being associated with individuals of note. This phenomenon creates a scenario where people are unable to differentiate between truth and lies: the information being shared matters less than who shared it. The end result can be devastating: indoctrinated individuals rally behind buzzwords and hold a bizarre insistence on terminology to control certain narratives. These individuals fight not for the causes they purport to support, but rather, seek nothing more than their own promotion. Similarly, in “cancel culture”, people will dreg up an individual’s perceived slights, claim this to be in contradiction with their own ideology and attempt to destroy said individual’s career on so-called moral grounds. “Cancel culture” represents an unwillingness to listen, and the stubborn belief that one’s own truth is indisputably the truth. This mode of thinking is a threat to the foundations on which the world is built: hard work, skill and teamwork do not mean anything to proponents of “cancel culture”, and through social media, such people have extended their influence to illegally impact systems they have no understanding of. In both cases, demoralisation results in people who see no alternative in making their way in society aside from undoing and undermining the efforts of hardworking people. When such individuals become enabled by more powerful actors, their threat towards a society built on collaboration and effort is immense: riots and other forms of disruption often result. Recent events have demonstrated that Bezmenov’s warning did come to pass, and it is therefore unsurprising that radicalised game journalists would see the Cold War trailer as a threat: it would appear Activision were calling out these individuals and their methods, making them known to more people. In fact, Activision’s only aim was to create a gripping and compelling trailer to raise interest in their game. Of course, the fact that games journalists would write a treatise claiming Cold War‘s trailer to be “recklessly [promoting]…conspiracy [theories]” suggests an intolerance for alternate perspectives, or at the very least, suggest an individual who is salty about lacking knowledge in C++ and the fundamentals of OO-programming.
Screenshots and Commentary
- Cold War begins in a bar as Adler and Mason pursue a suspect related to the Iranian Hostage Crisis. After finishing their drinks, Mason and Adler get to work: I ended up picking up an AK-74U, a cut-down AK-74 firing the 5.45mm rounds that is intended to offer more firepower than a submachine gun and more mobility than an assault rifle. The first two missions in Cold War are more cinematic than proper shooter experiences, serving to introduce the setting and set the tone for the remainder of the story. As such, I don’t have too many screenshots of the first two missions.
- Here, I prepare to take a shot on Arash, which quickly goes south when another guard walks in front of him. A brief chase on jeeps follow, and while Arash is killed, the enigmatic Perseus is revealed here. Before I continue further, I’ll note that as far as politics go, I prefer not to discuss them here on this blog. With this being said, there are certain actors and modes of thinking that I absolutely do not agree with, with “cancel culture” being one of them. Bezmenov’s theories accurately represent how “cancel culture” and some other movements operate, whose members favour mob mentality and memes over everything else, and who believe their opinion matters more than expert knowledge in a given field.
- When facts and evidence are ignored, such individuals invariably cause more harm than good. Ultimately, those who exist exclusively to use social media to push certain narratives or destroy the lives of others are no more than self-appointed vigilantes lacking any understanding of the system they oppose, and society has indulged their deluged, dangerous whims on far too many occasions. Cold War does seem to suggest that the truth that we know is not always what it seems to be, and while Bezmenov is never mentioned in the game, it stands to reason that his speech was present to warn players that twists await them, and that things aren’t what they appear.
- Vietnam is the first of the proper missions in Cold War, with the goal being to secure a village and use the opportunity to locate Soviet intel. The last time I played through a game set in Vietnam would’ve been 2010’s Black Ops, where Mason is made to remember various operations he’d previously participated in a desperate bid to understand what the numbers in his head meant. Cold War‘s Bell is equally as mysterious, and for my play-through, I ended up going with an MI6 background, with the “violent tendencies” and “survivor” options picked for my psychological profile.
- “Violent tendencies” increases bullet damage by 25 percent, and “survivor” increases health by 25 percent. This is optimal for a first-time player like myself: the extra survivability means I have a little more wiggle room to escape a bad situation, and extra damage means one fewer bullet needed to down an enemy. Here in this Vietnamese village, I finally had a chance to put my setup to the test: on a humid and bright morning, I stormed the village in search of intel, fending off the Viet Cong soldiers here. I climbed into a building to avoid fire and found myself a Pelington 703, the game’s equivalent of the Remington 700 bolt action rifle. This well-crafted weapon feels like a hunting rifle of the sort that Steven Rinella might use to hunt Dall Sheep or Grizzly Bear on MeatEater.
