Call of Duty WWII successfully grounds the franchise back in its roots and provides a more meaningful single-player campaign that’s worth the investment.
Released annually, the COD (Call of Duty) series has often been criticised for it’s future-based, technological, over the top style, especially in recent years. Always fun, but totally out of the realms of what the series was originally – a shooter set in the middle of a historical world war.
With COD WWII, the series finally returns to Europe and follows several famous moments of the second world war, including the fight on Normandy beach and the Battle of the Bulge. That, in itself, is worth paying attention to.
A Campaign Mode With Meaning, Relevance, And Challenge
Emotional, gripping, and with the knowledge that these events actually happened. Those three aspects make up COD WWII’s campaign mode, one that is both fun to play and pushes the graphical standard of the franchise into uncharted territory.
From the very first mission storming up Normandy beach, playing the game makes you appreciate just how dire the circumstances were for soldiers that day back in 1944.
At it’s essence, this is very much the COD experience you’d expect, but it’s grounded in its realism. No longer does health automatically regenerate, you’ll have to rely on health bags scattered around the field or given to you by your fellow soldier. Maybe it’s just me, but I actually found myself (trying at least) to protect my character as much as possible. Added into that, now you can’t hover in mid air or run up walls either. Apart from small jumps, you are firmly locked on the ground during combat.
During the campaign mode you also get to experience an assortment of different vehicles… from tanks to warplanes.
Due to stellar graphics (the best seen in a COD game yet) and the knowledge that you’re taking yourself through some of the most historic moments in history; COD WWII’s campaign is one of the most enjoyable parts of the game. It’s worth playing through more than once, especially when it comes to the Armoured Train mission!
Campaign Mode Rating: 8/10
Multiplayer Largely Unchanged But Still Rewarding
Short of some interesting new modes and the advent of divisions, COD WWII brings a largely unchanged multiplayer offering.
You have the choice of Infantry, Airbourne, Armoured, Mountain, or Expeditionary divisions in multiplayer. All are fairly self-explanatory and provide their own unique challenges, but some of the more experienced COD veterans will still have an advantage if they can earn enough XP to modify certain weapons. There is a new social space where players can upgrade weapons, join certain challenges, and modify their characters.
In terms of the maps, COD WWII seems rather lacking so far. With the exception of one large open map set in Gustav Cannon, others seem similar in terms of design and don’t offer much variety. New maps will be released soon, coming to PlayStation first, so hopefully more rewarding and challenging locations will be playable.
Like always, COD WWII multiplayer rewards you the more playtime you spend. Levels and XP rise per match, and it doesn’t take a lot of time to get used to the new upgrade systems. A new Gridiron mode will peak your interest, but as usual, the most enjoyment can be found in the traditional multiplayer modes like Team Deathmatch and Free For All. The only difference is this time it takes place in real world, historically accurate locations from WWII.
Multiplayer Rating: 7/10
Call Of Duty WWII Gets The Tick Of Approval
COD WWII provides the realistic experience that the franchise has needed for a long time.
It’s campaign mode is stellar, and all the favourites of multiplayer and zombies mode are present. Zombies also managed to put a WWII take on itself, which is both terrifying and intriguing. Graphically, this is the best COD game so far, in fact it’s not even close. If you’re a fan of shooters, or even just a gamer wanting to pick up something interesting this holiday season, you can’t go wrong with this.
FINAL SCORE: 7.5/10
Michael Pulman is a freelance journalist based in New Zealand.