Call of Duty: WW2 is refreshing. Let’s face it, the Call of Duty series over the past couple of years has been declining in quality. With the introduction of futuristic mechanics, the series has just become a battle between three developers trying to out-future each other. Sledgehammer Games began this war with Advanced Warfare which introduced the boost jump mechanic, which was then built upon by Treyarch, and again by Infinity Ward.
Now, with the game back in Sledgehammer Games’ hands can they make a mends and bring the series back to its former glory? Hell yes they can. Before I go into detail, Call of Duty: WW2 is one of the best Call of Duty games I’ve played since Black Ops 2.
So with the series becoming a futuristic mess of mechanics involving boosting and wall running, Call of Duty: WW2 is being touted as a “boots on the ground” experience. Basically, we’re going back to the way warfare currently is and that’s with out jetpacks or weapons that shoot lasers. The last World War 2 game in the series was Treyarch’s World at War back in 2008 so a game like this has been a long time coming, and I can definitely say it’s worth the wait.
Call of Duty: WW2 manages to blend classic World War 2 action with modern video game mechanics. This game isn’t just Call of Duty 3 remastered, this is a WW2 game built for a current generation of systems and it’s truly a tight as hell experience. Admittedly, when we received the game we instantly jumped straight into the multiplayer mode – because that’s what it’s all about these days – and aside from the server struggling to keep up with the sheer amount of players, we were met with a pretty straight forward, solid lobby experience.
Call of Duty: WW2 Multiplayer
Sledgehammer Games have decided to take a leaf out of Bungies book and have created a social area for players to hang out and interact. Headquarters, as it’s called, allows players to emote at each other, as well as watch game trailers, test out weapons and scorestreaks, purchase contracts, and receive orders as well as daily wages from the mail table. Ultimately, this area is for those who dislike having to wait for the next game in stale lobbies.
On the multiplayer menu front, Call of Duty: WW2‘s class creation system has gone back to basics. The menu is simple and you can easily and quickly find and customise your loadout. Unlike Infinite Warfare where there are a million different sub menus within sub menus. This simplicity is incredibly refreshing.
The only difficulties we had, thanks to the Headquarters system, was bringing in a second player for split-screen multiplayer. It seems Sledgehammer Games has just tacked on this option without any thought for the second player, which is a real shame. Once you manage to pull a second player in, the options they have compared to the main player is limited. They can’t open loot drops, they can’t explore the headquarters, and navigating to the soldier creation screen requires the main player to head back to the Find a Game or Lobby screen.
As for multiplayer, it’s your standard Call of Duty affair. There’s actually nothing too remarkable about Call of Duty: WW2‘s multiplayer, and you know what? It’s the most refreshing thing ever. As someone who has always tolerated the futuristic mechanics, I’ve been praying for a day where we can go back to Call of Duty’s roots and we’ve finally got our wish.
Yes, the game is very much a twitch shooter. More often than not, I’ll be completely ambushed by another player, or they’ll pull the trigger a split-second before me and take me down, but rather than boosting out of the way, I had to accept my fate and grow as a player. Perhaps I’ll take a different route, perhaps I’ll change my load out to something a little quicker.
It does seem that because the classic WW2 weaponry have pretty awkward iron-sights, and the janky-looking red-dot sights are a bit off, many players are opting for a Steady Aim / hip-fire combo, which works to some degree. So to counter that, you go in with a shotgun, or try and flank – y’know, classic warfare tactics. No longer am I jumping thirty feet into the air to avoid being shot, and it’s brilliant.
In terms of multiplayer modes, I do feel that some of the more objective-based games have become more about the kills than actually sitting on or capturing the objective, but that’s not the game’s fault.
Overall, the multiplayer experience in Call of Duty: WW2 is pretty damn solid and the first Call of Duty multiplayer I’ve enjoyed since Call of Duty: Ghosts.
Call of Duty: WW2 Story Mode
For the past couple of instalments, I’ve felt like the story mode in Call of Duty games have been a bit of an after thought, I mean at the end of the day most people purchase Call of Duty games for the multiplayer experience, but it’s still worth creating a decent campaign, right? Well, Sledgehammer Games seem to have knocked it out of the park again, to some degree. Much like the multiplayer mode, the story is fairly simplistic, it’s definitely a throw-back to classic games in the series and does certainly feel like a modern spin-off of World at War or Call of Duty 3.
The story in itself is fairly forgettable but it is told by some pretty great actors. There are shoot-outs, tank missions, stealth missions, and tear-jerking moments, and driving missions, everything you’d expect from a great World War 2 campaign. But it is fairly easy to simply skip to the next chapter and avoid all dialogue all together.
That being said, there are some really great moments, moments I won’t go into because of spoilers, but I have got to hand it to the team, this is an enjoyable campaign. It’s story is straight forward and it really drives home how much platoons relied on each other. You see, in previous titles, NPCs have always just stood by, occasionally shouted some dialogue, and offered nothing in the way of support.
In Call of Duty: WW2 your squad members are vital to your survival, you see this game doesn’t have health regeneration, so you rely on med packs to bring your health back up. While sometimes med kits can be found on the battlefield, you’ll mostly be relying on one of your squaddies to toss a med pack your way when you’re feeling down. The same goes for ammo, ordinance, mortar fire, and much more. Being able to find a team mate and ask for support is a really nice touch and truly screams home that war is not about being a lone wolf.
Call of Duty: WW2 Zombies
I haven’t really enjoyed a good zombies mode since the Black Ops series, and even then when zombies got the ability to boost jump it just got a little too whacky. In comes Call of Duty: WW2‘s zombies, another throwback to where the game mode first surfaced: Call of Duty: World at War.
There are two versions currently available, the first is more of a campaign. Sledgehammer have introduced the ability to create a loadout complete with perks and special abilities. While it adds a level of complexity to the game, especially when all you want to do is go in and shoot some zombos, it does allow you feel like you’re uniquely crafting your own experience which is nice. This mode has the usual mechanics of perks-a-cola machines, mystery box, and plenty of doors to unlock. There’s also an overarching story available which leads to you unlocking the Tesla gun.
Overall, the gameplay is pretty good, but what makes this zombies experience shine is the addition of horror. This is probably the first Zombies mode where I’ve truly shat my pants. As you progress the story and complete the objectives, you’ll be tossed into complete darkness with nothing more than a very dull torch shining ahead. Even playing split-screen this mode was terrifying as zombies just appear out of nowhere.
The second mode is more of a throw-back to the original Nacht der Untoten as players are confined to a single room, or in this case a two-story shack in the woods. From here players are tasked to simply survive with just a few weapons, and a random perks-a-cola machine. There is a mystery box there too, but it requires players to light all of the oil lamps within the level in order to unlock it.
Overall, Call of Duty: WW2 is a game fans of the original games have been waiting for. With a decent single player, a solid multiplayer and zombies mode, I can imagine we’ll be playing this game for some time, or at least until next year’s instalment comes out.
I’d certainly recommend this game to players of the original games up until Advanced Warfare. For fans of the jetpacks, boosting, and wall running, I’d still say give it a whack even if it’s just to see what all of us old-timers keep banging on about.