Welcome to the beaches of Normandy Soldier! You play in the shoes of Private First Class Daniels. A Texan local with a pregnant fiance at home, freshly shipped off to fight the war. The story takes you through many scenarios across the war campaign, some real, some made up, all extremely interesting and action-packed. Throughout the game, you begin to realize that PFC Daniels is fighting not only the Germans but the demons of his past. These demons somehow help him fight his way through the war and onward into history. This is our Call of Duty WWII review on PC.
The game has returned to the roots of Call of Duty. The return of a single player, story-driven campaign, focused game. While indeed it does have multiplayer, I personally believe that the story campaign was the primary focus of the game and it doesn’t hold back.
The game throws a lot of new mechanics at you. Some are old mechanics, salvaged from the original games to make an epic return, some brand new and throw a likable twist into the mix. If you recall from the original Call of Duty, there was no such thing as regenerating health. If you took damage, you had to get healed by a medic or a healing kit. The same applies here, and it’s more intense than before. Where sometimes you can hide to hit that button to heal, sometimes you simply don’t have a chance. Damage to your player character is pretty high, so a few hits and you’re down.
Other mechanics are decisions you yourself make throughout the game that have meaning. Some playout through the story, while others are extras that you don’t necessarily need to do but are rewarded for doing them. Take for example the espionage mission, where you infiltrate a German garrison to steal bombs from the Germans to use against them. You play as the French resistance leader Rousseau, a female with a bit of an attitude. Throughout this mission, you are faced with finding a certain individual by using a code phrase. Many of the officers you speak to will see this phrase as a warning and ask you for your papers. They will ask you questions based on your papers that you must answer correctly or be caught. This means you have to look at your papers and ensure you know everything in it so you can answer those questions perfectly. This was a very interesting mission, it really drove the story to the next level. Instead of simply fighting your way through a given area, you are mixed in with the enemy, forced to play as one of them while remembering crucial details to avoid detection. It was magnificent.
Some of the other decisions reside in the “extra” portion of the campaign. Alongside finding the mementos from time to time you are faced with allowing the Germans to surrender, pointing your gun at them, or rescuing a wounded comrade on the ground and pulling them to safety. You don’t actually have to do these but are rewarded with completions of your heroic actions for the map if you do. Prior to the enemy surrendering to you, you may shoot them if you please. After they put their hands up, however, the game will force you to restart at the checkpoint if you do indeed shoot them unarmed.
The gunplay left something to be desired for me. While the core is there, the damage and sound are lacking. We’re in World War 2, a war that had very large caliber rifles that would take a single shot to kill a man. Shooting a charging enemy in the chest with an M1 Garand, which fires a 30 caliber projectile, if you hit them in the chest they are gone. Many times you shoot them even with a .50 machine gun and they stand right back up. I found myself shooting someone, thinking they were dead, then seconds later them popping up and be having to unload another magazine into them before they die. That just felt wrong. I wasn’t even playing on a high difficulty, it was set to regular. I didn’t expect it to be so arcade-ish.
Sound was another big issue to me. While a lot of the sound was great, some of the weapon sounds and general surrounding ambient sounds just sounded off. Little things like the ping of the M1 Garand and the sound of rifles basically sounding alike kill the immersion.
The graphics were great, with the exception of the cinematic movies, which I’ll get to shortly. I really enjoyed the graphics this time around. Foliage, Rifles, Uniforms, they all looked amazing. The maps you played through, the textures of the walls and ground, everything just looked amazing.
The Cinematic movies left some desire. While supposed to be a centerpiece toofhe story, they were locked at 30 FPS with janky jittery play. It felt like I was watching it at 15 FPS. Along with the jankiness of the video playing, the graphics were a bit washed out. They chose to use a filter to kind of give you a feel for the time period and I think it ruined the look.
If you were worried that Call of Duty would not deliver on the promise to go back to its roots, please try the game! I was skeptical, especially after the beta. I thought there was no way it could happen. I was pleasantly surprised to find out they made good on that promise. Call of Duty: WWII has an amazing, engaging, and emotional story. It is very worthy of the title and will go down in history as one of the best single player experiences Call of Duty has offered.
If you’re a fan of Call of Duty, and WWII, you will simply love this game. I think it’s a must buy, and a great step forward for the direction.
Note: Our review code was provided by PR for PC.
Compare to: Call of Duty series, Battlefield series