So usually you get a review of a game as a whole over here at Thumb Culture, but with Call of Duty: World War II we are going to do things a little different. This latest installment of the franchise (the 14th main release for all you number hounds) see’s Sledgehammer Games take on World War II. WWII hasn’t been tackled in the franchise since World at War back in 2008. Because this is such a high profile game we couldn’t give it a score for the game as a whole, so we are splitting it into three separate reviews, Campaign, Zombies, and Multiplayer.
So sit back and relax as we dive into the Campaign with as little spoilers as possible.
Ladies and Gentleman, Call of Duty: World War II.
So as with any Call of Duty game, World War II is no different. Its a heard pounding ride from start to finish, filled with cut scenes, quick time events and Hollywood moments. But lets take a step back and start from the beginning.
In Call of Duty: World War II, you take control of Private First Class Ronald “Red” Daniels of the 1st Infantry Division of the US Army. Your first mission is to storm the Normandy beach and take it back from German forces. You storm the beach with your comrades Private First Class Robert Zussman, Private Drew Stiles, Technician Fifth Grade Frank Aiello, Technical Sergeant William Pierson and First Lieutenant Joseph Turner and straight away all hell breaks loose. Now while this is the first mission of the game, I don’t want to give too much away, but you will encounter a range of enemies just on this first mission alone.
Moving on from the beaches, your main mission is to push the German forces back from their occupation of France and force them further back taking over areas of Germany. This takes you through lovely locations, such as the Ardenne Forest, Paris, as well as Aachen and more.
Call of Duty: World War II is one of very few Call of Duty games that is not to have featured regenerative health in their main campaign. If you are injured you better get cover and use a health pack, and if you are running low you better hope that a member of your squad is nearby that is able to pass you a fresh one. Other members of your squad are able to throw you spare throwables, call out where the enemies are located for a period of time, as well as throw you a gas marker for bringing in a mortar strike. Using your team mates has never been so important, as well as listening to them with their calling out enemy positions.
The game handles some of the more sensitive aspects of war particular well, not at all being disrespectful to those people who lost their lives in the war.
The game is full of surprises, and a few emotional up’s and down’s throughout, but nothing prepared me for the ending of the game. Maybe I’m just a softy, but it gets you in the feels.
Graphically Call of Duty: World War II is brilliant. While there are a few moments when the lighting can be a bit iffy, in general the game itself is brutally brilliant. I do however, have to give a very special mention to the cut scenes. Now these are astounding, at times you can almost forget that you are playing a game and not watching an episode of Band of Brothers. The textures are brilliant and the explosions are double awesome. With the game supporting HDR as well you get true to life colours playing through the game which definitely enhances the immersion through the game.
The sounds of battle are always replicated well within any Call of Duty game, and Call of Duty: World War II is no different. From gun shots to soundtrack, everything is where it should be. Then there is the voice acting, as with previous games we have a top line up of actors on board with this one. Josh Duhamel (Transformers), Jonathan Tucker (Kingdom, Justified), Jeffrey Pierce (Bosch, The Last Of Us) as well as Brett Zimmerman, Kevin Coubal and Jeff Schine. Emotion and friendship all get portrayed through the script on the game and nothing at all felt out of place.
The game in itself spans 10 “levels” or missions, depending on which way you like to look. Each one having multiple stages to the game. Effectively you could finish the campaign in an average of 10 years, depending on how deep you want to complete the game. In each level there are opportunities to collect mementos and to carry out heroic acts. These heroic acts often take the form of saving a soldier from being stabbed by the Germans. Then you have the ability to drag wounded soldiers to safety, dragging them from enemy fire to a safe place before moving on. All of these take time and will elongate your experience of the game. Once you have finished the story, you can start again on a harder difficulty if you wish.
After playing through and finishing the campaign, I sat back, wiped the tear from my eye (if you don’t get emotional at the end you are a monster) and took in everything that I just went through. Reflecting on the battle that the soldiers would have gone through during World War II and knowing what I know from history at school. The emotional rollercoaster you go through brought to an epic finale that culminates everything that you have done throughout the campaign. The game gives you an insight into the brutality and the relationships that the soldiers would have to endure.
In a word it was an epic journey from start to finish.
Call of Duty: World War II Campaign receives the Thumb Culture Gold Medal (9 / 10).
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Disclaimer: We received a code to carry out this review