Name: Call of Duty: WWII
Developer: Sledgehammer Games, Raven
Released: 03. November 2017
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Reviewed on: PlayStation 4 Pro
Acquired: A copy of this game was provided from publisher for review purpose
Sledgehammer Games have fronted their next Call of Duty game a lot with going back to the roots. The question is, have they succeeded?
Call of Duty: WWII is a large game with a lot of different content from different developers, so that means my overall score of this years Call of Duty depends on what each of them can deliver and sum things up. Was the Campaign, Multiplayer or Nazi Zombies enough alone to be worth your time and money?
Hopefully you already have some knowledge about the second world war, so the thin red line speaks for itself. But as many world war two movies and games, we follow a small group of people who experience a few events during this war. Call of Duty: WWII brings us at the “beginning of the end” (D-Day) where we take control of Private “Red” Daniels, a member of the America’s First Infantry Division (The Bloody 1st).
You’ll get to experience some of the biggest battles that occurred during WW2, such as D-Day, Battle of the Bulge and the liberation of Paris. And unlike the other Call of Duty titles, our protagonist has his own voice and characterized. (Animated, voice acted, own personality etc) But I can’t say that “Red” steals the most attention during the campaign, even though it makes it much easier to relate to the character as he’s voice acted and animated.
As we progress throughout the story, we’ll get to know our squadmates at lot better and get the sense of a particularly phrase known from WWII; “soldiers fight for the soldier at their side”.
Red’s relationships with his teammates proves to be a strong emotional drive, and a lot of conflicts as well. The Nazi’s might be the main bad guy here, but the antagonist might be your own Sergeant Pierson who might be a little “douchebag” and taking a few unnecessary risks. They really attempt to reach out to your feelings with diverse missions in Call of Duty: WWII, and they almost achieved this with a few missions. But I can’t get this feeling away that Sledgehammer might have missed an excellent opportunity here.
One thing is certain that Sledgehammer has “nailed” completely, and that is the overall graphics in the campaign. The game looks horrorfying in a good way. From the basic character modeling, facial animations, environmental scenes to diverse soundtrack, I’m actually speechless of what they have achieved here.
One key difference this year is that you’ll need to collect health packages to restore health. You can’t go to cover and wait it out and then rush out in the action. But then again the access for health packages could have been a little bit decreased, as I always find myself with plenty of packages, either from locating it from the ground or given by Zussman (one of your teammates).
The last part there is also a new part of the game; Squad Support. Each member of your squad have different “abilities”., one to give you health packages, one for ammo, one can spot nearby enemies, mortar strike and grenade ammo pack. So you’re pretty much unstoppable when it comes to resources, if you use it right. It actually felt like your teammates had some uses that mattered and not just barking out orders. (Even though they depend on you all the time with opening doors etc.). You will encounter a few “quick events”, and some of them might be a little frustrating as the small design / colours might be a little difficult to notice if you have poor eyesight like me.
The missions itself might not be an revolutionary ones, but they do include a nice variety of stealth, head on combat, intriguing cutscenes, missions with different kinds of vehicles such as planes, tanks and jeeps. One mission called “Liberation” really stood out from previous Call of Duty games, combined stealth and covert puzzles while you’re undercover inside a German building really got my adrenaline up. (Especially when I had to remember my alias)
You’re probably a Call of Duty fan if you read through this review. There is no change in how you control “your soldier”. But with the newly added vehicles that you can control might be another story. I found the controls of steering the different vehicles clumsy, the tank didn’t always go the way I wanted and the jeeps & planes did feel like I was controlling a brick.
If you have played through the campaign on either “Easy” or Normal, you could try playing the campaign again on “Veteran” difficulty. And there are 33 mementos to collect. But I don’t think this is enough to keep players coming back to play the story once more. Then again, Call of Duty games haven’t had one hundred percent focus on the story before.
“Score Campaign” 7.5 / 10
I’m not sure what they have done with the graphics on the multiplayer mode. Because after you’ve finished the campaign and head out for the multiplayer everything just felt like a set back. Colours looks more faded out, even blurry on some objects. The diverse map design is “easy” made and it doesn’t look like they added the same love here as they did in the story.
I’m not saying it looks terrible, but I must say I was a little disappointed.
Before you start your journey to first prestige you’ll enter the new social hub for Call of Duty: WWII; Headquarters. Here you can pick up different type of contracts and challenges, test out new weapons on the firing range, face another player in 1v1 match. You can also play old Activision games if you can find the arcade machines. You’re also encouraged to interact with other players like commending players or opening supply drops in front of others, this can give some experience as well.
Speaking of Supply Drops and those “bloody” microtransactions, they actually handle this great in WWII for now. It is easy to earn different types of Supply Drops by doing challenges, contracts, leveling up and random drop in “aftermatch”. You can, of course, use real money to buy “COD Points” (but this won’t be added before 14, November). Similar to Modern Warfare Remastered you can exchange items that you do not want towards that you do want.
