Call of Duty World War II is a bloody mess of blown off limbs and “Holy Shit!” Moments.
I know, I know. “Russ you guys have been bashing the hell out of Sledgehammer games since the game was announced, are you seriously gonna flip flop?!” First off, take a deep breath concerned Coin Dropper or you’ll hyperventilate. Secondly, this is a review strictly for Call of Duty WWII’s campaign as I didn’t have a chance to really get into the multiplayer. And, I don’t really give a shit about CODs cancerous multiplayer. I also want to say that a free copy of WWII was not provided by Activision. My opinion of this game was swayed solely by my own experience of it and nothing more.
Call of Duty has gone back to WWII and most people seem extremely happy about it. Personally, I’ve always been a fan of the Modern Warfare games but, anytime I get to fire a 1911 I’m happy. It’s been 9 years and almost a full console generation since we got to storm Normandy beach and I gotta say, it’s fucking intense. Granted it’s probably pretty accurate to what happened during D-Day, but the same old intro seems a little played out. You hit the beach, 90% of your guys die, you climb over the side of the boat, crawl to the beach and take cover.
Sledgehammer games did a fantastic job with the gore. Living up to the bar Treyarch set with World at War. Bombs and explosions literally blowing people apart, bullets ripping through soldiers with crimson red sprays of blood. It was fucking terrifying. It’s hard to imagine it as an event that actually happened and harder still to imagine being one of those badass bastards less than 75 years ago that lived through it.
Sidebar – A Thank You to Our Troops
Coin-Drop is a Veteran owned company. Tim Vargo and Myself (Russ Gilfillan) both served in the US Air Force and want to take a quick second to say a few words. Veterans Day is today and as a medically retired Vet, I just want to take a quick second to thank everyone who has ever or will ever serve in the US military in any capacity at all. This nation wouldn’t be what it is without the sacrifices made by the brave men and women in the military.
Call of Duty WWII has what we’ve come to expect from the franchise in terms of gameplay. It’s a mindless run and gun where you kill enemy after enemy from point A to point B, it’s really not that amazing. What is amazing though, is a number of enemies they throw at you, the particle effects and gore, and an interesting new mechanic that I’ve personally never seen before.
There’s to Many of Them!
In most of the COD game, it feels more like squad-based combat than an actual war zone. In WWII they throw so many enemies at you, at scripted points, that, for the first time ever, it actually feels like your at war. I can’t tell you how many times I caught myself firing a mounted machine guy saying “Oh fuck, oh fuck, oh fuck.”
It’s Just a Flesh Wound. Your Arm’s Off!
Let me tell you about the gore in this game. Why isn’t every COD game this brutal? We haven’t seen blood and gore like this since World at War. Headshots with a rifle result in a helmet getting blown off and a massive spray of blood. Limbs get blown off by bombs, it’s brutal. Needless to say I was pretty fucking impressed. I wasn’t expecting this level of detail and gore in a Call of Duty game. They really earned their “M” rating on this one.
Making COD WWII Truly Unique
In Call of Duty WWII you can actually force groups of German soldiers to surrender. I managed to do it multiple times in different parts of the game which leads me to believe that this isn’t a scripted event. It always seemed to happen when I’d circle around and flank the enemy while my platoon engaged them from the front. I can’t say for sure that this isn’t a scripted event but the fact that you can force Germans into surrender is a very cool feature.
Story, Sound, and Subtlety
Going into COD WWII I wasn’t expecting a very long and compelling story. COD always had mediocre stories that were too short and only ever seemed to have a few moments of compelling story development. Such as when Sheppard killed Ghost in Modern Warfare 2. That being said, I was pleasantly surprised at the length of the campaign for WWII and the depth of the story. Seriously EA, take note, what the fuck were you doing making a 2-hour campaign in Battlefield 1? Assholes.
I digress, The game wasn’t only a good length it was also well scripted, well acted, and fucking compelling. I was actually invested in the lives of the characters and their fight. They weren’t just stereotypical WWII G.I.s, they all had their own personalities, strengths, and weaknesses that the voice actors and animators did a great job portraying. At the end of the campaign it ALMOST brought a tear to my eye. Say what you will but if a story can move its audience to tears it’s well fucking done. Go watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” and tell me you didn’t cry at the end you heartless bastards.
Why The Fuck, Would You Censor that!?
I was pleasantly surprised by Call of Duty WWII. I found myself quickly searching things on the internet to verify them in the game. For example, there actually were women working as British spies, so it was cool to see Sledgehammer be so historical accuracy. In MOST cases.
My biggest issue with the game, which we at Coin-Drop have said before was the removal of Nazi paraphernalia. I don’t know if every single German wore a Nazi Swastika on their uniform or not. However, I do know that officers wore it on their dress uniform and I do know the Nazi Swastika is not the same as the Iron Cross which Sledgehammer replaced it with in almost every instance minus a few flags. To be clear, I’m NOT pro-Nazi. I AM pro-History and I believe it’s important to get everything right when you make a claim like being the most historically accurate game.
For Sledgehammer to go through as much work as they did to try and be as accurate as they were, which they really weren’t, It’s upsetting to see them try and censor history. We went to war less than 75 years ago to fight fascism so why are you censoring it Sledgehammer? We were the good guys! Sledgehammer even went so far as to refer to the Germans as “krauts” 99.99% of the time and I know a ton of WWII vets that called them fucking Nazi’s. Only once did I hear a character actually call them Nazis.
To The End
Rant about censoring history aside, the campaign was fun and surprisingly well done. Sledgehammer did a great job making WWII terrifying and bloody. Would I pay full price for it? Absolutely not. If you’re not already a die hard COD fan this game won’t change your mind but I do highly recommend you hit your local Red Box and give it a rent. The campaign is well worth playing. If I had to put a price tag on it, I wouldn’t pay more than $45 USD for it. Which, conveniently enough, is exactly what Target will have it on sale for on Black Friday. So if you can snag it for $45 USD do it. If not, meh, Red Box it, play the campaign and return it. Thanks for reading Coin Droppers. See you on the battlefield.