Call of Duty: WWII review—The less things change…
Stripping out years of feature creep, but doesn't have anything to replace it.
Steven Strom - 11/8/2017, 2:00 PM
Call of Duty: WWII certainly has some interesting timing. It has the dubious duty of returning the landmark first-person series to its titular roots at a time when any game centered on fascism, nationalism, and especially Nazism is under extra scrutiny. And it just so happened to release a week after another game dealt with that same subject matter head-on.
The change in setting follows the powerfully negative reaction to last year's spacey Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, with World War II representing a hard return to the series' slightly less bombastic roots. There are no spaceships, powered exoskeletons, robots, or drones in WWII. There's no wall-running or double-jumping. There are just guns and the people who hold and shoot them.
That ends up being just the start of the game's problems, though. As much as WWII peels away at the bloat surrounding the long-running series, it doesn't really replace it. Its campaign starts with the US invasion of Normandy and hits every other European theatre cliché from there. It strikes those clichés so sharply on the nose that their own mother wouldn't recognize them (even with the aid of the same Band of Brothers DVD box set the developers seemed to use for reference).
Continue reading review: The good
* Stealth sequences aren't all that bad.
* Squad member skills are almost a good idea.
* Zombies mode isn't as needlessly complicated as in previous years.The bad
*So full of WWII clichés I thought it was setting up some kind of twist (it wasn't).
* Characters feel fabricated and totally unmemorable.
* "Divisions" restrict your create-a-class choices.
* Stripped-down multiplayer doesn't give many tactical options besides "get better."The ugly
* The game comes this close to asking you to empathize with the literal Third Reich.
Verdict: This is a step backward for the series—and not just chronologically. Skip it.