Tuesday, 14 November 2017 10:30

REVIEW: Call of Duty: WWII (Playstation 4)

Written by Brett Hale
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Hold onto your seats gamers, Sledgehammer Games has unleashed a Call of Duty game that brings back boots to the ground, and have gone back in time instead of all that future timeline BS.

Call of Duty is a franchise that hasn't been doing too well over the past few years, due to poor campaign stories and the involvement of boost jumping and all the future technology. Last year, Activision gave us Infinite Warfare with a campaign I didn’t mind but the online I couldn’t play much of as it just didn’t grab my interest at all. If i'm being honest, I didn’t even buy it at launch and when I did pick it up, it was only so I could play and own Call Of Duty 4 Remastered. My last good Call of Duty experience was Call Of Duty: MW3 which Sledgehammer Games had involvement in making with Infinity Ward. Now, when Sledgehammer Games were given the chance to make there own game, they gave us Advanced Warfare and which I also found a little rubbish. So, I held my breath when it was announced they were taking Call of Duty back to the WWII era. I didn’t even play the BETA so it wasn’t till launch I was given a copy to review and what can I say, Call Of Duty: WWII blew my freaking mind!

Call of Duty, no matter who’s making it is always broken into three parts, Campaign, Multiplayer and Zombies. This is still the case for WWII with the nazi zombies in this title being the most real shit your pants zombies experience to ever be in any Call of Duty game. Something else Call of Duty tends to do is have celebrities featured in their campaign stories as well as the zombies modes. Infinite Warfare had UFC fighter Connor Mcgregor, and Kit Harington from Game of Thrones, this year most of the campaign actors are minor celebs. The only one I knew right away was Sergeant William Pierson who is played by, Josh Duhamel from the Transformers films, also known for being married to Fergie from Black Eyed Peas. Zombies had one character I was joyed to play as and know of very well, David Tennant from Doctor Who and another actor Ving Rhames.

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Zombies

Now, zombies is something Call of Duty has done time and time again, some games did it good while others not so good. I thought last year's zombies in Infinite Warfare was alright and fun, but holy shit COD:WWII is off the F’N chain, it’s insane! Zombies come in many forms, some slow while others are running at you like you stole something from them. As always zombies can be played online or offline, with yourself and up to three other players. The more players you have will increase the difficulty of the zombies around you, but it’s a mode that having more players helps in the end but playing alone can be done.

Zombies mode starts off as a prologue where you are locked in a house and you need to last as long as possible, that map is titled Groesten Haus. It is a two level house and it looks pretty cool. It’s set at night and can get pretty crazy when the zombies overrun the house. Once you get out of this house the real zombies experience begins, The Final Reich. As with every zombie game before it, you'll need what they call this time around, Joltz to unlock doors and buy other bigger and better weapons. There is a purpose to the mode and it’s easy to figure out. Each character will be given a gun, starting with a pistol. Guns will be your main defense but each character is also given a choice of loadouts that involve things like the ability to shoot even if you run out of ammo, or being invisible to zombies for a limited time.


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Campaign

As much as wasn't really into the futuristic Call of Duty games, the idea of a future scenario of war with drones is crazy, but what's even crazier is a game set in WWII which was a war that actually happened. The campaign shows how brutal WWII really was, from stepping off a people carrier boat and seeing fellow soldiers being gunned down into pieces, headless bodies or loss of limbs it all looks so real that it causes some emotion in the person playing, even I started to feel the emotion.

The campaign starts on June 6, 1944 and you play as U.S. Army Private First Class Ronald “Red” Daniels who is part of the 1st Infantry Division. The campaign has a total of 11 chapters that can be played in four different difficulties, Recruit, Normal, Hardened and Veteran. Something not seen in the series for some time is the health regen system in COD: WWII. If you're hurt from gunfire or a nade your health will not regenerate over time. What you're going to need to do it find health packs near by, or have a specific soldier to hand you some. You’ll get use to this system almost from the start. Besides being able to be given health from another soldier, there are also others that can give, ammo, nades, soldiers that will allow you to start artillery strikes or even soliders that can mark all enemies for you. Real time combat has also been changed. Now you’ll need to move your left stick and press the button displayed on that spot. Collectables such as intel, have being rebranded as "Mementos" and they are hidden throughout the chapters. There are also possible heroic actions to be done in all chapters. WWII wasn’t just americans versus the Nazi Germany, the British and French were involved but COD:WWII mostly only involves the yanks and nazis.

What you’ll do across all chapters varies, sometimes you’ll find yourself running and gunning, doing stealth missions while other times you'll be driving jeeps, and flying planes. Depending if you want to find all mementos will determine how long the campaign will take to finish which can be anywhere from 5 hours or more.

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Multiplayer

Now, there are alot of gamers out there that only buy a Call of Duty game solely for online multiplayer and never dipping their toes into the campaign. I mostly brought 2016’s Infinite Warfare just for the campaign and for a copy of COD4 Remastered which at the time was only sold with Infinite Warfare, but COD:WWII has one sweet online multiplayer. Past Call of Duty’s have failed to bring dedicated servers which is a piss poor effort, though COD: WWII did launch with dedicated servers but not long after they were pulled and P2P was put as the replacement for the time being. The game's online multiplayer launch was a little rough with servers not being accessible for all. But now they seem to be up and running and being fairly decent. Sure, the P2P can be an issue at times causing people who get host with poor internet to cause a host migration.

