I remember when I was a boy. My grandad would sit me down on his lap and tell me about the war, his Call of Duty if you will. He would talk about the friends that he shared blood, sweat and tears with. Grandad would tell me about his commanding officers, the cold nights in the dead of winter with little rations and even less warm clothes to go around. He would go on and on. He talked lovingly about seeing his friends dance around Normandy beach with delight when they opened their Loot Boxes. “I got a skin for my M1” McCloud would say. “Wait until I post this on The Gram! It’ll get so many likes!”
So after years of Sci-Fi nonsense the Call of Duty series goes back to its roots. We have our “Boots on the ground” as they have told us 900 times. I would imagine I am far from alone in saying that I gave up on COD years ago. I surely am not alone in still having World War II video game fatigue. Remember that? When the entire FPS industry moved on?
In my opinion the series peaked with the first Black Ops. It had the best maps and one of the best campaigns. Does WWII return the series to the glory days? Nearly.
Look, if it was a movie it wouldn’t be up for an Oscar but I enjoyed it. We play as Red Daniels, a young farm boy from Texas with a pregnant wife at home. It’s not exactly inspired but it would have been a very common story at the time. Red does look a little like Randy Orton from WWE. It’s a strange one.
There are many clichés trodden out from the D-Day Landings, the French Resistance, the Band of Brothers approach to interactions between your fellow soldiers, it’s all there. While we have seen these things 1000 times before I wanted to highlight the D-Day bit.
Sledgehammer have done a great job here. I died 4 or 5 times during this opening scene as I was trying to march up the beach under an incredible amount of enemy fire. It’s difficult and really captured the horror those men must have gone through. You see your brothers being ripped to pieces by Turret fire as you march along praying for your life. Bravo. Really well done.
When I saw the trailers and promotional material it reminded me of old COD and Medal of Honour games, and not in a good way. It’s old rope and we have played it 1000 times. However, playing through the game that faded away very quickly. The visuals are stunning, the landscapes have huge draw distances and the character models are top notch. Running through a snowy forest over trenches I actually took a second to look around and take it all in. This is easily the best looking WWII game out there. It also boasts the best acting performances seen in the genre.
The general gameplay and level structure is not exactly new. We get regular battle scenes, sneaking missions, plane dogfights, sniping missions…you know the drill. We do have a new mechanic here where certain members of your platoon can give you items like First Aid kits. There is no regenerating health bar this time, you need to be careful and use kits if you are shot. That is my favourite part of the game. Others will give you extra grenades and your commanding officer (yerman from Transformers, the soldier fella) will give you smoke canisters to call in supporting airstrikes. These all have a cooling off period so it never feels overpowered.
Something that is somewhat new are the large amount of Quick Time Events. There are a few sections where your soldier will be down after an explosion or something loud like that. Sometimes there is a button mashing part where you need to stop a Nazi from stabbing you, sometimes you need to crawl to a gun before another Nazi. It tends to break up the play a little, a nice touch.
I must admit that I enjoyed this year’s Campaign. Sure, it’s clichéd and heavy handed but I finished it and that’s more that can be said about recent COD campaigns. They went to the moon last year didn’t they? The bastard moon?!
I played on the Hard difficulty and I recommend you do too. The D-Day landing really was frightening on the higher difficulty setting. These AAA games can be very easy most of the time. Thank me later.
Well, it’s COD multiplayer. Same as every other year. I played it for a few hours but as we all know these people online are insane. There are people that play COD exclusively all year round, this is all they play. If you aren’t pretty good at FPS games you won’t have much fun here. I plan on going back to it as I liked the maps I played. Also, all of that double jump jetpack nonsense is gone so that’s a plus! Maybe I will finally have my new Black Ops type experience. I put in a disgusting amount of hours on the Black Ops multiplayer mode. I was a single man that lived alone at the time and I had a fridge full of beer. Great days! Oh take me back…
One thing that will discourage me from playing it for very long is the loot box bull. COD multiplayer has a hub world like Destiny. Here, other players can see the box fall from the sky and watch on as you admire the box full of bollocks you purchased with actual money. “Behold! The Activision gods have bestowed upon me a yellow helmet! Huzzah!”. No thanks. Shame on those people that encourage this behaviour and shame on the publishers for forcing this guff on Devs.
…ain’t nobody got time fo’ that.
I like it! I really didn’t think I would. It’s doubtful that I will spend much time online due to the loot boxes but who knows? I have liked it so far and there is much more to do.
I just wish COD would evolve some of the combat. Just a slight tweak like being able to turn your gun at an angle to get a shot into a room would be nice. Rainbow Six Siege remains the best shooter on the market, they really should be looking at what Ubisoft have done with that game.
I think 3 Meltzer’s is a fair score here. I really enjoyed the campaign but the combat needs an update. Loot Boxes are the devil and you lose marks straight away for that. All in all, it’s a return to form for Call of Duty.