Call Of Duty: WWII is a first person shooter developed by Sledgehammer Games, known for developing Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare, and published by industry titan Activison. After years of moving the franchise into modern, and later futuristic, war zones, the franchise now returns to its root and back to the past with the second World War. Let’s find out if the return to the past will bring Call Of Duty its former glory.
Release date: November 3rd 2017
Approximate Size: 55GB
Genre: First Person Shooter
Developed by Sledgehammer Games
Published by Activision
Reviewed on Xbox One; also available on PlayStation 4 and PC.
The story of the game centers at the heart of the most horrific war in human history, the Second World War. You are put in the role of Private Daniels and you witness the war from his perspective, you watch as he goes from a grunt and transitions into a soldier as the conflict ensues. You build relationships with certain squad mates and feel connected to them throughout the story, it’s your hope that you all get to go home eventually. Hope was the fundamental foundation for the real war, and it only makes sense it would be also for this game. The game places a higher focus on the tensions between squad mates and the drama, as well as trauma, they are put through. This is a change of pace as prior entries focused heavily on a central villain, an evil mastermind. It makes sense they didn’t have one of these because we’ve all been through this before, we all know the story of the Second World War, and, so, we know who the villain is and why we are in this fight.
The cast and characters are likable, well-acted, and the story I found enjoyable with its personal element. Yes, I’ve played the Medal Of Honor series and, so, playing through a World War 2 story and revisiting these locations isn’t anything new but it is still as fun, if not more, than past similar games. What this game does well, is allow Daniels to express himself with his thoughts. When you first start the story, he glances at his teammates and comments on who they are and what he was taught about similar people growing up. It’s nothing spectacular but it’s a nice touch and it’s real, we all have our own preconceived notions on people that is validated, or changes over time and for them to include it, well, bravo. Another thing I liked is the little subtle touches, like him staring at his notebook where he has a picture of his lady waiting for him back home. Like I stated before, none of this is revolutionary or different, they are just little touches I noticed and applaud.
The campaign will take anywhere from six hours, more or less depending on individual skill and difficulty selected, as you go through the eleven chapters. Gone is the health regeneration and in its place is a higher emphasis on your squad mates. Need ammo? There is a squad mate who will throw some your way. Need health? Don’t worry, there is a squad member for that as well. After receiving an item, you must fill a meter, each character has his own meter, before requesting another and to not allow players to be over supplied or overpowered. This may be my favorite element to the single player experience because instead of focusing on running through the game mowing down everyone, you have to play a little more diligently. It also helps make you feel a part of a squad instead of a lone soldier surrounded by similarly dressed people.
In terms of combat, its typical Call Of Duty. You play with a first-person perspective and you’re traveling from point A to point B while engaging hostile forces. The game breaks this up by adding objectives, changing the character you control, and by adding different types of playing like stealth. The variety that the series is known for is here and everything controls like one would imagine. One element that I liked is when you’re playing through the story you get these moments where you’ll find a Nazi soldier and a squad mate fighting over a gun and you have the option to get involved. The first time I came across this, I fired and inadvertently killed my squad mate along with the Nazi. Very rarely do games give me that feeling of doing wrong but I felt it here, for a moment I wasn’t playing a game but I was a soldier who accidentally friendly fired his brother in arms. This made me more cautious when encountering these situations again. Another subtle element this game adds is when you come across a lone Nazi and he seemingly surrenders. I wrote seemingly because if you aren’t careful, he may be trying to get the jump on you through the act of surrender. These little moments like, and the game has a few more, makes this game stick out with adding these elements that would not surprise if they did actually occur in war.
The biggest selling point of the Call Of Duty franchise has been its multiplayer aspect, there is no point denying this, and after the lukewarm reception the community felt towards Infinite Warfare, they were eagerly awaiting the return to more grounded gameplay when it was announced the franchise would be going back to its roots. I’m happy to report that the multiplayer of WWII is fantastic. If you recall, I made an impressions article back in September about the Beta and it rekindled my love for the franchise and mode. It’s only right that we come full circle and it is I delivering the review for the game.
