Call of Duty’s WWII first Beta weekend got off to a smart, if not totally mind blowing, start, with the return to basics proving to be welcomed by the franchise’s loyal early 00s kids.
Although Infinite Warfare was the biggest selling game of 2016 in the United States – it was second in the United Kingdom – the all round approval rating of fans was somewhere between sitting down on a bouncing betty and being hit directly by a rifle grenade: not pretty.
So the return to boots on the ground, classic World War fighting has reinvigorated a game that was lost somewhere between Medal of Honour and Halo.
looking back at Halo Reach, just realized Infinite Warfare's warfighter helmet is almost identical to the operator helmet in reach
— memes (@VibratoryGold7) July 22, 2017
As Beta versions go, the PlayStation 4-only one from the weekend was pretty much smooth sailing, with glitches/big issues almost non-existent – although developer Sledgehammer Games needs to look into a continual point of grievance with players, with the feeling that ‘positioning’ on the map is slightly off i.e. you can quite clearly see you’re hiding behind a wall, but the opponent sees you poking out, like a sitting (well, laying) duck – but suppose that’s what you snidey little campers get for camping in the first place.
But for every slight positional grievance, there’s plenty of positives. Thankfully, spawn killing seems to have been eradicated, with those infuriating base infiltrators no longer getting their own, ‘cheap’ way.
The maps on offer, although only three, are small(ish), compact, with their usual hotspots – not quite small in regards to the likes of Dome or Rust, but certainly more manageable than the most recent game’s maps.
One criticism would be that Sledgehammer Games have, perhaps, scaled back the simplicity of the maps too much – especially with the map, Pointe Du Hoc, it feels a bit *too* obvious in its design, with a lot of the outside map merely there for aesthetics, with the main battle commencing in the centre trenches; the maps where you spawn, sprint forward for 15-seconds, enter the main carnage point, get a kill or two, and then die, just don’t engage players.
Gibraltar also falls into the Pointe Du Hoc category of a lot of filler. However, it is not quite as bad, with the Cave Tunnel more or less the only redundant part of the landscape in Team Deathmatch mode. Thankfully, Ardennes’ flanks and centre are used equally, which makes it hard to breakthrough enemy lines – definitely the best map of the three, so far.
Overall, Call Of Duty has, finally, listened to the groans of recent years, that have increased with every sci-fi release and update. But in appeasing the Call Of Duty players out there, have Sledgehammer Games designed something that is perhaps too much of a throwback to games gone by?
With the next Beta update coming out September 1st, it already feels like we need to be given the USP of Call Of Duty: WWII.