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Hands-on review: War never changes in Call of Duty: WWII

13 Nov 2017

In recent years, fans have soured over the constant futuristic settings in the Call of Duty franchise. Thankfully, traditional COD gameplay returns in the recently released Call of Duty: WWII. 

The Call of Duty franchise actually started off with World War II settings when the series began in the early '00s. It wasn't until the release of Modern Warfare in 2007 did more contemporary settings start to appear in the franchise. 

Last year's Infinite Warfare was not well received by the hardcore COD fanbase so that's why Activision decreed Sledgehammer Games to make a game based on World War II again. Despite going back to its roots, Call of Duty: WWII still manages to add a little more variety to the usual COD formula. 

First of all, I want to talk about how impressive this year's single player campaign is. It is without a doubt one of the best single player campaigns in COD history in my opinion. The attention to detail is immaculate. 

The first mission sees you storming Omaha beach on D-Day. It feels as if you are actually on the beach getting showered with bombs and bullets. It's a harrowing experience even though this is just a video game. I feel sorry for the men that had to endure it in real life. 

The first mission is just the tip of the iceberg because more blockbuster action sequences are to be experienced later on in the campaign. It's almost as if Sledgehammer Games watched the movie 'Saving Private Ryan' and took all of the best scenes and put it into this game. 

I was also surprised with the somewhat variety of gameplay on offer here in the campaign. You can drive a jeep in a chase sequence; pilot a fighter plane and even do a stealth mission. Sure most of the game is full of normal FPS action, but I admired the different sections of gameplay. 

Speaking of differences, the biggest change to this year's campaign mode is the introduction of a new life bar system. Your health no longer regenerates so you need to find health packs in order to stay alive. This feature makes the campaign more suspenseful and is more challenging if you play on the harder difficulty settings. 

As much as I liked the campaign of Call of Duty: WWII, the multiplayer is sadly just the same as every other COD game I have ever played. It still features small maps where fast reflexes are the keys to victory. 

I was hoping the multiplayer would offer us something new and innovative. Some of my favourite online multiplayer experiences this year have been from games such as Fortnite, PUBG and Battlefront 2. I prefer bigger maps where proper teamwork is required to win. 

There are 10 maps available at launch, with more to be added as paid DLC. I like the fact that you can play with computer controlled bots to practice before you go online. Split-screen multiplayer is also available for you to destroy your friends/family too. 

The last mode in this game is Nazi Zombies. Much like other games in the series, you just have to fight waves and waves of zombies in various maps to survive. Aside from being able to choose your own class, there's not much else to say here. It's just the same experience we've had for many years. 

In terms of flaws, the only major hiccup the game has had since launch is with the online servers. Many people have had trouble connecting online on various platforms. That said, things have since improved but servers still remain patchy as of time of writing.  

A minor flaw the game also has is that it still doesn't innovate the FPS genre. Yes, the single player campaign is excellent but multiplayer and zombies remains to be the same experience. Nothing majorly new has been introduced here. 

Call of Duty: WWII is still an excellent shooter thanks to an engaging single player campaign. The move to World War II is also a welcome change. However, the game may seem repetitive to those that want to see something new. Hopefully next year's COD gives us a fresh take on the FPS genre. 

Verdict: 7.5/10

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