When you think Call of Duty, what do you think about? Do you think about the carefully crafted campaigns, or just diving into one of the many multiplayer modes and making sure your name is at the top of the leaderboards? Do you think survival and killing zombies, or quasi-futuristic loadouts to gain an advantage over the enemy team? This year, Call of Duty: WWII brings the franchise back to its roots: one of the most examined times of history—World War II—and immersing yourself in that experience.
The game is the first to be set in World War II since 2008’s Call of Duty: World at War. The game is centered around Operation Overlord, the code name for 1944’s Battle of Normandy which was launched on June 6, 1944 (D-Day) and culminated in an Allied victory in August 1944. You play as Ronald “Red” Daniels, an American soldier who is facing war thousands of miles away in Europe. Together with the United Kingdom and French Resistance, Red attempts to free France from German control and strike in the heart of Germany itself to end the war.
While much of this installation in the franchise is already present in previous games, they revert to what worked before and what made this franchise popular in the first place: staying true to World War II-style combat and keeping it simple instead of trying to introduce futuristic stuff that made the game look cooler, but not appeal to long-time fans of the franchise. One of the big changes is that you can no longer passively regenerate health; you must get first aid kits to heal yourself. In addition, there are Heroic Actions one can perform. A Combat Save means saving an Allied soldier, a Medical Save is healing a wounded soldier, and an Enemy Surrender is when you force an enemy to surrender without killing them.
There are various abilities your squad can perform. As you progress in the game, enemy kills and Heroic Actions can unlock various abilities. Zussman can deliver first aid kits; Pierson can point out all enemies in the area and allow you to focus better with weapons; Turner allows you to carry extra ammunition; Stiles provides extra grenades; and Aiello allows you to call in mortar fire on enemy targets. They are not available on every level, and you know which ones you can use in the HUD. In certain missions, you will be required to sneak around, so bursting in with guns blazing may not be the best bet for your team. In addition, you can acquire three Mementos per level, which are items from the era.
For those looking to get into multiplayer action, you can enlist in one of five divisions: infantry, airborne, armored, mountain and expeditionary. You can level your character in each division and gain their perks, and level up weapons much like you did in previous installations. In addition, the Headquarters is now the main hub for multiplayer action. You can do Contracts, Daily Orders, Weekly Orders and Special Orders for rewards from the Quartermaster and Major Howard. You can also prestige the division you are in and gain additional rewards via your Social Score, which can be increased by spectating supply drop openings or having other players commend you. In addition to multiplayer, Zombie mode is back for those who love the thrill of gunning down zombies. These zombies are Nazi zombies which you can kill for rewards as well.
What is Call of Duty to you? Is it living the story? Is it teaming up with your friends for the top score in multiplayer? Is it gunning down zombies? In any case, Call of Duty: WWII returns the series to its roots and what the game really should be, and is an enjoyable experience for both the newcomer and veteran
Also published in GADGETS MAGAZINE December 2017 – January 2018 Issue
Words by Jose Alvarez
Developer: Sledgehammer Games | Publisher: Activision | Platform: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One