Call of Duty: WWII
So, a couple of weeks ago, I finished Call of Duty: WWII’s (CoD) campaign and I’ve been meaning to do a write up of it ever since, but I’ve only just now gotten around to it. Outside of the campaign, it isn’t really possible to “finish” the game as the online modes (Multiplayer and Zombies) encourage players to play them over and over again, adding new maps over time through the release of downloadable content (DLCs). Many CoD players don’t even finish the story, preferring rather to hope right into the multiplayer modes and totally eschewing the main story (campaign). However, I’m the exact opposite, I always try to finish every campaign for the games–sometimes I wait to start the multiplayer modes until I’ve finished the game (something that I started doing in CoD Modern Warfare), but now, often as not these days, I’ll just play a mission or two of the campaign before playing 3-5 matches in multiplayer (by that time I’ve usually used up the time I’ve set aside for gaming and move on to something else).
So, WWII is a return to past form for the CoD games in that they were originally set in the WWII era before they moved on to “modern” warfare and finally “future” warfare. Here, however, we follow a squad using historically accurate weapons and fighting historically accurate enemies in (of course) historically accurate settings. CoD games, even in the WWII setting tend to be bombastic in order to emphasize the “action” part of war, but they did a very good job this time around by toning things down just enough and focusing on the characters in the squad and their interactions to make the game feel more grounded and more realistic (it all goes back to characters and character interactions). They even go into some detail about the treatment of prisoners in POW/labor camps in the game’s 3rd act that is really well done. I really like the way they integrated teammate “actions” (requesting ammo/medicine, saving wounded soldiers, or interceding with some soldiers locked in mortal combat) into the flow of the gameplay and I thought that also helped to ground the story realistically.
So, there were a couple of things that I noticed that I’d like to see improved if they were to make a sequel featuring these same characters (or another WWII game in general).
- Stealth Sequences were a drag: In general, the stealth sequences weren’t really all that fun. There was one exception where you switch characters and infiltrate an enemy hotel as a spy, complete the mission, and escape and that sequence was well done, but by and large the other stealth sequences weren’t really well thought out or done all that well, in my opinion. They were more tedious and frustrating rather than fun. They brought the pace of the game to a grinding halt and you, the player, are punished with swift death if you attempt to “brute force” your way through (especially on the higher difficulty levels that I was playing the game on).
- Vehicles didn’t control very well: Don’t get me wrong, I loved the vehicle sections in theory and the change of pace worked here where it didn’t work in the stealth sections. No, here the problem wasn’t the sequences, but the controls. I always felt like I was fighting to control whatever vehicle that I was in and it was really frustrating. The tanks, in particular, were extremely tricky to control, but everything from the planes, to the jeeps, to even the AA guns felt very difficult to control and I wish that the designers would have taken more time to really have nailed down those controls before release. These were fun segments brought down by irritating controls that never felt “just right.”
Overall Score: B
This is an above average entry in the CoD universe. For those who are regular CoD players, this might even be slightly higher–not the greatest of all CoD games, but better than the average CoD game with characters and missions that, if you’re not usually a campaign player, might actually change your mind if you decide to take up the challenge and see the campaign all the way through. I can honestly say I enjoyed my time playing it–and after all, isn’t that the purpose of games?
- Read Faerie Knight in the anthology Fae, Rhonda Parrish, Ed. or the Kindle Edition
- Read Ship of Shadows in the anthology Visions IV: Space Between Stars, Carrol Fix, Ed. or the Kindle Edition.
- Read WarLight in the anthology Visions VI: Galaxies, Carrol Fix, Ed. or the Kindle Edition.
- Read Dragonhawk in the magazine Tales of the Talisman, Vol. 8, Iss. 3, David Lee Summers, Ed. or the Kindle Edition.
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