**Please be advised that this review so far only covers the multiplayer aspect of the game. The Review for the campaign will follow shortly.
Call of Duty’s 3-year cycle continues with this year’s iteration coming from Sledgehammer games, and what see’s a return to boots on the ground and the setting for this years game is back to its root in World War 2. One thing I found kind of funny with this was that it was Sledgehammer games that started the whole futuristic mech suit jumping era for Call of Duty, and they have come along this year and shut it down, bringing the franchise back to where the fans wanted it…. Me being one of those, and I have to admit that I haven’t been excited to play a Call of Duty since Black Ops 3, and even then the whole double jumping had started to wear thin and was getting tiresome.
So when the World War II setting was announced my interest peaked a bit, there were issues that I had with the series as a whole that couldn’t let me excitement peak as much as I wanted to, I just had a feeling within the back of my mind that something was going to completely dampen that, so I have kept a level head with the game and went in open-minded.
The first thing that I noticed about the game when I got into a match and started playing, is how the game felt. The boots on the ground felt a lot better, there was a grit to the game that had been brilliantly implemented to show how WWII was at the time, a good example of this and how the soldiers would have experienced warfare at the time is Pointe du Hoc. Muddy trenches, absolutely awful conditions, narrow and unforgiving with people coming at you from all sides. On the flip side, the game also replicates what life would have been like in towns and cities, you just have to look at the Aachen map to get a feel for that. Completely and partially bombed buildings, walls were torn down, destroyed tanks strew across roads. The atmosphere that has been created here is simply amazing, and the historical elements to the game have been perfectly brought together. As someone who loves their history especially this time, I got very excited reading all the different snippets as well going through the maps to see the designs.
Divisions is one of the big changes to multiplayer this year with it redefining how create a class system is worked. Divisions are basically set… divisions from within each Army, such as the French revolutionists, Airbourne, Infantry, Canadian Mountains, and the British Army. Each one is a specialist fighter for a certain weapon class. Infantry is Rifles, Airbourne, SMGs, Mountains are Snipers, British love the LMGs and the French are shotgun specialists. However, don’t let that put you off, when you select a Division, you can use whichever weapon you prefer, it’s just using the specialist weapon for your Division will give you neat bonuses. Example of this would be the infantry, if you use rifles with the Infantry your added extras for that as you rank your Division up are an added Bayonet which if you’ve played Battlefield 1, work exactly the same, additional attachments for your weapon, extra magazines as well as being able to move significantly quicker while aiming. So there are some cool bonuses to be had, but I will say, go with your gut feeling, if you want to run around as an infantryman with a shotgun, why not? Who’s to judge?! The only difference that you’re going to find is that the same person using a shotgun with the revolutionists will have a slight advantage because of there bonuses.
Basic Training is new to the game as well, although it is just a reinvented way of giving perks and these are unlocked the more you rank up your character, each one has a different perk for your character and you can only select and use one at a time. You can chop and change however often you want to as long as they are unlocked. The one I’ve picked is called requisitions, which allows you to keep a scorestreak going after you die, however, the scorestreaks do cost you more in points throughout the game. There are loads of different ones which improve the minimap, adds a launcher as your secondary and reload faster to name a through.
The scorestreaks within the game are the standard to what you would expect in most Call of Duty games, recon planes, guided bombs and care package to name just a few of what’s available. There really isn’t much change with this and what you would expect to find for this era you can probably guess the type of things that are going to be available to you. Although, I will say that I love the Paratroopers, watching them all land in and run off looking for people! It’s like having your own personal army.
The new Social space that has been implemented into the game is a nice touch, but I have to admit that there isn’t really much it adds to the game as a whole. The firing range and the Scorestreaks testing facility are good and help to get used to those weapons, but for me, there isn’t really much more to it. There is a theatre which looks like you will be able to jump in and out of to watch update videos as well as live streams, which is a nice little touch, but I can’t see anyone wanted to watch more than just a few minutes, unless it’s on as more of a background noise while you’re online or something.
One of the things that I picked up on in the beta were the sounds that the guns made, and I was so happy to hear that they hadn’t changed when the full game was released, these are some of the best and most authentic sounds I have heard, listening to the M1 Garand when the bullet pops out after each shot, that ping puts a smile on my face each time! Such satisfaction as the Rolling Stones would say!
One of my biggest gripes over the last few years with the franchise is that I haven’t had fun with it, few weeks into the game and I’m done, they haven’t felt like they should and if I’m being honest haven’t felt the same way since Black Ops 2. But the new formula that Sledgehammer is bringing to the table is pretty spot on with me and I can see myself picking up the Season Pass to expand my adventures on the frontline!