Call of Duty WW2 multiplayer beta impressions

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Call of Duty WW2 release date

CoD WW2 will launch on November 3 for Xbox One, PS4 and PC.

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Call of Duty WW2 campaign

In the latest issue of Game Informer, Sledgehammer Games expanded upon what we can expect in the solo campaign. Some missions will have you impersonating a Nazi officer, taking part in the French Allied Campaign and even marching through the infamous D-Day Landings. It appears Call of Duty: WW2 will be no slouch when thrusting you into the heart of World War 2.

Sledgehammer Games describes the campaign as “brutal and intimate” with players taking control of a single unit of soldiers throughout the entire experience. Judging from what we’ve seen thus far, it’ll be similar in tone to Saving Private Ryan and Dunkirk in terms of its depiction of realistic, tragic warfare.

Call of Duty WW2 Season Pass

Activision has revealed details of select content coming as part of Call of Duty WW2’s Season Pass, including the remastered return of a fan favourite battleground. Carentan, an iconic map from the original Call of Duty, has been given a new coat of paint for the upcoming shooter.

Call of Duty WW2’s season pass will contain 4 DLC packs set to include new multiplayer maps, nazi zombie chapter and all-new War Missions. To access Carentan at launch you’ll need to have purchased the season pass, although this exclusivity may be temporary.

Call of Duty WW2 Zombies

Activision and Sledgehammer Games have released the debut trailer for Nazi Zombies at San Diego Comic Con. It’s exactly what you’d expect, the Third Reich has created what they believe to be the “perfect soldiers” in the form of bloodthirsty, flesh-eating zombies. It’s dark, violent and a little bit spooky. Check out the trailer below:

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In a recent interview on PlayStation Blog, senior director Jon Horsley went into further detail regarding the new mode while touching upon the gameplay, story and overall atmosphere.

“Zombies will take place in a quiet Bavarian village in Germany in the later years of WWII,” he revealed. “Players will be transported to a horrifying corner of the town, where bloody sewers, evil laboratories, and ancient tombs will reveal their dark secrets.”

Sledgehammer Games has said it hopes to create the most terrifying adaptation of zombies yet, which will once again revolve around four friends defending themselves from the undead horde.

Call of Duty WW2 gameplay – Multiplayer beta preview by Simon Miller

Before we begin, it’s only fair to underline this is the COD WW2 beta and therefore not a proper reflection of what’s coming in November. For example, a lot of the customisation and loadout options weren’t available and for good reason. This is a tease for the main event as opposed to anything else.

That doesn’t mean we can’t try to decipher what we’ll get from a brand-new Call Of Duty this year, though, and currently I’d say feelings are mixed. What will hit a longterm fan in the face straight away is that WW2 feels stripped back simply because of the setting. You can’t have soldiers running on walls or using jetpacks when you’re rooted in the 1940s, so it’s a gameplay mechanic that’s had to be deliberately left out. Doing otherwise wouldn’t make any sense.

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The result of that, however, is that you could argue there are elements missing here or that it lacks what’s needed. The alternative way to see it is Sledgehammer’s 2017 offering just has more potential in terms of accessibility or inviting new players in. That’s certainly possible, too, because – as the developer told us constantly – WW2 is a return to ‘boots on the ground combat’, which in short translates to you using nothing more than your gun and wits.

That’s where Call Of Duty used to shine, though, and a lot of the extra additions that got thrown in over the years actually sullied the experience, or at least made it feel exceptionally bloated. It’s hard to argue against it as the series is still a powerhouse of the gaming industry, but each iteration seemed to take steps away from what had won us all over to begin with. That’s not to say what’s here has transformed completely, but anyone in the beta would’ve noticed the difference. Unfortunately, it would have been nicer if Activision had potentially gone one step further still.

Again, WW2 feels much more like the ‘point and shoot’ foundations of old, and that’s exactly what I was hoping for giving we were going back to World War 2. Why shift the era so harshly and not bring the gameplay along for the ride? This should have been Sledgehammer’s ideology for the entire project, however, which is why the maps are a touch disappointing.

Seemingly not wanting to take influence from the likes of Modern Warfare – which mastered this run and gun approach – they instead feel restrictive and slightly dull, and that doesn’t really benefit the concept of creating a scenario where you feel like a soldier who has to rely on nothing more than his gun. If anything it makes the whole thing feel a touch too slow, or at least convoluted.

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That’s not to say this is an utter bust because this could easily evolve into a wonderful balance between old and new. Team Deathmatch is always on hand to throw up the odd fantastic moment, whereas Domination and Hard Point are as solid as always. Again, the only real difference is you’re using a MG15 as opposed to a KBAR32. But then there’s War.

A hybrid that throws in numerous objectives along with ideas you’ll recognise from other games, it replicates the idea of a huge battle wonderfully; even escorting a tank across one of the maps can result in epic fights that get your heart pumping. It’s without doubt the best addition to the franchise in years, and it benefits even more because of the fact it has the second World War as its backdrop.

Most people know the horror that came along with that conflict, so mirroring that with this sort of battle is extremely intense. It’s as close as Call Of Duty has got to those peak years in a long while and the potential, even now, is huge.

I imagine a lot of people may see WW2 as an odd shift for the series, or at least one that could benefit from being a touch more complicated. I would go the other way. There’s already hints this may be the case, but ultimately COD in 2017 has the opportunity to relish in its past and remind us all why it became the beast it did. If we can do that and finally re-embrace World War 2 simultaneously, I just think that makes a lot of sense.

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FIRST IMPRESSIONS

It’s ridiculous to throw too much shade at a beta simply because it is just that, but hopefully the finished product will commit to an ‘old is new’ concept as opposed to an awkward half-way house. If it does, Sledgehammer could be onto a winner. If not, this may just fill that November void as the series always does.

Pre-order Call of Duty WW2 now from Amazon UK | Amazon.com

And is that a bad thing? Not necessarily. Infinite Warfare may not have been as successful as other entries but it still made a lot of money compared to nearly all its rivals. Obviously its business endeavours are of no real concern to us, but it’s fair to say even if this is more of the same it won’t be terrible. Just a missed opportunity. At this stage, we do need a changing of the guard. 

There is, of course, still time for that to transpire, so I remain cautiously optimistic for now. I just hope Activision can see the potential, too.