Tag Archives: COD WWII

The Great, The Good and The Bad of Call of Duty’s WWII MP Beta

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Call of Duty®: WWII Private Beta

After a spate of jet boosted, wall running, chain movement and space themed outings, Call of Duty is headed back into long gone territory, world war II style with the brand new boots on the ground Call of Duty: WWII.  A move that many CoD fans have been begging for since the series began to sway into more modern themes.

This past weekend saw PS4 users get exclusive early access to the Call of Duty: World War II Multiplayer beta allowing players to get a (restricted) hands on feel of the new game before it releases in early November.  Upon first impressions, the ground based warfare is a major welcome return to form for the first person shooter series that has been dangling a little too long in outer space though there are a few restrictions that may see those used to more freedom in customization struggle with the new game.

As of writing this, I am a little shy of hitting the 7 hour game play mark where 3 maps, a handful of game modes and heavily limited customization options are open within the beta.

Now it’s time to look at the great, the good and the bad of this Call of Duty WWII beta.

The Great:

War Mode.  It’s one of only a handful of games available to play in the beta and brings with it a familiar feel to those who played the recent Star Wars Battlefront which sees your team of 12 attack or defend multiple points in a chain, working together to either claim or hold back the enemy from progressing further.

As described by Activision:  Fight for control of a war-torn French village west of St. Lo, an important operation in the Allied push onward and out of the beachhead at Normandy. Allied and Axis forces clash for control of a strategic manor to secure a forward operating position. Bridge construction, ammo depot demolition and tank escorts are key strategic tasks in this do or die mission to dominate the enemy. Choose your equipment wisely – every decision can mean the difference between victory and defeat in this narrative-driven, objective-based multiplayer experience – a first for Call of Duty.”  

This beta only has one map open but it’s a great game mode and new addition to the series.

Play of the Game Highlight.  As featured in Overwatch, Call of Duty is doing away with ‘final kill cam’ which saw a sometimes boring or standard final kill be highlighted after the match has finished, and in its place, a play-of-the-game sort of sequence which showcases a worthy highlight from the match.  While it’s not as personal as Overwatch with it’s character highlight intro, the change finally gives players who pull off incredible plays their dues.

Game Play.  We were promised boots on the ground and deliver it Activision/Sledgehammer games have.  Cod WWII offers a very nice balance between the uber-boots on ground style seen in Modern Warfare Remastered and the ease of movement seen in something like Black Ops 3.  The knee slide had been replaced with a lunge, the sprint is limited but not in a incapacitating type of way while mounting ladders and climbing through windows and over things is very smooth, quick and not lumber-some.

Audio:  It feels as if a lot of work has been put into the sound aspect of the game with everything sounding hard and present and realistic.  From the gun shots to planes firing overhead to the sounds of the soldiers taking fire (or being set alight) it’s all pretty spiffy – the best bit though, the sounds of the hand grenades going off, pending how close you are to them can be terrifying!

The Good:

Maps.  Three maps are open for play in the beta and they are Pointe Du Hoc, Ardennes, and Gibraltar.  Pointe Du Hoc is a medium sized map that sees most game play occur within a maze of trenches surrounded by destroyed outposts and offers up a great mix of space for snipers and fast close combat for run-and-gunners.  Gibraltar is a multi level, medium sized map with three lanes of play that may allow those apt with quick sniping to take advantage of the height variance in the map depending on your spawn point while Ardennes is a snow covered map, once again medium in sized with interconnecting lanes that can favor both long shooters and those taking advantage of the connecting lanes in close combat.

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Pre-Game Lobby.  Call of Duty®: WWII Private Beta

The Pre-Game Lobby.  Looking like an old war photo, the entire play list of both teams are now featured in the pre-game lobby.  Here you get the opportunity to quickly go through each player, check their load out and get a close up view of their playable character.  It’s a nice new touch that Sledgehammer have brought in for players to showcase their customized character.

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Top Players Highlight in Call of Duty®: WWII Private Beta

Top Players Highlight.  Becoming a regular feature, the top players in the winning team are given their dues post match where, like past outings, actions can be performed such as ‘salute’, clap in ‘good job’ and wave in ‘Hey!’.  I’m assuming there’ll be more to unlock in the full game.

The Bad:

Customization.  Note, this section is severely restricted in the Beta and the customization options of your character are very limited.  From what’s on offer, we’re given a glimpse of a basic collection of pre-designed heads (in the beta, two are literally a re-color of each other) which are available for choosing (5 in the beta including three male and two female) and that is pretty much it.  I did stumble across a uniform section but it seems to have been locked for beta and now going back, cannot be found anymore.

Funnily enough, Sledgehammer have been quite open about their knowledge of how players react and engage to their own customized character but from what has been seen, i’m a little worried about the final product.  Here’s hoping, when the game drops, there’s more to be found in this section such as removable helmets, alternate uniforms and additional character building cosmetics.