You wouldn’t believe the relief you’ll feel once you play your very first online game. Boots on the ground is back baby, and it’s been a long time coming. Finally Call of Duty feels like Call of Duty again, and not full of boost jumping. Though, one thing that hasn't changed is how people play. There are still campers lurking around as well as those who love to do nothing but snipe with rifles and when you mix campers with sniper rifles, you get the ultimate Call of Duty douchebag. There is even quickscoping, yes it's back. As for maps, Call Of Duty: WWII launched with 9 maps. You’ll battle in locations such as London or a large battleship called the USS Texas, but one map that stands out for me is Gustav Cannon. It's a snipers dream, camping in the middle on the highest vantage point is what makes this map C.R.A.P. in my opinion. All maps are fairly big, with some in snowy locations. Something i'd like to see are night time maps. There is a bonus map on offer only to season pass owners titled Carentan too.

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Multiplayer also has some customization for your character. Right now it's only really faces and attire but i’m sure over time they may add more to that aspect of the game. You can choose preselected emblems or make your very own, have a clan tag and choose up to four different emotes to use in the top three match screen. Online multiplayer in Call Of Duty: WWII supports 2 player split screen, but even on a 55” television you’ll lose much of the screen when compared to playing alone. Call Of Duty: WWII has the usual game modes for online, TDM, CTF, S&D, Kill Confirmed and Domination but there is a brand new mode called Gridiron. It’s similar to a Halo mode where the goal is to pick up the ball and either carry or throw it into the goal. If you're shot with the ball in hand you’ll die and respawn, and you can still die without the ball. It’s an odd mode which I wasn’t too keen on but people are playing this mode, which was good to see. While Scorestreaks have been kind of crappy in the past few titles, they have been greatly improvement in Call Of Duty: WWII. You’ll have the care package, carpet bomber and mortar strikes just to name a few out of the 15 in total you can choose from. As always only 3 can be selected at one time.

Standard online has core rules with normal helath, hardcore on the other hand is less health, plus no regen health or HUD. Then there is a Ranked Play mode but that doesn’t start until December 1st 2017, it's a season layout which you’ll earn rewards while playing it so I look forward to that starting soon. You'll also find a MLG playlist.

Now, what’s a Call of Duty game without those sweet weapons. There is enough of them to shoot a hole in as many enemies as you want. Featuring 7 assault rifles, 4 LMGs, 3 pistols, 6 SMGs, 4 sniper rifles and 4 shotguns. Some weapons are mediocre but that can all change when unlocking attachments for them. Lethals and tacticals are also in game, Nades, smoke nades and other sweet little helpers.

There is also 5 Divisions to choose from, Armoured, Airborne, Mountain, Infantry and Expeditionary. They each can be leveled up four times with each level up unlocking a perk with a total of 4 perks in each Division. Something you can also equip your character with is basic training option. You’ll be able to choose 1 of 21, unlocking them as you level up. These can really help you out in multiplayer. Some will make scorestreaks not reset upon death or one that allows you to reload while sprinting. Online multiplayer now has a hub called "Headquarters". It a social hub very simular to Destiny's "Tower" where you can hang with other online players but with the games rocky launch, right now when you go into this social space you'll only ever see yourself, AI or friends in your party. There are all kinds of things you can do in this space such as checking your mailbox that gives you payouts of ingame currency, scorestreak tutorial or visit the quartermaster to do challenges and more.

With this generation of consoles, Call of Duty has mostly maintained 60FPS, but games have had drops on the campaign as well as online multiplayer. Call Of Duty:WWII even on the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X had some slight stutter issue in the campaign but not on the multiplayer or zombies side. Call Of Duty: WWII also supports HDR on PS4, PS4 Pro, Xbox One S and Xbox One X though your tv will need to have support for HDR10. Prior to only a week ago the PS4 Pro was the best console to play Call of Duty on, other then PC but that has since changed since the release of the Xbox One X. The Xbox One X has even better shadows compared to the PS4 Pro along with a higher resolution of 4K on Xbox One X compared to checkerboard 4K on the Pro console. Don't get me wrong, the PS4 Pro version still looks good, but the Xbox One X is a beast having more clarity and crispness to it due to the pixel count it can produce. Gamers who still have the OG Xbox One or even a slim will still have a good looking game to play, same goes for the base PS4 players.

Like I said, this game looks great, there was the odd cut scene that had be questioning if it was a real life movie or the game engine producing it. Voice acting has always been on point in Call of Duty games, nothing but the best. When a game is set in the 1940’s you can even pick up on how people sounded in the 1940’s, but voice acting is just one part of the sound. Gun fire is fantastic, as well as bombs dropping to the screams you’ll hear are bone chilling. If Call Of Duty:WWII was a full blown VR title, people would shit their pants while playing it. The planes sound very real with their engines instantly making you think of old WWII or even WWI footage.

So after the many failed Call of Duty games I started to lose hope and thought i'd never get into another Call of Duty game ever again. This all changed once Call Of Duty: WWII launched. Sure it has it’s server issues and some players are just going to camp and snipe, but other then that the boots of ground gameplay is the bee’s knees. The realism the game brings across the single player campaign, online multiplayer and nazi zombies is phenomenal. Having played the game on both PS4 Pro and Xbox One X, they both were much the same, however the Xbox One X visuals are a little better to an extent, though base console users still have a great game to play. I now look forward to future DLC maps and Nazi Zombies.

Additional Info

  • Review Score: 4.5 / 5.0
  • Release Date: Out Now
  • Platform: PC, PS4, XBOX ONE
  • Developer: Sledgehammer Games
  • Publisher: Activision
  • Genre: FPS, Multiplayer, Action