The multiplayer of the franchise has always been fasted paced and if anyone was worried that going back in time would slow down the matches, well, I’m happy to inform you that is not the case. It is a valid concern when you think about how we were given so many mobility options with the exoskeletons and jet packs, the wall running and power sliding, and all the other futuristic armament. Your character now feels weighty, realistic, as he traverses through the map and aims with his gun. You now feel less super and more soldier as you play and it makes everything feel more natural as you play and doesn’t slow down the game any bit. This isn’t a stripped-down version of the game under the veil of going back in time, the mode is loaded with content. Without the reliance on these future abilities and items, it makes the game feel and play more tactically.
There are nine multiplayer maps available, ten if you have the season pass, and they are all pretty great. The maps feel smaller and those with machine guns and shotguns will get the most out of them. I did not find them sniper friendly and this is coming from a player who never uses a sniper. I would have liked to see more variety in map size and amount and I would have liked the locations to feel more varied. We’ve been to some of these locations in different games and different era’s, like the boat map USS Texas feels oddly similar to Black Ops 2’s Hijacked map. It seems that after making these games for so long there isn’t much left for them to do in terms of different feeling maps or radically different locations.
For the first time in the series is the new Divisions section. When you first enter the multiplayer section, you are given the option to join one of five Divisions and each one is to tailor to a play style and to help those in that style get more out of it. You aren’t locked into that Division and you can switch between them before every match. The five Divisions are: Armored, Mountain, Expeditionary, Infantry, and Airborne. Each one is unique and through customization, no two players in the same Division will play the same. Want to run and gun with a shotgun? The Expeditionary Division is probably for you. Want to send a bullet flying across the map at a target in your scope? Well then, go ahead and join the Mountain Division. It’s a nice touch and the added video packages that mimic a recruitment officer are beautifully crafted and well done. You unlock the other Divisions with Tokens and Divisions are leveled up and they are also to be prestige separately up to level five. Doing so, leveling up a Division, unlocks skills and weapons that better that Division and help you to be better in that style. It’s different and can be intimidating at first but it is a nice step in the right direction for the series and it would be nice if the other developers for the franchise look to adding their own version.
Another new aspect to the multiplayer experience is the hub known as Headquarters. In this area you can interact with other players, get contracts for daily and weekly challenges from military personnel, experiment with weapons and score streaks at different stages, collect money, read messages, and so much more. It’s very reminiscent of the Tower found in Destiny. This one is better implemented than Destiny in its look and feel. The military personnel are dressed in forties attire and the military base that this is located at feels like it’s only a few feet away from a war zone while still giving off an impression of absolute safety. Best of all, there is no lag or stuttering in anything that is done in Headquarters and it’s pretty impressive. One of the things you can do is open loot boxes, called Supply Crates. They come in four variants, depending on rarity, and it’s pretty cool the way they have it done and animated. Your character throws a smoke grenade and a supply crate is dropped from the sky like they are done in real world situations. Bravo.
You know my feeling with loot boxes, supply crates, whatever they want to call them. I do not like them in single player games and am only fine with them in multiplayer if they are cosmetic items or items that do not affect the game in a way that adds an advantage or disadvantage to players. This game falls sort of in the middle but more towards not affecting players. Here is what I mean on that. Overall, you will unlock weapon cosmetics and cosmetic items for your player card and soldier. That does not offer any advantages. What will offer advantages to people are the temporary boast in the amount of experience points you get. Now, this doesn’t bother me but I thought I’d mention it for those who might want to know. At the time of writing this review, there is no way of buying Supply Crates with real world money and are unlocked, as is currency, through playing the game and through leveling up. You also get money for completing those contracts and challenges and you receive your soldier payroll in the form of one hundred credits every four hours from the Mail Officer. You can also earn supply crates by fending off attacks from the Axis on the Headquarters.
