Developer: Sledgehammer Games
Platform(s): PS4, XB1, PC
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In recent years, COD seems to have lost its way, moving into the realm of exo-suits and as far away from Sherman tanks and M1 Garand rifles as possible. When Battlefield 1 was released in 2016, it really brought us the game that we were looking for: a step back in time to World War I. Due to the success of this game, Sledgehammer Games saw what the fans wanted, and they delivered.
WWII is a brutal, unflinching look at World War II that will leave the hairs on the back of your neck standing on end. Featuring engaging characters that really grow on you, some of the most immersive graphics I have ever seen from a war game, and a fantastic single player campaign that thrusts the user into the shoes of a private as he experiences the horror of war first hand. As you journey through war torn Europe, you take part in liberating France from the Nazi war machine and play hide and seek through the ruins of a city with a German Tiger Tank, relying on the quickness of your Sherman to escape harm. The only thing that lets the campaign down is just how short it is, with many gamers probably being able to finish it in just under ten hours.
Sledgehammer has also included numerous new features to the game that really make WWII stand out from the rest. You are now able to drag fallen comrades away from harm and ask members of your unit for health packs and ammunition. The auto-heal system we have become used to in other games has been removed, replaced with medi-packs that you just use if you are going to survive, forcing you to often take cover and weather the storm before hitting the enemy harder. If Sledgehammer didn’t take the franchise down this avenue, then it is a very high possibility that we would have seen a franchise that still remains loved by a large number of people, become a thing of the past.
As is the case with every instalment in the series, where COD really does shine is online. This year, they have included a mission based multiplayer game, where one side storms a beach or a town and the other side must defend. The maps are bigger and as a result, it feels a lot more enjoyable. Sledgehammer Games have also worked tirelessly on their servers, and the issues I first experienced where I struggled to get online, now seem to be a thing of the past. Zombies also makes a return with new maps and playable characters that makes the experience as fun as it always has been. However, the online community that COD is formed of is still as toxic as it ever has been, making some online games a nightmare.
WWII is as brutal and unflinching as it is a true pleasure to play. With an engaging campaign, mind blowing graphics and a truly entertaining multiplayer experience, Call of Duty seems to be back, and it packs on hell of a punch. This game isn’t perfect, but like Assassin’s Creed, it just goes to show that if you listen to the fans, then you are sure to make your newest game a success.
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