Call of Duty: WWII has just been fully revealed and after many years of disappointing games this one seems to be bringing the series back to its strong roots. With what appears to be completely realistic and gritty authentic World War II action, it's just something the series hasn't had in awhile. I've found the recent Call of Duty games really have been hit or miss in terms of what keeps my interest and what are quality titles. The campaigns are usually fine, but have lacked that realistic and connectable aspect that makes older wars so interesting. It's less about some fantasy world that the developing studios came up with and instead putting us in a real scenario.
Adapting something as serious as one of the World Wars also comes with a certain level of respect that needs to be taken to not make a joking matter of the material and that in turn should improve the campaign's gameplay. I'm sure they'll be creating a unique narrative within that space, but there isn't much room to go wild with what's happening. It also looks like they're aiming for a tight knit feel similar to Band of Brothers which might make the most meaningful campaign in awhile.
The last time the franchise went to these wars was with World at War (2008) and that one was less about small squads with it going over the larger picture of two factions. By focusing on a squad it can create an intimate feeling with characters that will matter by the end while still giving us a small taste of the bigger picture.
There's also something special, at least for me to see a different theater of war from recent shooters and to see ground based war returning. The Call of Duty franchise really started to lose me when it started adding funky gadgets, crazy killstreaks and jet boosting around. I couldn't stand the multiplayer of Infinite Warfare finding it to be some bizarre dystopian Call of Duty and that was true with the previous ones. The increased mobility was initially interesting in Advanced Warfare, but even then it didn't fit well. By having players planted firmly on the ground it should also adjust how maps are created and hopefully they become better set up. This mainly coming down to more time being spent on getting a base rolling instead of having to worry about multiple angles and vertical areas of combat. The quality of maps was down considerably in these last few games and seeing how great Modern Warfare was in the remaster it certainly didn't help the newer games out.
With that, this multiplayer could feature some classic modes while offering authentic and well designed map layouts. I also hope with going back to that realistic look that the online microtransactions don't make it silly. The weird weapons will be in there, it'll just be a hard balance between respecting the material and juicing players. We can complain all we want about microtransactions, but they're of such value to publishers and developers that they will certainly be here.
I also wanted to briefly touch upon the visuals that were showcased for the game. The series has actually improved fairly well with its visuals over time with that being a focal point. I was particularly impressed with the quality of character facial expressions, the scenery and the smooth FPS with all that destruction going on. This could very well be one of the best looking games of the years, particularly with all the 4K consoles coming into play and this being the first Call of Duty released with those being completely the focus. I feel that this could be the best from the series in a long time and it certainly is looking to be. I hope that Sledgehammer can deliver and consider me hyped at this point.
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