It was no real surprise when Activision announced that Call of Duty would be set in World War 2. The game series has been leaking players like a colander since they started playing with the futuristic setting. Fortunately for the series they have such a huge fan base that it was a storm they could ride out, a bad year for Call of Duty would still likely see it vastly outsell other games. So, with the series heading back to its roots and taking on the Nazi’s once more does this iteration steady the ship?When we got a look at the Call of Duty WW2 campaign I was excited. It looked interesting and the more I saw the more I wanted to get my hands on it. Jumping into the game you’re treated to old fashioned looking splash screens and there’s a definite grainy feel to the menus which add to that 1930’s/40’s feel (as much as a computer game can feel from that time) jumping into the campaign I waited in anticipation for the chaos and action to start. I waited and I waited and it felt like it never really arrived. I’m interested in the World wars and the period and have done a lot of reading about them, so I was expecting full on “Saving Private Ryan” type adrenaline but it never happened. The D-Day scene felt baron. There was no sense of scale or loss, we hadn’t bonded with the characters so it meant nothing when they went down. I looked around the beach expecting to see something epic but, I saw a sparsely populated landing party. I feel they could have got the scale better. The sounds too were hit and miss with the zipping of rounds flying past sounding inauthentic among other things.
As I made my way through the Call of Duty WW2 campaign I found myself feeling unimpressed and I just couldn’t form any kind of bond with any of the characters. You can tell that you’re supposed to care but there really wasn’t any feeling there for me. The game itself felt off. It had far too many quick time events that quickly got annoying and it was just your typical point and shoot Call of Duty. It could have and should have been so much more. The campaign modes are the developers chance to tell a story and break the Call of Duty mould, but that just didn’t seem to happen. All in all, I found the campaign poorly Structured, badly written and dull to play which is a shame because when you look at how good past World War 2 games were such as the old Call of duty’s or Medal of Honour I really had hoped to see something on an epic scale all these years later. Instead we are given a bad imitation of something 10-year-old + games managed to do well.
Zombies is a mode I don’t really bother with but feel compelled to try and in Call of Duty WW2 we were promised a more horror type experience. You can get that out of your head straightaway. This Zombie mode is one of the worst I’ve played. Boring, slow and not in the least bit scary or even tense. It was a forgettable experience.
Graphically Call of Duty WW2 is a tale of two stories. There are times when you look at what appears on screen and think “Wow” but then there are other times when you look at some of the textures and it looks like a 10-year-old game stitched together. The bad parts are bad, there are some terrible textures and badly designed campaign levels. The bad parts do seem to be mostly confined to the campaign I found, and the Multiplayer mode is pretty good looking for the most part.
The Multiplayer is Call of Duty WW2 redeeming factor for me. I absolutely love it. I really like the Social space and although it’s not quite working correctly at the time of writing it’s a great addition to the Call of duty experience. The strange thing is I’m enjoying the progression structure as well. There’s a lot to learn what with Divisions replacing classes and prestigable, as are weapons and your character. Once you get your head around it all it makes sense and feels rewarding to progress. The Loot crates I haven’t had an issue with thus far although that could change when the Microtransactions are introduced next week. All in all, I’ve not found them to interfere or hinder my progress and my Wife seems to like seeing what I get when I earn them in game.
The Multiplayer Maps are well designed. There’s a nice selection with none of them feeling particularly like one another and I’ve not yet found a map that I hate with a passion like I normally do. Likewise, there’s not really a stand out map that I think will become a classic Call of Duty map but all in all they’ve done a pretty good job. Gun play feels tight as you would expect of a Call of Duty title and whilst some of the sounds are a bit flat it’s an all-round fun experience. I think the only major issue I’ve had are long matchmaking times and poor connection to the host but aside from that this is a good Call of duty multiplayer experience.
I do think the series is desperate for a new modern-day engine and I really do think they should just do a remastered volume for a year or two and refresh the series once they’ve got something that can take the series forward. All in all I’m really enjoying Call of Duty WW2 and despite the lacklustre campaign and Zombie mode that’s not at all scary I think this is a good game.