This week I’m thinking about Call of Duty: WWII, and whether or not I should be spending my hard earned cash on what it’s offering. I was a massive fan of the Modern Warfare series. I fell for Soap and Price and their story. I was a lover of the multiplayer on the original Black Ops, reaching Prestige 3. Zombies have always been extremely entertaining, from Black Ops through to Advanced Warfare.
The Call of Duty series is a never-ending cycle. Buy New Game, Play New Game, Get Bored of New Game, Play DLC, Get More Bored of DLC, New Game Announced, Get Bored Totally of Old Game, Buy New Game. I thought I escaped the cycle after MW3, but alas, no.
The campaign last time from Sledgehammer, in Advanced Warfare, was solid. Kevin Spacey as the Underwood-esque maniac was engaging, with gameplay that was not boring and seemed to find new life in the classic game which had been in danger of becoming stale. In my opinion, this was one of the last great single player offerings from COD. Black Ops 3 wasn’t bad, but didn’t quite hit the recent zenith of AW. So that’s Pros 1, Cons 0.
I have to say that Zombies has been very disappointing of late. Black Ops 3 offered an experience that created awesome moments and powerful weapons, but it meant that you couldn’t really enjoy it regularly. You felt that you had to make time, prepare mentally, google how to earn the wolf bow before you could log in and play. Once more, I must say that the last instalment of the series with a zombie experience that I truly loved was created by Sledgehammer.
The Zombies linked seamlessly with the survival mode. This shocked and amazed my friend and I. We had given ourselves that challenge of reaching round 30 on all the maps. Little did we know that the last one had such a lovable and awe-inspiring end. The new Zombies will be returning to a WW2 setting, no Richtofen in sight. It’s not Treyarch after all. This return to the Axis V Allied era, I hope will see a return to a more casual and lovable zombie experience.
So that is 2-0, well done Sledgehammer. We must now consider the almighty power of the series. The multiplayer. Home to children who apparently know my mother, plus frustration in moments where the game is clearly at fault, and not my below-own-belief skill level.
Here is where I think the fifteenth COD is going to fall down. The trench warfare looks amazing, initial images look pleasingly more casual than Battlefield 1. Old, real guns will mean the featuring of countless ridiculous weapons will be over. For this, I’m thankful. These are the only parts of the multiplayer that I have a few doubts about. Sledgehammer were responsible for making microtranscations in COD popular. This is not a crime in itself. After all, Rocket League has them and it has only enhanced the experience. Call of Duty, however, updates the rewards too often, with little chance to get them. Even if you do finally get a chance to try them, you suddenly realise that the game has changed in no way and what you’ve just been given is normally just a re-skin of something already in the game. I enjoy having the ability to change the outfit of your character, but unlocking weapons, to me, is beyond the pale.
You may be thinking, it’s set in WW2. They wouldn’t overdo the unlockables and microtransactions. That it would be extremely weird to have a gold outfit on a Russian 1942 soldier. Well, they took MW, an already loved game, and changed it so much that over Christmas there were fairy lights all over one of the maps. You know, nothing immerses me in a warzone more than extensive lighting that is surprisingly still powered even in extensive machine gun fire and grenade shrapnel.
Sledgehammer need to get the balance right. I have faith, but for now these concerns have to fall under the Cons. That’s 2-1 in favour of buying it.
The final thing that might sway me is this. I am a nerd. I know, shocking right? I love history and have been infinitely interested in WW2. If Sledgehammer get the historical facts correct, they may create one of the best CODs; possibly the most believable and engaging FPS package of the PS4 era.
Sledgehammer seems to have announced the most tempting Call of Duty offering of the last six years. I’ve decided I’m going to take the plunge. The question is, will you be joining me?