Reviews for Call of Duty: WWII suggest that Activision is taking the series back to its roots, by returning to World War II for the first time in almost a decade. More and more reviews are coming in for this latest entry in the long-running franchise and all signs are pointing towards this being the jolt of life that it needed. They say war never changes, but that's far from true in the case of the Call of Duty games - as the franchise has drifted towards sci-fi more than accurate depictions of warfare in recent years.
Following Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, subsequent entries in the series focused on high-flying action set pieces mixed with space warfare, starfighters, jet packs, and wall-running antics. Call of Duty: WWII eschews all of those frills, favoring instead a "boots on the ground" approach to gameplay. Whether you're storming the beach at Normandy, engaging in intense firefights on the new War game mode, or fighting off a relentless horde of terrifying Nazi zombies, this is looking like a great return for the franchise.
Reviewers are praising the new War game mode in competitive multiplayer and commending the Nazi zombie mode for taking a more serious survival-horror style approach to the experience. The all-new campaign tries to tell a more human story of war with some mixed results, but mostly gets the job done if you're okay with some slight historical incaccuracies. Read on for some Call of Duty: WWII review excerpts and links to the full reviews on each respective site.
Polygon - Russ Frushtick
Call of Duty: WWII is a return to the original recipe, the first game set during the Second World War in ten years. In a lot of ways it attempts to reboot the series as a more grounded, more sober military shooter that’s less Michael Bay and more Ken Burns. That desire to tell a realistic, compassionate story is constantly at odds with the desire to make an engaging first-person shooter in which the player cuts through hordes of generic foot-soldiers. As a result, the final product suffers.
Gamespot - Miguel Concepcion
Ultimately, if every shooter set in the European Theater of World War II is measured by how it depicts its D-Day landing--assuming it has such a mission--Call of Duty: WWII emphatically succeeds in its impactful designs and delivery. The sensation of riding the troop carrier as it approached the beach filled me with depression more than dread, knowing I'd survive eventually while many of my surrounding brothers in arms wouldn't. While not equally emotional, this battle's reinterpretation in War mode proves to be a highlight in a superb suite of competitive modes. Zombies rounds off this stellar return to form, effectively blending the ferocity of online cooperative play with the goal-driven satisfaction of found in the campaign. As one of the most comprehensive and filler-free Call of Dutys in recent memory, Call of Duty: WWII successfully capitalizes on the series' strengths.
IGN - Miranda Sanchez
The campaign is beautiful, even in its most chaotic areas. I passed a cute patisserie in Paris that looked delightful even when the gunfire outside illuminated its windows. The forest missions were especially nice with their variety of trees and foliage, and certain missions had great weather effects, too. The only major graphical hitch worth noting that it suffers from some mild hitching when loading in new areas, such as when you’re running from one battle to the next. I didn’t notice it too often, though, and it was always in quiet, non-combat moments.
GamesRadar - Leon Hurley
From moment to moment, though, the campaign is solid, unwavering fun with some great set pieces and moments. Taking a step back really exposes the single player as a collection of good levels and ideas strung together, rather than a narrative. The experience overall though is good and, with such an enjoyable and varied multiplayer offering, everything ultimately balances out.
The Telegraph - Chris Schilling
Still, between its moments of good taste and a mode that’s more Bad Taste, it hits a consistently high standard – and though it’s mostly riffing on ideas we’ve seen before, it manages to make several of them its own. The series’ dwindling popularity has proved a tough nut to crack for its publisher in recent years; COD: WWII proves that maybe a Sledgehammer really is the right tool for the job.
GQ Magazine - Sam White
That disconnect from reality doesn’t spoil the fun one bit, and it’s in the franchise’s DNA to embrace ridiculousness before amping it up several notches. While Call Of Duty has in recent years moved toward a multiplayer-first approach with each new release, WW2’s single player campaign is a refreshing return to a time period that had, ten years ago, become tired and overfamiliar. Its battles are ferocious and its departure from absurd sci-fi jargon is immediately welcome, even if its moment-to-moment gameplay is unchanged. It all adds up to the most enjoyable Call Of Duty game since the original Black Ops.
For all intents and purposes, it sounds like Call of Duty: WWII has something for everybody - between its riveting campaign, intense competitive multiplayer, and terrifying survival-focused cooperative mode. Perhaps Activision has learned a thing or two from this year's release and understands how fans respond to a return to form for the series.
Call of Duty: WWII released worldwide on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC today. If you've played it already yourself, let us know what you think down in the comments!
Source: Various [see the above links]