This hub world offers a lot, surprisingly, and it’s all pretty seamless. Whether you’re at the firing rang testing out a weapon, at the theater watching some content, or speaking to the General to level up, you can easily spend hours here. I imagine the intent was to give players something to do while they waited for a game to load but I have to say, it’s fun on its own. Also, at least on Xbox One, games load fast so you can’t do much in this hub if you’re intending on spending time there while waiting for a game. Now, some people may not want to do any of this and just want to jump into an endless cycle of games, well, you can do this as going to the Headquarters is completely avoidable. I don’t think you should though because it’s nice and offers something fresh to the franchise. Also, there is this cool one versus one mode you can engage in and where other players can watch you. It reminded me of that episode of Seinfeld where Little Jerry fights and everyone is gathered around. You can also play some old school Atari games, it’s pretty sick and cheaper than buying their mini retro console.
In Team Deathmatch two opposing teams aim to kill the other to achieve points before the time limit. The team with the most points is the winner. This is the most basic mode and a stable in all multiplayer games. Matches are fast and chaotic as everyone tries to murder each other to be declared the winner.
In Domination there are three central locations that must be captured and held to gather points. What you essentially have is three prime locations where everyone funnels to, for the sole purpose of capturing it. Each captured section gives points, the more you have captured will garner you more points. If your team has none captured, they will receive no points. Out of all the modes, this is my favorite. It’s more strategic and you have to balance your play style between defending and capturing.
FREE FOR ALL
Free For All, referred to as Deathmatch in other games, is exactly what the title states. Every player is pitted against one another and everyone kills each other to get points. Those who get the most kills, or points, wins. It is the most simple game mode and the one I find lest interesting. This is designed for those who want all the sole glory and who have no issue putting their ego on the line to prove they are the best player at that given time. Though I am not particularly good at this mode, I would be lying if I didn’t admit that playing it kicks your adrenaline in gear as you fight for supremacy.
Gridiron is similar to American football in its concept. In the center of the map is a ball and two teams are pitted against each other. The goal is to get the ball and score it into the enemy team’s goal. It sounds simple but it quickly evolves into a game of chest as the ball flies from player to player and strategies are formed to obtain victory. Picture this mode as a cross between iconic Call Of Duty multiplayer and indie darling Rocket League. Yes, it is as fun as it sounds.
SEARCH AND DESTROY
In this mode you will truly find the value in your life. With quick respawns in other game modes, you don’t really take your life seriously and if you die, well, you’ll be back in a few seconds. Not in this mode. You die and you’re sitting out until the round is over. That’s one of the objectives of the game. Once again broken into two teams, attackers and defenders, your job is to either detonate one of two bombs or eliminate the defending team. The defending team must eliminate all attackers and/or make sure the bombs are not put in place and detonated. The team with the most winning rounds is declared the overall winner of the game. It reminds me of Rainbow Six: Siege but I prefer Siege over this version.
In Hardpoint the objective is to hold a section of the map to get points, similarly to Domination, only this one section doesn’t stay the same. After a certain amount of time a new section on the map will be marked and players must go to capture it. This sends all players to one location to fight it out to capture the location. Once you have captured the Hardpoint, your team gets points as long as a member is there. I didn’t know what this mode was when I first played it but I ended up enjoying it so much I began playing it more. It’s a fun, competitive, mode I think everyone will enjoy.
CAPTURE THE FLAG
Another iconic, staple, mode in multiplayer centric games. Your job is to go to the enemy’s side of the map, steal their flag, and bring it back to yours to score a point. Being the flag bearer puts a target on your back and increases the anxiety you feel as you sprint to your side of the map, to safety. One game I played, a player got the flag and me and another player began to escort him back to our base. We shielded him from enemy fire, died for him in the process, and were moments from winning when the enemy team showed up and annihilated us and returned their flag. It was good, great, fun.
A variant of Team Deathmatch with the difference being that when you kill a player, you do not automatically get the points. Every slain enemies drop dog tags and these are used to get points, from the enemy team, and prevent points, by getting to your squad mate’s tags before the enemy team. This mode is tons of fun and people will use these dog tags to bait players into getting them and it allows for an easy kill. Few things are as satisfying as hearing the announcement that the kill was denied.
