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Game Masters: ‘Call of Duty: WWII’ preview

The series returns to its Second World War roots in search of its once-assured critical success

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Beware, fans of other multiplayer shooters — Call of Duty: WWII is here, and as the masses shift to playing the latest instalment in this long-running series, the online populations of most other games are bound to suffer a precipitous drop.

But as the old saying goes, if you can’t beat them, why not join them? The once (and some might say still) undisputed king of the FPS genre might have taken some slight critical beatings from some quarters of late, but Activision and Sledgehammer games are hoping to put all of that behind them as it returns the series to its Second World War roots.

So, if you got a bit tired of the modern and futuristic warfare the series has been doling out of late, now might be the perfect chance to jump back in.

OLD BUT NEW

CoD: WWII certainly made a good impression during its beta weekends earlier this year. At the time, we wrote that it “feels like getting into a time machine. It’s not just the historical setting of the game that contributes to this feeling, but also the way that the game refocuses on the essence of CoD gameplay, jettisoning some of the bloat that has accumulated over the years.”

The developers have gone to unprecedented lengths to create the most realistic visual and aural representations of Second World War battlefields that we’ve yet seen, even if the gameplay remains the arcade-style shooting the series is famous for.

The result is all the more striking thanks to the fact that it’s been such a long time since we last spent time in this time period, and graphics technology has advanced quite a bit since then.

Since this is CoD you can be assured of a smooth 60fps, and while even more impressive visuals would undoubtedly have been possible at 30fps, it just wouldn’t be the CoD we know and love at half the usual frame rate.

ALSO IN ARABIC

Great news for fans in the Middle East is that there’s additional digital content included with the Arabic language version that is exclusive to the region. Activision has revealed that fans who purchase the Arabic language version will get the Divisions Pack and Nazi Zombies Weapon Camo.

“The game also continues its support to the region by localising the game to Arabic and bringing the popular franchise to the Arab gaming community,” Activision said.

TEAMWORK

The brand new War Mode was by far the highlight of the beta. It brings the sort of objective-based gameplay that you usually associate with the Battlefield franchise to CoD, and the result of this hybrid is a revelation.

War Mode on its own really should be enough to convince the sceptical to give CoD: WWII a try, especially those who just don’t see the attraction of classic deathmatch modes.

In War mode you have to work together with your teammates to attack or defend different objectives on vast maps, making teamwork and strategy necessary to success in a way they never have been before in CoD multiplayer.

BACK FROM THE DEAD

Fans of CoD’s zombie modes will be delighted to know that the undead are back in the latest instalment, in the form of Nazi Zombies. This co-op mode features its own original horror story that should provide a nice change of pace from the more historical, serious fare in the single-player campaign. Fighting off hordes of the undead looks particularly good on a 4K screen — the wonders of modern technology never cease to amaze…

A TRIUMP?

CoD: WWII has all the ingredients to be the biggest smash hit of the year, and a return to critical success for the once universally beloved series.

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