Call of Duty: WW2 is a first-person shooter developed by Sledgehammer Games. It has been released on Playstation 4, Xbox One and Microsoft Windows. It is the fourteenth instalment in the Call of Duty franchise. It is also the first Call of Duty video game to be set in World War Two (WW2) since Call of Duty: World at War.
The campaign takes place in the European theatre of WW2. It focuses on a squad in the 1st Infantry Division and we follow their battles on the Western Front. This is particularly the case when it comes to the events of Operation Overlord.
My Knowledge and Expectation of Call of Duty: WW2
If you read my review of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, you will know that I was not hugely impressed with that video game. I found the campaign, while an improvement over Call of Duty: Black Ops II and Call of Duty: Ghosts, to be a bit soulless. Moreover, it continued my tumultuous relationship with that franchise. Indeed, I have not loved a Call of Duty campaign since Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. I have been let down by previous entries in this franchise. In fact, my hatred for Black Ops II and Ghosts made me have no interest in playing the campaigns in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and Call of Duty: Black Ops III.
Still, if any Call of Duty campaign was to get me back in love with this franchise, it would most likely be the one in Call of Duty: WW2. Without a doubt, I was getting tired of the futuristic instalments in this franchise. Hence, going back to WW2, which is what made Call of Duty such a beloved franchise, was a smart move. To play a WW2 campaign was the only reason why I was excited for Call of Duty: WW2. I wanted it to do what Infinite Warfare could not; get me excited for future Call of Duty video games.
My Thoughts on Call of Duty: WW2
In the end, I was pleasantly surprised by Call of Duty: WW2. This is a good campaign. Undoubtedly, it is the best Call of Duty campaign since Modern Warfare 3. While not perfect, I did find myself enjoying this campaign more and more as it went on. Indeed, I contest that the story gets progressively better. Certainly, at the start, I was not enamoured with the story of Call of Duty: WW2. It felt too obvious that the campaign missions were just tutorials for the multiplayer.
That is a trend I have been seeing in video game campaigns recently. I was disappointed that the Call of Duty: WW2 campaign was initially falling victim to this. Moreover, while the gameplay was good, it made me realise how much better Destiny 2 feels as a first-person shooter. Still, I appreciated qualities in the campaign such as the beautiful graphics, the great setting and its realistic nature. The cutscenes where also very life-like. Indeed, at times, they were better than the actual game. Despite my problems at the start, I was enjoying the campaign enough that I continued to play it.
I am glad I did because, as I said, it got better as it went on. I found myself getting more invested into the story and characters as each mission led to the next. The campaign does a very good job at fleshing out the characters in its second half. Some of the missions were also extremely tense and gritty. It was clear to see how much of an influence Band of Brothers had on the campaign. Certainly, some missions felt very similar to episodes in that show. Yet, to compare the two is unfair. This is because Band of Brothers, for me, is one of the greatest television shows of all time.
The Cinematic Feeling Is Ruined By One Thing
It is especially unfair to compare the two seeing as Call of Duty: WW2 is not as cinematic. Indeed, this is my biggest problem with the campaign. Within the actual story told and the beautiful cutscenes, the campaign is cinematic. However, for me, a big part of how cinematic a video game campaign feels is down to how well it flows from one mission to the next.
This is where Call of Duty: WW2 completely fails. At the end of a mission, you are taken to a screen showing you your achievements. Furthermore, you have a voice-over by the main character. This was not great. However, it was made worse by the fact that I was then taken to a menu to choose the next mission. I hated this. It totally ruined the flow of the story being told and the cinematic nature of the campaign. You know the setting and how far you are into the campaign. I never want to know these things while playing a campaign. It negates my enjoyment of it.
I would have liked the campaign much more if each mission seamlessly blended in with the next one. I do find the campaign in Call of Duty: WW2 to be flawed. Yet, more good than bad can be found within it. Additionally, I see this campaign to be a step in the right direction for the Call of Duty franchise. I hope it is only onwards and upwards from here. We will have to wait and see what is in store. I absolutely want more campaigns based on historical events. However, I never know where Call of Duty is going to go next. Nonetheless, I have more hope than before that this franchise can regain its former glory.