Call Of Duty: WWII is taking the franchise back to its roots. Finally we can get our fix of that old school "boots on the ground" game play which made the franchise such a success. After putting some time into the Private Beta, I noticed that a few key features stood out this time around and they made me wish the full game was already released.
Call Of Duty: WWII features the best sound design in the franchise to date. Every sound in the game is absolutely crisp, loud, and literally pops. Each weapon has a distinct sound that makes it feel weighted and real. It's obvious that the team worked hard to bring the most accurate sound effects into the game, and the result is an amazing audio presentation that instantly immerses you into the action.
Another aspect of the game that stood out is the simplicity of the load outs. This time around the create-a-class portion of multiplayer has been replaced by Divisions and requires you to select a specific Division in order to begin customizing your load out. Each Division allows you to have a specific upgrade that differs from the others, giving you an incentive to try out each one.
Once you select the division that best suits your play style, there is only one perk slot (which are now called basic training), one primary weapon slot, one secondary weapon slot, and one grenade slot to fill. It is very minimal in comparison to previous COD games. Honestly though, I think this is a great thing, because it makes it really easy to just choose your favorite weapon, add an attachment or two and start playing. There is no need for complex load outs with crazy optional weapons.
Another aspect in which I feel the WWII beta shines is in its straight forward gameplay mechanics. When I first picked up the controller to play the beta, I was instantly reminded of the old days playing Call Of Duty 2 back on the Xbox 360. It was a great moment and I was happy to feel that sense of shock and awe again.
After a few matches, I started getting used to the guns and soon after I began to feel that rush of adrenaline from surviving overwhelming odds in multiplayer. Coming out on top in a 4 v 1 skirmish is an exhilarating feeling that never gets old, and scoring skill streaks only adds to the intensity of the matches. Call Of Duty: WWII does a fantastic job of providing that quick arcade style action, with the old school WWII flare, and the combination kept me wanting more.
While I felt that most of the game was extremely well done, and highly polished, I was a bit unhappy with a few things the beta had to offer. I noticed all the smaller customization options such as the call signs and emblems were still there, but there was no option for weapon customization or character customization besides changing the face of your character. Now I am unsure if these features were removed permanently, or if this was because it was the beta and those options are being saved for the final game, but I was actually looking forward to having some kind of customization options (even though the game functions perfectly fine without them).
I also happened to find some of the map designs a bit underwhelming. I specifically found the map Gibraltar to be difficult to navigate with its sections that force you to go up stairs. While this is not a deal breaker, I found myself having a harder time actually contributing to the matches played on Gibraltar than the other maps in the beta. Perhaps it was because that particular map has some more sections for vertical combat because of the higher vantage points, but I found it more complicated to get kills while transitioning between the top and bottom levels. In a addition I felt that its three lane structure was a bit repetitive in that the style of map has been used countless times before. I also understand that three lane maps are designed that way for competitive play, but for whatever reason I found Gibraltar to be uninteresting and more frustrating than fun.
Ultimately though, I had a blast playing the beta and I thought it was interesting that the more I played it, the more I wanted to explore everything else the game has to offer. While there were a limited amount of maps and modes available, I still think Sledgehammer Games did a great job of bringing back the WWII setting while modernizing it for the present day. All their hard work is clearly shown through the amazing visuals and sound design. Hopefully the small issues I had with the beta will be addressed, but the game as it is is still an amazing and well balanced experience. I can't wait to see what the full game has in store for us, and I am excited to check out the new Nazi Zombies mode as well as the campaign. All will be revealed to us on November 3, 2017.