Call of Duty WWII Review: A stunning return to the beaches of Normandy

For people who have played Call of Duty from the very beginning, this is a welcome return to a game they fell in love with. The soldiers seem more human, instead of looking like some futuristic cyber-mutant Marine. And because the physical abilities of soldiers are limited, they cannot sprint for too long before they get tired or jump more

Call of Duty WWII Review: A stunning return to the beaches of Normandy

Call of Duty: WWII was launched late last week. The title marks CoD &’s return to terrestrial gameplay for the first time in three years.

For people who have played Call of Duty from the very beginning, this is a welcome return to a game they fell in love with. The soldiers seem more human, instead of looking like some futuristic cyber-mutant Marine. And because the physical abilities of soldiers are limited – they can’t sprint long before they get tired or jump more than a few feet – strategy is now a priority.

For the younger generation of CoD players, it will be a completely new kind of Call of Duty. Without jetpacks and wall-running skills, CoD: WWII is all about positioning, decision-making, and weapon skills. But at the same time, the new game returns to a time the series has not been visited in a long time – World War II – and does not shy away from the horrors of it all.

As is usual with CoD titles, World War II is actually three games combined into one. There is The Campaign, a captivating single-player story that takes the player (Private Daniels) on a real tour of historic battles on the Western Front. There is also Multiplayer, the cornerstone of CoD games, where players battle other online players in a variety of game modes. And finally, there’s Nazi Zombies, a co-op mode where players fight gamebots.

Call of Duty: WW2 offers fast and fun WWII gameplay with a new multiplayer mode and a return to Nazi zombies.

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The stealth missions are also a bit frustrating. While infrequent and usually unnecessary, the times when I had to sneak up and stab my enemy’s throats often went horribly wrong. I would have eliminated a few men who had their backs to me, but the moment I tried to kill someone who wasn’t turned 180 degrees away from me, my character would be using the butt of their gun instead of a knife as I hit the button. No guaranteed instant kill means alarms. I didn’t mind switching to firefight that much, but overly picky positioning requirements to do a knife kill was annoying. And since it’s not really a stealth game, there’s no way to position an enemy by pulling them in or distracting them with sound.

The biggest problem with the campaign is that some of the big action-packed moments in the first half sometimes seem to contradict what WW2 is trying to do tonally. At one point, I felt Indiana Jones would pop out and join Daniels in his deadly escape. It wasn’t a jovial scene, but the stubbornness of a church bell chasing me through a collapsing building was certainly more silly. It was after the scene that was supposed to trigger the horror and personal loss of the war that it was shocking.

In the quieter moments of the campaign, the fury of World War II broke out. Sending out to perform mundane tasks in a burdensome environment, such as bringing another soldier a can of food before an intense mission, can do a lot for the story.

So is the setting. The campaign is beautiful, even in the most chaotic areas. I passed a lovely Parisian patisserie that looked delightful even as the shooting outside illuminated its windows. The forest missions were especially enjoyable, with their variety of trees and foliage, and some missions had great weather effects as well. The only serious graphical issue worth paying attention to is a slight stutter when loading into new areas, such as when running from one battle to the next. I didn’t notice it very often though, and it always happened in quiet, non-combat moments.

Multiplayer

As with previous Call of Duty games, it is essential to grind XP early to unlock some skills to get a more even position with other players. Unless you have amazing shooting skills, it is likely that for the first few ranks it is difficult to maintain a positive KDR (kill-to-death ratio) due to the disadvantage of the equipment you’ll be on from very early ranks until you reach rank 5 or six. At this point you’ll have decent weapons unlocked, and if you use them enough to level them up, attachments to them.

Progressing through these early ranks is easy, and with new World War II orders and contracts, it’s even easier. After accepting and completing these side objectives in the match, such as killing a certain number of enemies in Team Deathmatch within 10 or 20 minutes, you will receive rewards such as XP or Supply Drops (Loot Crates). It looked like I was earning Supply Drops fast enough, even at higher tiers, thanks to orders, contracts, random match rewards, and leveling up ranks.

