It’s that time of year again, Call Of Duty has returned for another round of virtual warfare and it’s brought with an old school look and an old school mentality to match. The modes you know and love (or loathe) have returned, but each one has been given just the right amount of tinkering to bring the series’ journey full circle.
So, in case you’re on the fence about picking up Call Of Duty WW2, we’ve put together 10 reasons that will convince you to try the new take on single-player, multiplayer and Zombies. Time to join the fight, soldier.
Medkits rejoin the fight
Activision’s decision to dial back the clock to 1944 isn’t just a cheap way to tap into its WW2 roots - developer Sledgehammer games has weaved back in many of the key mechanics that made the days of the first COD and the original Medal of Honor so moreish in their toughness.
Health regeneration, which first appeared in COD2, is gone, replaced by your old friend the medkit. Considering the campaign begins on Normany beach with the D-Day invasion, it won’t take long to realise you’re no supersoldier here. Axis bullets kill fast and quick, forcing you to play slow, smart and efficiently.
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The sound design is superb
A lot of noise has been generated of late with regards to how good COD:WW2 looks not just on Xbox One X or PS4 Pro but on regular current-gen machines, too. But to complement all that visceral mayhem, Sledgehammer has incorporated a sound design that’s just as - if not more - immersive.
Artillery fire booms, rifle fire peppers mud, steel and flesh with their own distinctive sounds and nothing comes close to clunking ping of an M1 Garand being reloaded. The decision to let you systemic sound design carry the drama - rather than constantly relying on the score (which is also great in its own right) to do the work for it.
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Teamwork will always be rewarded
Lone wolves don’t win wars, and Sledgehammer has driven home that point with its single-player story. You’ll need your squadmates every step of the way to survive, and they’ll need you, too. Each mission has its own ‘Heroic Moments’, such as saving a fellow infantryman from being gutted by an Axis soldier. Pulling off such a save will upgrade your squadmates with enhanced abilities, such as providing more ammo in the field or medkits.
Theses squadmate abilities are vital to surviving the all out onslaught of invading Nazi-occupied Europe. Coupled with the complete removal of health generation and you’ll be thankful one of your brothers is there in the trench with you.
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Reduced speed and movement is a good thing
Trust us on this one. For more than three years, COD has been all about the augmented double jumps and wall-running. Those days are over, and good riddance, too. It’s a shock to not have such a deft sense of movement, but by removing the frustrating amount of emphasis placed on verticality, multiplayer becomes an intense ‘boots on the ground’ assault.
It’s an addition by subtraction, where your reduced overall mobility forces everyone to fight within the same rules. It makes things fairer for new players, regardless of when they pick up the game, and enables every user to excel through skill rather than mechanical exploitation.
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Kill Confirmed is its own mode again
If you played 2016’s partially lacklustre Infinite Warfare, you’ll have noticed the fan favourite multiplayer mode Kill Confirmed had been coupled with a brand new mode. It was constant gripe that forced plenty of players back into Black Ops III - one that bit even harder when you realised Infinite Warfare had some great small scale maps.
Thankfully, Activision and Sledgehammer Games has listened and the dog-tag collecting mayhem of Kill Confirmed has finally been restored to its sole glory. Alongside the likes of TDM and Domination, COD finally has its holy multiplayer trinity back on fine form.
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War mode gives multiplayer a broader dimension
COD multiplayer has long been the go to franchise for quick, satisfying matches of FPS fun. And while that setup is still present and correct in COD:WW2, new mode War attempts to bring in a longer form of warfare that smacks of Battlefield’s own piece de resistance - Conquest mode.
So yes it’s a little derivative and never quite matches the grand scale of Battlefield’s offering, but by pitting two teams against one another in a battle for territory and objective control takes the core concept of Domination and extends it into a far more satisfying war of attrition.
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New Divisions help foster a more role-specific setup
Call Of Duty’s pick up and play nature has made it a megastar in videogames, but it’s often meant teams of players are full of soldiers playing for themselves or part of small, individual parties. With the stratospheric rise of team-based co-op titles such as Overwatch, COD:WW2 as introduced a new class system that subtly introduces this idea to the COD world.
Each division comes with a unique ability and a class-specific weapon, one that fosters a more tactical approach. Those playing Armoured are better used to suppress enemy fire, while those in Airborne excel in flanking foes and moving up close for CQC.
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Zombies mode brings back the horror
Don’t get us wrong, COD:WW2’s take on Zombies isn’t trying to go full on Resident Evil 7 on us - expect all the hammy, over-the-top action you’ve experienced with every other take on the mode - but by tapping into a more atmospheric dread, the co-op experience manages to take a few steps away from the sickly sweet parody of Infinite Warfare’s offering.
Expect jump scares and a breed of Nazi zombies that’s a) more intelligent and b) far more aggressive in later waves. Sledgehammer has tried to add a little more depth to its hordes of undead by incrementally increasing their danger with every wave, urging you work together properly as a team.
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Upgrades and levelling is everything in Zombies
Teamwork is something Sledgehammer Games has attempted to foster in multiplayer with Divisions, offering abilities and tools unique to that class. It’s all about using the right class for the right role. The same idea applies to Zombies, but in a far more fluid sense. Killing zombies gives you Jolts, the currency of the mode, which you’ll need to spend wisely to upgrade your character.
Knowing which abilities to focus on, and which weapons to plump for, is far more important compared to previous entries in the series. There’s also a sense of temperance - killing zombies gets you currency, but killing them initiates new, tougher waves. You don’t have exhaust every wave to finish the game, so it’s more about knowing when and where to fight and upgrade.
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Unique abilities will save your skin (some of the time)
While the horror element has been ramped up, Zombies mode is still meant to be fun so the developer has introduced some new abilities that can help you out when the going gets tough. Activated by holding L1/LB and R1/RB at the same time, these extra powers can help you turn invisible and briefly slip away or grant you access to a fleeting moment of unlimited ammo.
Designed to last for a moments, thus granting you a brief reprieve, these special abilities are a literal lifesaver, but not something to constantly rely on. Focusing your time on working as a team and upgrading your weapons is the best way to excel, and something that gives Zombies a unique feel neither multiplayer or the campaign can replicate.
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