Call of Duty: WWII
November 3rd, 2017
Call of Duty returned to World War II, returned to it’s roots, and returned to form. Activision was kind enough to provide me with a Steam code to review Call of Duty, but I would have bought it anyways. I can’t say that about other releases. I haven’t owned a Call of Duty title since 3. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare was a great, but I never got around to buying it, but rather played it on my friends systems. Last year’s Infinite Warfare never even piqued my interest. Then they announced WWII, and the hype started building.
They billed this version as “boots on the ground”, which reminded me of what the original Call of Duty set out to be, in that you never fight alone. COD was created by ex-Medal of Honor devs, in which you often fought alone as a one man wrecking crew in the campaign. COD set out with the claim that you never fight alone, that your squad is always with you. Since then it’s drifted from this, becoming a Micheal Bay spectacle with a near future setting and larger than life set pieces. There are still some large set pieces in WWII, but they seem more fitting. More Ridley Scott than Michael Bay. In fact, the campaign as a whole is very reminiscent of the original COD, albeit with well known actors such as Josh Duhamel voicing and lending his likeness to one of the Sergeants in the story.
The story itself starts off with the beach landing at Normandy, which we haven’t seen in a title since Medal of Honor: Allied Assault, the game COD took after. I played that mission in Allied Assault countless times, and I can see myself doing the same in WWII, playing on the highest difficulty of course. The campaign itself is about 6 1/2-7 hours in length, in which I was able to knock out in a single day, right before I watched Fury over dinner. In another ode to the past, gone is regenerating health, replaced with health packs found throughout the levels. You can carry up to 4 to use, and one of your teammates can toss you a health pack every so often if he happens to be in your party. You squad mates each have something they can assist you with, health, ammo, mortar strikes, grenades, or binoculars. Managing your health becomes important, and I rather enjoyed how they implemented it in this entry. There are a few missions where you use silenced weapons and take downs to stealthily move around, like you would in Assassin’s Creed or certain points in the Metro series. Get discovered and all is not lost, but becomes that much harder to complete the mission, and was a really nice change of pace from some of the more action packed missions. There are a few times when you take over others the main story that allows you to control a Sherman tank and a fighter plane escorting bombers. All of these however play into your story, as you build bonds with your squad mates and fight to free France. The story itself isn’t ground breaking, but it good enough to get you through, and good enough to get me to want to watch Fury as I mentioned earlier.
The campaign though isn’t what sells people on Call of Duty however, the multiplayer is. While the setting and campaign look back to Call of Duty’s roots, mulitplayer looks to expand upon the standard COD formula. New to COD is the concept of Divisions and Headquarters. You can choose your Division that will grant you certain benefits as you rank up in them, even Prestige in your chosen Division. Headquarters on the other hand is the new social space, where you interact with others, go to the live fire range, test out skill streaks, engage in 1v1 battles, modify the paint of your weapon at the Gunsmith, add patches, or visit the Prestige area. There is also some of the other social aspects that are quite common in mobile games, such as opening up loot crates, in which others can watch. You also get a daily log in bonus, accept daily and weekly challenges, and spend your points on collective items.
There are several game modes to choose from as well. You get your standard Team Deathmatch, Free for all, Capture the Flag, and Domination. Then you have Hardpoint, which is similar to Domintion, only that there is only one control point and it’s constantly moves around the map, just as the Occupy mode in LawBreakers does. Gridiron has you picking up a ball and running it into a goal, and can be a fun change of pace. Search and Destroy is the Counter Strike mode, where you have 2 locations to either attack or defend, and you only get 1 life per round. War on the other hand has you either attacking or defending an objective, with each map have a total of 3 objectives that must be completed in order. This is a great mode in which to rack up points in and jump up a few ranks quickly. And not to be out done, there is of course Zombies. This is Call of Duty after all, and a modern COD title wouldn’t be the same without Zombies.
All this adds up to a very solid outing for the franchise, and what to me is the best COD in years. Infinite Warfare was a low point for COD last year, and it has been followed up by a new high point. Going back to WWII gave the series a fresh feeling it hasn’t had in years while keeping the same solid multiplayer formula that made it such a major franchise. Headquarters, Divisions, and the addition of War mode of gave the title just enough innovation on that tried and true formula to give die hard fans something new. Hell, if this game could bring me back to COD and sing it’s praises, it must be pretty good right? Jason, the king of the bargain bin even bought it on day one. That should tell you something. And according to the internet…I Beat It First.
- WWII setting is a nice change of pace from recent releases
- Solid COD Gameplay
- Headquarters adds to the online experience
- Limited map selection
- Poor campaign ending