Call Of Duty: WWII
Sledgehammer Games & Activision
3 November 2017
The topic of World War II has never faded away in popular culture, with many games and films portraying the setting even today.
Activision is also in the mood of bringing back the World War II theme in the Call Of Duty franchise. Yes, this series started off with World War II (the last of which being Call Of Duty: World At War), but the disappointment from last year’s Infinite Warfare and pressure from rivals EA with their success of Battlefield 1, Activision need to do something to stay relevant in the competition.
We were quite pleased with the quality and content on offer by developers Sledgehammer with COD WWII, and it’s worth a buy. Though there are a few factors and issues which will be pointed out in the review.
Disclaimer: This review may contain light spoilers
Graphics & Audio
It cannot be denied that Sledgehammer managed to make a game with top-quality graphics. Each graphical element and animation in the game is wonderfully realised and will impress a lot of players out there.
Even though we were playing on the regular, first-generation PS4, the game manages to be running fluidly- rarely we spot a drop in frame or lag in the game.
The performance does take a slight dip when it’s saving during cut-scenes- it helps mask away loading times but we feel it has an overall negative impact.
With HDR (High Dynamic Range) support, lighting effects look balanced and makes it look greater when playing.
The environments during gameplay certainly captures the hectic horrors of war to the payers. For example, the Normandy sequence at the beginning of the game certainly feels tense, players will feel a thrill to cross the beach on that tragic day.
The game is also played at a locked 60 frames per second.
The audio and music plays a big role in the experience and there of good quality.
A few big names are part of the voice talents in the game, including Josh Dhuamel as Sargent Pierson, (otherwise known as Elodie from the Daredevil series) in Zombie Mode.
The voice actors also share their likeness to their in-game characters as well.
Content & Longevity
Call Of Duty WWII has three different modes, Single-Player, Multiplayer and also Zombie Mode. Each mode brings something different to the table in terms of gameplay, which we will explain:
To be frank, while the story of the campaign is pretty good compared to other FPS campaigns, it is still linear and predictable. COD WWII tries to add more emotional heft to the story but we don’t think the message will reach to the players. The plot can be all over the place and the Hollywood-style overuse of explosions feels out of place in World War II. It is still fun to go through the motions nevertheless.
Players play as Ronald “Red” Daniels, the main character that are part of various conflicts against the Nazi conquests of Europe. Players will be joined by the British forces as well as the French resistance army in one of the episodes in the campaign. Outside of playing as an infantry, here are missions where you control tanks and fighter jets, playing as Daniel’s brothers in arms.
It takes about 15 hours to finish the single-player campaign and we recommend playing it on Veteran for a some extra challenge.
This is what Call Of Duty is all about, honestly. And WWII is still bringing multiplayer with some changes. Players now have to pick a division to start with. Here are the choices:
- Infantry: For those who love taking fights tactically and melee weapons
- Airborne: Specialised in quick sprinting and fast movements
- Armoured: The division with the biggest of guns, such as the rocket launcher
- Mountain: Perfect for accurate players who prefer sniping
- Expeditionary: The best for close-quarters combat, and shotgun lovers
Players will then be transported to the Headquarters, a “digital lobby” or a social space akin to The Tower in Destiny where you can wander around to find activities to partake. There are a few of them available, like taking Contracts from the Quartermaster and Orders from Major Howard which will give rewards once completed.
There are several modes offer in multiplayer, though one of the more interesting ones is the new War Mode. It’s exciting and interactive, giving it a story mode feel while still being a multiplayer match.
Nazi Zombies (Zombies Mode)
Call Of Duty’s staple Zombies Mode is here again in COD WWII and we certainly had a blast playing the current rendition of the mode, called Nazi Zombies.
It is a far better offering than previous outings, and the more horrific themes this time around certainly delivers. Players start with a short plot setup- a prologue introducing the crew that are looking for treasure in Germany. Unfortunately what they found was hordes of zombies to face against.
The mode can be played solo or co-op with other players online. While it can get repetitive, playing with friends facing the increasingly harder waves of zombies brings a great deal of thrill and excitement.
We started our playthrough with the single-player campaign and it started with a bang, the D-Day landings. As expected, plenty of classic weaponry are on offer and for us, rifles are much easier to wield compared to inaccurate SMGs. We recommend turning off Aim Assists for an extra challenge.
There’s no RPG elements in the campaign this time, but it does offer something else this time.
Heroic Actions and Mementos are two side-content where players need to do to achieve 100% clear status in each mission. Heroic Actions will make players do various things like help a fellow soldier with his injuries, save a soldier as he is brawling with a Nazi or spare the enemy and let them surrender peacefully. Mementos are collectibles you can find throughout the missions.
There is no regenrative health this time, players need to used first aid kits to heal up. First aid kits can be found around the envrionments or provided by allies as part of Squad Abilities. It’s a system where players can use the squad for extra help and perks.
- Zussman – Provides first aid kits for healing
- Pierson – Highlights enemy locations
- Turner – Provides additional ammo
- Stiles – Provides hand and smoke grenandes
- Aiello – Brings the ability to throw a signal for a mortar blast
The length of the campaign has increased though some parts of the mode can feel a bit boring.
The missions involving fighter jets and tanks are a great diversion, however.
As for the multiplayer and Zombie Mode, there isn’t much change from previous outings Loot boxes are available for both these modes. We don’t like its inclusion but at least it’s not intrusive. Micro-transactions are not available yet (but will be added soon) and the loot boxes only contain cosmetic items, but seeing its inclusion is a bummer.
Going back to World War II is a good decision by Activision and sales figures so far proved that fans wanted this direction. While the story is better than previous outings, it still suffers from a weak plot. But this has all the essentials of what most people wanted in a Call Of Duty game.
Call Of Duty WWII’s Zombies Mode also deserved praise and is better than ever. The multiplayer is also improved and additions like the War Mode is appreciated.
Though it’s not perfect. A few aspects lack punch like the single-player campaign. The addition of loot boxes and micro-transactions are a disappointment. Even if it is just cosmetics, full-priced AAA games should not have them.
But as a whole, COD WWII proves decent and a good step in the right direction. Let’s hope this carries on and Activision refines the shortcomings here for a better game in the future.
Review based on playthrough using a regular PS4. Review copy provided by Sony & Activision.
(Original article: Gamer Malaya)
-Good improvements in the single-player mode
-Very good graphics with HDR support
-Bombastic, Hollywood-style cut-scenes that are a visual treat
-A better Zombies Mode from previous outings
-Weak plot and story
-Lack of RPG elements in the single-player
-Feels "arcade-y" and linear, like most Call Of Duty titles
-The inclusion of loot boxes