Call of Duty WWII Private Beta First Impressions – A Redemption of the Franchise

When the Krauts defended Carentan during the Battle of Normandy, the 101st Airborne Division, especially Easy Company, got their best men to gain control of the city. The gruesome battle was well portrayed by the HBO original series, Band of Brothers. A lot of men sacrificed themselves to liberate the city, and to temporarily take advantage of its strategical value in ending the war.

When video-games’ accuracy of World War II comes into place, I think of Medal Of Honor: Allied Assault. It was probably the best World War II first-person shooter that portrayed the European and Allied assaults correctly. Call of Duty, on the other hand, does have its own merits. With Activision sending Sledgehammer Games back in Normandy, and to equip their M1 Garands and Thompsons, there might be redemption of the franchise after all.

Platform Previewed: PS4

While we all consider that Battlefield 1’s approach on the Great War as the best portrayal there is (despite that there are only a few of them that portrayed World War I), added its stunning visuals as a plus, not everyone is knowledgeable of the First World War. The Second World War, however, was one of the key highlights in our history class back in high school and that it also ended impending world wars.

Call of Duty WWII, developed by Sledgehammer Games, went into its beta stages to let players experience its multiplayer. Providing a handful of weapons and leaving out some familiar ones like the German Kar98K and as well as the American Thompson, a.k.a the Tommy Gun. While I was greatly disappointed for these weapons’ absence in the beta, the M1 Garand and Grease Gun were nice replacements.

There were game types that even Overwatch players are familiar with and that is War Mode. Your team (Allied) will have to capture one point then advance to build a bridge while the opposing team stops you until the time runs out, and when your team eventually constructed the bridge you then have to destroy an ammo depot next; and finally, your team will have to escort the tank that would eventually destroy the anti-air guns of the opposing team (Axis) to win. Sounds pretty familiar right? Protect the Payload!

War Mode does have its own little narrative that’s based from the actual World War II events, while in the Private Beta, the plot focuses on Operation Breakout where the Allied forces have to cripple the German’s defenses by destroying its anti-air cannons. To give out a little trivia, the real codename of this campaign was actually Operation Cobra. We might see different kinds of objective based missions in War Mode when the game launches as the beta only gave us Operation Breakout (or Cobra in real events).

Other modes include the classic Team Deathmatch, Domination, and Hardpoint. Even though if these game types are the FPS standards, I liked how Sledgehammer made the Team Deathmatch, Domination, and Hardpoint maps smaller than the usual. However, I do find the excessive narrow paths and corners on some maps, like Gibraltar, overwhelming as players’ tend to abuse the SMGs and shotguns in close-quarters combat. But I definitely love the snowy and semi-open field of Ardennes. You get to be able to use any weapons you have at your disposal without any disadvantages. Since there are only 3 maps in the beta, there might be a lot more to balance before the game launches.

When we play first-person shooters, we also have to think about its shooting mechanics. Well, as far as I’m concerned, the gameplay was quite fast and fluid than some of the Call of Duty games. The controls were manageable and smooth. What makes it great is that you also get to experience the imperfections of the World War II weapons. You only have a limited amount of weapons to begin with weapons such as the M1941 assault rifle, the Grease Gun SMG, the Lewis LMG, and the Winchester shotgun. While you get to level up your weapons, you also get to level up your Divisions.

Divisions are what you call “classes” in some games. You get to use their “expertise” like how the Infantry division gets to have bayonets attached on weapons and will get extra magazines as you get to level up. The Airborne division gets silencer attachments for SMGs and can quickly mantle and climb on ledges. And the Mountain division, the squad of sharpshooters, are not detected by recon aircrafts and can run silently which is well suited for snipers. While I main the Airborne division, I never felt overpowered by other players with different classes.

While we talk about performance, the game runs at a consistent 60-frames per second. The experience was smooth and that I never got to experience any frame-pacing issues during the course of my multiplayer playthrough. While I live in Southeast Asia, I usually play with North American players, it’s surprisingly stable and never got any delays.

Overall, the experience was great. I had fun and totally skipped out my playtime on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered. Even if the game can’t solely compete against Battlefield 1 visually, Call of Duty: WWII is a promising shooter that I’m looking forward to play when it comes out later this year – especially the campaign.