As I finished my playthrough of Call of Duty: WW2, it was clear to me that Sledgehammer Games make the best Call of Duty titles. I’ll be honest, I do prefer modern shooters, but this is up there with Battlefield 1 in terms of a quality single player.
You play Corporal Ronald “Red” Daniels who in truth is the weakest character in the story, it’s your squad mates and associated characters that really keep the story moving along. Of course, despite the setting it hasn’t stopped Sledgehammer games from hamming up some of the action sequences and there are some spectacular ones.
Gameplay wise, it’s a familiar story but this year there are some changes that improve the overall experience. Each of your squad have an ability that you can take advantage of during each mission. These range from spotting enemies, to giving you extra grenades or ammo and even health packs, which leads me to another interesting change.
Managing your health is now crucial in each mission, no longer can you hide in the corner and hope your health recover before attempting another assault. Now you need to take extra and care and wait until your teammate is able to activate his ability so he throws you a health pack. It’s not the only way to regain health, there are packs dotted around the map and some fallen enemies drop them too. It gives you a challenge and certainly stops you from being able to be gung ho in the way you attack.
Each mission requires you to complete certain objectives to progress through the level. For the most part the missions are quite entertaining. You’ll be sneaking your way around some Nazi Headquarters under cover, rolling through the streets in a tank and even supporting your troops in the air, so there is plenty to keep you interested. There are also collectibles to find at also heroic actions to perform, these only ended up being dragging injured soldiers out of the line of fire, or helping them as they are being attacked, there could have been a little bit more about them to keep them interesting.
The stand out level in the game for me was the one where you infiltrate a Nazi stronghold, you don’t play as Daniels, instead you take on the role of Camille “Rousseau” Denis who forms part of the French Resistance, working with the British Army. It’s the standout level of the game for me. The campaign isn’t without issues though. COD: WW2 was depicted as the most historically accurate WW2 shooter yet it seemed like it was just a bunch of American soldiers that won the war, apart from what felt like a token British Army character that was present during a small portion of the game. I suffered a few annoying crashes, as well as the game sometimes not saving despite the game saying it was.
I’ve been running the game on the Xbox One X and even on my old TV the game looks fantastic, the cut scenes are especially good though others on the team who are playing on 4K sets aren’t so impressed. We were all in agreement that the campaign looks fantastic.
Of course there are a huge portion of players who will get there nowhere near the campaign because they will be too busy playing online. Recent successes for games like Destiny 2 and Overwatch have clearly influenced how thing play out this year for Call of Duty. Things were quite flaky for the first week or so, I struggled to get games and noticed a fair bit of lag. Thankfully those issues seem to have gone and what you now have is an excellent online mode.
On beginning multiplayer, you are thrust into a base where you can walk around, interact with other soldiers and prepare for your next match – there is a lot to take in, with different classes to contend and a new progression system. If you are willing to spend the time working it all out then there are hours of fun to be had.
All the standard modes are there, with the excellent Kill Confirmed returning, I really enjoy how it forces players to keep moving by collecting tags. The stand out game mode has to be War though, two teams battling over a series of stages to defend or attack objectives. I wasn’t sure I was enjoying it at first but after a while I found myself obsessed with it, hoping I had an awesome set of teammates to push through our opponents defences on our march to victory.
At the end of each match you’ll see a play of the game, which at first just seemed to concentrate on Snipers who just camp at the back of maps to pick people off, but it appears to have become more refined and selects what appears to be quite decent play. Weapons feel well balanced and there are plenty of them to experiment with.
Zombies also makes a return to COD and this year teamwork is even more important. This year’s installment feels a lot more linear but also has a ‘Destiny Raid’ feel to it as certain areas of the game involve some sort of puzzle to work out. You’ll start playing and suddenly the hours fly by, it gets quite intense but it’s the most fun I’ve had playing Zombies in a long time.
It’s been awhile since I’ve really wanted to complete a Call of Duty title, and WW2 has hit the sweet spot for me, the campaign was really enjoyable overall while the multiplayer and Zombies will certainly see plenty of my gaming hours spent on them.