While the Supply Drop rewards are mostly cosmetic, I’ve unlocked a few rare weapon versions that have nice skins and a 10-15% Soldier Rank XP boost per kill.

Excluding those very rare weapon skins, if in my experience the drop supply rewards won’t affect your game too much (unless you really like collecting all cosmetics). The Rare Weapons I got from the Rare Supply Drop was the biggest reward I’ve received so far. Rare weapon skins can also be unlocked by completing a cosmetic kit. Each item in the bundle can be purchased with in-game currency, which can also be obtained in various ways. It’s a bit of a hassle, but at least it’s a guaranteed way to get special weapon skins. These transactions take place at the Headquarters.

The HQ functions as the hub of the game, much like the Destiny 2 Tower, albeit much smaller. Here you can collect contracts and orders, open Supply Drops for everyone in your instance, watch professional Call of Duty events in the theater, practice with different guns at the shooting range and score series at a special testing ground, and even play classic games such as Pitfall II and Fishing Derby, for a small in-game fee (not for real money). It’s a nice addition. Having a place to test new weapons and generally relax between matches is great. However, I wish there were special slots for different Divisions just like Destiny 2 has for its factions.

I was concerned when I first got acquainted with the Divisions as they add a whole new leveling system in addition to individual character and weapon levels, but it turned out to be a good addition. The five divisions – Infantry, Airborne, Armored, Mountain, and Expedition – each have their own special unlockable kit for a specific weapon class. For example, the Expeditionary Division provides incendiary rounds for the shotgun on the first level and allows you to refill the equipment of dead enemies after reaching the fourth level.

Choosing a Division that suits your playstyle is important, although all Divisions are eventually unlockable. With Pick 10 and Infinite Warfare’s Rigs gone, Divisions allow a nice pack of add-ons in addition to some of the Basic Training Perks (here are general perks like an additional Primary Weapon add-on). To increase your rank in a Division, all you need to do is have a set of equipment set during combat. The first few levels are quick, but it takes a long time to get through the fourth level (so you can pick it up and improve your perks like all things that have a level.

Customizing your avatar is also in the right place. Yes, women are in WW2 Multiplayer. Anyone questioning “realism” should worry about this issue long after they’ve dealt with Nazi Zombies Mode, let alone bunny hopping, Wolverine-style regeneration, and a million other things that don’t really happen happened. 1944. Seeing people of all races and at least two genders hanging out at HQ is refreshing, and I’m sure it would help the younger me feel less out of step in multiplayer. For this customization, WW2 allows you to select “Face” instead of the preset gender. It’s also a nice, inclusive touch.

WW2 Multiplayer includes nine regular maps, one exclusive season pass map, and three War Mode maps. However, many of the maps seem too similar in design. They are small, long, mostly three lanes, and generally prefer automatic rifles and submachine guns to pistols and shotguns. (Even so, I certainly have met players who use sniper rifles amazingly.) Unfortunately, it also seems that more jumps and drop shots are happening from players who are successful at it. Playing against him is annoying and indicates that the transition from standing to lying down is too fast.

These issues aside, the maps seem largely balanced on all sides. My favorite is Gustav Cannon and it is one of the few open and large maps. It fondly reminds me of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Derail; the fields on either side of the enormous train present a fun challenge to tackle and the short buildings around the border of the map offer tense shooting spots. Point Du Hoc and Flak Tower are other maps that make particularly good use of WWII settings; Point Du Hoc has trenches that create an interesting battlefield while the anti-aircraft turret shakes as the cannons fire, creating a slightly more challenging environment.

