Flinch is a hugely controversial topic among Call of Duty fans, and the developers of Black Ops Cold War seem to be aware of that, they have now revealed that the mechanic has been reworked in the upcoming game.
Flinch occurs when a player takes damage while aiming down sights, most Call of Duty games have had this mechanic including 2019s Modern Warfare.
It causes the players crosshairs to jump upwards when being hit with bullets, on paper this seems like a realistic mechanic to have in a shooting game, but in practice in can more often than not give an unfair advantage to the person receiving the damage.
Imaging you’re aiming for a headshot, and the person you’re aiming at shoots you, flinch causes your aim to jump up above that persons head making you miss a few shots. This is the intended purpose of flinch. But it was also leading to players landing “flinch headshots”. Where players were initially aiming at the chest but flinch bumped their aim up to the enemies head.
Tony Flame is a game designer who worked on the new title, he tweeted “flinch is now primarily a feedback mechanism to help you understand you’re taking damage.” This would mean that your aim would remain where it intended to be.
Most fans have reacted positively to the news, including content creators like Xclusive Ace who tweeted an example of the new flinch mechanic in action.