Let me start this off by saying that I am probably not the target audience these multiplayer Betas are designed for. I don’t find enjoyment playing online multiplayer games, with few exceptions, and I’m different in my reasonings for buying Call Of Duty every year. I know its popular to hate on the series and I can admit that there are times where it does become stagnant but I admire their dedication to their series and their willingness to change. I buy Call Of Duty for their Zombies mode. I love Zombies and every iteration is different, especially now that more than one company is offering their own version. When Zombies is not present, I’ll enjoy whatever other mode that’s there to take its place. For example, Ghosts’ Extinction mode and Modern Warfare 3’s Special Ops mode brought me a lot of enjoyment and I’d like to see a follow up to Extinction someday.
My secondary reason for buying Call Of Duty is for its campaign. This is another area these games receive criticism. Their campaign is like playing through a Michael Bay movie, there are explosions and a threat to the world’s security and its usually up to you to risk it all to save the world. They nail making you feel like a tough soldier along the lines of popular Hollywood action heroes like Martin Riggs and John McClane. It’s an enjoyable experience for me and I have a blast playing through the campaign for what it is. It’s the closet I’ll ever get to being in a Hollywood film and Call Of Duty gives you the reason to proceed forward, they’ve even added new elements to some campaigns to appeal to their critics. Black Ops 2 comes to mind with its branching choices that affect the narrative and the story.
The last reason I buy Call Of Duty is for its multiplayer and it’s kind of ironic if you think about it because that is the main reason its sells millions every single year. There is nothing wrong with the multiplayer, actually it’s quite good, but I’ve never really been good at it and being older now I have to be selective with where I place my time gaming. So when I was given the Beta code, for pre-ordering WW2, I wasn’t exactly excited to try it out. I’ve been playing the series since it came to console and I only really found some success with the original Black Ops. Since then the series has gone more futuristic and it didn’t look as if they would return to their World War 2 roots. The more futuristic the series got, the worse I got. The new trend in gaming is to go back in time with Battlefield going all the way to World War 1. Call Of Duty decided to go back to where it all started and I have to say, I’m impressed.
When it comes to gameplay, the series has gone to giving you more mobility to traverse through the map and different kinds of perks and futuristic weapons and accessories. What makes this version better, in my opinion, is its decision to go back to basics. There is no more wall running, no more jet packs, no more drones, and no more futuristic utopian maps to engage on. Instead, you have the old gritty war-torn maps and a sense of vulnerability as you can only maneuver your character in realistic fashion. I couldn’t help but smile when I ran and tried to slide into cover, which has been popularized in shooters now, only to have my character do the old dolphin dive from Black Ops only this time there was weight and it was realistic.
I actually had fun playing this Beta. My skills were awful, which is to be expected given my history, but I was able to progressively get better as time wore on. Zero kills and twenty deaths slowly began to balance out and eventually I was able to win a few games with more kills than deaths. For the first time, in a long time, I felt the multiplayer was fair and I had a good time playing like I once did with Black Ops years ago when I played with my brother. I think Sledgehammer Games deserves praise for this accomplishment, not because they made the game more enjoyable to me but I think they have made it more enjoyable for others. I can see the attention to detail they put into the game, the balance they are striving for, and their care for player satisfaction. I know they care about their fans because after every game I played, I was asked if I was having fun. This shows that they are going to review the responses and the games people played and they will do their best, as the series always does, to make things better for their players.
The connection, overall, was stable but there was some lag here and there but that’s to be expected in Betas. There was some instances in which hit detection seemed off when watching the kill cam but I remember that being around since Modern Warfare. Like always, I’m sure they’ll do the best they can to get rid of it or limit it as much as possible. There wasn’t a time that I felt I was killed wrongly nor was there a time I felt I stole a kill from an enemy. All my kills were earned and all my deaths were either because I was too hasty or the other player was superior in that instance. I didn’t experience any spawn deaths and I had no very few instances of stuttering but no pop ups or slowdowns. This was a surprisingly pleasant experience and I found myself a little disappointed when it was all over because I wanted to get better.
I only played on two maps and only on the game modes team death match and domination. The maps were beautiful recreations of war zones, they looked like photos taken from history books and recreated in a virtual world. One map showed a far house and a few feet a destroyed bunker and machine gun attached showing that war is devastating and full of destruction from the soldiers down to the innocent civilians. Sledgehammer Games truly shows their craft with these emotion invoking maps and I found myself simply looking around a few times because its wonderful. There is even a section that is very reminiscent of the Zombies map Origins, only its more beautiful in this game. As for the game modes, they play exactly like they always have but I found domination more enjoyable.
In closing, I am excited to jump into the full multiplayer. If this experience is anything to go by, multiplayer may not be at the bottom of my list in my reasoning for playing Call Of Duty this year. (Zombies mode is still number one, especially knowing the amazing minds behind the Dead Space series is at the helm this year.) Call Of Duty: WW2 launches for Xbox one, and other platforms, on November 3, 2017 and I hope to see you there!