Call of Duty WW2 is the return to form the series desperately needed. As always Call of Duty is split into three different game modes. This time around the offerings include, the campaign, multiplayer, and a darker take of zombies, (Specifically being called Nazi Zombies this year.)
The game takes place in, well World War 2. Specifically the European theatre of the war. The story follows Private Red Daniels of the first infantry of the United States Army and his platoon making their way across Europe and pushing back against the German forces. Daniels left his newly wed bride back in Texas when going off to war, which drives him to keep fighting to get home. The first mission of the game taking place on perhaps the most famous World War 2 battle, “D-Day”. The developers at Sledgehammer games were going for a brotherhood feel for your fellow soldiers. Unfortunately, the others in your platoon just end up feeling underdeveloped. The only one you feel a connection with is Zussman, who is well developed and has a personality about him. For whatever reason, ever since the movie Full Metal Jacket, just about every form of media that takes place in a war has a nerdy, glasses wearing, photographier in the platoon. That character this time is Drew Stiles. Now don’t get me wrong, stiles is a fine character, I just felt the need to point it out. Turner, the Lieutenant of your platoon, is the well respected, and level headed part of your squad, and someone Davis looks up to. On the contrary, Sergeant Pierson is the bashful, and unapologetic, member of the platoon who has a drinking problem, and has made a few questionable decisions in battle before. Back to Zussman. Your strong bond with him is solidified in the first mission, that i’m not going to spoil for you. Daniels as a character was well developed through the entirety of the story. He experiences flashbacks of a traumatic experience he went through as a teenager. This has an important dynamic to the story in the present day. All in all, this is the best Call of Duty campaign I’ve played since Black Ops 1 back in 2010.
As always, the multiplayer in Call of Duty WW2 feels solid and well balanced. With some important and much welcomed improvements. One of the larger additions is Headquarters. A social space that you can mess around with other players in. 1 on 1 gun fights, shooting range, scorestreak testing. Even bronze volleyballs you find around the map can be thrown around. Also here you can take on challenges form Major Howard, open up supply drops, and check your mail. It’s a neat feature that adds t
o the social feel of the game. The usual modes are included in this installment. Team Deathmatch, Free-for-all, domination, etc. One exclusion i’m personally not fond of is Gun Game. One of my favorite modes in past games, and where I spent a lot of my time in last years Modern Warfare Remastered. Maybe it’ll come in a future update? I hope so. Perhaps the biggest addition is the War game mode. It’s an objective based multiplayer mode that has no time limit. To me, this feels like the biggest addition to the franchise since we first saw zombies in World at War. The mode is structured like a story mission, but of course is multiplayer. Sledgehammer has built maps for this mode that only playable during games of War. The base multiplayer includes nine maps that are well designed, but the amount does feel a little small compared to past entries. You really can’t write a review these days without discussing loot boxes and microtransactions. As of launch, the games supply drops include only cosmetic items. But based on past Call of Dutys, this is most likely going to be dropped in favor of whole weapons being unlocked through the system. Also as of launch, there are no “COD” points, or any microtransactions at all. Sledgehammer games has created a must play multiplayer experience, that I see myself being invested in for the years to come.
I have to admit, i’m not well versed in the lore that is Call of Duty Zombies. Yah I played couch co-op with my buddies back in Black Ops 1. But that’s about it for my zombies experience. Things are different this time around though. Unlike the lighthearted 80’s esque zombies experience you found in Infinite Warfare. World War 2’s Zombies feels like your playing a horror game, and that’s exactly what I wanted. The story is about the Nazi’s last effort to win the war. Creating hordes of zombies, that they would use to fight the allied forces. The only map included at launch sees you fighting wave after wave of terrifying zombies, ultimately leading to a boss fight. Like the regular multiplayer, zombies includes supply drops as well. Which again only contain cosmetic items. Sledgehammer brought zombies backed to their roots, with a terrifying experience that’s sure to keep some up at night.
Call of Duty WW2 did what fans of the series had been pleading to Activision to do for years. It kept the boots on the ground, and headed back to where it all started. The most well rounded experience we’ve seen from Call of Duty since Black Ops 2 in 2012. Sledgehammer Games knocked it out of the park with WW2, delivering a hat trick that consists of fantastic singleplayer, multiplayer, and zombies experiences.
A review copy of the game was provided by Activision.