- Owing to the global health crisis, I’d been exercising more frequently from home, during which I streamed YouTube videos to my Apple TV through AirPlay. MeatEater was recommended to me on account of how much Survivorman I’d been watching, and I immediately feel in love with the series: besides being highly informative about how a seasoned hunter thinks when out in the bush, Rinella also fully captures how he feels about every moment in a hunt, from the anticipation to lining up the perfect shot, and my personal favourite, when he cooks up some freshly-caught meat. Besides MeatEater, I’ve also discovered Andrew Davidson’s Kent Survival, a YouTube series where Davidson demonstrates his expertise with bushcraft and cooks delicious meals in the British wilderness. These series have done much to keep my morale high during these unusual times.
- Bell starts the mission with the M16A1, which is derived off the ArmaLite AR-15 and chambered for a 5.56 mm round. Replacing the M14 battle rifle, the M16A1 entered service in 1964 and became the USMC’s primary service rifle. The A1 variant of the rifle was an improvement over the original design, which had a 20-round box magazine and was notorious for its poor reliability (its malfunction rate was twice per an average of 1000 rounds fired), but it was later discovered that the M16 had been billed as a “self-cleaning rifle” that didn’t require maintenance. Once cleaning kits and instructions were issued to soldiers, and the rifle was redesigned with a chrome-plated chamber and forward assist mechanism, reliability no longer became a concern. Cold War portrays the M16 as firing in three round bursts, which is a feature that was introduced with the M16A2.
- Entering the village, the Pelington 703 was no longer viable – it’s an exceptional weapon for long range, but bolt action rifles are tricky to use in close quarters. I ended up switching over to the AK-47, an old classic. Counted as the world’s most reliable assault rifle, the AK-47 will never jam or overheat. It fires whether it’s wet, covered in mud or filled with sand, and its reliability has become the stuff of legends. I’ve fired the AK-47 in numerous games before, and it is high praise to Cold War that I can say that the AK-47 here is probably the best-feeling AK-47 I’ve ever fired in any game.
- This feeling of satisfaction isn’t just limited to the AK-47 – once the shooting starts, it becomes clear that Cold War has probably some of the best, most-satisfying weapon feel of any game I’ve played in a long time, combining heavy, powerful weapon sounds with the tactile feeling of each trigger pull. Every gun in the game feels lethal and deadly, and while Cold War might not have the most accurate or diverse selection of weapons, the weapons that are available feel and handle very well. Here, I move through a courtyard after having found a folder full of intel en route to the extraction zone: the Soviet presence raises eyebrows, and it becomes clear that something is afoot.
- With the Soviet file secured, it’s time to return to Ripcord Base. While Cold War could’ve ended the mission here, what happens instead is one of the most impressive ways of welcoming players to the game. The player takes over as the helicopter’s pilot and gunner, using the Huey’s mounted Miniguns and rockets to lay waste to Viet Cong positions amidst the Karst landscapes. There are no words to describe how breathtaking and thrilling this sequence is, and it feels fantastic to finally be here for myself. The UH-1 Iroquois, better known by its nickname, “Huey” is a utility helicopter that entered service in 1956 as a medical evacuation vehicle, and during the Vietnam War, saw extensive usage.
- Players get to fly a fictionalised variant; the closest equivalent I can think of in real life is the UH-1 M6, which is armed with forward-facing M60 7.62 mm machine guns and MA-2/A 2.75″ (70mm) 2-Tube rocket launchers, and in Cold War, I’m armed with a pair of 12 mm Miniguns and 105 mm rockets, both of which are far larger calibre weapons than were available in reality (for one, the M134 fires 7.62 mm rounds, not 12 mm rounds). Here, I fly over rice paddies that are reminiscent of those in China’s Gulin province. Vietnam is quite famous for its terraced rice paddies, and usually, May or October would be the best time to visit; these are when the terraces are filled with water to become mirror-like and take on beautiful autumn colours, respectively.
