You know what it is. A video showcasing Call of Duty: WWII's multiplayer. It's bloody, it's detailed, it's well-lit in some locations, but, what I noticed is something that I haven't seen in some time. It seems like the movement might actually be paced slower, as opposed to what Call of Duty has been in the past.
I won't complain, as the last title I played was Modern Warfare 3 (I understand the irony of me critiquing the movement of a game's multiplayer mode that I have not played habitually the last few years, but bare with me). But I'll get to that movement stuff later. First, let's dissect this thing.
As has been said before, this game's setting is very much the European Theater. So no Sgt. Roebuck carrying a machete in the sweaty jungles of Peleliu (but correct me if I'm wrong) this time around. No. Instead, we see western European fields and cities, burnt and bombed to smithereens. We see snowy urban outposts, possibly the Ardennes Forest, since the Battle of the Bulge is supposed to be a major setpiece of the game. The trailer promises "iconic WWII locations" and we see what looks like a major Nazi installation at one point.
Another standout in the trailer are the uniforms of the soldiers. We see ghilly suits, gas masks, Oxford-type looking outfits, snow-covered fatigues, and of course, the drab gray of the Germans. The point of the uniforms is that it looks like players will have substantial customization options, which is a refreshing experience.
In terms weapons, we see a sniper rifle (not sure if it's Kar 98 or Springfield) a Panzerschreck, an M1 Garand and Carbine, a healthy-sounding shotgun, a molotov cocktail, flamethrowers, Thompsons, Stens, MP40s, STG-44s, and an M1911 pistol. Oh, and bayonets covered in Nazi blood and guts.
Surprisingly, we also see inside the cockpit of a plane as its roaring down, attacking a bridge crawling with opposing soldiers. In another sequence, we see a bombing run on the destroyed German city where the Nazi installation lies smoking. To clarify, I say Nazi installation because I haven't seen many Russians in this video, which makes me hesitate to make the call that it's Berlin or the Reichstag.
We also see another replay of War Mode, a mode Patrick played at E3.
As I said earlier, the aspect I noticed was actually the movement of the players. The wall runs and speed boosts seem to be gone. This is good. It meshes with the developers' stated goals and shows that, on the surface, players are getting a bit of a return to form for Call of Duty.
But here's the thing.
We've seen this before.
I played this game in 2008. Call of Duty: World at War was a serious and fun game that thoroughly satisfied my hormonal rage, as I'm sure this trailer will for many people. Besides War Mode and possibly the inclusion of planes, though, this game looks to be offering nothing new. I won't lie, it does look very interesting, and it's clear that they've gone to work on the multiplayer. But these aren't just superficial changes, these are superficial retreads, as World at War had gory, violent multiplayer as well. That may not be far enough.
This trailer wasn't about the campaign, so I won't go too far into this. But the last time this game evoked true feeling was in 2007. You know which one I'm talking about. That title's writing had thought behind the words. Sure, it was an interactive action movie, but it had some brains. Before and after that, we've seen steely-eyed men get grilled by bullets over and over again, but there hasn't been much thought put into it. I'm not a betting type, but just because the characters have blood and mud underneath their fingernails, doesn't mean that it'll be thoroughly thought through in regards to the meaning meant to be brought out.
Call of Duty: WWII's private beta begins on August 25th on PS4. September 4th for Xbox One. It releases in full on November 3rd.