In the interest of full disclosure I should admit that I’m not a huge Call of Duty fan. Actually, that’s not entirely accurate; it’s more a case of not having been a COD fan for a while, a good while, in fact. If I’m brutally honest, the last Call Of Duty that I really enjoyed was Modern Warfare in 2007. I started to lose interest in the series when it decided to push beyond historical and contemporary battlegrounds in favor of futuristic landscapes and environments. That’s not to say that I have an issue with futuristic FPS (full person shooter) games – I’ve lost weeks, if not months of my life to Destiny 1 & 2 – but futuristic weapons and exoskeletons aren’t what I wanted from Call Of Duty.
Of course, it’s easy to take what should be the right ingredients and still end up with a complete mess, but thankfully Sledgehammer has whipped up quite the appealing AAA – FPS shooter in the shape of Call Of Duty: WWII. That doesn’t mean it’s perfect, but it definitely signals a return to form for the franchise.
The visuals are outstanding, not just the photo realistic representations of your squad and the terrain that they live in, but the dynamic effects of rain, mud, rubble, dust, smoke and fog. Those visuals, joined with earth shattering sound effects – you really want to play this on a surround sound system if you can!
The campaign plots a course through Europe, with the obligatory D-Day landing carnage that throws you into the thick of the fight from the get go. There’s no open world to explore here, it’s an old school ‘on rails’ story, but it’s engaging and leaves you wanting to push on through the next chapter every time you complete a mission. What Sledgehammer has created is the best single player COD experience in years, taking me back to the very early days of the Xbox 360, when COD was the stand out game on the system. It’s honestly worth buying Call Of Duty: WWII for the campaign alone.
This review has taken me longer than anticipated to write, because the multiplayer side of the equation was rather unreliable when the game first launched. In the first few weeks, I found myself unable to connect for hours on end, and then, when I could finally get in, I’d be kicked mid match. No Beuno! In response, they have temporarily disabled some social elements to help with server issues.
Thankfully, those problems, for the most part, seem to have been resolved for now, and the result is the best Call Of Duty multiplayer experiences I’ve played in years. I generally prefer the slower pace of Battlefield or Destiny multiplayer, but the balance of weapons and maps seems to hit a sweet spot. There’s also a lot of game modes available, with classics like Team Deathmatch and Domination keeping old school veterans like me happy. But if I want something a bit more demanding, something with a real sense of team achievement, War mode will deliver the challenge.
Ahhh ZOMBIES! This latest zombie installment is definitely tougher than previous versions, and demands more effective teamwork to survive, but jump into the fray with a few friends and the hours will fly by before you notice.
Die-hard Call Of Duty fan? Then you probably pre-ordered WWII months ago and need no convincing, but if like me, you’ve become a bit jaded towards the franchise then it’s worth giving this latest installment a try. Server issues, campers, and quick scopers are still a plenty.