It’s been roughly 5 years since Call of Duty World War 2 was released. I finally took a chance on a Call of Duty game since I hadn’t played one in years. Considering how popular the series of games has become I was surprised at how little the game actually delivered and it reminded me why I don’t bother with them in the first place. Sorry, this isn’t going to be an entirely positive review as the game blatantly falls short of itself and fails to deliver potentially ambitious content.
It’s based around United States soldier Daniels who is enlisted into the second world war. As a player and someone who wanted to experience world war 2 again in video games I expected that it would take place from 1939 to 1945 – the duration of the second world war. I also expected it to put players into new locations which hadn’t been overdone to death in previous games. I was wrong. The game takes place entirely in 1944 and is told from the point of view of exclusively the Americans. They should have called it, ‘Americans gloat over themselves yet again. For a game set in the second world war there is American, Germany and some French troops and that is all. There are no missions based around the rest of the nations in the war. It is narrow minded.
Alas the disappointment continues, and I’m glad I waited until it was reduced to £15 to buy it. The first mission, wait for it, is the overdone charge onto the beaches of Normandy. Operation Neptune yet again done to death. D-Day landings that players have done before in previous Call of Duty games – notably, World at War which is by far a superior campaign inn every respect.
We’re charging familiar trenches, with improved weapons graphics and sounds being the only highlight. The animations and cut scenes make it feel like a movie yet it still falls short of its competitor Battlefield One, which also released in 2017. With so many cutscenes and animations it was distracting from the gameplay. I want to play the game not watch a very poorly scripted movie. Some of the dialogue is believable but overall I don’t care about these people as much as I care about playing new locations.
The most original campaign mission was set in France in which you had to infiltrate a Nazi base and exchange briefcases with a betraying Nazi. It was different, and combined stealth in the first half of the mission – which was easy – with action in the second half as the French revolution rise up and take back the streets around the building and along the Seine. It could have provided so much more though, and like previous missions it didn’t take advantage of this unique mission by expanding on it. All the missions were short played as well, with some literally ending after a 10 minute gunfight.
The missions and game following this were underwhelming and despite wanting to enjoy it I finished the game feeling robbed of time and effort. They put more effort into the cutscenes than making a decent, playable video game. Not to mention that in some missions, pressing one button did something completely different to what was intended. This ruins the experience and is evident of an incomplete and unpolished game.
If they had taken the time to research world war 2 and see who and what and where things took place then we might have had a game based in world war 2… This game doesn’t expand on anything, and doesn’t even explore the war in full, sticking to the 1944 timeline with already overdone locations and missions. The end mission was a slap in the face. It was short lived thankfully, and I finished it in roughly 8 hours, literally over the space of 2 days after buying it.
I don’t think they did the war justice. Call of Duty World at War (2008) is much better and if you can look past the older graphics I implore you to try that game if you haven’t. As I discovered recently after reinstalling it on my Xbox One, people still play that game, and there even appeared to be more people online over there than in this newer World War 2 game!
Verdict: Guilty of screwing the gaming community over with a w*** fest of American propaganda… again. My rating is extremely generous and takes into account improves weapons and animations.
Nazi Zombies (2 maps included with base game)
This was one of the main reasons I bought the game. I replayed the World at War zombies mode again recently (der riese) which still has players on, and found myself wanting a fresh new experience. Thankfully, the game delivered what I consider to be one of the best zombie maps in the Call of Duty franchise.
Getting rid of a lot of the cartoony/childish looks from the Black Ops zombies and going back to what appears to be a root/original look to the zombies, the map ‘The Final Reich’ comes across as scary, exciting, fun and rewarding. The improved zombies graphics and improved gore system make the undead very frightening indeed.
We don’t have the typical defend the map and block windows tactic, instead Activision have innovated and following a quest based zombie mode. You start in the same manner as previous zombie maps, in one location, and through unlocking doors and exploring you encounter new areas and new zombies! You are tasked throughout with following and completing various tasks in order to unlock the secrets of the map and beat the bad Nazi behind this. Taunted by Dr. Straub throughout you find yourself working for a common goal, which binds the players in a way that hasn’t been done before.
The town of Mittleburg is a real location and is the location of the map. Based on real history of the salt mines in the town, the game builds fiction and history together to make us feel like we’re part of something bigger. Exploring the mines soon reveals art – hidden by the Nazis – and more deadly, paranormal secrets tying into the storyline of the dark aether. A great return to roots, this map is worth playing.
Another, smaller map called Groesten Haus is available to play and ironically means ‘big house’. It’s the smallest zombies map ever. But the aesthetic, feel and playability make it enjoyable. Thank god that they removed the stupid glow up eyes of the undead because it looked ridiculous.
Activision I hope that these maps are going to be inspiring future maps because they are great. You nailed it with The Final Reich. Something else they have done and have repeated here is using actual actors for the characters; David Tenant, Ving Rhames etc. There are people on these games but a lot quit early which ruins it for other players. Despite having the game less than a week I think this is my favourite map. Although I haven’t played them all, because a lot look rubbish.
There is a further 3 maps which you have to buy separately in order to finish discovering the secrets of the Emperor. This is not good, and I believe they should be included with the base game, considering that you charge upward of £60 brand new. Charging for extra content is greedy.