What is it?
After years of focusing on an escalating world of futuristic jetpack-jumping warfare, Call of Duty has finally returned to its boots on the ground combat by heading back to basics in World War II. No wall running. No wacky weaponry. Just down to earth characters that have to go through a series of horrific true-to-life events.
Is it any good?
Taking Call of Duty away from the intense chaos of recent titles has actually made its gameplay a lot more enjoyable, not to mention realistic and relatable as well. The story campaign in WWII is the best I’ve played in years, because it includes a good mixture of slower stealth segments, explosive vehicle warfare and all-out action. The D-Day invasion of Normandy and the holocaust are tackled throughout its story and as a result I empathised with what the characters had to deal with during its time period. It’s rare that gamers are given such a gut wrenching retelling of a terrible time in history, but it is accomplished with grace and honour.
Most people will undoubtedly pick this up for some addictive multiplayer action and WWII offers a return to form for those who are sick of wall running, jetpack chaos. Placing boots on the ground allows for less time frantically running away from a swarm of hi-tech gadgetry and more time to focus on shooting, plain and simple. One of the latest and greatest game modes is ‘War’ and it’s already a firm favourite in my books: you and your team must battle through enemy resistance whilst escorting a tank to the end of the map at the same time. It’s incredibly fun because it relies on a lot more teamwork than usual and though it’s clearly ripped off a similar mode seen in Battlefield 1, it brings a breath of fresh air to COD.
When you’re not diving into one of the usual modes there’s even a home hub to wait in with your friends before a match starts, something that clearly takes inspiration from Destiny and works well as a social space to mess around in with friends. There’s a shooting range to test your accuracy against a buddy and even an area that pits you in a mini 1v1 60 second death match.
The last major talking point is zombies. This time the undead have received a much grittier and gorier overhaul that will likely present you with more than a few jump scares. It’s a terrifying zombie campaign filled with countless objectives and occupied by some notable actors taking on the four lead roles, including the brilliant David Tennant. The addition of a notepad that helps by giving hints towards the next objective is also really handy.
Anything bad to report?
At the time of writing, the servers are a mixed bag. It’s been five days since launch and yet I’ve already had three matches completely freeze and breakdown on me at the end. This has caused me to not only lose my progress, but also forced me to manually close down the game and restart. It counted the crashes as a loss and I found it incredibly frustrating. Here’s hoping the developers take the necessary action to fix these issues. Not only that, but the ‘thriving’ online hub has never shown any other players to interact with, other than the friends in my party.
I’ve also experienced a fair few glitches in the campaign such as enemies or items clipping through scenery, but it’s provided more laughs than distress.
Should you buy it?
If, like me, you began to get sick of the hi-tech wizardry that began to plague the last few titles, then I would highly recommend picking this up. The campaign is great, multiplayer is awesome and the reshaped zombies mode comes as a fantastic surprise.