- Fracture Jaw is named after its real-world equivalent, during which General William Westmoreland proposed clandestinely moving nuclear warheads into South Vietnam for rapid deployment should the need arise. In 1968, the plan was abandoned, and I imagine that the object of Sims and Bell’s mission is to retrieve such a warhead as the plan was being abandoned. Sims is evidently displeased with the plan; during the Vietnam War, there was a disconnect between the leadership and foot soldiers fighting the war. I personally count this as one of the most wasteful and unnecessary conflicts of the Cold War, with the other being the Soviet-Afghan War, which depleted the Soviet’s economy and was one of the factors contributing to their collapse.
- The Vietnam War was such a thorn in the United States’ side because the doctrine of the day had been to flatten an area with artillery and low-altitude bombing, use helicopters to drop soldiers in and clear out the Viet Cong, and then leave. The Viet Cong, prepared to fight the long war, would simply re-enter a decimated area and occupy it again. This then required additional resources to be sent in and re-take an area. In the end, despite having vastly sophisticated weapons and tactics, the United States never had a concrete objective in Vietnam besides “containing communism”, whereas the Communist North Vietnamese government intended to unify Vietnam and moreover, were prepared to outlast their enemy.
- The end result was that the Vietnam War proved unsurprisingly unpopular amongst Americans, leading to wide anti-war and the hippie movements. In particular, one infamous picture sapped the American public of their desire for war. Dubbed the Napalm Girl, this photograph showed a naked girl of nine running from a napalm strike. The photograph created revulsion amongst the public; this was what the war was accomplishing. The right or wrong photograph in the right or wrong place and time can tip public opinion of war, and much as how Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima galvinised the American public into pushing for victory, the Napalm Girl photograph further compelled Americans to oppose their government’s decisions.
- The power of imagery cannot be understated, and today, with social media being nigh-ubiquitous, its abuses are rampant; we are at a point where scandals and controversies happen every other day. After reaching Ripcord base, the player will need to circle it and fend off attacking Viet Cong elements. While the high visual fidelity means that enemies would be invisible and blend in with the mountainside (which is why coloured smoke was extensively used to mark positions, both target and friendly), Cold War gives players visual indicators of enemy positions. Together with the Huey’s unlimited ammunition, it becomes more of an arcade-like experience to flatten the enemies and land back at base.
- Upon picking up one of the Fracture Jaw nuclear bombs, Bell’s helicopter is shot down. With Viet Cong fast approaching, it is fortunate that there’s an M60 lying around. The M60 is one of the most iconic guns of the Vietnam War, alongside the M16A1, and while the version I picked up does not appear to have any modifications, has enough ammunition to fend off the attacking soldiers long enough for allies to mark a position for a precision napalm strike. Once the aircraft show up and clear the area, the mission draws to a close, with the nuclear device secured.
- After flashback indicates that Bell remembers encountering Perseus, the story returns to 1981. The mission opens with Adler and Bell sneaking through a Geisterbahnhöfe (“Ghost Station”) to enter East Berlin. These ghost stations are a surreal location unique to Cold War Berlin; after Berlin was divided into East and West, some train lines that existed prior to the divided proved to be inconvenient for the East, so they ended up sealing off those stations with concrete barriers, wiring electric fences and placing guard posts at these stations. These dimly lit stations remained visible to train passengers as they rode trains through the segments of rail passing underneath East Berlin.
- In Tom Clancy’s Locked On, John Clark recalls a mission during the height of the Cold War, where he was asked to do a bag drop off as an SAD operative by Gene Lilly: after Lilly had been extorted of his life savings by a honey trap, Clark was supposed to hand off the money in exchange for the film negatives in a Geisterbahnhöfe to rogue Stasi officers. However, the transaction went rogue, and Clark ended up shooting one of the officers dead in such a location. This incident would later give the Keatley administration something to go after in their bid to stop Jack Ryan from winning the election. Locked On is one of my favourite Tom Clancy novels, being a thrilling blend of political intrigue and doomsday plots.
- Until Cold War came out, I never thought I’d have a chance to ever explore the Geisterbahnhöfe for myself: after the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, the stations were reopened and put back into service. Former ghost stations are now fully operational, and visiting today would find them as nothing more than ordinary train stations. Most games probably wouldn’t be able to do much with the setting, either, so the odds of having such a spot to explore would be slim. With Cold War and its story, the intrigue behind Berlin’s Geisterbahnhöfe are brought to life, and here, Bell and Adler sneak past a few guards en route into East Berlin.
