Our collective prayers have been answered. The boffins over at Activision have teamed with up Sledgehammer Games to deliver what looks to be the back-to-basics Call of Duty game we’ve been asking for for years.
It seems that the historical shooter is back in style after years of overexposure, and Call of Duty: WWII is all set to take us back to one of the most harrowing and tragic conflicts in recorded history – yay?
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the things we do (and don’t) want to see when the game hits shelves later this year.
No Season Pass/Convoluted DLC
Seriously, I’d say this for any game but Activision especially can get seriously fucking convoluted with their season passes – just look at the pricey deluxe edition of Infinite Warfare last year.
If there is to be DLC (and lets be honest, there definitely will be), keep it simple and don’t fragment the player base, because nobody – even the people who have actually paid for the content- wants that.
Oh, and if you do decide to remaster Modern Warfare 2 Activision; sell it separately, not as part of an £80 COD:WWII set. Trust me, people will be buying this one without any extra incentives.
Keep It Simple
Given that the Call of Duty franchise started out with a WWII setting, its return to the conflict implies that we’ll be getting a stripped back, boots on the ground approach to gameplay, rather than the anti-gravity jumpy/shooty stuff that we’ve had for a while now.
I get that Call of Duty needed to innovate to separate itself from the ever growing tide of rival FPS franchises, but there’s a fine line between innovation and gimmicks, and I think a lot of the fans regard many of Infinite Warfares features as the latter.
Recent franchise shake-ups like Zelda and Resident Evil have shown us that it’s possible for a game to both return to its roots and feel fresher than it has in years, and if Sledgehammer are brave enough to go back to the drawing board, Call of Duty: WWII could easily be another success story and lesson in franchise revival.
World War II was a grisly affair, and I suspect Sledgehammer have no intentions of ignoring that fact. As such, we need plenty of opportunities to get up close with our enemies – really see the whites of their eyes, so to speak.
Battlefield 1 recently made great use of melee weapons, but if Sledgehammer are feeling brave they could take it even further and make it even grimmer – imagine pulling a solider’s eye out with your bayonet while someone else on your team twats the poor one-eyed bastard round the back of the head with a shovel they’ve found lying around.
Breakable melee weapons could be a great shout, and would really add to the desperate atmosphere as soldiers learn to use whatever they have lying around to stick it their foes.
It might be a bit much to make the campaign itself a truly accurate reflection of life in WWII, so why not introduce a Survival Mode of sorts?
Two teams are thrown into a battlefield with the barest essentials. Ammo would be scarce, there’d be a set amount of med kits that would have to be rationed among the team, and when you died, that was you gone for the rest of the game.
Scrambling over five bullets from an enemy’s corpse while fighting with your team over who needs the last med kit more, all with the spectre of permadeath looming would make for a pretty atmospheric experience, and a cool alternative to the regular modes.
Dynamic Maps (and lots of ’em)
Given that World War II was a global conflict, I want big, dynamics maps that represent some of the biggest battles, and I want lots of ’em.
Call me greedy if you will, but I really don’t want entire armies and regions locked out until they’re released as DLC later down the line, not naming any Battlefields.
But outside of map variety, it’d be cool to see variety within the individual maps themselves, in that certain maps should have features others don’t – the aforementioned melee shovels could only be found in levels with trenches, for example, while buildings and points of cover could be blown to shit by passing planes at random moments, which would stamp out consistent camping and keep everyone on their toes.
A Worthy Campaign
You’d have to be an idiot to try and shy away from the fact that the events of World War II were absolutely fucking horrific. The lives lost, the damage done, and consequences that are felt around the world to this day.
With that said, Sledgehammer shouldn’t forget what they’re making at the end of the day is a video game, and games are meant to be fun – as such, their best chance to pay respect to the sobering events of the War should be saved for the campaign, and it’s here that COD: WWII has the chance to really shine.
As gamers we’ve all played through our fair share of WWII campaigns in FPS titles, but if Sledgehammer can find a way to tell an engaging, human story while using the global conflict as a backdrop, we could end up with something special. Hopefully we follow multiple characters with interweaving stories, just to really get a sense of the scale of the war.
Oh, and I know this final request is a bit pie in the sky, but we’ve seen everyone from Kevin Spacey and Kit Harrington pop up in a COD game – maybe see if Tom Hanks is free this year?
Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.