PS4 Review: Call of Duty: WWII

Can Sledgehammer “Make COD Great Again”?

Despite all the negative press and response, I actually enjoyed Infinite Warfare. Sure, it wasn’t the best in the series and even Activision’s CEO said they probably did one more futuristic COD than they needed to, but it was still relatively fun and of course, gave us an opportunity to play COD MW Remastered, even though it was sold separately six months later. Still, after the success of Battlefield 1, it wasn’t a big surprise that COD would be returning to the trenches and here we are…

WWII obviously takes place during the Second World War, it has a decent length sized campaign, but it also mixes up the traditional COD formula, replacing the regenerating health with a health bar and health packs that you gain on the battlefield or you can request them from your teammates, the same goes for ammo, highlighting enemies and a few other abilities that really come in handy. The story itself doesn’t hold back from the true horrors of the war and isn’t shy about showing some pretty gruesome moments. Overall, it’s the best campaign in years and a credit to Sledgehammer.

Multiplayer has been mixed up too, it has a social space called Headquarters that at the time of writing, is empty. However, you can invite friends to join you in it and I hear plans that they want to make it a social space like the ones in Bungie’s Destiny series. The Headquarters is home to orders that you can accept for loot boxes and bonus XP, as well as timed missions for the same. You gain loot drops through matches and these orders/missions, while you call them in from an airdrop in Headquarters so it’s visible to whoever is there what you get in your drops.

Besides standard levelling and weapon levelling, WWII contains 5 different Divisions to choose from, each has perks beneficial to certain weapons such as Rifles, Light SMGs, Shotguns, Pistols and Sniper Rifles that can also be levelled up. You can swap these at any given time, but it does make it interesting. Modes contain the standard fair like Team Deathmatch, Free-for-All, CTF, Search and Destroy, Headquarters, Kill Confirmed and Hardpoint but it does have a few new ones…

Gridiron is a mode where one player has to carry a ball to the enemy drop zone by either throwing it in there or passing it to another player, while the enemy tries to stop you in the traditional sense. Think of it as CTF meets American Football. While the most impressive mode has to be War, which obviously takes props from Battlefield 1/Star Wars Battlefront’s massive battle scenarios.

These contain mission-based objectives such as storming the beach of Normandy or on the flipside, stopping the Allies from breaching the bunkers and so on. If the Axis are successful, the match ends…but if the Allies succeed, then they get a new objective and so on and so on till either side wins. It can be a little overwhelming, especially playing against the Axis as they tend to have the upper hand, but victory can be achieved and smoke grenades are an absolute must, especially on the beaches. It’s a great mode and I hope we see other additions to it through DLC.

Zombies returns as is tradition, but this time around we have scary Nazi Zombies that are genuinely terrifying…plus an all-star cast including David Tennant, Elodie Yung, Ving Rhames, Udo Kier and Katheryn Winnick. There’s a quick tutorial prologue level that lasts as long as you do solo, as well as one level called The Final Reich which sees our 4 protagonists try and construct a Tesla Rifle under attack from the undead. It definitely feels like the definitive COD Zombies experience and one that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Visually, WWII looks amazing in 4K with HDR. The levels are bright and vibrant, but also show off the brutal nature of the War. Character models are nicely detailed and animated, while voice-acting is superb. The soundtrack isn’t too shabby either, while the game runs at a solid framerate as you would expect.

There have been a number of server issues with the game since launch, originally launching as a P2P one that has been recently replaced with more modern private servers, this has been a huge improvement and while issues persist with that, COD Points and microtransactions being delayed and the Headquarters being empty, it’s only going to get better over the coming weeks.

The Verdict

Call of Duty: WWII is the best game in the series for years, it’s gone back to it’s roots but mixes it up so it feels fresh. The Campaign, Multiplayer and even Zombies are all highly addictive and look breath-taking in 4K. Good on you Sledgehammer, you really have “Made COD Great Again!”

Score: 9.0