Call of Duty World War II returns to the boots on the ground gameplay found in the older games in the franchise. The franchise’s foray into more futuristic settings, with double jumps, wall runs and spaceships, was not received well by fans. The cry for more realistic war settings was finally answered with Call of Duty World War II.
The game’s appearance varies throughout the environment. The forests are dim, gritty and at times, foggy ;the urban environments are colorful in the day, with their nighttime counterparts lit by streetlights, giving a sense of reality. During the campaign, players will get to experience a number of settings to play in. The multiplayer is similar, with smaller maps. The sounds of gunshots, explosions, and screams help immerse the player. The only sound I would truly take issue with is noise when a player is set on fire. It startled me the first few times I heard it, but became somewhat ridiculous over time. Still, the game is realistic looking and, for the most part, sounds good.
The last few Call of Duty games brought in good actors from popular tv shows or movies. WWII avoids this, and instead mostly follows the story of a group of soldiers in the 1st Division as they move throughout Europe to take down the German forces, starting in France and going through Germany. Sergeant Daniels and his friends go through battles and harrowing experiences. The character work is very good for this being a Call of Duty game. There are clear motivations for character’s actions. Every important character has a different personality and at least one defining feature. There are moments that are emotionally charged and moments that are filled with suspense and keep you on the edge of your seat.
The game is also fairly progressive. It deals with racism, provides representation for minorities, and empowers women. My favorite section of the campaign mode was when the gave me the opportunity to play as a woman whose child had been killed by a Nazi officer. She infiltrates a Nazi stronghold, gets intel for the allies, clears a path for them, and gets her revenge on the same officer that killed her family. It forces you to take a break from the shooting and search for people in a building crawling with enemies. After this you have to escape the area. If you do it right, you can get through without putting every soldier in the area on alert. As Call of Duty campaigns go, Word War II provides one of the best.
In the campaign mode, the mechanics are implemented well. Throughout normal missions, you are given weapons and tools to suit particular tasks, and you can pick up guns from fallen friends or enemies. For the first time since the early games, health regeneration does not happen automatically. Instead the player must use health packs which are scattered around levels. Another way to get items, like ammunition, grenades, health packs, and enemy position call outs is by calling out to different allies. The stealth mechanics in the few missions that allow it are fun and give you the opportunity to test your skills.
For the multiplayer, World War II implements a class system that varies from previous games. Now certain play styles or weapons are better suited for certain classes. You can still customize things like scorestreaks and perks (now called basic training), but you’re still doing it within the class system. Scorestreaks carry more weight than they did in the last three games. In Advanced Warfare I used to take out the scorestreaks so I could create classes with other features, not only does WWII not give you that option, but doing so would be foolish. Once you get used to using them, scorestreaks are fun and can get you even more kills. The numerous game modes in multiplayer, campaign mode, and zombies co-op campaign keep the player busy. Call of Duty’s Prestige option gives the player incentive to continue playing.
Though the Season Pass for the DLC is overpriced, and there are plenty of frustrating moments when playing multiplayer (“I swear I shot that guy 30 times!”), Call of Duty World War II is a very good game, and could a signal an even brighter future ahead for the series.