call of duty: world war II
Is COD winning the battle, or the War?
Publisher Activision Developer Sledgehammer Games Format xbox One ETA 3 November 2017 Bullets fizz past above your head and you hear the shouts of your squad in your ears. Bombs scream from the sky, kicking up dirt, and blood flies through the air. Your boots, as Activision keeps saying, are firmly on the ground. It’s hell on Earth, but by god does it feel like Call Of Duty.
It’s been a while since we came away from a COD multiplayer match with a huge smile on our faces. Infinite Warfare, with its mad supersoldiery and crazy acrobatics was fun for a while, but it quickly became apparent that somewhere among all the jetpacks and laser rifles, the minute-to-minute gameplay had lost some of its soul.
Which is why were surprised to find ourselves grinning so much after a hands-on session with COD: WWII at E3. We played three game modes – Team Deathmatch, Dominion, and a new mode that bears the inventive name of War.
The biggest compliment we can give to the game is that it felt more like COD 4 than any of the recent instalments – for those haven’t played the best COD game in multiplayer game, that’s a very good thing. The pace is slower (probably because of the lack of robotic exoskeletons) but that doesn’t mean the game is slow. This is still COD, after all.
War is a multi-objective affair, similar to Star Wars Battlefront’s Walker Assault mode. We played as the attacking team, first capturing a tactical point, building a bridge and aiming a bomb. The final push is an Overwatch- style escort section where a tank would only move when members of the attacking team were nearby, and against all reasoning would move backwards if they weren’t. Whichever US general decided on that tactic needs a good talking to.
It was frantic, terrifying fun, with bullets flying in every direction and an incredible atmosphere. We won (natch) but it’s possible that it was because we were playing against a number of other tired journalists, rather than freakish 13-year-olds, screaming abuse into our headsets. At the end of the match we got to watch the best play of the game (yes, we know), which gave a ‘bronze star’ to the player who pulled it off.
Weapon of choice
The weapons were as meaty as you would expect – our single-shot starting rifle was quickly replaced by a Tommy Gun (or a Thompson submachine gun to those that aren’t 1930s mobsters), which was fitted with a suppressor for a stealthier approach. We also tried a shotgun, which was appropriately sonorous, for close-quarters combat. The slowerfiring weapons made each shot more important, and made us think before we pulled the trigger – which we liked. Moment-to-moment combat felt more deliberate, more calculated.
The maps help to keep the pace up, though. They’re well-designed and keep you moving, but aren’t insanely fast. There’s rise and fall; it generally feels great.
If there’s one complaint we have, it’s that, while the maps themselves look very real, they’re a little bit dreary. Okay, we obviously get that the Second World War wasn’t full of bright blue skies, golden beaches and rainbows, but the browns and greys are the only thing that we don’t miss from last-gen shooters. But hey, if that’s the only complaint we have, we can live with it. We’re still smiling, by the way.
“It was frantic, terrifying fun, with bullets flying in every direction”