The Call of Duty series has taken players from the past, present and future to places all around the world. We fought in the war torn cities in a harsh winter in Russia to fighting in modern engagements in the Middle East. The series has also gone into the future with various campaigns taking place in futuristic locales, alternate histories and even the depths of space themselves. Activision has turned the tide once again as they have released their latest in the long line of shooters calling it Call of Duty WW II. But is this the game that can turn the series around or is it going to be just as bad as the last one was?
In the Call of Duty campaign mode, you play as Red Daniels, who is straight out of Texas as he is looking to join the fight against the German war machine. Before you even start playing the game you feel as if you are bonding with these characters. You talk about trivial things as you go on a ship heading toward the Normandy beach. This might sound a bit trite as the game starts off with the D-Day invasion but I can tell you this is done just as good if not better than its previous incarnations. You feel as if you are in the thick of battle as bullets go whizzing past your head as you sprint from cover to cover. And speaking of cover the mechanic of taking cover so your health can regenerate is gone. If you lose health the only way you are going to be able to recover it is through health packs that are spread throughout each level. I find this to be a better approach as you can use these health packs when you need to instead of just using them when you pick them up. There are also heroic actions that can be located and performed throughout the levels and completing these gives a boost to your squad mate’s abilities. This could mean anything from giving you more ammo to giving you a health pack when you need it most. I really do not want to give away a lot of the campaign, but I can tell you there are going to be moments when you feel for these characters and you hope that they make it. I love how they gave this campaign a sort of cinematic feel to it and it was as if you were taking part in your favorite world war two movie.
The multiplayer side of Call of Duty WW II has also been upgraded as well, but let’s go over the basics first. Sure, there are a variety of modes to choose from including team deathmatch, free for all, domination, etc. There are even hardcore modes as well and the chat is always on for these modes so you can hear every jeer and taunt from your opponents as well as your teammates. There is a new multiplayer mode and it is called War and the objective of these modes vary slightly from mission to mission. There is one mission where you are trying to destroy flak cannons that are shooting down US bombers. First, you need to capture the enemy command post, then you need to construct a bridge, next you need to destroy an ammo dump for the flak cannons and finally you need to lead your tank to destroy the flak cannons. It is an amazing piece of work and breaks up the monotony of the multiplayer deathmatches. There are also five divisions that have different specialties and they are expeditionary (incendiary shotgun shells), infantry (bayonet charge), mountain (sharpshooter hold breath for steadier shot), airborne (suppressor hides firing on mini-map but less range) and armored (bipod allows you to steady your machinegun against various surfaces). But to me the biggest upgrade to this game has to be the headquarters mode. This is a social space where you can hang out with other players, claim supply drops, take on missions that you complete in the game (ex: get a certain number of kills with this weapon or get a number of headshots). There are also places to hone your multiplayer skills with testing out your weapons in combat as well as your score streaks. This will prove invaluable as you go out onto the battlefield ready with the knowledge on how to use your score streaks to drive the enemy back.
Zombies is also back for another round in Call of Duty WW II and this time it finds you as a small detachment sent to a small village in Mittelburg, Germany. Your team has been dispatched there in order to recover some works of art that were stolen by the Axis and it is your job to retrieve them. Like other zombie campaigns you have a choice between four classes and they are offense, control, support and medic. However, unlike other campaigns you have the ability to pick your character! Yes, you heard right, for the first time you will not be assigned a random character as you can pick the character you like to play. Unfortunately, there can only be one of each type during a match so you need to choose wisely. As with other iterations of this series, there are some great voice talents being lent to the characters. You have Ving Rhames as Jefferson Potts, David Tenant as Drostan Hynd, Katheryn Winnick as Marie Fischer, Elodie Yung as Olivia Durant and Udo Kier as Doktor Peter Straub. Usually when I play the Call of Duty games I skip on the zombies section, but this makes me want to play it even more.
The only drawbacks that I can find in this game has to be with the glitches and errors that are found throughout the game. There are times where this game loves to either crash or just hang while you are either loading into multiplayer or going from one area to the next. I had a mission to go ahead and practice some of the score streaks and I went and did it. However, when I was done (and I am playing on the PC) the game hangs as it tries to go back to headquarters mode. I thought it was just a one off so I went to see if I could repeat the problem and sure enough it happened again and again. This should have been caught easily as this was a basic bug that can be easily fixed. This also makes me wonder what else can and will go wrong while playing either the campaign or in multiplayer mode. Hopefully Activision will go ahead and address these issues and get them fixed as soon as possible.
If you are a fan of the Call of Duty series and are tired of all the wall running and double jumping you need to get this game. With a great single player campaign and enriched multiplayer modes this has to be one of the best Call of Duty games to date. For more information on this game head over to https://www.callofduty.com/wwii and get ready to get back into the fight soldier!