Call of Duty WWII is the next instalment in the Call of Duty franchise. After three years of advanced movement mechanics and fast paced gameplay, the series returns to classic boots on the ground gameplay in a detailed recreation of the second world war. After spending countless hours playing over the opening weekend of the beta, I'll be sharing my thoughts on the game and what elements I think need some adjusting ahead of the full release on the 3rd of November.
Let's start with the weapons. The weaponry ranges from the Type 100 SMG, the M1 Garand AR and the Commonwealth Sniper Rifle. Having used all three of these particular weapons, the SMGs are perfect for those players who like to get into close quarters engagements around the map. The assault rifles are balanced at close to medium range and have that extra ability to take down your opponent from long range. I had a little go with the Winchester 1887 shotgun and with the incendiary shells coming as standard, it makes a deadly weapon especially on the Point du Hoc map, where close quarters gunfights happen everywhere. Overall, I think the weapon balance is great at this stage of development. There doesn't seem to be a weapon that players are moving towards to at this early stage. If the weapon variety stays like this, it will be great to see everyone using a different gun rather than everyone using one or two.
One thing that does need refining is the flinch when being shot at. In its current state, I feel that it is too strong and makes it very difficult to have a fighting chance when involved in a gunfight. After sprinting, I found that the time to aim down the sight was a bit slow. This has been modified by Sledgehammer and it will be interesting to see how it feels on the second weekend of the beta.
With only three maps being available in the beta, it gave players a really good chance to experience maps with a classic three lane design, or a map with several different choke points. Point du Hoc is set in the trenches of Normandy. With several choke points, close to medium range gunfights are almost guaranteed, making them ideal for SMGs, automatic ARs and those shotguns with the flaming shells. I thoroughly enjoyed playing Gibraltar. Using the steps and ladders to gain the height advantage is a welcome change to boosting around the map at breakneck speed. Long sightlines on the left and right sides of the map combined with a central choke point make it a perfect balance for all types of player. The last map on offer was Ardennes Forest. Another three-lane map design set in the snowy French forests with several long sightlines, making it perfect for snipers to pick you off from a headglitch. I think that the maps are fantastic and with a few tweaks to the spawns, I think they'll be even better.
The staples of Team Deathmatch, Hardpoint and Domination all feature in the beta, alongside the all new War mode. Starting with TDM, the pace of the game feels fine as you take down players to reach the 100 kill total. There has been little variation to Hardpoint. I think that the spawns could be a bit better on Gibraltar and Ardennes Forest but they can be easily adjusted before the full game releases. In my opinion, Domination was the least enjoyable of the game modes partly due to the spawns. Once your team was in a spawn trap, it was very difficult to break the trap and re-establish control of the game.
I played War a couple of times and it reminded me of playing Payload back on Team Fortress 2. Having the entire team playing for one objective is very fun even when you're attacking or defending. Building the bridge while sniper bullets whizzed past your head as teammates covered your back was a brilliant experience. With everyone playing around one objective, the action was fast, furious and provided hours of entertaining gameplay.
This year, create a class has been scrapped in place of divisions. There are five divisions in total, each with a specific set of skills to compliment different styles of play. The Infantry division gives players the opportunity to take a third weapon attachment. The Armoured division enabled increased explosive resistance which was perfect when playing Hardpoint or capturing a Domination flag. I found myself using the Airborne division the most, The ability to sprint quicker and more often was perfect for running and gunning but I did find myself being taken out by the Mountain division. The Mountain division was specifically designed with the sniper players in mind. The ability to acquire the names of enemies when scoped in was something I found particularly useful when it came to playing passive. I think Divisions will be a good change from the traditional create-a-class system that we've seen for several years.
With a few minor adjustments to the flinch and some of the spawns, Call of Duty WWII is a phenomenal re-introduction to boots on the ground gameplay. The maps look amazing and feel balanced even with the inclusion of MG turrets in certain places. Weapons feel balanced and there's a wide variety to choose from in all weapon classes. Divisions will be great to use thanks to the different abilities that each one has. This game can definitely live up to the hype and I cannot wait to play even more in the second weekend of the beta.
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