Video game Call of Duty returns to its roots with 'WWII'

Jeeves de Veyra

Posted at Nov 04 2017 07:15 PM

Sledgehammer Games' Joseph Salud gived a special preview of the new Call of Duty to local media. Photo by author

MANILA -- Call of Duty, one of the video games that continue to redefine first person shooters, is back with its new installment, Call of Duty: WWII.

“It takes three years to make a Call of Duty game these days”, said Sledgehammer Games creative director Joseph Salud who flew in for the recent E-Sports and Gaming Summit 2017 at SMX to get the local tech media hyped about the latest release.

Call of Duty: WWII dropped onto the shelves of your favorite games retailers and digital download platforms on Friday.

With the past games dealing with near contemporary and sci-fi near-future themes, Call of Duty: WWII goes back to its roots. The first Call of Duty back in 2003 was set in the European and Russian fronts of World War II. The franchise-building game was critically acclaimed not only for its fast-paced game play but also for the gritty storytelling. Call of Duty: WWII once again finds the player in the European theater of World War II.

A Call of Duty game won’t be a Call of Duty game without three elements: an engrossing single player campaign, a polished multiplayer platform, and zombies.

The single-player campaign follows the 1st Brigade from the storming of Normandy Beach at D-Day to battles across Europe and the drive into deep into Germany until the end of the war. From the screenshots and peeks into the making of the campaign by Salud, Sledgehammer Games has really gone to great lengths to make sure the backdrop is as authentic as possible. 

A word that keeps on pooping up is “emotional,” a word that doesn’t seem fitting for a franchise known for ear-splitting explosion, bombastic set pieces, and frenetic first-person gameplay. It worked with noted World War II historian Marty Morgan to put historical accounts, stories of survivors, and pictures and films taken during the war into one cohesive story. With a deeply developed cast of characters, Sledgehammer Games intends to immerse the player into the game with its emotional narrative.

Besides the setting, there are other elements that Call of Duty: WII is bringing back. Removing regenerating health bars and going back to collecting health packs is a throwback to the early days of first person shooters. This was meant to make the player feel less superhuman and feel more vulnerable to in-game injuries and death. Players should also get used to having their boots on the ground as jetpacks from the Call of Duty’s previous releases are nowhere to be found.

The multiplayer component of features divisions instead of roles and perks. Players get to choose which division his online soldier will belong to -- Infantry, Airborne, Mountain, Armored, and Expeditionary. Each of the divisions caters to a certain play style and levelling up will make the player’s on-screen soldier deadlier. The multiplayer maps have been crafted to reflect the game’s setting. Trench warfare and skirmishes on a massive dreadnought will be chaotic arenas for multiplayer battles.

Call of Duty: WWII marks the return of the Zombies game mode. Ever since the 2008 release of Call of Duty: World at War, gamers have become hooked on this survival mode. Call of Duty: WWII features the scariest zombies so far delving into mythology and the Nazi party’s obsession with the occult. It’s like a campaign unto itself where players are tasked with a simple art recovery mission in the mythical Bavarian village of Wittenberg where things, predictably, go wrong.

A new section of Call of Duty: WWII is HQ. Visually set at the post D-Day invasion beachhead of Normandy, this is the social hub of Call of Duty: WWII where players go to interact with other online players. Besides being able to practice with new weapons and vehicles, it seems to have some addictive features which entice players to check in regularly. 

For example, players are given a payroll of Army Credits that are collectible every couple of hours. The Army Credits are in-game currency that are used to buy collectibles such as uniforms and weapons. 

Besides the payroll feature, ever-changing Daily and Weekly missions with corresponding rewards will also be found here. 

Lastly, HQ is where the player can request Supply Drops. The guys at Sledgehammer sure had fun doing this as watching other online players’ supply drops have become a fun thing to watch.