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Hands on with Call of Duty: World War II - One of the best multiplayer experiences

Call of Duty World War II Hands On .jpg

The Call of Duty series has been on a rocky path in the past few years. While Treyarch delivered a great Black Ops 3 game two years ago, last year's Infinite Warfare was a hot mess, to say the least. Its multiplayer was lacklustre and the story mode was too farfetched, which led the zombie mode being the only thing in the game that was at least somewhat enjoyable. 

The World War II setting for Call of Duty latest entry is the game's last hope as fans have all now shifted to Battlefield 1, and with Star Wars Battlefront 2 releasing at the end of the year, more gamers will look for an even more comprehensive experience. Well, I am here to tell you that you need to keep your eye on Sledgehammer's Call of Duty: World War II. I played the multiplayer at E3 2017 and it provided a solid Call of Duty experience we all love, but also took the series back to its roots. The multiplayer felt very much the same as World at War but also remained as fast as Black Ops 3's gameplay.

I played three game modes. A classic Team Deathmatch, a Domination mode, and the War Game mode that had me and a team fight it out on a battlefield with various objectives. Capture a zone, then push forward to build a bridge, then plant a bomb and escort a tank to the final objective. The War Mode is by far the most enjoyable COD game mode I have played to date, as it was a constant rush of players from every direction as my team and I tried our hardest to keep the enemy from building a bridge to the other side of the crevasse. The team then pushed through and we had to stop the tank from reaching the end or the line.

Call of Duty WWII Screenshot.jpg

The War Mode felt fresh, but it also relied heavily on teamwork, as we knew where each other were on the map, and we could focus our attack on the objective. Maps are so reminiscent of the World at War title with war-torn battlefields as it's the main premise. Bunkers provide tight cover while outer sides are more expansive and allow for great sniping opportunities. 

Instead of the old-school create-a-class system, there are now Divisions which determine the weapon loadout and more when choosing a character. This means that characters will come as packages of skills and a loadout, depending on their Division. The Airborne Division is framed as a class for those who want emphasis on speed, manoeuvring, and stealth. The Mountain Division is similar, but more focused on positioning and long-range sharpshooting. The Infantry Division represents a more upfront type of gameplay, with Infantry fighters at their best in the middle of frontline battle. The Armored Division, meanwhile, is described as "Bringing the heaviest firepower" among the soldiers of "Call of Duty: WWII."

These new Divisions will change the way you approach your character and how you build them. I can kind of feel the Battlefield inspiration here by letting players invest in their favourite classes and skills, which is a nice way to keep players interested by giving them more options and skill paths for each Division. 

Kill streaks have not changed, but they also have if you get what I mean. UAVs are now Recon support from the sky that highlight enemies. Air support lets you rain down fire from above with targeting a group of enemies. Just trust that there are enough new skills to use and old ones which have been rebuilt with a World War II feeling.

Call of DUty WW2 screenshot 2.jpg

Different divisions have specific weapons that give you more control over the map and play style. I played with the infantry one, which was a standard class with a rifle. Gunplay feels fantastic with the sounds and kickback pulling you into the game even more. Accurate sounds and animations also keep things old school fresh. The rifle I was using for example only had six ammo, which means I could fire a few shots or take down at least 3 enemies before needing to reload. If I had no time to reload I would quickly switch to my pistol and fire that empty too. I then dropped to the ground to refill my gun and then got up and did it all over again.

The most fantastic part of the demo was how realistic it felt. No more double jumping, no more air boosts. Nothing far fetched at all. Just a simple point and shoot with none of the ridiculous futuristic mechanics that came with the past games. It was also very exciting to experience a great narrative-driven multiplayer experience with teammates shouting out for ammo and healing.

It was a refreshing throwback to the classic titles that made the series so popular today. I cannot wait to get my hands on the full game or even the beta which goes live on 1 September 2017. While we could not capture gameplay at the event, you can take a look at the latest trailer below.

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"The most fantastic part of the demo was how realistic it felt"

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