This is where you go when you cannot decide what to play. A series of random matches through a variety of game modes. This is also a good starting point for any player new to the series who wants to try all the game modes to see which one they like the most. For me, it was a chance to try modes I never had before and I enjoyed it.
In War Mode, two teams are pitted against each other in a more story focused type of gameplay. There are three maps, separate from the multiplayer ones, and they are: Operation Breakout, Operation Neptune, and Operation Griffin. One team, the attacking team, must go through a series of objectives to garner victory while the other team, the defending team, must prevent the objectives from being successful. After, both teams switch sides. This is a surprisingly great mode that I found myself preferring over the standard multiplayer. My only complaint is that there are only three maps but hopefully, over time, that will change.
The emphasis on cooperative gameplay is a nice change of pace and the most successful team is the one that works together to achieve the common goals, rather than compete for the most kills. This is also the mode that has maps that truly support those who love to utilize sniper rifles. Even so, they aren’t abused and for the most part everyone I’ve played with has been focused on playing the mode how it was intended. I cannot stop recommending this mode as it truly is a ton of fun.
Zombies is deeper than it has ever been before. Now you can equip starting weapons and custom loadouts, consumables, perks, etc. before you enter a game. Now at a first glance you may get the impression that doing this will make you overpowered and grant you the ability to blow through the rounds but you’ll quickly learn that is not the case. Zombies are a threat and one mistake or miscalculation could result in a death.
In Nazi Zombies, Marie Fischer recruits three other individuals to take part in a mission at Mittelburg, Bravia. They are tasked with retrieving stolen artifacts the Nazis have been using for experimentation, as well as, finding the location of Marie’s brother, Klaus, and rescuing him. Apparently, Klaus had been forced to work with the Nazis to assist their war efforts by working on a project that exploits a new form of energy being called “Geistkraft”. Based on the information provided, Marie Fischer finds herself with the aid of a group of individuals who range from an art thief, a military captain, and a French resistance fighter. As they prep to come to terms with their mission, the group’s train is attacked by a massively grotesque being who flips the train and sends them flying.
This adds a personal element to Nazi Zombies, it gives the player a reason to push forward in the story and I liked that. The game boasts an ensemble cast and it tells a story in all of its elements, both subtle and obvious. As you play through the game, investigating the map and moving through objectives, more of the story comes to light and it all leads to a boss battle. The cutscenes are well done and it truly is remarkable what they have accomplished, this may be the most story focused Zombies mode yet and at the same time, it doesn’t alienate players who are returning. The story is there but only if you want it.
Nazi Zombies provides the player with a prologue aimed to teach the mechanics and offers a little more story for fans. Besides the prologue, which can be unlocked separately titled Gröesten Haus, the main map is called The Final Reich. The object across all the maps and modes is to survive the endless waves of zombies and to see how far and how long you can survive. There are some objectives you can do to complete the story aspect of the mode or ignore them all together. Even after completely the story, the game continues through the guise of an epilogue, and you continue to survive as long as possible.
You gather points in the game, referred to as Jolts in this version, by killing zombies. Headshots give you more than body shots but kills them faster. As you gather points, scattered across the map are machines that give you perks. These perks range from stronger melee attacks to faster reloads and even armor to take more damage. All of these have been in prior entries and the new ones, like the electrical shock from reloading, don’t really measure up or replace the tried and true ones. Pack-a-punch is back, pack-a-punching a weapon makes it more powerful and results in higher damage and killing off the undead even more efficiently. You can also try your luck with the returning Mystery Box that houses unique weapons and items, as well as common weapons that you more than likely will learn are not worth the one thousand Jolts you must spend each time you hit the Mystery Box.
