When it first showed up, the Call of Duty franchise had phenomenal success. It was because it offered realistic and fun war combat. In the later installments, optional equipment like jetpacks became a norm, and that ruined the experience. That is why Activision decided to try rebooting the franchise and put the destiny of the series in the hands of Sledgehammer Games. As a result, we now have a new sequel called Call of Duty WWII and the big question is whether it can succeed in keeping the franchise going.
Vast, but Linear Single-Player Campaign
Players do love to test their skills against real-life opponents, but the truth is that the single-player campaign remains a huge plus for any game that does it right. As or COD WW2, everything starts after the D-Day. You will be playing as a soldier from Texas called “Red” Daniels. He and his unit will be taken to various locations with the goal to defeat the Nazis. The missions are very linear, so you shouldn’t expect much freedom to explore the areas. Instead, you will be getting objectives that you need to fulfill on your way to defeat Hitler’s army.
The first thing we noticed is that the graphics are breathtaking. Everything looks perfect, and we enjoyed the details, such as the explosions sending water geysers high into the air. You will also see wounded soldiers screaming, which might be a bit gore, but it will make you feel that you are in the middle of a vast war.
Join Your Unit
The squad mechanic is the most prominent addition to the new Call of Duty WWII. Each member of your unit matters as they have different abilities. For example, Zussman can help you recover by throwing a med pack your way when you need one. The same goes for extra ammunition, which means that you need to keep your squad alive.
Another reason you might want to keep Zussman from kicking it is that you care for him because he is a real friend. The new sequel does not offer genuinely memorable characters such as Woods or Soap, but Zussman, Sergeant Pierson, are good enough. The entire single-player campaign can be completed in about six to seven hours. The linearity adds to the overall impression that solo mode is only there to prepare you for multiplayer battles. The story is by no means complex, but taking part in the World War 2 and the fights held in Normandy, Rhine, and other locations are quite fun.
The Multiplayer Mode Is (or Will Be) Good
If you have given COD WWII a shot already, you are undoubtedly aware of the server issues it has been having. The situation is getting better, which is why we won’t lose much time criticizing the developers but focus on what the multiplayer modes have to offer. At the moment, there are 13 areas available to play on, three of which are reserved for the War mode (more about that later).
Although games these days are packed with various extra equipment that provides weird perks and abilities, the beauty of Call of Duty has always been in traditional battles. After the bad experience with jetpacks and super jumping, it was nice to be on a map where you knew nobody could surprise you from above or other unexpected location.
Make Room for the Division System
There are five divisions to choose from, and each of them has a unique set of abilities. You can also level up any of them for better skills. For example, if you choose Infantry, upgrading will secure you extra ammunition and more things to carry around. Mountain will affect your stealth skills, while the Expeditionary division will ensure you the option to steal the gear off the dead foes.
As for the modes, it is pretty much everything you expected in the first place. There is the usual Deathmatch, as well as Search & Destroy and Domination. Sledgehammer Games also implemented Headquarters, which is a social hub. If you played Destiny, it is precisely like the Tower in that game. There you can challenge other gamers to a one on one battle, join an Order, and much more.
Please Welcome the War Mode!
Now, let’s talk more about the War mode, which looked exciting when we tested it. Your squad gets a series of objectives that it needs to complete in this multiplayer match. For example, one team will be tasked to storm the Normandy beaches, while the other will give its best to defend them.
The game does add extra AI soldiers for the attackers to help them make a diversion, but it’s still not enough to get that War feeling because the game limits the mode to six versus six matches. On the plus side, it’s an excellent idea to participate in the real battles in multiplayer, and the War mode is entertaining regardless of the fact that the player count could (should) be higher.
Uplink and Zombies Are There, Too
If you have played games from this series set into the future, you are familiar with the Uplink mode. Call of Duty WWII implements it once again, but with a twist that will make it remind of a football match. You will hear the announcer screaming “Out of bounds!” or stuff like that. Even the scoring system underwent through adjustments to make it more like football.
Zombie mode is there, too, and some of these freaks genuinely look creepy, which is an extra point of the visual presentation. There are a couple of sweet additions, such as the ability to stun zombies or have unlimited ammunition for a couple of seconds. Aside from that, dealing with the undead is just like it was before. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing as we are sure that lovers of this mode can’t wait to test their skills and shoot some Nazi freaks.
You can purchase Call of Duty WWII on Steam, where the standard edition costs $60.