Playing History In The Call of Duty: WWII Beta

Call of Duty: WWII
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PlayStation 4
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This was the most disappointing Call of Duty multiplayer I have yet to experience. Despite it being an in-development game and a sampling of the multiplayer I still felt disappointed.  However, for those players who like the newest Call of Duty games then it would be fun and I had some fun.   Yet I was hoping for a more Modern Warfare style game unfortunately for a back to its roots historical World War II Call of Duty it needs work.  Now the campaign may end up being brilliant but we will have to see come November.

Call of Duty
Players can play a female soldier in WWII. Here is a sample of an infantry division loadout.

Honestly when anticipating the beta I was hoping for an accurate portrayal of World War II combat but it was more of a let’s make a game geared toward competitive gaming rather than giving a level of historic accuracy and feel to the game. Also the jumping around got annoying.  If you need to know it was the addition of non-era appropriate sights and customizations, hyper fast gameplay, and more modern feel to the game that was a let down.  Its a World War II game not modern or future war game.  We have games for that.

On another note most of the gameplay was good but the maps were just short and frustrating. Divisions have replaced the class system giving players access to specialized weapons and ammo.  Players can also choose to be a female soldier, more of a novelty but a choice I ended up keeping.

Now on to my very honest review for this beta.  First players in the beta started out by choosing a main division. These had the ability to be changed later and gave players special perks.  Players also can customize their avatar only to a point in the beta.  Uniforms were designated by division and were specific to the Allied forces.   In the game players were either put on the Allied side or Axis side.  The Allied forces were composed of the American, British, and French Resistance forces.  On the Axis players were German.  You’re chosen avatar, female or male choices, was the same no matter what side you ended up on, they just had a different costume.

Each division had special abilities such as Armored division had access to launchers, Expeditionary had incendiary shells for shotguns, and Mountain were good with sniping.   Other then having these division specific abilities and weapons they were also used as a loadout. However,  players could have any loadout for the divisions minus a specific perk. Personally due to the maps being made for a high pace game and quick kills the sniper rifle didn’t fair so well. I had much better luck with the rifles like the M1 Garand and sub machine guns. Shotguns worked great for close kills. If you were not invested in creating custom loadouts the beta had default divisions.

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There was a limited amount of maps in the beta but the snowy forest map was one of the better ones.

As for the weapons these were both historically accurate and completely fabricated for this game. Historically the weapon types did exist it was how players could customize that got into the fabrication realm. I truly wanted a historic game complete with trudging through the map as if I were a real World War II soldier with weapons that kept to the era.  No laser sights or modern looking sights like the reflex sight and all these crazy accessories, just give me traditional iron sights and basic weapons.  It might be a bit challenging but hey it would make it more realistic.

Some of the accessories available upon leveling up and completing challenges on weapons were grips, sights, and things like rapid fire.  All to give players an edge to their game.

Along with weapon customizations players were given scorestreaks and lethals like smoke and sticky grenades.   As with other Call of Duty games players can get reconnaissance aircraft. Also available are care packages and a voice letting you know to either defend your care package or keep the enemy from theirs.  Paratroopers are also available in care packages along with bombing strikes.  Another thing that was odd in the game besides the sights were the uniforms.

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A look at the armored division and after action report with division progression.

The infantry uniform kept to the time period so did the Ghillie suit and even the Armored division uniform, except for the cloth mask, which was a bit weird. It was the gas mask worn by the Expeditionary division that threw me off.  No gas attack or chemical attack occurred on a European battlefield during World War II. There was always a real fear of gas attacks from what happened during World War I but soldiers weren’t running around all the time with a mask on. Of course this might all be related to the campaign so we shall see.

Besides distinguishable uniforms for divisions, some other features of the multiplayer were basic training perks that allowed for different abilities like the Rifleman that gives two primary weapons for both primary and secondary. As players played they leveled up their division and weapons. Leveling makes new abilities and perks available. Also as players played they got unlock points to unlock weapons and add more divisions to their loadouts. I ended up with two Infantry, one Armored, Airborne, and a Mountain division to choose from. Each division has different loadouts, customizations, lethals, and basic training.

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A look at the expeditionary division soldier with a list of some perks.

As with other Call of Duty games players get calling cards and clan tags. One change that beta players got to see was the end game footage. Unlike all other Call of Duty games it was not the game ending kill but rather the top play. This player featured got a bronze star. Not sure if I liked this or not, usually it wasn’t something that made me want to play Call of Duty more or less but just something that was there. With featured play this might make players try harder to get the best play or not.

Betas have a limited amount of maps and modes. This one had several basic modes we players know like Domination, Hard Point, and Team Deathmatch but they also added a new one called plus a War mode without limits. I preferred to play Team Deathmatch, as it’s usually my go to mode for Call of Duty. In Team Deathmatch the games were timed or have a score limit.  Never had any game I played went to time. It was always score level reached and that cut down gameplay. Even though the score limit was 100 in the second weekend it still didn’t take the clock to reach it.

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A view from Aachen.

This takes me to gameplay. It is reminiscent of Infinite Warfare as its high paced, no camping, small maps, and need to be quick on the kills. Even though there are no wall runs or booster jumping there was a lot of players just jumping around.  I was really hoping for an entirely new gameplay and closer to earlier Call of Duty multiplayers.

I found the maps to be small and quick, though I was partial to the trench map of Pointe du Hoc, with more places to hide and sneak behind people. It also was the most war like map.  Hated the Gibraltar map as I kept getting ambushed or the new Aachen map which resembled a bombed out war-torn town but was a very small map.

If anything I did feel that the maps portrayed that gritty war scene putting the player into the action of World War II.  Despite the other flaws the art and modeling was a redeeming quality.

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The MG 15 and weapons menu in the beta.

Honestly after a while I was getting tired of the gameplay and was mainly playing to get rank and try to open up more weapons. However, I tended more toward the rifles and submachine guns than other weapons with a shotgun as my secondary, sometimes sniper rifle if I get the perfect advantage or appropriate map. The snowy forest map of Ardennes was sort of good for sniping. I also found the light machine guns could get some kills, like the MG 15.  Well, after shooting players 20 times and hoping to make the kill.  Or they shoot me once and I die. I also was getting caught with reload which happened very frequently.

After playing the beta the first weekend and a little the second I feel that this game is for another generation of player who might like or need high paced multiplayer gaming. It is also good for streamers and competition. My expectation was for a more realistic slower paced game that paid homage to those who fought in World War II. Right now my hope is the campaign comes through with a back to its roots Call of Duty World War II game, if not I will not be very happy. Until people give up altogether on it I will continue to play Modern Warfare as that was my first Call of Duty and the series I began with. Modern Warfare 3 will always be my number one multiplayer.

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