The zombies of this mode are more gruesome and better designed than ever before. In prior entries you battled the undead horde with an occasional break by fighting Hell Hounds. This version offers different zombie types, each with their own plans of attack and force you to take different defensive measures. You can tell the art team had a blast designing them and you can see the elements of the now departed Visceral Game’s Dead Space series. Never before were the zombies ever this menacing looking or this deadly. They are an actual threat now and you are no longer saved between rounds, couple this with the sound and atmosphere and you have arguably the best version of Zombies.
Easter eggs are also back, as are secrets, and after completing the story aspect of the game at least once, you can replay the mode and it’ll have a series of objectives to turn the game into a more hardcore version that will result in the true ending. This is the deepest the Zombies mode has ever been, the scariest it has ever looked, and it’s the most fun I’ve had in the mode in a long time. It’s not that I didn’t like the version before it, it’s just this one does so much more right and it feels and plays perfectly.
Up to four players can play cooperatively online on the main map, The Final Reich, and on a smaller map unlocked called Gröesten Haus. Now Gröesten Haus, the prologue map repurposed, is more barebones and closely related to prior entries maps as its main focus is the simple survival aspect. While The Final Reich will provide players with the Easter eggs, secrets, and lore aspect everyone has come to enjoy in the newer releases. Players can share Jolts with one another now and should you get downed, players can revive fallen players. Rounds end once all the main, normal, zombies have been killed or once all players have been eliminated. Should you be fortunate enough to defeat the boss in the game and complete the story, well, you simply revert to the survival focus aspect the series is known for.
New to the mode is a class based structure that grants you an ability. There are four classes: Offense, Control, Support, and Medic. I play the Medic class and the ability it gives me is the ability to turn invisible from the Zombies and allows me to run and pick up fallen team mates. I’ve also used it when I was in a tricky situation and it has saved my life more than once. After reaching a certain rank, you can make a custom load out which allows you to edit what you bring with you aside from that classes main ability. This allows players to have similar abilities, should they be the same class type, but also allows them to be different.
Zombies has grown into a more complex entity than it was ever intended to and its growth has only made it better for players. With so much content, they could have released this mode separately if they had more maps. This mode also has its own set of loot boxes but like the multiplayer there doesn’t seem to be any way to buy them with real world money. All they offer, from my current experience, is consumable and cosmetic items. The game offers six unlockable characters that are achieved by completing a series of intense challenges and will be for those who truly are the cream of the crop when it comes to the game mode. Thankfully they are just new characters and don’t offer any advantages nor are they better to the main cast in any way. In many ways, to me, the main cast is better.
Call Of Duty has never looked better and you would find it hard to find a first person shooter that looks better than this game does. The environments are detailed, colorful, war-torn, and offer a sense of realism the series has lacked in recent years. Each place tells its own story and you can tell that these locations were once peaceful before the war ravaged it. Character models are detailed, all of them, and the actors some of them are based on look tremendous. Also, those based off real actors don’t make the others look out-of-place upon close examination or when around them. Graphically speaking, this game is a marvel that looks fantastic and I have no negatives when it comes to the look and feel of the game. There is, however, one glitch I saw online that was beyond creepy. When playing the campaign, should you inspect dead soldiers they slowly have the life return to them even though they are still dead. It’s weird, it’s creepy, and it makes the zombies look less menacing when thinking about it. I’m not sure if it’s a bug and it’s not a negative on the game, it’s just a very disturbing discovery.
Speaking about the zombies, they have never looked better. They are detailed with their exposed flesh and torn clothing. They are varied with different types and designs ranging from slow methodical walking once with metal fused into their arm to limbless ones that swarm you similarly to the old Hell Hounds used to in Kino Der Toten or the killer clowns in Zombies In Spaceland from Infinite Warfare. The environment itself in the map is also well designed and varied in locations. The bloody underground area has the crimson stains on the floor and the starting snowy area can trick a player in thinking this is a nice town with its warm, inviting, feeling. It’s all connected with a lab area that has metallic structure like pods that house undead, making you cautious as you walk by the advanced tech in fear you may trigger a zombie, and the Salt Mines give off the impression you are walking into the heart of evil. I would expect nothing different from the wonderfully twisted minds that brought us the spectacular Dead Space series. I cannot wait to see what they bring next.
