‘Let’s go backwards to move forwards’- Someone at Activision sometime during development
Over the past two weekends, the Call Of Duty: WW2 (Just incase you were unsure when the game was set) multiplayer beta has been available to those who pre-ordered the game on PS4 and Xbox One (one weekend only on Xbox). I was fortunate enough to obtain a code through a friend and put a good few hours into the game. Here are my thoughts.
We were treated to five (I didn’t play the fifth because it was for the War mode only) maps in the beta. These were Pointe Du Hoc, a series of trenches and buildings set in France; Ardennes Forest, a winter forest map in France (who’d of thought it) ; Gibraltar, a military base in, you guessed it, Gibraltar and Aachen, a bombed German town. These maps varied in quality. For instance, Gibraltar spawns were rather one-sided and hardly switched. So, if you spawned there to begin with, it created an immediate disadvantage. Aachen’s lines of sight are another issue, the range on some of them created some of the slowest games since ghosts for me personally (although Sledgehammer Games have said they are looking at that map specifically). Lots of cover spots on all maps where only the head was visible (the kids call them head-glitches), so perhaps think about removing a few. Generally, the maps force you into tight spaces for close quarters combat so SMGs are the dominant guns to use on three of the four maps (SMGs are good on Aachen, but I’d use a rifle for those longer ranges). Most maps are three lanes with lots of flanking routes so the game does encourage you to move a lot.
The guns, all things considered, were actually somewhat balanced. Sniping could be tweaked a smidge by perhaps making it a bit harder to hit Quick Scopes but that’s a minor issue that we can all deal with I think. I predominantly used the SMGs for most of my playtime but the rifles like the STG 44 and the M1 Garand are both useful and the shotguns are incredible at close range. The LMG’s are as you would expect, great at long distance and used by a specific type of player (*suppresses anger*) but due to the nature of both the speed of the game and the map layouts, LMG’s aren’t really viable.
The scorestreaks available in the beta were all very good and usable except the mortar strike which was incredibly poor. The best available was the Glide Bomb (basically the predator missile from the Modern Warfare series) for me, due to its somewhat low score and lethal ability. The Molotov cocktails were, for the lowest streak on the game, surprisingly good if you were accurate with them. I feel the fighter pilot could either have a time boost or a damage boost as at times it felt a little weak to use. The other scorestreaks which included Paratroopers, AI controlled soldiers that were shit week 1 and pretty good week 2; Artillery which was an upgraded version the mortar strike; A Flamethrower; The Recon Plane (UAV) and Care Package.
Divisions and Create-A-Class
Divisions is the new specialist type system within the game. The player selects a ‘division’ from the five choices which are Infantry, Airborne, Mountain, Expeditionary and Armored. Each give you special rewards as you level each division up. For instance, Infantry level 2 allows you to take a third attachment for your weapons and Expeditionary level 2 allows you to take a piece of tactical and lethal equipment. Each division has 5 levels with each having a unique weapon unlocked at level 5 (the level cap was 4 in the beta for each division). The Create-a-Class system has regressed back to an older system. However, perks have changed completely. Instead of being able to select three perks for you character, COD WW2 has the ‘Ordinance’ system. This allows the player to choose one advantage such as being able to shoot while sprinting or reducing the score required for scorestreaks. Weapons are set to a maximum of 2 attachments unless you use the Infantry division as mentioned above. Players may only carry either a lethal or a tactical grenade unless you use the Expeditionary division. I personally don’t have issue with this class system but the ability to pick two types of ordinance would be a good balance for everyone.
The standard game modes like Team Deathmatch and Domination were in the beta, along with Hardpoint, a mosh pit game mode which was the previous three and eventually kill confirmed, and a brand new game mode called War. The premise of war is simple, complete a series of objectives to win the game. These range from pushing the enemy back by capturing a house to building a bridge for the tank to cross, to planting a bomb to destroy the ammo supply, to finally escorting a tank to destroy some anti-aircraft weapons, all while another team is attempting to stop you at each interval. War is a timed game mode and you both attack and defend. From what I saw this mode was fairly balanced, but I didn’t play it myself.
Connection and Hit Registration
The connection, for me personally, was never an issue. However, that can not be said for everyone with some players claiming to have serious lag issues and bad dedicated server placement (i.e. the player is from the US and are being placed on a European server) . In terms of hit registration, the beta was a little hit and miss (I’m here all week). There were times that every shot went where it should and other times I might as well be shooting marshmallows at the enemy team.
The user interface was very clunky and difficult to navigate, having to move screens to see if my friends and I were in a party was an unnecessary inconvenience for. The end game cut-scenes were slow and tedious, also didn’t leave me any time to alter classes. Also, there was no clear way to view challenges which I thought was odd.
The COD WW2 Beta was an all round solid showing, despite some teething problems which are easily fixed between now and November 3rd. There is a solid base for a great game and perhaps a ‘revival’ for the Call Of Duty series, which has been on the decline as of late.
Final score 3.8/5