Saturday 20 January 2018

Call of Duty: World War II

Each new Call of Duty game is marketed as a completely new experience, promising to revolutionise the gameplay in an effort to bring back an ever diminishing audience. Borrowing heavily from competitors like Destiny, World War II is a decent return to form, if a little tired in some respects.

The adverts tried to persuade us that it was a chance to get the old fireteam back together, and I was able to scrounge together a squad of lapsed players to give the game a proper go. As WWII is the setting, there’s a distinct lack of ‘flippy shit’ and wall-running that became a series staple over the last few releases, eschewing most of the advancements we’ve seen in terms of sticking with the tried and trusted formula of the past.

The new stuff was what turned my friends away in the first place, but we soon ended up bemoaning a number of glaring issues that could have been fixed fairly easily. The single player campaign is passable, seeing you take control of a squad in the First Division of the United States Army. It’s full of explosive set-pieces as Private “Red” Daniels and co navigate through D-Day and other major events across the various theaters of WWII.

Multiplayer is where the real action is, with a new player hub to wait in before games, as well as the addition of loot boxes that fall through the sky onto Normandy beach. It’s a garish stain on the promises of ‘respect and responsibility’ shown to the memory of those who lost their lives, but the RNG economy is obviously more important. Crates contain superficial bonuses, (such as new weapon skins) and while they can be avoided, they’re thrust in your face from the moment multiplayer begins.

That being said, it’s generally a positive affair, although the starter maps aren’t the best, and the guns are frustratingly weak unless you play on Hardcore mode. The usual mix of map packs are sure to make the rounds, but it’s another reason why their model of delivery seems dated.  The first batch of map packs has already been released, but the number of people playing CoD on my friends list has already dwindled. It’s just too easy to get bored of, and the addition of a competitive mode came too late to keep us interested.

The player base is sure to get ever more fractured, while games like Rainbow Six: Siege have shown that giving away maps for free is a great way to extend the longevity of a title. While they don’t lose points for sticking to what they know, it’s another reminder of the constant nickel-and-diming you’ll face every time you load it up.

Lastly, Zombies is also available, and it’s stuffed with content. It’s story driven, with new additions like consumable perks and upgradable weapons. Of course, it comes with ‘Zombie Supply Drop’ loot boxes for some reason, but they’re easily avoided. It’s great to play with friends, and new levels will be packaged in with map packs. If it’s content you’re looking for, Cod: World War II is more than just a throwback. It’s true that it can be frustrating at times, but it’s more than made up for when you factor in everything on offer. Final Verdict for  Call of Loot-y...

James Milin-Ashmore

Call of Duty: World War II at CeX

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