I suffered no rubber banding, no stuttering, no glitches, and no connectivity issues at all. That was something I had in the Beta but it has been absent for me. I have heard of issues described above from other players and platforms, but I have not had them. I have also had no popup, no out-of-place textures, and no noticeable frame rate drops.
Let’s start with the voice acting. You would think that with a large Hollywood studded cast in both campaign and Nazi Zombies that the voice acting would be superb and I’m happy to report that if you had that assumption it was well warranted. The voice acting his phenomenal and great. From the tough, gritty, brooding personality of First Lieutenant Joseph Turner reflected perfectly in his voice to the almost immature and con artist voice of Private First Class Robert Zussman, they are all delivered with believability and it’s all grounded in realism. The voice acting in Nazi Zombies is also delivered spectacularly. The lines in the cut scenes are expected to be good, and they are, but it’s the conversations that are held while playing through the mode that caught my attention. Too often in video games when the character is used to point things out to the player while playing, it can come across as annoying or too hand holding. When these characters deliver their lines, it sounds almost natural in delivery and it’s how it would be said in real life. Also, the screeching sounds of the zombie’s sound angry and full of agony can be disturbing. There is also an implemented sound effect when a zombie appears behind you and it’s all done to the effect that it does scare you. It is used too often but I found it getting to me more often than not, especially when I was too focused on survival or on an objective.
The music in the game is orchestrated wonderfully, especially the somber main theme that pulls at your heart-strings. The melody in Nazi Zombies changes with what is going on and sometimes it can fuel the adrenaline as you play through a wave. There is a moment, I won’t spoil it, when you lose all power and there is no sound. That is most frightening as it pulls you out of your comfort zone and has you on edge as you await the impending attack. It also makes you want to turn on said power as soon as possible. The weapons all sound terrific, they all feel and sound weighty, and I didn’t encounter any that sounded too similar to others. I’ve seen and played with people online across all modes who were able to identify a weapon based on its sound. The one thing others have complained about that I didn’t notice but feel it’s worth mentioning as I’ve heard it from other players is that some guns sound weak or lack punch. For me, they all sounded unique and powerful through my headset and they all served their purpose.
Call Of Duty: WWII is a nice return to form for the company and a step in the right direction. A lot of love and care went into this game and much of what was recreated was done with a level of authenticity not achievable in the past. Though, some decisions were made to appeal to this current generation and it’s not my place to say whether or not these decisions are right or wrong. What I can say it that it did not affect my enjoyment of the game at all. The campaign is a blast to play through but offers little after completing it and the multiplayer is as great as it’s ever been. It is an improvement over last year’s release. The decision to add loot boxes is worrisome because of how this is spreading to different games but the fact that you cannot use real money at the time of this review and that they only offer cosmetic items and XP boasts outs me a little at ease, especially since they are easy to get. The Headquarters hub is different and new to the series but it is enjoyable and a change of pace. It lets you delve deeper into this long-gone era. Zombies is better than ever with the increase of customization and expanded content. The map is great and one of the better original on disc maps. For once these zombies are menacing and the mode is more difficult than before with an excellent final boss. I think the standout mode will be the cooperative War Mode as its team based structure is not only fun but fills you with purpose, its fulfilling.
I think the hatred this series gets is because its popular to hate on things that are popularized. This is not a bad game, there is nothing bad about it, and it’s not a perfect game. There are some questionable decisions, no doubt, but it nails the most important aspect of video games: Fun. Every mode is a blast and for $59.99 you are getting a ton of content, something for everyone, and it is all fun. I recommend the game and if this is a sign of what’s to come, well, Call Of Duty may become the king again.
Call Of Duty: WWII$59.99
- Engaging Single Player Experience
- New War Mode
- Expanded Zombies Mode
- Zombie Variety + Final Boss
- Wonderful Multiplayer Series Is Known For
- Few Maps Across All Modes
- No Incentive To Replay Campaign