Call of Duty: WWII PS4 Review

November 28, 2017 by  
Filed under PS4, Reviews & Features, PlayStation

Publisher: Activision  Developer: Sledgehammer Games/Raven Software  Genre: FPS

Players: 1-12 Age Rating: 18+  Other console/handheld formats: PS4

It has been nine long years since we have set foot into a World War II warzone in a Call of Duty game, and this is in spite of there being no less than a game released every year in the series since then. Call of Duty: WWII is the newest game in the series, and one of its most significant steps is to take the series back to where it all started.

Being that we no longer have the barrage of World War II set games that we had at one point, being released at this point in time Call of Duty: WWII actually manages to feel rather fresh. Also, I’m sure that many will be delighted that the series has moved away from the futuristic theme that was present in Infinite Warfare, and has once again become a much more grounded game.

When it comes to its campaign, Call of Duty: WWII sets its sights on a young soldier called Ronald Daniels and a small squad in the USA’s 1st Infantry Division. While the game and story aren’t completely without their superman moments and the focus rarely strays away from the soldier’s uniform, there’s still a pleasing touch of humanity to the game’s characters, which adds something to the narrative. The story also doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to the darker side and brutality of war, reminding us of the cost and tragedy that it causes.

The level of detail in the visuals is astonishing and does nothing but add to the immersion.

The game’s return to World War II isn’t Call of Duty: WWII’s only major difference. Back in 2005, Call of Duty 2 was one of the early pioneers of the recharging health system seen in the majority of action games today, but WWII actually bravely abandons this system, which means that it will take many awhile to get used to the regression of finding health packs, and using them when needed. This does make your character feel all the more like an actual human being as opposed to some sort of World War II Wolverine though.

Another new feature is that members of the squad fighting alongside you also have their own abilities out on the battlefield. You can only make use of these abilities when each individual squad member’s meter is full, but once they are they can do things such as tossing you health packs, ammo, grenades, while others can call in Mortar strikes or spot enemies on command. It no longer feels that certain members of your squad aren’t totally useless, then.

Call of Duty: World War II’s six hour campaign takes place in the European Theatre, and has you being involved in things that happened in reality such as the storming of the beaches of Normandy in France, the liberation of Paris, the Battle of the Bulge, and much more. As Call of Duty’s campaigns go, WWII’s is one of the series’ finest, doing what the series does best with some bombastic set pieces as well as some quieter and more thought provoking moments of drama. If you don’t like previous Call of Duty campaigns for various reasons though, then I don’t think that WWII’s campaign will do much to change your mind.

Call of Duty: WWII’s return to World War II also marks a dramatic return to a much more realistic and grounded form of multiplayer, which recalls the series past. If you’ve been playing Call of Duty for some time, it does take some getting used to in the same way that the earlier mentioned health packs in the campaign do. You really do have to alter your mindset, but given some time you’ll get used to it.

Multiplayer has a headquarters hub set on the Omaha beach in Normandy, which is pleasingly detailed. 48 players can be in the hub at a time, and there are various activities such as a shooting range, the opportunity to test scorestreaks, 1v1 duels, as well as the potential to open supply drop boxes that you earn or see others do so. You even get the opportunity to play some retro Activision games, which is a neat little novelty. In the headquarters you can also select contracts and orders, which help you earn extra XP and supply drops if you are able to complete them, allowing you to unlock new weapons and attachments to help make you more of a force outside on the battlefield. The headquarters is reminiscent of Destiny’s tower, and is a welcome change of pace outside the competitive multiplayer modes, although it’s currently suffering from teething problems, with it seeming to be more underpopulated than what it actually is.

The multiplayer also introduces a brand new mode in War. This mode has two teams of six players fighting to achieve their own objectives in battles inspired by those that occurred during World War II. It’s a fantastic mode with varied objectives on each mission that have you doing everything from building bridges to escorting tanks, and it complements classic and newer modes very well indeed. Sadly, the game only has been released with three War maps, but developer Sledgehammer games are promising more via DLC in the future.

Doing away with the typical create-a-class as well as perk systems, another addition to the multiplayer is the Divisions. These basically allow you to choose between Infantry, Airborne, Armoured, Mountain, and Expeditionary Divisions. You are able to unlock differing perks for the weapons, and levelling up eventually allows you to prestige your chosen Division in the same way that your weapons and soldier can be. The five divisions are varied enough to assure that there will be at least one catered to your own play style.

Even though the campaign focuses on Daniels, you briefly take control of a tank driver and pilot from time to time.

Multiplayer has 9 maps at launch, with an exclusive one for those who pre-ordered the game. It’s certainly welcome to be back in famous World War II battle locations after such a long time, and whether you are fighting it out on the London docks, the Ardennes Forest or in Gibraltar, each map is nicely designed.

The popular Nazi Zombies mode from previous Call of Duty games also makes a welcome return. This cooperative four player mode stars the likes of David Tennant, Elodie Yung, Katheryn Winnick, and Ving Rhames as they combat the rising threat of the Nazi zombie. Unlike other modes, this of course means that ordinary enemy soldiers are replaced by an undead army, and you’ll have to fight them off across various waves.

Nazi Zombies features four different classes, each with their own abilities.  The currency system has also been changed, and is now called Jolts. Jolts are earned by killing zombies and allow you to do various things, which include everything from purchasing new weapons to opening doors to get further into the level. It’s an enjoyable mode that begs you to come back to it, and the dark and gritty visuals really add something to its appeal.

Call of Duty: WWII is everything you could ask for in a Call of Duty game, and also marks a welcome return to its World War II roots. The thrilling campaign offers some very solid shooting, exciting Hollywood style moments, and even a bit of human drama, while the multiplayer and Nazi Zombie modes are also beautifully made. If you are a fan of the series, then I can do nothing other than recommend you to dive right in.