You got all the original Call of Duty modes such as Team Deathmatch, Search & Destroy, Hardpoint etc. But the new mode called “War” is a lot of fun to participate in.
This mode gave me the opportunity to explore different types of approaches, strategies and divisions which is a nice change of pace in Call of Duty. Sadly there is only three different maps available in this mode (Operation Breakout, Operation Griffin and Operation Neptune). Even though Operation Neptune is historically correct with the germans having the advantages, it is clearly unbalanced and sucks the fun out of the mode. (Unless your entire team is snipers)
While the war mode only includes three maps, the original multiplayer doesn’t have a lot more maps as well with only nine maps. And the design on each map is kind of small, it creates a fast paced gameplay, but then again it won’t give the player a “break” and might turn the feeling into exhaustion rather than enjoyment. One other problem I encountered with the map design is that I couldn’t achieve the high scorestreaks during a match. The points to achieve the diverse scorestreaks are incredible high compared to previous Call of Duty games, this gave me an extra challenge and frustration to achieve as the map design is small and constantly in a fight. (I died a lot)
The multiplayer does give a few replay value topics. Trying to unlock every camouflage, unlocking every weapon & attachments, going prestige, improve your statistics on leaderboards and a lot more. You might fall of the track a bit, as it might be a little generic with the lack of variation in maps and map design though.
“Multiplayer Score 7.5 /10”
We’re getting a small brief of the story throughout a creepy prologue before we head out to the main area The Final Reich. As we embark on the chilling, dark and mysterious journey through snowy Bavarian village in Mittelburg, Germany with an all star cast from Ving Rhames, Katheryn Winnick and David Tennant. Our heroes must retrieve stolen art that was stolen by the Axis during the war and rescue one of the characters brother. The story itself is interesting and the mysteries The Final Reich has keeps me wanting for more after you defeat the final boss. (The final boss is not the endgame).
Nazi Zombies mode do not experience the same issue as with the multiplayer does compared to the campaign mode. The zombies looks horrorfying and incredible ugly… but the whole setting, mood lightning, map design, and a lot of smaller details is pretty visible that this has gone through some love and dedication.
The most important thing is as always, the gameplay. What is new with Sledgehammers copy of Treyarch’s Nazi Zombies mode?
Well there is a lot of things that is similar, but there is also a lot of new and different things. You no longer have to focus on boarding up your windows, as the zombies pop up right in front you from the ground making you scream like a little girl. And if you really can’t stop screaming like a girl, try to resist screaming while a fast paced zombie runs towards you from a crowd of “regular” zombies while your ammunition runs out.
You can now, as in regular multiplayer mode, create loadouts, weapon kits and set consumables before you head out to face the undead. You can now choose to start with something else than the original M1911 pistol, not saying you can go all blazing from round one but starting with a machine pistol might give an advantage. What do I prefer to start with? Well, I love to start with the shovel, I actually prefer to use this up until round three or four to save my points for greater weapons and perks. One other new thing is that players can now choose from different special abilities to their loadouts. Such as camouflage, free fire and shock shell. Each of them has their own set of mods that can be attached, and this gives the players to think extra on their strategy as it provides a lot of support. I like to use the camouflage ability combined with reviving skills and other medical uses, as this gives advantage to revive teammates as the undead won’t attack me while this is active.
Throughout the rounds you’ll have to complete diverse missions to progress towards the final boss, each of them is challenging but manageable with teamwork. Remember, even if you defeat the final boss and get the final cutscene there is a lot of easter eggs and other mysteries to discover so don’t give up. The map might seem little at first, but be aware the map is large in scale and pretty much awesome. It’s dense and connected through neat underground path systems, and if you’re in a hurry you might want to remember where you ran, as it’s quite a maze down there.
Like in the multiplayer mode there is a lot of things you can unlock from weapons, perks etc. You can always try to defeat your total round score, but there is also a lot of mysteries and easter eggs to discover as well. But then again playing this mode and discovering these easter eggs and mysteries requires teamwork, and if you’re a lone wolf it might take some while to find a random team online who actually plays through the tasks and provides teamwork.
“Nazi Zombies score 9.5 / 10”
Call of Duty: WWII is large step in the right direction for Sledgehammer Games. A decent campaign with gorgeous graphics let down by a dubious multiplayer. But overall a great experience, even with minor issues I have with the multiplayer I do have a great time. The new social hub gives a nice touch to it as well. The Nazi Zombies mode alone could be a standalone title, for this was amazing and challenging.
Campaign: 7.5 / 10
Multiplayer: 7.5 /10
Nazi Zombies: 9.5 /10