- Shortly after Cold War released, I decided to check the game out on YouTube by watching my favourite channels play through them. TheRadBrad and JackFrags ended up being the two channels I watched my gameplay footage from, and out of the games, Cold War‘s campaign intrigued me. I had skipped the open beta while it was running on account of how The Division 2 had been keeping me very busy with its manhunts and the like, and I had a feeling that the download was much larger than what was worthwhile for an open beta. This proved a smart decision, as my machine wasn’t able to run Cold War with Windows 8 on account of the OS lacking support for the DirectX 12 API.
- After exiting the dank, fetid and dark underground rail tunnels, Adler and Bell climb onto a rooftop overlooking one of the Berlin Wall checkpoints. Erected in 1961, the Berlin Wall was intended to keep East Berliners from entering West Berlin and seeking asylum there. While it was originally a simple concrete wall, escape attempts eventually compelled the East German government to dramatically expand it into a strip of death with razor-sharp barbed wire, Czech Hedgehogs, guard towers with armed patrols and even patrol dogs.
- While sneaking over the Berlin Wall was possible, the aggressive security meant that few attempts were successful, and over the years, the Berlin Wall would come to represent the Cold War itself, splitting a country and Europe evenly in two, separated by ideology. When the Wall fell in 1989, it was to celebration around the world: the very instruments and implementers of oppression had fallen. Of course, in Cold War, the Berlin Wall is still up and running: I picked an MP5 off a patrol earlier, but firing it will instantly alert enemies to my position and likely bring the mission to a premature end.
- Kraus will be spotted in a vehicle below, and with their target found, it’s time to tail him and figure out what he’s up to. I will go on an aside here to note that for the past while, I’ve been considering leaving the AnimeSuki community: aside from a few bad-faith actors like Verso Sciolto, Sumeragi and Toukairin (all of whom have thankfully been banned), I’ve generally had a good time discussing anime here. Among the folks who’ve made the experience a memorable, positive one are Ernietheracefan, Flower and Wild Goose. Conversations with them were always instructive and meaningful. However, most of the people I shared discussions with are no longer active these days there.
- Instead, the community has largely been displaced by those who only talk about current events, politics and criticising anime in a bizarre, passive-aggressive voice. If their objective was to make their own ideologies known, then they have been successful. Similarly, it is clear that these individuals have no intention of sharing anime and manga related materials without tearing them down. Rather than attempt to remain in a community so disinterested in anime and put up with the likes of serenade_beta, c933103 or ramlaen, whose ramblings only convey their ignorance and closed-mindedness, it’ll be easier if I were to be the bigger person and walk away.
- The plus side is that with the Jon Spencer Reviews community, I have no shortage of friendly, open-minded folks to run ideas by. The most important part of any community is having a group of open-minded people willing to listen; this, I find in abundance with the Jon Spencer Reviews community, and I am grateful for this. Thanks to my listening to the members, my perspectives have broadened, and I’ve been able to see things in a new manner. Having a group of excellent people also means being able to ask for feedback, and even talk about controversial things. This is a tolerant community: they’ve even put up with when I mention things like Bezmenov’s active measures previously as a part of my discussions.
- Yesterday, I had the chance to head out for some A&W grass-fed beef burgers, onion rings and yam fries. Whether by virtue of being a little more relaxed this time around, or the fact that I was anticipating a good lunch that represented a nice change of pace, this time around, I could taste the difference in their burgers; grass-fed beef has a slightly gamier taste to it, and I’m particularly fond of it. Moreover, while home-cooked burgers tend to be juicer, I find that fast food burgers have their own appeal, with their richer flavours. Some fresh cherries rounded things out: temperatures reached a high of 27°C, so the cherries proved most refreshing. I’m probably going to wish I have some for today, as the forecast indicates today’s high will be 31°C.
