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Call of Duty World War II

Updated: Oct 4, 2019


Why didn't I tip the delivery boy?
Above: The soul wrenching stare of a man set upon by hackers . . . or regret; yeah it could be regret.

Another year, another Call of Duty. This year Sledgehammer is back to bat, making some good and bad changes to the COD (read: Cash On Delivery) feel. After the lag highlighting movement system of Advanced Warfare, Sledgehammer did a complete 180 (almost: expanded below) creating a much slower Call of Duty multiplayer. The campaign is probably the best of any Call of Duty game I've played, although that's kind of like saying the last Hulk movie was the best (there are no good Hulk movies) of the lot. And they've made a long requested overhaul to the Zombies system, not to mention making them much more unnerving.

On first blush the deceleration of game speed via less hit points, and slower ADS times (not to mention the COD patented 7 step run stamina system) do a good job of hiding the lag inherent in the game. Unfortunately, with lag compensation still in play this means you have a higher chance of turning a corner and being instantly dead. This situation is only exacerbated in hardcore mode, where you could very likely die before your opponent shows themselves on your screen. I refuse to believe all of these instances could be related to hackers, though I have to admit there does seem to be a plethora of them. At peak times this multiplayer plays very well. Except for the cheaters. Did I mention the cheaters?

The multiplayer build system is also a reversal on the COD direction. Most Cod games have moved slowly towards allowing players more and more freedom when building classes. This game, however, attempts to make up for giving you a single perk and grenade slot with the addition of a choice between five divisions: Assault, Airborne, Mountain, Armored, and Expeditionary. As you play characters in these divisions you unlock new abilities, kind of like kits in Battlefield.


Okay, its exactly like kits in Battlefield.

Assault automatically equips bayonets to your assault rifles as an extra attachment and gives you a worthless bayonet charge. It is, however, the only way to kill a full health (the bayonet attachment, not the charge) player with only one melee. As you level this division your character gains: an additional attachment slot to both primary and secondary weapons, additional magazines, and faster movement whilst aiming down the sights.

Airborne automatically equips silencers to sub-machine guns (they can be toggled on and off with the left directional in games) as an extra attachment. As you level this division you gain: a longer sprint range (probably ten steps), the ability to climb over obstacles faster, and increased sprint speed.

Armored starts with the LMG bipod as an additional attachment. As you level it gives you immunity to shell shock and tacticals in general, reduced damage from fire, and less explosion damage. Surprise!

Mountain division is the only division to not offer an additional attachment, instead opting to give you an increased aim assist if using a sniper rifle with the default scope. I assume this does nothing if you (like me) aren't a pussy and have aim assist disabled. As you level you gain: invisibility to recon aircraft (just like UAVs; it makes sense if you don't think about it) hidden to player controlled kill streaks (like the surprisingly smart dumb bomb) and silent movement.

Expeditionary gives you incendiary shells for your shotgun (because apparently turning your opponent into bloody meat just isn't gag reflex inducing enough) as an additional attachment. As you level you gain: the ability to equip a tactical and lethal grenade (Yay, explosions!) the ability to throw equipment (like said crowd pleasers) further, faster, and while running, and the ability to resupply from the dead. Another word for this would be looting . . .

These different divisions are pretty well balanced with one minor exception. Airborne's increased movement and mantling speeds break the lag threshold of the game, creating a slight advantage for run and gunners who like to dance while gun fighting. Perhaps they've seen one too many westerns.

The campaign's story is a bit slow to start, but wraps everything up quite nicely at the end. It also does a good job with a fairly unexplored plot: dealing with regret. It starts with the assault on Normandy beach, which I felt did a magnificent job of giving you an idea of how easy it was to die there. Of course that's on the hardest difficulty. From what I understand here if you play on easy its . . . well, easy. We're shocked.

The Campaign's biggest flaws (for me) are in the build of the maps. It regularly assaults you with infinite enemies until you fight the battle the campaign's way, and it has a sad tendency to spawn enemies while your in a cut scene. While you can still take damage. If you play on the hardest difficulty (which they clearly didn't test) these new spawns can kill you before you get done with whatever cut scene activity you were doing. For me this occurred constantly while trying to destroy a panzer (this campaign could almost be called 101 ways to take out a panzer) with thermite. I'd clear the area and jump on it's back to plant said thermite (a cut scene of 3-5 seconds) only to have enemies spawn all around the map and begin shooting me. I eventually gave up in disgust and cut the difficulty down. I did like that aim assist cannot be enabled while playing the hardest difficulty.

The zombies is a complete workover. Finally you are able to decide which attachments your weapons will come with (although I'd rather if that were only for post Pack-A-Punched guns) and which reticles. Finally you can store things in a chest for if you die. I'm not sure how I feel about super abilities. The zombies are also more animated, to the point of actually yelling at you in German. The rest is really just a reskin of previous zombies. Instead of points you have jolts. Instead of Perk-a-colas you have upgrades. Instead of Juggernog, you have crappy armor.

I can't say much more about it because every map I ended up in there was at least one person blindly advancing the rounds with a passion only a nihilist could appreciate. Even in one where one of the players was attempting to show another how to get the mysterious make my guns good machine we weren't able to by round 13. Apparently its a side quest for a main item that Rube Goldberg would be proud of.

All and all I 'd say this game did more right than wrong, and is probably the best shooter on the market. Again, this is kind of like making a two foot high jump. I personally am looking forward to Treyarch's next attempt and Battlefield 6 in 2018. Despite that I'd give this game a 72%.


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