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Character/Skin Selection in Call of Duty®: WWII Private Beta

Weapons and load outs.  My biggest gripe with Modern Warfare Remastered was the lack of load out options and weapon customization and it appears, Sledgehammer have taken no notice of the foul cries and have semi-replicated the load out system.  Perks are limited to a “Basic Training” feature that allows you one bonus load out option but they are muted and vary from “take a second primary weapon” or “collect ammo from fallen soldiers” effect.

Weapon attachments are of course in the game but the ability to run around with a powered automatic adorned with a scope, silencer, extra ammo and laser sight is a no no.  Pending on the division you choose to enlist in and the weapon picked, most weapons only offer two to three attachment options.

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Load outs in Call of Duty®: WWII Private Beta

Limited suppressors.  Just putting it out there but I have a very specific style of game play when it comes to the Call of Duty series and it seems Cod WWII may just force me to get out of old habits.  My CoD load outs have always consist of silent movement, no radar ping and a silencer attached on a weapon – it’s what works for me as a player but it seems within WWII, only one division is offering up the ability to add a suppressor AND from the looks of it, will only be attachable to an SMG……………eeek.

Overall, there are some welcome return to forms for this up-coming Call of Duty outing along with some concerns about where Sledgehammer are going to take the series.  To note, the beta currently has locked until launch

  • Headquarters – We’re testing the match-making of this all-new social experience, but access to this space will not be active during the Multiplayer Beta.
  • Supply Drops, and Loot – These customization features that add depth and personality to your soldier will not be included in the Multiplayer Beta.
  • Esports – Ranked Play, Game Battles, and our suite of competitive features will be accessible when we release in November.
  • Additional content not in the Private Multiplayer Beta includes: full progression, remaining maps and modes, additional War Mode maps, and the full armory of weapons, scorestreaks, Basic Training, and equipment.

Also, there have been some players having issues with timing out and forcing an app close during this beta, but I can say I have had no issues to date.  There has been no delay in finding a match or being kicked out of one.  There may be an issue with bullet recognition but that may be a lag/beta issue.

The beta re-opens agains on September 1 to Monday, September 4 for both PS4 and XBox users with Call of Duty: WWII launching on Nov. 3, 2017.

 

 

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Where to Next for the Call of Duty Series. WWII and Beyond.

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The official announcement of the next installment in the Call Of Duty series has just been announced confirming the setting to be in World War 2 bringing the first person shooter series back to its ‘boots on ground’ origins (Call of Duty 2 from 2005) but this time with Sledgehammer Games (MW3 and Advanced Warfare) taking the reins.

Taking the series back to its beginnings, according to Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg (in an interview with Polygon.com) was a plan that was put into motion three years ago and was not based off the less than positive player response to 2016’s ultra futuristic based Infinite Warfare, noting back in 2014 when the decision was made, the player passion for the historical war setting.

With the high praise for Modern Warfare remastered, which came as an add-on to the Infinite Warfare release, it really is no surprise that Activision have decided to go back to what CoD players loved most from the series but there is that lingering worry of bringing back a classic while keeping it fresh and modern so as not to bring about that ‘seen it, played it’ feel that is always lurking when playing Modern Warfare Remastered.

While the game (MW Remastered) itself is a stellar moment within the series, (and one I am enjoying playing at the moment over the Infinite Warfare release) the remastered release of the 2007 issue showcases just how dated the game is when compared to more modern releases.  Developed by Raven Software, the remastered issue offered nothing really new to the original release with updated graphics, rendering, sounds and animations.  The inclusion of semi-customizable multiplayer characters (including female skins) were a nice touch along with the ‘depot’ which allowed players to spend their game earned tokens on mystery cases filled with player skins, weapon skins and calling cards and emblems.

The question now begs, with WWII the official setting for the next Call of Duty outing, do Activison have plans to continue down the route we’ve traveled down once before?

The series has delved into WWII numerous times with 2003’s Call of Duty, 2005’s Call of Duty 2, 2006’s Call of Duty 3 and 2008’s Call of Duty: World at War.  2010’s Call of Duty: Black Ops took place in the Cold War and partially within the Vietnam War while all other outings have focused on fictional modern era and futuristic warfare.

One setting that the franchise has never delved into (and one I personally would like to see) is gangland/urban warfare.  While Call of Duty is military based, there’s nothing stating the series couldn’t delve into this area without compromising their tactical themed game-play.  The gangland-and-or-urban warfare theme has featured within games such as Grand Theft Auto and the Saints Row series, but is yet to be given the first person shooter treatment that games like Call of Duty offers.

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Saints Row feature Gangland Warfare, a theme yet to be seen within the CoD Series.

Details about the multiplayer within CoD WWII are still sparse to none but it has been revealed that a ‘social space’ called Headquarters will see players, much like that in Destiny, all converge to show off gear and interact with each other before heading off into a match with Sledgehammers Chief Development Officer Michael Condrey confirming to me that character customization AND playable female soldiers will both feature in this next game.

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Call of Duty: World War II drops November 2nd with exclusive pre-order beta access for PS4 users (date to come).  Pre-orders now open either on line or in store with your local retailers.