Turns out, Activision didn’t sprout from the ground fully formed as a Call Of Duty money-printing machine. Shocking, I know, but it seems the publishers were making cabinet games all the way back in the 80s – coincidentally, the same era in which Call Of Duty: Black Ops Cold War takes place. Treyarch’s latest shooter pays homage to the publisher’s arcade roots, with playable classics hidden across the espionage thriller’s campaign.
As spotted by PC Gamer, Blops Coalwar’s campaign is littered with arcade cabinets sporting a range of Activision’s dustiest games. More than just cute little easter eggs, each of these games is fully playable – no matter how busy you are pulling war crimes for Ronald Reagan, there’s always time to stop and pop a few quarters into a Pitfall cabinet.
The bulk of these cabinets are found in a Russian level featuring a simulated American city with a cinema, diner and, yes, arcade – though there are plenty others hidden in backrooms and garages across the game’s story. It’s no a bad collection, either, with playable versions of Pitfall, River Raid, Barnstorming, Fishing Derby, Grand Prix and Enduro discovered so far. According to CoD fansite Charlie Intel, there’s also a playable version of text adventure ZORK, though it requires a little more actual sleuthing to access.
What I like the most, however, is that the game appears to poke fun at the fact that you’re taking time out of legally-grey deniable ops to plug in a few high scores. Not that I’ve hopped in myself, but the above clip from PC Gamer’s Morgan Park has one of his squaddies jabbing at his Pitfall skills in the middle of a heated infiltration, as Pat Benetar blasts out in the background. This is, decidedly, not a very serious game.
Beyond being a daft wee collectable distraction, it’s also a fond recognition of the publisher’s past. You don’t even need to jump into blops to check the games out, either. While they tend to show up now and again in other Call Of Duty games, most are free to play online through sites like RetroGames.
Unfortunately, our guides boffins won’t be able to teach you how to master Barnstorming’s flight challenges – but if you need to know Black Ops Cold War’s weapon stats in a pinch, they’ve got you covered.