Treyarch has made a bunch of interesting changes to the Call of Duty: Black Ops – Cold War campaign, and one of the biggest differences is that there are multiple endings you can unlock based on the choices you make over the course of the campaign. Of course, there are also a lot of other decision moments you’ll encounter over the course of the main story, which will also have a small impact on the ending cutscene you see before the credits roll.
This really should go without saying, but there are major campaign spoilers in this guide, and if you don’t want any secret ending revealed to you then click away immediately, perhaps to our Call of Duty Cold War review…
The actual ‘ending’ you get in Black Ops Cold War comes in two forms: there is a final mission with a first-person cutscene at the end, and then there is a short cinematic that explains the outcomes of the various decisions you made during the campaign. This includes whether or not you managed to solve the Operation Chaos Floppy Disk puzzle and Identify the correct Operation Red Circus suspects.
Call of Duty: Black Ops – Cold War good ending
If you choose to tell the truth during the Interrogation mission, and reveal that Perseus is at the Solovetsky Monastery then you will begin the Final Countdown mission.
During this mission, you and your CIA cohort storm the Solovetsky Monastery and disable the radar array Perseus planned to use to set off nukes across Europe. You do this by disabling AA guns so your air support can bomb the radar dishes.
After destroying the array you’ll regroup with your brainwashing buds and celebrate the victory. This is followed by a quick recap of your campaign decisions. After this, you’ll join Adler on some cliffs near Solovetsky. Adler commends your decision and reminds you that what you did served a greater cause, however, he then pulls a pistol on you and you appear to shoot each other. This is presumably, because you know too much.
Perseus is never captured.
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The option is pretty clear, but you can experience the alternative for yourself by reloading the game at the Interrogation mission and selecting the lie option: Duga.
Adler will believe you and help you to your feet. You’re then given the instruction to inform Perseus of the plan using a radio, so you can betray Adler and the rest of the CIA.
A different pre-mission cinematic wil play, with Sims and the team preparing you infiltrate the over-the-horizon radar array at Duga – which you may know as the Russian Woodpecker. Upon arriving at Duga you will rendezvous with the CIA after supposedly sweeping the base and finding it empty.
Adler will approach you and ask if you lied, and you can respond by either arguing ideologies or signalling an ambush – select the ambush and Perseus and the rest of his splinter cell will launch an attack on the CIA.
You are then tasked with hunting down Woods, Mason, either Park or Lazar, and finally Adler. Adler will have retreated inside a nearby building. When you find him he is wounded – he asks for a light and then tries to stab you – fight back and you plunge the knife into Adler’s chest, killing him. Perseus will congratulate you and reveal his plan for the new Soviet Union, giving you the ‘honour’ of detonating the nukes yourself.
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There is an alternative bad ending. The key difference is that you don’t inform Perseus of the plan. You will still head to Duga, but instead of battling your old teammates they’ll simply kill you once they learn of your betrayal. Perseus will, of course, detonate the nukes… so it’s basically the same ending.
Depending on which ending you choose, you’ll have a voiceover by either Hudson or Perseus that recaps some of the campaign decisions you made. Here are all of the potential decisions:
- Fate of the operative you left behind in Cuba, and the one you saved
- Outcome of side mission Operation Chaos
- Outcome of side mission Operation Red Circus
- Fate of Qasim Javadi
- Fate of Anton Volkov
And there you have it, all of the possible endings and outcomes from the Call of Duty: Black Ops – Cold War campaign.