So just wrapped up Call of Duty World War II last night.
This is the the 14th Call of Duty game in the pivotal franchise and it is a huge step back to it roots.
When CoD came on the scene back in 2003 it was on of the first WWII FPS games to come on the scene. With 3 other WWII games to follow in coming year, after which the franchise went into a more modern direction.
Call of Duty: WWII is a welcomed game in a sea of modern shooters now, and returning to their roots feels pretty right.
The only downside is, it really brings nothing new to the fray.
Good or bad, CoD has not changed much over the last 14 years. It is a formulaic shooter. Insert crisis, insert rough neck boots on the ground, and insert scripted action scenes. Rinse / repeat.
How well it works is pretty subjective.
I personally love the franchise, even some of the lesser received games like Advance and Infinite Warfare.
No one quite does action set pieces like Call of Duty, you are pulled into the time and space the games transpire, and feel like you are part of the war effort. Making a difference in turning the tide of the entire war, it is all on your shoulders private “your name here”.
The game play in WWII is very good, controls are pretty much exactly what you come to expect with modern console shooters, they are tight and responsive and you never feel like you deaths are due to poor controls.
What WWII does stand out in for the first time in the franchise is some pretty great first person sneaking missions, where you have to take out a pile of guards with silenced weapons as you eke your way to the next objective.
This is quite the challenge on the Veteran difficulty, because failure to remain unseen typically ends in an instant death by swarm of Nazi soldiers.
But other than the couple stealth mission of the 11 missions available, there is really nothing you have not played here before.
There is a fantastic epilogue mission that really drives home the cost of war, and it did serve to make me uncomfortable in the content, which is no small feat.
All in all the game looks and sounds amazing.
If is the first CoD to support 4k / HDR on the XB1X and PS4 Pro.
The visuals were stunning with HDR enabled, light now becomes ultra realistic, as clouds break and the sun comes out it is near blinding. Shooting down enemy planes becomes a real challenge with the sun at their backs.
Sounds design is top notch as well, but does suffer from a small game play flaw. When a squad mate gets clipped and goes down, you can sometimes drag them to safety.
Well the entire time they are down they complain and whine that they need help, and it comes in louder than the bombs and bullets going off in the area.
I only mention it because it did get the the point of distraction.
Here you are in a huge firefight for you life, and Bob is crying out to be helped. “Just a bloody minute, I am trying not to die here!” And to make matter worst, when you are dragging your comrade to safety, you are completely venerable and a bullet magnet.
Every time I did go to save someone (mostly to shut them up) I died in a few seconds. No shocker, if Bob was in the open and got hosed, now I was too with a big red flag and a guy screaming to ensure he draws ALL the attention of the enemy. By the way… Bob is a real dick….
But, when Bob is not crying for help, the audio is top shelf. With DTS:Neo X taking a major advantage of the Atmos channels. Bullets whizzing overhead, bombs dropping, trees and mortar fire exploding all around you, it is a pleasure on the ears.
One thing I did not dive into however was the multiplayer. I have not been big on MP for a long time now, with Destiny 2 being a brief stint in PvP that while enjoyable, is still not my preferred type of gaming.
I play for story and I won’t be getting any of that out of online MP.
Story mode took about 8 hours to play through on Veteran, and in 2 instances I had to drop the difficulty down to Hardened.
There was 2 scenarios that in true CoD style screwed me over on a checkpoint.
One of the flaws in the checkpoint system is that after you complete a certain unforeseen task (like walk past X point in the game, or blow up a tank) the game auto saves. So if you die you respawn at that point.
Well in 2 instances the game did this while I was surrounded by Nazi and die almost immediately upon respawn.
After 45 mins of trying to sprint away in a million different directions I had not choice but to dial things back (effectively screwing up my Vet trophy) just so I could move forward.
At the end of the day, CoD: WWII will not change your impression of FPS games or WWII games, but if you are a fan like I am, of a good scripted shooter, then this is just what the doctor ordered.
A decent 7/10.