The new WWII multiplayer mode, War includes its own unique maps. At first, I didn’t like war. In it, one team is in attack and the other is in defense in one of the three operations. Each operation consists of three or four usually enjoyable tasks and ends when the attacking team has achieved all of its objectives or when the defending team stops them. Both teams switch roles after completing the first of the two rounds. This means you’re guaranteed to play both sides, but it also means you’re stuck with your team and the opposing team for essentially two games. If the opposing team crushes you in the first round, they are more likely to do the same in the second round. This is not funny. Fortunately, this was rarely the case, and it’s a small price to pay for ensuring everyone can play both roles.

I started with Operation Neptune, which is a mission in Normandy – and therefore my first impression of the war was not positive. Having already experienced brutality

d-Day in the campaign, it was weird going back to that setting in multiplayer. This is also a more disappointing version of the mission. As you’d expect, the Allied team is trying to storm the beach and take over two bunkers, while the Axis team must stop them. NPCs charge with the Allied team for a short time, but only serve as a distraction at the start of an Allied assault. The Axis team is well equipped to hold back this attack with a few mounted machine guns.

Playing with a competent team, going to the beach was a challenge, but I felt fair. But when my team was clearly less trained than our opponents, or if we lacked a good sniper, we were constantly being killed in our spawn. It is quite another to be defeated by better opponents on an equal footing, but quite another when they are also of a high level. It would be nice if the NPCs lasted longer as the teams are clearly struggling to get out of the water. The map of this operation is also not that interesting. Fortunately, other operations are much more fun – mainly because their objectives are more fun (like building a bridge in a dangerous area or escorting your tank to a point like Overwatch Escort Mode). Their maps are also more open, giving you more flexibility to approach or defend your target.

Operation Neptune does not look like this. I want to see more maps made for War, and hopefully one of these expansions will include a map that will increase the number of players on each team. There is a maximum of 12 players per game, but the extra players will make it really fit the name of the war.

There’s also Hardpoint mode, a staple since Call of Duty: Black Ops II, which didn’t make a good transition to WWII. Overall, smaller maps mean that the spawn locations and the new Hardpoint locations are contradicting each other. The games I played felt like they never found balance as I often charged up near enemies and was killed immediately – no one wants that except maybe the person sitting in my spawn. I haven’t seen the killing revive often in other modes.

Nazi Zombies

This iteration of the four-player favorite zombie co-op mode brings back the madness of Infinite Warfare Zombies in Spaceland amusement park in favor of a much more terrifying setting and story behind it. Like its predecessors, Nazi Zombies is a dense puzzle that will be a lot of fun with your friends as you survive hordes of zombies. It’s a little more tight, but with even more upgrade systems (there are so many during WWII), it can be easier to survive the grueling waves of undead Nazi zombies. Overall, while there were a lot of improvements made to this version, there is still a need to figure out how to make playing online between teams of strangers better.

In a fairly basic storyline of the four main heroes, Nazi Zombies must retrieve art stolen by the Axis Powers (and save one character’s brother) and ultimately must fight the Nazi zombie army. Each of the four is superbly played, and my favorite character, David Tennant, because you know, is David Tennant (AKA the Tenth Doctor). Each character’s dialogue suits them well, though they were much more terrified of their set-up than I was. As one of the most scared people in the IGN office, I was a bit disappointed that the Nazi zombies only made me jump once, but never really flinched in horror. There are gentle jumps and intense music that surely creates a spooky scenery, but that’s nothing I couldn’t deal with.

Call of Duty returns to its roots in Call of Duty: WWII – a breathtaking experience that redefines WWII for a new generation of games. Land in Normandy on D-Day and fight your way across Europe at the iconic sites of the most monumental war in history. Experience classic Call of Duty combat…

Campaign

Overview

Call of Duty: WWII focuses on squad activities from 1944-1945, but also touches upon the events of 1940-1944 to set the stage for the narrative and establish characters. The action takes place in the Western European theater of conflict, at a time when the Allied forces were finally gaining strength on the march to Nazi Germany.

