The Call of Duty series has developed an identity crisis over the years, making the games feel somewhat archaic in that the type of games that are being developed now, have already been done time and time again.
With Call of Duty: World War II, Developer Sledgehammer games decided to do what most gamers thought was long overdue; go back to it’s roots.
While plenty of WWII games have been made over the years (at one time way too many), Call of Duty has always been the standard by which all other games set in that era were measured. With Call of Duty returning to what made it great, we found the results to be incredible, but not without areas of opportunity.
In the game, players take on the role of Ronald Daniels, a Private First Class in the United States Army. Daniels joins his troops as they move into Normandy on D-Day. The action gets intense almost immediately, and the PFC soon finds himself watching helplessly as a fellow soldier is gravely injured in front of his eyes. While the invasion of Normandy has certainly been done before (Most notably in Medal of Honor: Frontline), Call of Duty: WWII brings things to another level. Following this battle, the game guides players through a multitude of missions, following a timeline of both factual and fictional missions. This is where the biggest area of opportunity arises.
We first found ourselves enamored, feeling like we did when the Call of Duty series brought us the first few titles. Eventually, however, the excitement sort of wears off a little as the game feels far too linear, even by CoD standards. The campaign is built to focus on story which is understandable, but it would be nice in 2017 to be able to explore just a bit more. In addition, there isn’t much variation in gameplay, which was fine for earlier entries because it was all new to us, but in 2017 seems like an obvious feature that should have been included. As we stated earlier, this is Call of Duty at it’s roots and this shouldn’t be a complaint, we just felt that it would have really helped keep our excitement a bit longer.
The controls are as responsive and identical as ever, which gives gamers the ability to skip right by any sort of learning curve and jump right into action. There’s not much new here.
Visuals have always been a strength of the series and WWII does not disappoint. The game looks gorgeous. The crisp graphics make for easy to spot enemies in the distance as well as see large objects that are far deeper in the background than we seen in a lot of other first person shooters.
While the campaign is great overall, Multiplayer is what Call of Duty is known for. In addition to the standard play modes, the game also features an all new multiplayer called War Mode. In War Mode players go head to head as either the “Axis” or “Allies” in classic WWII battles. It was an amazing experience, and possibly the best multiplayer in a CoD game to date.
Zombies, everyone loves them and this time the gruesome level has been turned up to 11. The sights and sounds are unnerving. With an all new story which reveals…well, gamers will just have to play the game to find out.
Overall, Call of Duty WWII is a great reboot in the series in most facets. A great story, fantastic new game modes and beautiful visuals make for the best entry in the series in years. Our only wish would have been for more variety and less linearity, but that area of opportunity in now way overshadows the sheer beauty and entire package the game provides.