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Review: Call Of Duty WWII

Call of Duty was one of the best FPS franchises worldwide thanks to its interesting multiplayer and action driven singleplayer campaign. However, the yearly releases of CoD had a big influence on the quality of the CoD games. In the beginning, it really seemed like each CoD tried to push its boundaries with their successful franchise but year after year, the franchise lost its credibility with their “moderate” singleplayer campaign and “not so” original multiplayer gameplay… Not a single new “setting” or “popular” actors could save the game. We do have to admit that throughout the years, CoD held their ground with Black Ops 3, but it wasn’t long until Battlefield swooped in and became the king of the hill, all due to its innovation that CoD lacked…  A lot of the fans lost their interest, searched redemption in Battlefield and never came back. Will this new setting bring back the squad? Let’s see.

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Call of Duty, a franchise that exists for around 15 years. A game where I’ve lost a lot of my precious time, just having fun and ranking up. No other FPS game could change my heart and I’ve tried many of them: Medal of Honor, Battlefield, Jericho, Unreal Tournament, … Even though one of these games is tattooed very close to my heart, the love-hate relation I had with CoD, they all couldn’t compare. The CoD- games are very well thought out games but they just lose their touch each year… The last CoD I truly enjoyed was Black Ops 3… Infinite Warfare wasn’t just my cup of tea and not even Kit Harington could win me over. It was just too much of the same thing: jetpacks, space, and a famous actor. I mean, the 8GB RAM as a minimum requirement to play the game was a bit too far, the game didn’t even use that much VRAM. It was time for something new, familiar but innovative. Did they bring it with this next CoD? Not really but it’s a step in the right direction.

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CoD: WWII brings us back to the Second World War and I couldn’t be happier. The tension, the environment, the guns, the sound, … It all feels so natural and exciting, but I think it’s a bit too late for this franchise to regain its former glory. The singleplayer campaign is okay, it brought me a lot more excitement than Infinite Warfare, just because Sledgehammer Games brought their A-game when it comes to the singleplayer cinematics. They did an awesome job in capturing “the real deal” during the WW2 battles but they also took a lot of elements from the movie “Saving Private Ryan” and other war classics such as “Band of Brothers.” I said that Sledgehammer brought us “the real deal” and I really mean it because everything just clicks: the sound, the graphics, the overall feeling of running and gunning during WWII. They captured a “realistic” feeling until a certain level and that’s worth mentioning!

 

“It’s nothing new but a fun classic.”

 

However, even though the game captured this amazing feeling, they didn’t succeed in bringing a whole new “game”. The story is somewhat believable but there are some scenes that go over the top that’ll blast the realism into tiny pieces. Don’t get me wrong, I love the action-packed scenes, it’s the classical feeling of a true CoD game but if they’re aiming for a realistic image, this wasn’t the best way to go. The action-packed scenes get you out of the “zone” because of the dumb AI. The Nazis are just like the Storm Troopers in the Jedi Saga, they aim and miss constantly. When you’re dying, it’s probably your own fault… You probably ran towards the enemy troops, thinking you’re invincible. The AI is dumb but when the bullets hit, they hit hard.

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I do like to mention the fact that they did a great job pulling me in. The singleplayer campaign isn’t very unique but the “band of brothers” feeling is a great touch for implementing some of the CoD mechanics. Your band has its own killstreak, the more you kill the faster their abilities unlock. Each brother in arms has an amazing ability that’ll sustain you during the battle. These abilities go from filling up your ammunition to a mortar strike and it works. These mechanics made the game a lot more enjoyable.

“They captured a “realistic” feeling until a certain level and that’s worth mentioning!”

 

Let’s talk about multiplayer, the core mechanics aren’t too different from the previous Call of Dutys but I’m glad they uphold the idea of “Boots on the ground”, I don’t know why but I like this a lot more than wall running and jetpacks. Even though it’s a different kind of setting, the game doesn’t get rid of its “fast-paced shooting”. Yes, the game is a lot more vertically and the guns are changed due to the WWII setting but don’t even think that “strategy” will win from “lightning reflexes.” Call of Duty is still focused on the Lone Wolf instead of the Band of Brothers.  Multiplayer is all about the different divisions, these divisions have their own set of abilities and “special weapons” but each division can unlock the “normal” kind of weapons. You kill, gain XP, level up and unlock weapons and weapon attachments. Choose a division that suits your playstyle. The maps are also still small and full of different corners to be aware of.

 

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Even though the focus is more on the Lone Wolf, they try to be a bit different and focus a bit more on the tactical side of FPS shooters. I’m talking about the War mode. This whole mode is all about team play. One of the two teams gets different objectives that they must complete, of course, the other team must prevent any attack on these objectives. One of the best maps, Sledgehammer has to offer is the one where the players reenact “Normandy’s landing”: the allied must take the beach whatever the cost, even though the Germans are hiding away in their bunker, focusing their fire on the little boats that are approaching the beach. A great touch is the fact that the allies are joined by NPC’s which makes the battle a lot more formidable. It’s a great view but this is also implemented to maintain a better balance between the attacking team and the defending team. The Germans don’t see the difference between NPC’s and “real players”, so this makes the battle a lot fairer. This mode is a great addition to the CoD universe but it’s clear to see that a lot of the veteran CoD players don’t succeed in “team play”. A lot of players still think about one person only and that’s him- or herself.

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A big deal in the whole multiplayer aspect of this WWII CoD is the small amount of maps the game has to offer. The War mode has only 3 available maps which add up to the “repetition” and the other multiplayer are well made for close quarter combat, but it only has 10 maps. It’s clear to see what Sledgehammer’s doing with these limited maps, it’s of course because of the DLC plans. SIGH, here we go again! The multiplayer aspect contains the “classical” modes such as TDM, KC, Domination, etc. One of the newest additions to this MP aspect is the social hub “Headquarters”. This social hub takes on the form as a military encampment on the Normandy beach. This “Headquarter” offers player interaction (social but also 1vs1 war pits), dropping loot boxes and getting your challenges all set-up. It’s a great way to share your experiences with the rest of the veterans on the beach but due to a server issue, you’ll sometimes find yourself all alone… Hopefully, it will be fixed soon!

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There’s also still the 3rd part in the CoD game and that’s the Zombie mode. The whole zombie mode is set in a WW2 stage and it brings a lot of “Return to Castle Wolfenstein” feelings to the surface. A town is overrun with Nazi Zombies and they’re summoned by an occult Nazi group. It’s a lot darker than the normal multiplayer part but it’s a great way to make some fun with a party. This party must solve puzzles while surviving different waves of zombies. It’s nothing new but a fun classic.

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Conclusion:

Sledgehammer games made the right call, going back to boots on the ground. The graphics, the sound design, the WWII styled weapons and Division fit perfectly together and bring out a decent CoD game to the market. However, even though the game feels fresh, it’s not revolutionary towards other games. The War mode is definitely a great way to bring that “team feeling” to the CoD franchise, but will this mode be appreciated by the CoD veterans? I definitely think it’s a great addition but hopefully, they’ll expand this mode further. The singleplayer campaign is okay but nothing we’ll remember within a couple of years. I love the fact that they tried to do something “different” within its campaign and even though it all works, it’s just not cutting it to make this game as memorable as WWII itself.

8/10

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