With a global cast of characters from all over Europe, players will follow the captivating story of Ronald “Red” Daniels, a young US Army Private, as he and his squad, the legendary US 1st Infantry Division, make their way through the shocking European theater of war. Joining Allied forces from Britain and the French Resistance, across the beaches of Normandy, to the liberation of Paris and eventually Germany, the squad must fight alongside a global and diverse cast of characters to achieve victory. The story campaign delivers the raw authenticity and cinematic intensity of WWII’s battles, honoring the unforgettable heroism of Fighting First.

Gameplay

In all Call of Duty campaigns since the original, the only way to replenish depleted health was to avoid damage for a few seconds (health regeneration). In the Call of Duty: WWII campaign, you must use first aid kits to heal yourself. Remember that medkits only refill your health meter and do not provide additional health beyond the set amount.

First aid kits can be found scattered across the battlefield and up to four first aid kits can be added to your inventory. You can also summon first aid kits from your teammate in Zussman’s squad by pressing the pointing button on the screen.

Heroic Actions

Heroic Actions are epic achievements you perform on the battlefield. Each of these three heroic actions brings you closer to unlocking squad skills.

  • Combat Save – Save the Allied soldier who is fighting the Axis soldier.
  • Medical Rescue – locate a wounded soldier on the battlefield and drag him to a safe place. Injured soldiers are marked with a red cross and safe zones are highlighted on the HUD.
  • Enemy Surrender – At certain points in the story, enemies admit defeat. Target your enemy to make them surrender. Don’t shoot enemy subjects or you won’t get heroic action.

Squad Abilities

You are rarely alone in Call of Duty: WWII, as your teammates will often accompany you and assist you in completing your missions. As the story progresses, killing enemies and heroic actions unlock the skills of the squad. Each party member has a morale gauge that tracks your progress towards unlocking each skill.

  • Frank Aiello – gives you a special smoke grenade used to summon an Allied mortar fire.
  • William Pierson – briefly highlights all enemies in the area and allows you to use focus with any weapon.
  • Drew Stiles – Carries additional deadly and tactical grenades.
  • Robert Zussman – Provides first aid kits.
  • Joseph Turner – Carries extra ammunition to any weapons you have, including the rocket launcher.

Remember that team skills are not available for every mission level. You will know that the squad skill is available if you see the squad member’s portrait in the lower right corner of the interface.

Stealth

Several missions require stealth. When in a zone that requires cover, each enemy will have a stealth indicator above their head, indicating that enemy’s detection level. If the stealth meter is empty, the enemy won’t spot you. If the cloak indicator is white, you are in danger of being spotted. When the stealth indicator turns red, you have been spotted by the enemy and will have approximately one second to eliminate the enemy before it sounds the alarm.

Mementos

Each mission level contains three hidden Heirlooms that contain period items. Souvenirs glow when you are around to help you collect them all.

on June 6, 1944, US Army First Class Private Ronald “Red” Daniels of the 1st Infantry Division takes part in the storming of Normandy Beach with his squad including: Private First Class Robert Zussman, who is his best friend, Private Drew Stiles, fifth-class technician Frank Aiello, technical sergeant William Pierson, and Lieutenant Joseph Turner. During the operation, Zussman is stabbed with a knife while holding it to the side.

Zussman returns to service to take part in Operation Cobra, during which Allied forces successfully push for the recovery of the city of Marigny. The squad is ordered by Colonel Davis to perform a joint operation with British Special Operations Executive, Major Arthur Crowley and Vivian, to intercept a German V2 missile train near Argentan. Daniels and Zussman derail the train before French Resistance leader Rousseau drives them back to his division.

A week later, Rousseau and Crowley infiltrate the German garrison in Paris to retrieve the explosives in preparation for a troop attack on the garrison. Halfway up, Rousseau kills SS-und Polizeiführer Heinrich in retaliation for killing her family. The team then successfully liberates Paris.

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