Another weekend gone and another private beta session in the bucket. If you somehow missed out on this beta weekend or the last, you missed a great opportunity to get hands on with the game. This article is going to be more critical than the last and won’t touch as much on the fundamentals described in the previous week’s article. If you want to read my thoughts on weekend one, then click here. If you have by chance read up on that then you’re all caught up!
A NEW MAP
When starting the new beta I was greeted with a new level cap (level 35), new kill-streaks, weapons, basic training options, a new map (‘Aachen’- as pictured above), and a new mode (Kill-Confirmed). There was definitely a lot of new goodies but possibly the most polarizing was the new map, ‘Aachen’. This map will stand out as being a mixed bag where you have 3 primary lanes and each delivers different play styles. Each lane has good sight-lines for snipers but the outer are good for shotgun and SMG battles. The problem here is that its a map that almost encourages camping and I’ve had games where one team never left the other side of the map.
You might be saying “well that isn’t so bad” and you are half right. There are some areas in the outer lanes of the map that I don’t feel were play-tested much at all when making the map. On each side (one entering the library and the other entering the elevator room) there is an opening on the wall that lets people camp from an elevated position. The one in the “elevator room” as I’m calling it (although not the real name but those who played will understand what I’m talking about) is not so bad because the oncoming player has an equal sight-line to the “camper”. The one that bugged me the most was the library position.
When entering the library from the front, there is such a tight flow and cornering that its almost impossible to get the drop on the camper first. Throwing grenades at him from that angle won’t work and at best you have to cook a grenade and throw at the exact time with a “pop-goes-the-weasel” approach. In all likely-hood you will die anyway because the sight line is just too in favor of the camper. Sure, you can rush with your team on them but in my experience, if they are using a decent LMG or the STG 44… good night sweet prince (cause the STG 44/Lewis can mow down three plus people that that angle). Don’t even try “going around” if the other team is camping that side of the map (and they will). All in all, the other maps are great and ‘Aachen’ could use a lot of tweaking before final release.
The new weapons was possibly the best addition to the beta. First we got the M1903 Springfield and I have to say its possibly the best sniper rifle. Its bolt-action and only holds 5 rounds standard but it packs the best punch and cannot be beat with the optic scope and the reduced sway attachment! Next we got the M1928 (Thompson) and boy does it deliver some raw power. I still preferred the Waffen 28 due to its sheer time-to-kill ratio being so low when close range, but the M1928 (Thompson) with extended mags and rapid-fire could make for clutch game-play.
This beta also featured a new pistol, the Machine Pistol (Mauser C96) which I’m sort of torn over it. We should have known to expect some type of automatic pistol, so the Mauser C96 being automatic isn’t really shocking (because they did and do exist). In general use its okay if you are expecting one or two kills before reloading, but compared to the P08 or M1911… its mostly a pass. The ammo pool is very low and more often than not the damage is so mediocre that you will put a whole clip into someone just to kill them. It’s a shame because the Mauser C96 is my favorite in design.
What I would recommend as a future change comes in several different flavors. They could keep a low ammo reserve and up the damage with an option to toggle semi-auto fire. Likewise they could also keep the current damage and up the ammo reserve with an option to toggle semi-auto fire. I’m fully aware the Infantry Division can start you with more rounds and there is a Basic Training to scavenge ammo from fallen soldiers, but I think the base experience is still a little lacking. This also goes for the idea that you can’t put an attachment on a secondary unless you use the ‘Duelist’ basic training (and I could go on and on about this and why making akimbo where it can only be used by itself makes the “Duelist” training a big oxymoron).
There was also the inclusion of a gas-grenade and other new Basic Training options but I’m not going into big detail over all of them. You weren’t given enough unlock tokens to unlock everything shown in the beta (and I hope that isn’t true for the real game where you can only have all unlocked if you are max prestige). I will say there was a decent mix for what each Basic Training said it could give the player as a bonus, and those I used seemed to benefit me in interesting ways that changed my play-style. The gas grenades I found came very handy in the ‘War’ Mode defense round. Whether we’ve seen all the equipment and Basic Training outfits, we will have to wait and see come November 3rd of this year.
What is Call of Duty without them? We got some interesting new kill-streaks and some disappointing changes too. A lot of people complained about two Molotov cocktails being too many, so this update reduced it to one (and in my opinion took a lot of the fun out of it). Besides that down-side we got cool new streaks like a full-on flamethrower, a fighter pilot strafing run where you control a plane and do a single line run from the sky, as well as a mortar strike that designates three separate targets. The new streaks were all very fun to use and definitely could rack up an insane amount of destruction if used in the right way.
I had fun with the beta (both weeks included). That isn’t to say it wasn’t without its faults however. Some guns could be tweaked from now to then such as the Machine Pistol and maybe even the Type 100 (as the Type 100 was so sub-par I never saw anyone use it and using it myself I can tell why). ‘Aachen’ definitely needs a good looking over and the player spawning on other maps can be a bit sporadic and put you right in the face of an enemy (so there is that). Besides these noticeable flaws, I understand its still a beta and perhaps we will see the right changes made before the final release.
If you enjoyed the older Call of Duty games then Call of Duty WWII should be right up your alley. Here is to hoping that November 3rd will be a killer day for Slegehammer Games and the Call of Duty franchise.