Gaming Gear and Gadgets

Call of Duty: WWII review

Call of Duty
Written by Michael Lloyd

Forget futuristic jetpacks and spaceships. All boots are now firmly on the ground in the setting of World War II for the latest Call of Duty.

Developer Sledgehammer has pulled the series back to its roots. There’s a decent WW2 campaign, scarier Nazi Zombies and a nice new mode in multiplayer. Yes, Call of Duty is back with a bang.

Multiplayer

The multiplayer is quite fast-paced with a variety of maps, from fighting in London’s Docks to fighting in the trenches in Sainte Marie du Mont.

There are some good additions such as headquarters where you can interact with other players, look at objectives and supply drops as well as testing weapons. If you enjoy checking out supply drops and setting a contract, for example, so many kills with a certain gun, to complete for more experience points, then this is for you

The division class system is a nice introduction, with each class having different weapons and special abilities. For example, the Airborne system has sub-machine guns and can use silencers to move and kill quickly. It’s also great to have customisable characters. You can pick whether you play as a man or woman and change their look and gear.

The new game mode, War, works well. You complete objectives working as a team. One team attacks, escorting a tank or building a bridge to push further into map while the other team defends. This is different from just thinking about your own stats and a welcome change working as a team online.

Although the graphics are great, I’d still like the introduction of destructible environments and larger maps where you can drive more vehicles, like in Battlefield.

Campaign

You play as U.S. Army Private First Class Ronald “Red” Daniels and fight alongside and interact with his comrades who are likeable enough. There was one emotional bond between your character and another, Zussman, that made me invest in his safety. The same cannot be same for the rest of the otherwise dull comrades. It was great to experience some huge moments of the war including the D-Day landing, the Battle of the Bulge and Liberation of Paris.

The story is told mainly via longer cut-scenes and huge action sequences, which were fun, making it feel like a WWII action film you’re immersed in. There are enjoyable parts where you drive a tank and pilot a plane. I also liked how the game showed some of the horrors of war with very gory action, seeing limbs flying off and blood spouting everywhere. The missions are similar, action sequences to action sequences. But this Call of Duty also introduces parts where wounded allies can be dragged to safety and enemy soldiers captured. Sometimes the over-the-top action makes some historical events seem unrealistic.

Instead of your health automatically regenerating, you ask comrades for health packs which you apply with a push of button, making the game harder to play. This is a great idea, meaning you have to be more tactical and be more careful instead of just going in guns blazing and taking cover quickly after. There’s more a sense of playing as a team with comrades that support you in battle. For example, one giving you health packs, another ammo and another spotting out enemies.

There are good quick-time events where you move the analog stick, that’s vibrating, to grab a weapon and quickly finish off your attacker in a life and death scenario. Though each mission takes a while to load.

Nazi Zombies

This is creepy and loads of fun to play, especially with friends that can talk to you at the same time. You fight off waves of the undead while unlocking portions of the main story by finding easter eggs.

The four main characters must retrieve art that was stolen by the Axis powers (and rescue one character’s brother). All while fighting herds of the undead. David Tennat plays one of these characters, which was great to see and brilliantly acted.  There’s a prologue map which introduces the zombies with a little story and once you finish that you unlock another map, The Final Reich. It’s a huge map, great fun to explore and connect the power and unlock easter eggs.

The other map is Gröesten Haus (German for biggest house) is just that. It’s a big, eerie house with a fireplace, rocking chair and dimly lit rooms. Zombies come from every direction, sometimes falling through the roof, adding a few jump scares. However the map is fairly small, which can lead to boredom after a while.

Our verdict

Although the different game modes are fun in themselves, they don’t always seem to complement each other well.  For example, a typical WWII story and multiplayer where players mess around and act silly in headquarters.

Overall I enjoyed the game. I think, like me, it may well win back some fans bored with the futuristic settings of the previous games.

Call of Duty: WWII is out now on ps4 and Xbox One and PC. Priced from £44.99.

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