Activision and Sledgehammer Games are in the process of bringing Call of Duty back to its root. I’m of course referring to boots on the ground gameplay, which the series originally became known for. A string of recent titles took the shooter into a new direction of boost jumping and outer space, but now Call of Duty: WWII is evolving back to what made it great.
World War II is the setting for this new Call of Duty experience, and it brings the absolute brutal battles of WWII to life. The part of single-player campaign I witnessed was a slice of gameplay where allied forces were pushing deeper into occupied France. The demo showcased one of the most prominent changes to Call of Duty, health packs.
Health regeneration had long been a staple in the gameplay pillars of Call of Duty‘s single and multiplayer experiences, but no longer. Sledgehammer’s Call of Duty: WWII is delivering a more realistic approach to getting shot. No longer can you hide behind cover and wait until you are at full health.
In order to jumpstart healing, you’ll need to gain a health pack for yourself. This demo saw the player asking for health packs from nearby allies. This is one of the commands you can give to your squad. Forces then were pushing against a church where enemies were camped out.
The exchange showed the brutal gameplay that awaits players. World War II was not a pretty war and Sledgehammer is doing a fine job of depicting that. After mowing down an initial wave of enemy forces, gamers took control of an gunner. A second wave of enemies then came in.
Unleashing hell is what happened next and oh my, were the results spectacular. As the player fires at enemies, you can see limbs flying everywhere. His aim wasn’t necessarily focused on headshots. When his aim got to the legs of an enemy, legs flew off and soldiers were left there riving in pain. It was sheer brutality, but that feels more like a realistic reflection of WWII.
During the same gunner sequence, I noticed how much destructibility there was. Shooting the building across the street meant new holes in the brick walls appearing. Enemy cover was quickly destroyed into rubble. It’ll be interesting to see how destructibility plays into the entire experience, both multiplayer and campaign.
From there, gamers continued fighting inside the church. Great verticality in combat is obvious as you witness every encounter. Enemies are everywhere, up, down, left and right. I think this will do a fine job of keeping you on your toes, and not allowing you to become a predictable player.
Chaos ripped through the church and gamers needed to race to the top of the church. There, a sniper rifle was used to help take out enemies incoming, and provide cover fire for allies trying to get to their objective. Sniping feels slow and measured, and not something where you’ll quickly fire off round after round. Sniping takes time, something I’m sure you’ll want to be mindful of.
From there the demo was extremely chaotic. Explosions and destruction forced the player to escape the church, but they did so in a wild way. The church bell hanging at the top fell down to the ground as players raced down themselves. It is one of the more heart-racing and intense sequences in a Call of Duty game. It is quite jarring, but in an extremely entertaining way.
Overall, Call of Duty: WWII is taking a much more measured approach to gameplay. Boots on the ground is certainly a significant change for the series. It is one gamers have been clamoring for. This is a form of gameplay the franchise thrives under. I’m sure the multiplayer and campaign experience will be up to snuff from what past Call of Duty games have delivered.
Call of Duty: WWII is absolutely brutal and looks like a wonderfully entertaining experience. Interesting characters and intense scenes I think will deliver new life to the franchise. Campaigns in past iterations have been getting better and better, and I’m sure Call of Duty: WWII will continue that trend. Sledgehammer’s Call of Duty: WWII launches this Nov. 7 for PS4, Xbox One and PC. Stick around here at We Write Things for more on Call of Duty.