What You Need To Know - October 31, 2017

Call of Duty WWII: What You Need To Know
by James
James
by James hmv London, Bio "Like the legend of the Phoenix, I've just eaten a whole packet of chocolate HobNobs..." Editor, hmv.com

Call of Duty WWII: What You Need To Know

It's that time of year again and Activision are about to roll out the latest instalment in the ever popular Call of Duty franchise, but this year they've ditched the space helmets and the futuristic setting in favour of some good old fashioned machine guns and nazis.

Yep, this year's Call of Duty sees the franchise back to doing what it does best and taking us back to the second world war to relive some historical battles. With Call of Duty: WWII arriving in stores this Friday (November 3rd), here's everything you need to know about this year's incarnation...

 

So what's the synopsis here?

This year it's the turn of Sledgehammer Games to develop the new instalment and even though traditionally it has been Treyarch who have delivered most of the historical CoD episodes such as World at War and the Black Ops series, this time around we're heading back to the second world war where you'll be joining the action in the last year of the war, just as Allied forces are really starting to get the upper hand over Hitler's armies.

In Campaign mode you'll be stationed in Europe as part of the 12-man squad that forms the American 1st Infantry Division, where your missions will include taking part in some of WWII's most famous battles, including the liberation of Paris, the D-Day landings in Normandy, the Battle of the Bulge and two key conflicts in German territory, namely the Battle of Aachen and the Battle of Hürtgen Forest.

In Single Player you'll mainly be taking on the role of Private Ronald 'Red' Daniel and/or his best friend Private Robert Zussman, although there are other playable characters including a British RAF pilot and tank commander, and a female member of the French resistance named Rousseau. Meanwhile, multiplayer replaces the 'create a class' system with one that allows you to choose from five different 'divisions': Infantry, Airborne, Armored, Mountain and Expeditionary, each with their own particular skills and weapons. In the Online Multiplayer mode, you can also choose to take on the role of soldiers from the Axis powers should you wish to.

 

What's the gameplay like?

There are a few notable changes to the gameplay this time around, with the main point being a return to the more basic movement mechanics featured in earlier versions, essentially doing away with some of the more advanced movements such as wall running and double jumps. This is also the first instalment since 2013's Call of Duty: Ghosts not to feature the unlimited sprint feature – that might be a controversial move for some, but it's a change that makes for more realistic combat in multiplayer. In its place is a 'slide' function that allows you to slide along the ground quickly, as well as a new 'hit-the-deck' mechanic similar to the 'dolphin dive' move found in the Black Ops series, allowing you to duck explosions in a hurry.

The other big change involves health regeneration in Campaign mode; for the first time since Call of Duty's very first instalment, your health won't automatically restore itself and you'll need to rely on the medics in your squad to patch you up and nurse you back to health. Again, this is a bold move, but just like the other tweaks this is geared to making the experience more realistic and seems like a good call overall, even if it does take a bit of getting used to.

The battles and locations are not only well chosen but also beautifully rendered, making this one of the best-looking games in the series and one of the most enjoyable too.

Any new features?

While there aren't a whole load of new additions apart from some of the key gameplay changes mentioned above, the biggest new arrival is Headquarters Mode, essentially a kind of social hub established on the Normandy beach after the Allies successful conquest. Here you can mingle with other players, open up loot boxes you've retrieved and get some shooting practice on the firing range, as well as building your skills in other areas.

 

What about the Zombies?

No Call of Duty game would be complete without Zombie mode and this year Sledgehammer are treating us to a horde of zombie Nazis. The narrative is separate from that featured in the rest of the game but does share a timeline with the rest of the game, even though it's an alternate one featuring leagues of the undead.

The story here revolves around the legend of King Frederick Barbarossa, a former Roman emperor rumoured to have hidden a haul of treasure during his reign that has yet to be found. Conducting experiments involving communication with the dead, the Nazis appear to have made a discovery about the loot's location, so it'll be up to you and a small team of colleagues to put a stop to their plans and retrieve the treasure from the Nazis' clutches.

 

Can I see a trailer?

Yes indeed, you can find the reveal trailer below...

 

 

Call of Duty: WWII is available in stores from Friday November 3rd. Find your local store here...

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