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Game review: Is ‘Call of Duty: World War 2’ really worth its hype?

For the past four years, Call of Duty has relied on a futuristic settings that alter feelings toward the game. This left the game in a state of derail as people on the internet would post things like “CoD is dead.”

On November 3, 2017, Sledgehammer Games changed the course of this successful title by terminating the futuristic setting as they went back in time to one of the most deadly wars in human history – World War 2.

Going back to a traditional boots-on-the-ground game, Call of Duty: World War 2, over the weekend it was released, surpassed $500 million worldwide, which doubles Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare’s launch weekend last year.

The game is more balanced. The campaign short tells an excellent story of a small town Texan protagonist, Private Ronald “Red” Daniels, fighting Nazis all through Europe.

Multiplayer is a beautiful game mode proving that it takes more skill to run-and-gun than it is to jump up 20 feet in the air with a jetpack booster.

Zombies is one of the most hyped up, loved and respected game mode in Call of Duty. It pushes the boundaries of the previous not-so-serious, cartoony aspect of zombies like the way Infinite Warfare did versus a more grotesque, scary aspect that World War 2 zombies has given.

The game’s single-player campaign puts you in the shoes of  Texan protagonist, Reds, played by Brett Zimmerman.

In this story, you are involved in a historically accurate setting about brotherhood. You bond with the men in your platoon as you are fighting against the German Nazis. The beginning of the campaign starts with the storming of the beaches of Normandy on D-Day, all the way to the Rhine.

You learn about Red’s story with beautiful, realistic cinematic cut-scenes brought from motion capture devices.

Health regeneration isn’t a feature in this campaign. Instead, you must make a call for help for health packs granted by your platoon mates.

You also get more from your mates such as ammo, a resupply of grenades, and smoke grenades to call in for mortar strikes. Your platoon leader, Sgt. Willian Pierson (voiced by Josh Duhamel from Transformers), can highlight enemies so you can pinpoint your perfect execution.

You are also given a new aspect in this game called heroic actions where you choose either to save soldiers or to allow your enemies to surrender.

What would you do when you’re being shot at but your platoon mate cries for help? It’s a complicated sense because you can either make or break a great choice for yourself and your team.

As you make a choice to allow your enemies to surrender, the game doesn’t let you change your mind. If you were to allow the Nazis to surrender in the Ardennes forest and you decide to shoot them, the game will have you restart from the previous checkpoint.

While WW2 is a game, it has that emotional impact. It touches on the disgusting horrors of the Holocaust and concentration camps.

There is one mission where you have to find one of your platoon mates that was captured by the Nazis, and as you walk by a burning camp looking for him, you see a virtual reality of how the camps looked like in real life. The effect it has makes you stop and feel sad knowing that these things actually happened.

The campaign is amazing. It’s beautiful however, I wish that they added more to the six hour, eleven mission gameplay that was given to us. I wish that Sledgehammer included Japan, the atom bomb and even Russia like the beloved title World at War. However, despite these minor flaws, the campaign was an excellence adaption to how World War 2 was.

When the beta was released, it allowed us to get a feel for what this game really is about. It seems like your basic game mode with the traditional ‘team deathmatch’ and ‘free for all’, but in reality you are in a different game with different mechanisms.

There’s really nothing much to see here but just the layout of what to expect when the game releases. You see that the game was completely different than what was expected. With a Destiny-esque feel, SledgeHammer Games added an HQ system that acts like a central hub where you can interact with other players as you wait for your game to start, or waiting for a party or if you just want to open your supply drops.

You can even purchase in-game challenges before jumping into a game, test out your guns and killstreaks in a firing range and a new 1v1 pit where you can duel with other players in fast paced action. This is a great thing that was added to the game because it allows us to explore who we want to be in this game, and it also touches on the different types of players that Call of Duty has.

Before starting the game, you have to choose a class setup, and one of the greatest things in this game is that there are five different divisions that cater to each and every player. Each division has a different set of unique skills.

Infantry, which is meant for those players who love to be in the midst of mid-to-long range battles, gives you a bayonet charge to your assault rifle, and you are also allowed to have an extra attachment to your weapon.

Airborne, which is my cup of tea, caters to the silent assassins, as you are given the ability to attach and detach a suppressor to your submachine gun.

Armored is dedicated to the ones that love to stay and hold the objective with a light machine gun and launchers. You are given a bipod to help make your accuracy just a bit better.

Mountain is for those who love to be a part of the battle from a distance. The snipers in this game have the ability to stay in the outskirts of the map (as they are supposed to do) with the ability to hold your breath and maintain focus to get a pinpoint shot on your target.

Expeditionary is for all of the people who love a close combat fight, running and gunning with a shotgun that shoots incendiary rounds. Pop those in and you will guarantee ruin someone’s day.

You aren’t necessarily stuck to the divisions you choose. You can create some overlap like having an Airborne use an assault rifle. If you try to overlap you won’t be able to use the abilities necessary for your division (you can use as many divisions as you want).

The multiplayer mode War is really barbaric in the sense that you have to communicate a lot to not let your teammates down. Three maps are only available in War, such as Operation Neptune where you relive either defending or attacking Normandy on D-Day. Multiplayer, especially War, is really faced paced so with whatever you choose and how you choose to play, you will have a blast.

The zombies mode was repackaged to their storyline. Playing as four different characters who are trying to retrieve precious art that was stolen by the Axis powers. You arrive in a tiny village in Mittelburg, Germany only to be accompanied with sewers of blood, and hordes of the undead.

Zombies isn’t a stranger to bringing celebrity guests to partake in the massacre of killing zombies. In this game however, our protagonists in the map The Final Reich are played by Katheryn Winnick (Vikings), David Tennant (Doctor Who), Elodie Yung (Daredevil) and Ving Rhames (Missions Impossible).

You can finally choose your character, and like multiplayer you have four different ways of playing. Zombies is all about teamwork. If you are a lone-wolf then you have the freedom to play solo in which you have to choose the right role of playing.

You are also able to play a story prologue. It is only available when playing solo and it allows the introduction of characters, and gives new players a basic tutorial.

Some minor changes were made to the mode. The currency is called Jolts instead of points or dollars and repairing broken windows isn’t an option anymore, as it restricts you from doing so. You can finally share amongst your teammates.

You are put in a small map where you are surrounded by the screams of zombies. You are also faced with many challenges like a giant club zombie, a bomb zombie and a panzersoldat zombie with a flamethrower.

The zombies we have now have been the best we’ve had for a while. Even compared to the originator of the zombies franchise, World At War, this game provides a more horrific feel for the player as the dark setting mixed with the bone-chilling screams makes the gameplay more intriguing. It’s a huge leap compared to the lightheartedness that Infinite Warfare provided with the aliens, clowns and other childish features.

Sledgehammer Games really delivered with this title as it gives everyone something to do. They kept features and added new features that makes this game very enjoyable.

Despite being a few weeks old, this game will take some time to get used to as the future setting is now gone. Whether you’re a fan of the campaign, multiplayer or zombies as I am myself, I guarantee that you will not be disappointed by this game in any way shape or form.

Now, lace up those boots and join the fight!

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