Call Of Duty WWII is the latest entry in a long line of COD titles, and it’s been a while since I’ve reviewed a Call of Duty game, myself. The last one I embarked upon was Black Ops III on the PC, two years ago, but that was so riddled with bugs that I didn’t even see it having been fixed until January 2016, by which time a review would’ve been rather ‘after the fact’ and I was inundated with other things to review.
However, the last one I *really* enjoyed was 2013’s Ghosts, but my heart is always with the First or Second World War shooters, and this is COD’s first return to that era since 2008’s Call of Duty: World at War.
I’m playing Call Of Duty WWII on PS4, and it starts off with D-Day, June 6th 1944 – the same point of entry for Saving Private Ryan, and then carries on through until the end of the war. You are Private Daniels (voiced occasionally by Brett Zimmerman – I say ‘occasionally’ since the rest of the team do most of the talking, since you’re out and about being you, and shooting stuff up), your girlfriend Hazel is back home, and you’re missing her, but you’ve got a job to do, so crack on.
Your path will cross eleven levels as you attempt to stop those nasty Nazis from taking over Europe. When down on supplies, your team-mate Zussman gives you unlimited first aid packs on demand, while others can toss you some ammos or grenades (which aren’t live when you receive them, obviously), although there are times when this seemingly unlimited supply runs out, for reasons I never quite grasped, other than real-world logistics… although I would’ve liked for them to stick with the norm and retain the ability to regenerate your health. Still, doing it this way really makes you think a lot more, and sometimes I was able to stay alive when I thought I was going to snuff it, as I actually thought about how best to use my surroundings, and actually bump off a load of baddies from a distance, rather than wade in all ‘gung ho’.
I like to break down the good, the bad and the additional stuff about a game, so let’s start with the good:
- There’s good voice acting, with some amusing lines, and it does differentiate between various members of your platoon, including with some clever dialogue, such as, “You’ve got guts, private. I just don’t wanna see ’em(!)”
- There’s plenty of fast-paced action and I’ve hugely enjoyed this as a result.
- That said, there’s not just the usual run-and-gun, but a bit of walking and stalking, as if it’s turned slightly into Hitman… without the hit. Plus, you can drive jeeps and tanks, as well as helping civilians, so there’s a nice variety of stuff to do.
- There are collectibles in the form of mementos and ‘heroic actions’, although I don’t think I found any of these as I was just heading from A to B in my initial run-through, without thinking too much.
- I do like that you can replay a level just after you’ve completed it, for subsequent posting on Youtube. Games which make you complete the entire experience, prior to any replay, are damn annoying, since by the time you start again, you’ve forgotten how those earlier levels played! So, kudos to Activsion for that.
Some less than good stuff:
- Annoyingly, there are some QTEs (Quick Time Events), which are basically button-mashing in the prescribed way. I’d rather just carry on shooting Nazis in the bonce rather than have to press a button at the right moment as a baddie catches me by surprise, since if he kills me, I’ll die and just have to repeat the same thing anyway and I’ve learned nothing. Plus, it’s nowhere near as cool as putting a bullet right between their eyes and watching their head come apart.
- The graphics feel rather last-gen at times: From the CGI intros to each level, to the textures, to simply just walking around and the feel I get from it, there are times when I feel more like I’m using my PS3 rather than my PS4.
- The lighting is a bit suspect. In dark scenes, it does rather make it too easy to see some of the baddies, since it draws a white outline around them, as if they’ve been on the Ready Brek… although another time, it just went dark outside for no reason, as if there’d been a solar eclipse. Huh?
- Sometimes you do die a lot in later levels – possibly because I was a bit bobbins but also because I was swamped – and this did start to piss me off because it was fruitless. Live. Die. Repeat. It’s Edge of Tomorrow all over again(!)
And some additional stuff:
- One level has Pierson tell you “Enemies at the Post Office!” Yeah, they’re the ones charging 65p for a 1st class stamp!
- Oh, and I’m not really comfortable shooting Alsatian dogs in the face, even if they are Nazis!
Note that my score is based on the campaign, alone. If you like the extras to a Call of Duty title, then you also have the co-op mode with Nazi zombies (see above for former Doctor Who lead David Tennant as Drostan Hynd in some gameplay plus some quotes further down in this review), as well as various multiplayer options. Personally, it’s been a long time since I played any sort of multiplayer as I was never any good at it, and nowadays, I just don’t have the time to learn…
…hence, big thanks to regular DVDfever reviewer Michael Halton who has checked it out and tells us:
- Most people don’t buy COD for the single player, and this was epitomised by the clever ‘get your squad together’ advertising campaign. Although there were a few hiccups I’m the early stages, they have managed to produce the best online multiplayer I have played since World at War.
Firstly, instead of waiting for a new game, you get to stroll around in the HQ where you can open care packages, set yourself orders and contracts, plus even have a shootout with your mate. In addition, you can prestige weapons, similar to some previous games. After the first prestige, you’re able to add your clan tag to your weapon. After the second prestige, you can add the kill count to the weapon. Weapon-wise, there’s a decent mixture ranging from the classic STGg44 to the relatively unknown Lewis. They have even made sniping easier for the masses, which is better than the previous games where you had to have 20/20 vision to become any good at all.
Something new to the online is the ability to choose divisions. There are 5 of them: Infantry, Airborne, Mountain, Armoured and Expeditionary. The further you progress with the divisions, the more perks you unlock. For example, if you fully unlock the mountain division, you will constantly be moving silently. Then, if you decide to prestige your divisions, you’ll unlock weapons unlockable any other way. I found this amazing after unlocking the infamous MP40.
Most of the game modes are the same, but they have introduced two new modes – Gridiron and War. War is the most noticeable of the two and puts you and your team through a range of rigorous objectives. You’ll end up with about 50 kills and a million deaths. Thoughtfully, War does not contribute to your kill-death ratio.
All told for multiplayer, with new maps on the horizon in January, and the Pro leagues and MLG leagues opening soon, there is plenty here to take up the next few years of your life. For once, they seem to have brought back what the people wanted. Now, to hone my skills and get killed an abundance of times!
So, overall, for me (yes, it’s back to Dom), Call Of Duty WWII doesn’t have a huge campaign mode, and is not quite as good as EA’s Battlefield 1, but it does have a longer single-player campaign by comparison, so it’s still well worth playing.
Call Of Duty WWII – Story Trailer – Call Of Duty
Call Of Duty WWII – Drostan Hynd (David Tennant) Quotes – The Final Reich – Mxtive
- Developer: Sledgehammer Games
- Publisher: Activision
- Players: Single player campaign, co-op, multiplayer
Directors: Michael Condrey, Bret Robbins, Glen A Schofield and Dennis Adams
Screenplay: Jeremy Breslau
Music: Wilbert Roget II
TSgt. William Pierson: Josh Duhamel
PFC Robert Zussman: Jonathan Tucker
Joseph Turner: Jeffrey Pierce
Pvt. Ronald ‘Red’ Daniels: Brett Zimmerman Pvt. Drew Stiles: Kevin Coubal Frank Aiello: Jeff Schine
Davis: Matt Riedy
Rousseau: Bella Dayne
Maj. Arthur Crowley: David Alpay
Staff Sergeant Perez: Christian Lanz
Paul: Chris Browning
Metz: George Regout
Anna: Lilith Max
Erica: Aleksandra Jade
Jefferson Potts: Ving Rhames
Olivia Durant: Élodie Yung
Drostan Hynd: David Tennant
Marie Fischer: Katheryn Winnick
Dr. Peter Straub: Udo Kier
Maj. James Parks: David McCusker
Carver: Ron Bottitta
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.