HandsOn Everything Old is World War II Again in Call of Duty

first_imgStay on target The Xbox One X Looks Nice, But Twice as Nice as the Xbox One?Super Mario Odyssey and Other E3 Nintendo Switch Games That Aren’t Zelda As one of, like, three games Activision still makes (if you don’t count Blizzard) there’s a lot riding on the success of each year’s new Call of Duty. It’s kind of crazy then that a return to the traditional, European Theater, World War II first-person shooting that defined the franchise over a decade ago is now this crazy, bold risk. But Battlefield 1 worked and given today’s political climate perhaps we need Call of Duty and Wolfenstein to remind us that Nazis are the bad guys. At E3, I got to check out Call of Duty: WWII.The appointment began with a theater presentation for the single-player campaign. This year’s game is being developed by Sledgehammer Games, the studio’s second CoD after the well-received Advanced Warfare. Sledgehammer’s co-founder Glen Schofield was one of the primary creative forces behind Dead Space. As the typical military bombast of a Call of Duty campaign gruesomely played out in front of me, I did notice a more horrific bent to the fast, intense, violent, and cinematic military action. War is Hell, after all.As the player character fought across the ruined town-turned battlefield, he seemed to have more freedom with how he could approach the fight. The new health system, which relies on health packs instead of waiting for health to regenerate, seemed to encourage more tactical play. However, the later half of the demo became much more linear and scripted as the player escaped a collapsing church, following their commanding officer like in most other CoD campaigns. At least the spectacle looks nice.After the video, we then got to play two of Call of Duty: WWII‘s multiplayer modes. The first mode was a standard team deathmatch and if you told me it was a prettied-up remake of an older game, as a casual observer of the series I might have believed you. Players choose between different classes with different load outs and kill streaks. I opted for a dude with a shotgun that fired incendiary rounds. It was fun virtual paintball as Call of Duty always is, but it wasn’t exactly revolutionary. Even the health goes back to a regeneration system for multiplayer.The next mode, though, was much more exciting. “War” mode adds objectives and narrative to the team battles, basically turning Call of Duty into Overwatch. As a female infantry soldier, I helped my team raid a Nazi outpost for intel, build a bridge into their base, plant a bomb, and nearly escort a tank to victory. Afterward, we switched to the defending team and stopped our opponents from accomplishing even half of what we had achieved. Objectives frequently lasted until the final seconds, making each encounter incredibly tense in a great way. Every move mattered. Plus, even if you die a lot, you still feel like you contributed by building part of the bridge or distracting enemies from the target. Add in Call of Duty‘s typical progression and leveling systems and even a losing team can find the fight worthwhile. Making multiplayer about more than just who shoots the best is always a good thing in my book.As crazy as it sounds, I also dug the almost novelty of Call of Duty: World War II’s older setting. The increasingly vague modern and near-future Call of Duty games felt like they had lost their identity. When you’re jumping with rocket jets and shooting laser guns, isn’t that just Patriotic Halo? I don’t know if the WWII novelty can last for a whole new era of the franchise or just this one game, but that’s the next year’s team’s problem. I just hope there’s a celebrity guest yet to reveal like Kevin Spacey in Advanced Warfare. Heck, just put Kevin Spacey in this one, too. I bet he plays a mean Nazi. Call of Duty: World War II launches this November because of course it does.last_img

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