Call of Duty World War II is the game that had to bring back the Call of Duty we all love and it manages to accomplish what it set out to do but that’s all it does.
Going Back To Boots On The Ground
With Call of Duty WWII, the series finally returned to the old school boots on the ground gameplay that people have been complaining about rather loudly. After the immensely negative feedback, the publishers received by Call of Duty Infinite Warfare. This is the first Call of Duty game in the last three years that doesn’t require you to use a jetpack or jump of walls along with being the first game set during the Second World War in 10 years. In a lot of ways, it feels more like a way to reboot to bring fans a game that they would be happy with, it’s not perfect, but definitely not as bad as the last few releases in the series.
Call of Duty WWII is more about the friendship between men and the sacrifice that comes along with it rather than being about World War II. Call of Duty WWII manages to get the exact thing it tried to do right wrong from the get-go. The campaign feels like a disjointed mess and the Nazi Zombies mode is riddled with issues as well. Rather giving players some semblance of what World War II was about or even make the part a central theme, it’s just used as an excuse to let you shoot down Nazi’s in a cool way rather than building up a story or giving any sense of progression. In short, if you’ve ever watched Saving Private Ryan or Band of Brothers, then you already know what’s going to happen in the campaign.
The Same Old Game packed In Different Wraps
At its core, everything about Call of Duty World War II feels, look and is familiar without there being much of anything new to add to the game. The combat feels like every other call of duty game just with a new cover and the overall feel is still the same. Ironically, rather than progressing past its auto refilling health system, Call of Duty WWII falls back on the good old med kit health restoration system that we’ve been seeing even before the likes of Half-Life. The medkits do add a sense of interaction and make the game slightly more engaging but considering that you truly never run out of medkits you never really feel cornered.
This is largely due to the new feature that allows you to request medkits and ammo from your teammates. The idea of asking your teammates to help you out in combat does sound like a good idea on paper but when you execute it, you’ll find it becoming frustrating fast. You’re never truly alone for starters and your teammates can bail you out of any issue you’re facing which yet again give the campaign the same feeling of being just a tutorial for the multiplayer. After all the talk Activision did about the story being the main focus, it’s underwhelming, to say the least.
The conflict between the game trying to establish itself as serious versus trying to be fun ends up being forced and clumsy to say the least. The only moments the game manages to shine are the very few stealth sequences that end up turning into a gunfight by the end and the one very small mission where you don’t have to shoot a gun which seems to be a recurring theme in the franchise. Introduce something fun and enjoyable for one mission and then forget about it forever – which is exactly what Call of Duty WWII does.
Multiplayer Fun But Lacking & Potentially Broken
Moving on to multiplayer, it’s almost like every other Call of Duty mode you can think off and the regenerating health comes back too. There are multiple classes you can choose from but they feel extremely unbalanced while some are clearly better than other classes. The biggest issue with the multiplayer is that it only comes with 9 maps that are pretty straightforward. You spawn, you run down a corridor you kill and you die – repeat.
Each map lacks any kind of tactical gameplay element that would make playing it less repetitive and more challenging. The only redeeming part of Call of Duty WWII multiplayer is the War Mode that requires you to fulfill certain objectives to win the game while the opposing team tries to stop you. War Mode was hyped by Activision a lot prior to release but when it did release it only came with three maps. No matter how enjoyable the mode is having only 3 modes to play with can become tiring real fast.
Even with a game that has so much riding on it for the series, it came out buggy and incomplete, to say the least. HQ, the online community that was marketed to be a big social hub but came broken and empty whereas the game is experiencing severe server issues which are only worsened by the fact that Activision has yet to implement the paid lootbox system. Nazi Zombie mode is also back and this time around has a much gruesome look but plays pretty much the same way as any other Zombies mode.
Overall, Call of Duty WWII does take the game back to the roots with boots on ground gameplay without innovating or trying to be better. It’s by far one of the better Call of Duty games but nowhere near being one of the best.