- This is one of the perks about working remotely: ordinarily, I’d pack my lunch, which consists of a sandwich and tea most days. However, there could be a return to the office at some point in the future, and with my province also preparing to reopen some businesses as of yesterday, I also was able to book a haircut. It is surprising to feel this happy at the prospect of going in for a haircut; I had an appointment booked for late April, but circumstances led to that being cancelled, so my hair’s a mess now. It’ll be nice to have short hair again. Back in Cold War, I enter Kraus’ apartment after the original plan of listening in on his plan went south. Instead, the goal is to sneak in, place a tracking bug in his briefcase and then get out. However, things aren’t so simple, and Bell is soon captured after discovering that one of the informants had also been caught.
- After spending most of the mission sneaking about and watching things happen, agency returns to Bell’s hands: it turns out that being brought to Volkov made things easier rather than harder. Park and Azoulay ambush Volkov and his men before Volkov has a chance to shoot Bell, and once Park tosses Bell an MP5 with a laser sight, Millstop Reflex, a fifty-round STANAG drum and foregrip, it’s time to go to town on Volkov’s men. While Volkov will run away, there’s actually not a time limit on things, so players can methodically shoot their way to victory.
- The MP5 is fun and can be hip-fired well, but for more ranged damage, I ended up picking a QBZ-83 off the ground. This is technically the QBZ-95, a Chinese bullpup assault rifle that entered service in 1995 and was a marked departure from the previous Chinese assault rifles. Since Cold War is set in the 1980s, this initially appears to be a bit of an anachronism, but looking more closely, the Chinese also had the Norinco Type 86S, a bullpup rifle based off the AKM. The QBZ-93 might therefore be seen as a fictional intermediate between the Type 86S and the Type 93 rifles.
- Eventually, Bell, Park and Azoulay will corner Volkov at a locked door. Here, there’s the option to capture or kill him. My modus operandi has been to capture everyone so far: per Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, capturing someone alive means being able to ask them questions and probe their minds for intel that saves months, or even years of surveillance. Dead men tell no tales, and in general, an enemy is worth a great deal more alive for this very reason. I’m not too sure how these smaller decisions will impact Cold War just yet, but if other games are a reliable precedent, choosing to spare an enemy typically yields returns later down the line.
In spite of the menacing atmosphere that Cold War‘s trailer conveys, and the resulting controversy made on the basis that such messages threatened the narrative of certain games journalists or ideologies, Cold War itself is simply an immersive game with a fantastic atmosphere. The game isn’t about promoting conspiracy theories, it’s about unveiling the mysterious individual whose machinations could result in millions of deaths in the worst case. The journey to do so takes players to places in the Cold War where things very nearly went hot, and indicates that during the Cold War, both sides were fervently working to undermine and subvert the other in the name of ideology, with the inevitable result that even decades later, the devices and methods one side might’ve counted as an asset suddenly became a lethal liability. Whether it be fighting off attacking Viet Cong amidst Vietnam’s karst landscapes by dawn, or sneaking around East Berlin on a rainy night to infiltrate a Stasi member’s house to place a tracker on his briefcase to get closer to a high value target carrying information on a ghost, Cold War‘s opening chapters really breathe life back into the Black Ops series: I thoroughly enjoyed 2010’s Black Ops for its settings and themes, but as the Black Ops series continued, the campaigns became diminished to the point where by Black Ops IV, there had been no campaign. The Cold War represents an era of history where technological advancement and ideology developed alongside one another: on one hand, we found new ways of improving our quality of life and standards of living, but at the same time, the same technologies could be used to inflict suffering at a hitherto unimagined scale. As such, while the Cold War itself might be in the past now, the events and their associated lessons remain as relevant as ever; short of reading books on the subject matter, video games like Black Ops can potentially elevate the players’ interest in the time period and encourage them to learn more about the material on their own and draw their own conclusions about which mistakes in history should be avoided. Having said this, if Cold War provides an entertaining story and perspective on the latter stages of the Cold War and brings players enjoyment, whether it be through the campaign, multiplayer, Zombies mode or Warzone, the game itself has succeeded. I am therefore especially excited to see what lies ahead in the next missions; early on in Cold War, there hasn’t been much in the way of full-scale firefights, but from the firefights I have gone through, the gun play feel excellent, comparable to Battlefield V and Titanfall 2. These are two games whose mechanics are absolutely solid, and if Cold War continues to handle this smoothly, it will be a thrill to continue going through the game to see what Perseus is.