Call of Duty’s return to World War II is surprisingly a fast-paced take on the classic setting. It provides for a good campaign, a great new mode in multiplayer among other good changes, and a creepier, dense version of Nazi Zombies. However, each core part of Call of Duty: WW2 is marred by inconsistencies and minor flaws that hold it back from being a landmark in the series. Still, it’s a solid Call of Duty game and I’ve enjoyed the many hours I’ve already poured into it.
While my personal custom is to skip a Call of Duty campaign and jump straight into the multiplayer, this year I was glad to begin Call of Duty: WW2 with this extremely close to home but typical war story. The mission, which follows Private "Red" Daniels through crucial minutes like D-Day (obviously) and the freedom of Paris, is a decent introduction for what's to come.
It shows how well Call of Duty's battle changes once more into a recorded setting interestingly beginning around 2008's World at War, and, all the more significantly, recounts a decent story with some great activity film style scene.
For folks who have played Call of Duty since the beginning, this is a welcome return to the game they fell in love with. Soldiers appear more human, instead of looking like some futuristic, cyber-mutant Marine. And because the soldiers’ physical ability is limited — they can’t sprint too long before tiring or jump more than a few feet — strategy is now a priority.
WWII’s competitive multiplayer benefits most from the return to a simpler setting, focusing on map awareness and reaction time. With the removal of jetpacks and wall-running, it’s difficult to dance your way out of a bad decision.
If you’re not paying attention to enemy positions on your radar, bouncing between loadouts to counter enemy team compositions, or can’t point and click on a moving smudge of brown from 50 yards off within a second, then Call of Duty: WWII can be a rough time. I love that maps are crowded and force frequent tests of these skills. Designed around three lanes tangled with flanking routes and sniper perches, death comes from everywhere, all the time.
Though WWII’s Multiplayer experience is beautiful, fun and satisfying, it doesn’t come without its flaws. Game modes like Capture the Flag and Gridiron don’t quite feel as realistic as Search and Destroy or Team Deathmatch, as there’s obviously no part in World War II where warring nations were playing basketball with guns. That said, Sledgehammer did their research, and everything from the weapons to the gear to the maps come from real equipment and locations during World War II.