The weekend is over friends. If you were lucky enough to be in the Playstation crowd and also snag yourself a pre-order, you no doubt had a blast during Week 1 of the Call of Duty: WWII private beta. We were able to go hands on with the experience ourselves and spend countless hours messing with it. An update was made around the last day adding a new weapon (the MP28 or Waffen 28 as it is called) as well as access to the M1911 handgun and “bouncing Betty” for class customization. These aren’t shown in the our upcoming video but we have made sure to point out they did indeed get patched in and we were able to use them.
BOOTS ON THE GROUND
Call of Duty: WWII was stated as being a return to a more “boots-on-the-ground” experience, and the private beta really showed just that. There are no crazy jet-packing and vertical super-jumping/gravity-defying super-powered half man and half machine players flying all over the place. The first thing you might be worried about in that regard is the pacing. Surprisingly, matches were still VERY fast-paced no matter what game mode I choose to play on (TDM, Hard Point, Domination, Mosh Pit, or War). As for exo-suits or specialist powers, I didn’t miss them a bit.
For the most part I found the beta to be refreshing (but that could just be the one year hiatus talking since I skipped Infinite Warfare after 1 week of play). That being said, Call of Duty: World At War is probably my favorite Call of Duty of all time, and this private beta really brought me back (but at the same time it showed a lot of great graphical fidelity upgrades and a strong implementation of tried and true boots-on-the-ground game-play). Score-streaks are relatively based on the staple streaks of what you remember such as predator drones (glide bomb), supply drops, mini-map recon, and airstrike (artillery). You have some nice additions with a score streak letting you throw Molotovs (my personal favorite) and another that drops 4 NPC paratrooper bots that seek and kill the enemy. Of course these aren’t all the killstreaks we will have at final release (crossing fingers) but it does give hope that we will see some more interesting ones that can dominate and add that overall reward factor.
MIXING IT UP
When looking that the class-based system Call of Duty: WWII has added, its notable to mention how different it feels. Instead of picking a “hero” you have these things called “Divisions” and each one has their own mini-perks and progressions that specialize in one primary fire-arm class (smg, shotgun, rifle, etc). This also seems to be a way to streamline perks as you will be able to tell right away that there are far less “perk” options on your initial load-out. You DO get perks but you can only pick one (because there is literally only one slot) that doesn’t necessarily reflect the specialties and special perks of your division. I personally don’t feel like its that big of a deal or too limiting, and it makes players mix it up and try different divisions (which in-turn might prolong stagnation in personal play-time).
The guns featured in the private beta all had a good sense of variety and mostly kept true to the time period (except the MG15 was mainly an aircraft gun in the actual conflict but I digress). There is a decent amount of weaponry in the beta, but it is obvious they are holding back on us with a skeleton crew of sorts (wouldn’t want to spoil all the guns, right?). SMG’s come with the option to attach a silencer (and also un-attach at even given point during game-play) if you are with the “Airborne” division, and shotguns will come with some nasty incendiary shells if you pick the “Expeditionary” division. The “Infantry” division attaches a bayonet to rifles if you equip them, bi-pods come standard to light machine guns with the “Armored” division, and if you pick the sniper “Mountaineer” division you can hold your scope-steady for much longer. Guns do come with the expected option of adding a plethora of attachments (which you do have to unlock) on top of these. Sledge Hammer Games has seemingly done class-warfare right as these don’t feel gimmicky and really mix up the game-play from what we are expecting.
The map variety for the beta was actually pretty decent. We got 3 different maps with totally different feels (4 maps if you count the one specific to the War mode) and they played and looked very good. Now if you’ve played other Call of Duty games, you will notice that the “War” mode is something new to this Call of Duty. War plays like “Rush” from the Battlefield games and has one side defending while the other tries to push forward. The pushing side will have various objectives to do at each checkpoint and likewise with the defending side. You don’t have any score-streaks in this mode but each side does get a perk of their own (Allies = tank and Axis = Flamethrower/MG nests).
SHOULD YOU PRE-ORDER?
Truth be told, it was all fun. I don’t necessarily have any complaints other than the backwards party-up screen. Usually you’d be able to see who just joined or who is currently in your party on the home screen. You have to navigate through a bunch of menus to see who is in your party now and only then. Sledge Hammer Games could tweak the UI before release and that would be a welcomed change.
I’m really excited to see what new changes come with Week 2 of the private beta. Be sure to pre-order (you can cancel if you don’t like it) or keep tabs with us at IRBGamer for a chance to receive a free beta code for Week 2. If Sledge Hammer Games doesn’t destroy the game economy with excessive supply crate guns (and being honest, they might) we may have a refreshing experience come later this fall.