Title: Call of Duty: WWII
Available On: Xbox One, PS4, Windows
Developer: Sledgehammer Games
Official Site: https://www.callofduty.com/wwii
Release Date: November 3rd, 2017
Where to Buy it: Local Retailers, PSN, Xbox Live
After 9 long years, Call of Duty: WWII finally brings us back to its roots in the European theatre of war. This time, you’ll be a member of the First Infantry Divison trying to stop the Nazi war machine. A number of new features are included in this year’s release such as the Headquarters social space, Divisions, War Mode and a revamped Nazi Zombies. Call of Duty: WWII also brings back the traditional “Boots on the ground” gameplay with this installment. With this WWII being the fourteenth main installment of the COD franchise, was this new title going to be able to bring back players who have become frustrated with the series? With sales currently being up 60% from last years release… it would certainly seem so. It certainly brought me back.
Like many other players over the past several years, I’ve grown frustrated with the Call of Duty franchise. The Exo Suits in Advanced Warfare were something different and interesting but all the hopping around quickly grew irritating. For the first time in six years, I had little to no interest in achieving top prestige in Multiplayer. This past year was also the first time that I spent zero money on any of the DLC for Infinite Warfare. I just wasn’t interested anymore. Naturally, I was very skeptical at first when Call of Duty: WWII was announced. As more and more trailers released, however, my interest began to grow. After spending nearly 30 hours since launch playing the campaign, multiplayer and zombies I can say Call of Duty: WWII is worth the purchase.
Call of Duty in my mind has always had good campaigns. It generally feels like you’re in a huge interactive film. Call of Duty: WWII is no exception to that. The big difference with this setting is it’s not some made up planet or conflict. It’s not something imaginary created to conjure up interest. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history and you’re smack in the middle of it. The primary protagonist the player will control is Ronald “Red” Daniels of the First Infantry Divison. One of the biggest changes to the campaign play is the removal of regenerative health. Health packs need to be found throughout the map or received from the designated squad member. That brings up another new feature, squad support.
The campaign story has a heavy focus on the bond soldiers develop in wartime. You’ll now also need the support of those soldiers as you progress through the game. Each squad member has a specific ability to assist. In one instance I found myself behind cover with less than a mag left but plenty of enemies. Activating the ammo support, my squad mate threw me an extra bag from cover. I reloaded and was ready to go. It was like something out of a movie. Little things like that make the gameplay really stand out and the campaign that much more engrossing. Like previous titles, Call of Duty: WWII will have you briefly take on additional characters. One of my favorites was driving the Sherman tank to provide support.
The Multiplayer in Call of Duty: WWII features the brand new social space “Headquarters.” Much like the tower in Destiny, this area offers a number of different things. Players will now have the ability to purchase contracts and mission orders which have specific challenges. It could be something as simple as shooting 10 targets at the firing range in under 10 seconds or as in-depth as achieving 500 kills in multiplayer. Completing these challenges will result in supply drops or XP. The Headquarters also features an area called “The Pit.” This is a 1v1 area where you can test your skills against other players with an agreed loadout.
Unfortunately, the Headquarters area has been suffering from major issues since launch. During the first two days of release, many players had issues loading into multiplayer games and the new social area. The servers were apparently overloaded. Due to this, the Headquarters area has currently become a single player experience… for now. A fix is expected soon and players on both PC and PS4 have already reported it has been fixed for them. As of the time of this writing, my Headquarters area is still single player for my Xbox One.
War mode is another new addition to multiplayer that features a narrative style gameplay. It’s similar to the “Rush” mode in the Battlefield games. Players will have to complete various tasks to advance or hold the enemy on the battlefield. In one case it was successfully getting our side’s tanks across two main bridges. I have to admit, I died in War mode a lot, particularly, when our team had to storm the beaches of Normandy. The entire enemy team was posted up in the pillboxes with sniper rifles. Getting off the beach seemed to take forever. Communication in this mode is important and playing solo or with players with no mics may prove too frustrating for some.
For player loadouts, classes have been replaced with “Divisions.” Each Divison has its own specific abilities and weapons skills which replace “Perks.” The five divisions are Infantry, Airborne, Armored, Mountain, and Expeditionary. I’ve found the most success so far with Infantry and Airborne. I like that the multiplayer maps are generally very close quartered. It keeps the action fairly consistent and fast-paced.
Zombies have again returned in Call of Duty: WWII but with some changes that I’m really digging including a darker tone. The wave style gameplay remains the same but now players are given a list of objectives to complete. The famed Easter Eggs still remain as something to be uncovered but the objectives add a new level of fun. A class system is also now present allowing players unique abilities and perks. I often have played with the “Offense” class which has the “Free Fire” ability. It’s essentially unlimited fire for a short amount of time. To survive into the high rounds, it’s important that players work together using their class abilities. Much like in previous zombie modes, the objectives and easter egg can be completed solo.
Verdict: Call of Duty: WWII is a fantastic installment that is just what was needed for the franchise. Gameplay is fun and fast-paced. Server issues have hindered the Headquarters experience but it’s not expected to be long term. The Zombies mode is a welcome return with its new darker tone and objective based gameplay.
- Boots on the Ground
- New Multiplayer and Zombie Features
- Server issues at launch
- Small Multiplayer Maps