LTTP: Call of Duty: WW2 Campaign

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I liked Sledgehammer Games’ Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. It was a very good first outing that only raised my expectations for their 2017 title, Call of Duty: WW2. The return to World War II was not an automatic win for me as someone who played through the many World War II first person shooters of the early 2000’s. Return to Castle Wolfenstein, Medal of Honor: Allied Assault, the original Call of Duty and its subsequent sequels. I was skeptical. I didn’t have confidence that this game would bring anything that I haven’t seen before. As a result, I put it on the back burner. 

It turns out the only way to get me to play this game was to give it away via PlayStation Plus’ Instant Game Collection. Unsurprisingly, I didn’t find it very entertaining. It was trite.

Telling an original WW2 story isn’t easy. There have been countless stories from that tragic war spanning all sorts of mediums including books, TV shows, movies, and other video games. Call of Duty: WW2 opted to tell a Band of Brothers styled story that followed the a group of soldiers throughout the major events of the war on the Western front. All the hallmarks were there including the Normandy beach landing, the liberation of France, the brutal winters in the forests of Belgium, and then culminating with the horrible camps in Germany. 

The game unfolded like a soulless knock off. I see what they’re trying to do, but I wasn’t onboard with any of it. I played through four missions and wanted to bail out, but kept going in hopes of something redeeming. There were interesting missions such as the liberation of Paris, but everything else fell short.  

The sense of scale and bombast was something that I was especially disappointed with. I’m replaying Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 again and it’s surprising how off WW2 felt in this area. Call of Duty: WW2 felt claustrophobic and cramped compared to Infinity Ward’s 11 year old game. I recall having to drag a soldier to safety in the middle of a raging gunfight. I thought I was dragging them to cover, but it was actually a nearby triage area with medics. I could have spat and hit the Nazis from this triage area. It made more sense for me to clear off the enemy and have a medic walk over to save him. 

I reacted similarly throughout countless outdoor firefights. It felt like they were trying to portray epic moments without the appropriate scale. Imagine trying to portray Ronald Speirs epic run down the road in Band of Brothers, but instead of him running for three blocks, it was him just running across a two lane road. It just didn’t work.

I got to know the characters in Call of Duty: WW2 through their mechanical uses and not their stories. There was the ammo guy, the health pack guy, and grenades guy. I cannot tell you their names a week removed from finishing the game, but I remember their functions very well. The problem with tying mechanics to characters is that I never felt any of them were in any real danger. The existence of certain Trophies ensured some of them would be sticking around for the long haul. 

Medal of Honor: Allied Assault and Call of Duty came at a time where Saving Private Ryan served as the benchmark. Call of Duty: WW2 arrived where countless games, movies, and shows have already saturated the market. The crux of the game needed to be more than World War II story told through the lens of a brotherhood of soldiers. This story was told better elsewhere. What I felt they should have done was to update the approach those classic WWII shooters of the early 2000s did. Try to recreate the magnitude and scale of that horrific war for a new generation.

Verdict:
I don’t like it

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CoD: Advanced Warfare (PS4) Campaign Review

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Call of Duty - Advanced Warfare Logo

Call of Duty: Ghosts was a low point for the franchise. Questions concerning the franchise’s longevity were raised. Did Infinity Ward poison the Call of Duty well with their lack of effort? It may very well have for the general public but I’m too curious not to check out what the newest member of the Call of Duty rotation had in store for this long running franchise.

Sledgehammer Games’ first crack at this multi-million dollar franchise was a success on the campaign front. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare’s campaign easily ranks among the franchise’s best.

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Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare MP Trailer

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The campaign trailer and demonstrations for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare convinced me to pull the trigger on the FutureShop E3 pre-order. I was wowed by the visual upgrade and was looking forward to Sledgehammer Games’ futuristic take on the franchise. A shiny coat of paint can go a long way with me.

Today, the multiplayer trailer debuted and I’m left wondering where those impressive visuals went. This doesn’t look terrible by any means but it doesn’t scream “next-gen” to me. The scale isn’t there.

Okay. That’s fine. How does the gameplay look?

I’m reminded of Crysis 2’s multiplayer and the suit powerups which is a plus. I like the mobility that the double jump enables. I’m not too thrilled about the quick deaths or apparent lack of recoil though.

Charlie Intel has more gameplay videos. The high flying nature of the game reminds me of classic arena shooters from yesteryear. I can get behind that. Now if only they would confirm the existence of Gun Game…

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