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COD: WWII Review


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By Kaegan CowanPhoto courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The much-anticipated Call of Duty: WWII, designed by Sledgehammer Games, was released Friday, Nov. 7, offering a campaign mode, online multiplayer, and a Nazi Zombies mode.

In its first weekend, it doubled the entire sales of last year’s release, Infinite Warfare. The game’s release was significant because it returned back to the Call of Duty series’ roots by deviating from the pattern of futuristic games that had been released the last four years. The days of boost-sliding and wall-running have been replaced by human actions like diving. The game is one of the best Call of Duty games in years, in my opinion, and here’s why.

The campaign has all of the hallmarks of past Call of Duty games; it is fast-paced and very dramatic. The campaign starts with a beautifully designed recreation of D-Day in which you storm the beaches of Normandy amid German machine gunfire. A new aspect of the campaign is that there are multiple slow-motion scenes in which you must move a white circle into a target, causing a button to appear in the circle that you must press to complete the action.

A major change from recent games is the system of charging up technology in battle; the main character in WWII’s campaign must use his teammates’ abilities to gain advantages. There are teammates who provide you with medical support, ammunition, grenades, and a teammate who spots enemies with binoculars for you. There are also multiple missions in which you play as a different character than the main protagonist. Overall, the WWII’s campaign was one of my favorite Call of Duty campaigns to date.

The multiplayer mode may have less maps than typical Call of Duty games do (10 rather than 16), but it appears that more effort has been put into these maps than is usual for other games in the franchise. The maps all have a very specific character. One map in particular has quickly become a point of contention for gamers: Gustav Cannon. The map is centered around a giant gun (called Gustav Cannon, obviously) that is almost four stories tall, and 155 feet long. Flanking the cannon are huge expanses of space, a sniper’s paradise. There are few spots on the map unreachable by sniper fire, which has disillusioned many gamers from the map. One of my personal favorites so far is the map Pointe du Hoc, where the middle of the map is close-corners trench combat, and the rest of the map is fast-paced as well.

The supply drop system in multiplayer has changed significantly this year. Players can complete either daily challenges or take up contracts to earn supply drops. The supply drops can contain either XP (experience) boosts, calling cards (a rectangular picture that appears as part of your player card in the game), uniforms to customize the look of your soldier in battle, or (my favorite) special editions of weapons in the game that both look awesome and provide some sort of advantage to the user.

A brand-new feature of multiplayer is the “Headquarters,” a new social combat space featuring hidden challenges, a 1v1 mode to settle disputes with your friends, and a shooting range to show off or improve your accuracy. The headquarters also includes an area to test multiplayer scorestreaks, and there are multiple virtual soldiers to talk to if you want to track daily or weekly challenges, collect items to earn “legendary” or “heroic” items, or prestige. Prestiging in Call of Duty consists of reaching the maximum level of something and then returning to level 1, whether it’s a weapon, a class, or player. When you prestige anything, you gain permanent rewards for whatever you prestige. This year, prestiging your class is a new feature; you can choose from one of five classes to play with in battle: Infantry, Airborne, Armored, Mountain, or Expeditionary. To sum up multiplayer, it is a great new take on classic Call of Duty.

And finally, last but not least, is the Nazi Zombies mode. Sledgehammer’s WWII shares that name for the zombies mode with Treyarch’s Black Ops series. However, the gameplay in this zombies mode is much different from that in Black Ops. Sledgehammer set out to make a zombies game that was genuinely spooky, and they certainly succeeded. Horrifyingly disfigured zombies, along with low lighting and jump scares, gives this zombies mode a startlingly different feel from past zombies games. The gameplay is slightly easier than it was in Black Ops, and the “Easter egg”, or the main objective of every zombies game, is not what it used to be. While players used to have to search to find clues, WWII’s zombies mode gives the player instructions on how to progress in their quest to complete the Easter egg. In summary, WWII’s zombies game is a fun new take on the classic Call of Duty game mode.

“Call of Duty: WWII” is the best Call of Duty game that has been released since 2012, when Activision, Call of Duty’s parent company, dropped “Black Ops 2”. In every aspect of the game, the gameplay feels like classic Call of Duty; it feels like the beloved older games in the franchise. I would strongly encourage Activision to continue to release games like this in the future, as it will be mutually beneficial; Activision will make much more money, and players will get better games.

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COD: WWII Review