While there was plenty of speculation for the past several months and some discussion of the topic for years, the end of April finally brought the news for which many of us have waited for what seems like a lifetime. Call of Duty is finally headed back to World War II. It has been ages, and while the first several games focused squarely on that conflict, World at War was back in 2008.
Since that game, which launched us into the Pacific theater and on to the Eastern front, fighting as an American Raider and a young Russian conscript respectively, there have been two trilogies and some standalone games, with some gems and some real…well…polished turds.
The Modern Warfare games were outstanding, but ending it at three was a good choice. The first two both rank among the top CoD games ever made: taking us on a terrorist/World War III themed wild ride tat fluctuated between a tear-jerker and an adrenaline rush. The three Black Ops adventures offered an impressive Cold War tale followed by two mind-melting futuristic titles that could easily have been an M. Night Shyamalan nightmare.
Outside these two series were those three lone titles, Ghosts, Advanced Warfare and most recently Infinite Warfare. After over five titles that took us into the future, the loyal fan base who first fell in love with this franchise were fed up and started to call for “boots on the ground.” Sure enough, it is finally happening, and while there was some initial blind excitement, any optimism about this title should be cautious. If you’re skeptical of getting too excited for this title — you should be, and we are too. If you’re looking for a reason to not bother this one, we’ve thought of a few. Here are fifteen reasons it may be best to avoid Call of Duty: WW2.
16 Sledgehammer Doing A WWII Title?
For those who don't zealously keep track of this sort of thing, Infinity Ward and Treyarch have developed the majority of the Call of Duty games. Sledgehammer Games is the newcomer to this series in terms of developers, and they had a hand in Modern Warfare 3, and were in charge of Advanced Warfare. Don't read this as us trying to denigrate the work of Michael Condrey and Glen Schofield, but Sledgehammer as a whole have little in the way of experience creating games in the WW2 genre. We've heard all the bragging about how much research and attention to detail are going into this game, but this entire project would be more suited to developers that had some experience making WWII titles. This would allow them to look back at their own work, examining what worked, what didn't and what could be done differently. We're optimistic and hope for the best, but Sledgehammer Games lacks experience in the World War 2 genre, which could pose a problem for this game.
15 The Graphics Are Not A Selling Point
Don’t get us wrong, based on what we’ve seen already, this game looks alright from a purely visual perspective. We’ll say it again: the graphics look “alright.” Unfortunately, in today’s generation of gaming, all AAA games look at least “alright,” and making a game that isn’t visually stunning and quite realistic is almost hard to do. CoD WW2 looks like it will have some decent scenery and some very respectable detail, but like many other titles from this franchise, the graphics will be little more than the current average. If you’re looking for stunning visuals in an FPS, wait for the next Battlefield title. We get it, nobody is buying CoD titles specifically for the scenery, but the point remains.
14 Screw You: Xbox And PC Users
If you're a PS4 user, this point may not matter to you, and even if you're on the Xbox One or game on PC, this may not matter to you much, but Xbox and PC users are getting the shaft once again. So far there are very reliable-looking rumors indicating that as is becoming the trend, PS4 will be the first to get downloadable content, weeks and possibly up to a month before the Xbox and PC. Similarly, it looks like if you're looking to play the beta, you had better be on a console, as it will not be made available on PC. This could change, but for now, it looks like another reason for some fans to be annoyed.
13 This Is Kind Of Insulting
This one is just for the dedicated fans of the original Call of Duty games. Yes, we're talking about the people who played the original World War 2 games back in the early 2000s. If you loved those games and stuck with the series through all the futuristic stuff, but were patiently waiting for a new "boots on the ground" title (or furiously campaigning for it), what they have planned for this game is about the easiest thing Sledgehammer could have chosen to do. They went back to a familiar conflict and one that has been thoroughly done already. This is basically throwing a bone to the loyal, old-school fans just to keep us around. The amount of time it took to get back to a game like this is a slap in the face if you're a long-time fan of the series.
12 The Series Is Past Its Prime
The golden years of Call of Duty are over. For those keeping track, those golden years were roughly between 2007 and 2010. The graphics may be better now, and the multiplayer combat may be more precise and intricate, but the real gem games came out between Modern Warfare and Black Ops. The stories were incredible, the gameplay was exciting, and the overall experience was unbelievable. This game will not bring the series back to that, and many seem to think that is what is going to happen.
They may be able to ride the name recognition and milk plenty of fans for sales for a few more titles, but sadly CoD is on the way out. These days, the franchise is a money-maker, but offers little in the way of new or revolutionary changes for each new title.
11 “Headquarters Mode” Looks Very Annoying
With every new Call of Duty game comes a few minor tweaks and new options to add to the experience. This time there is something called “War Mode” which will feature actual battles with objectives rather than plain old “kill the bad guys and then promptly teabag them.” Another “selling point” that actually sounds like a grade-A nightmare is this nonsense called “Headquarters.” Here, players can socialize and check out each other’s achievements and so on. This sounds good in theory, but keep in mind what it can be like playing online. Headquarters sounds like a slightly more interactive way for people to tell each other how frequently they fornicate each other's female family members. Selling point? We think not.
10 Multiplayer "Divisions"
Much like Headquarters, there is a new multiplayer addition that is being called "Divisions." It sounds like this will either replace or augment the "create a class" part of multiplayer, and allow players to "sign up" with different divisions such as armor or infantry. Which unit you sign up with will affect perks, equipment, and so on. Now, I'll be willing to guess we're all familiar with the phrase "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." In this case, create-a-class was never broken, and actually offered a great deal in terms of customization. "Divisions" sounds like change for the sake of a change. Of course, more information may prove that this is a cool development, but right now it just sounds pointless and unnecessary.
9 Plenty Of Other Games Coming Out Later This Year
2017 is already shaping up to be at least a half decent year for gaming. Call of Duty: WWII is looking like the biggest name release for the year, but this game is running on the fumes of the former greatness of the franchise. There are several better games that will be coming out later this year that will likely overshadow this title. The following are just a few of said games, some of which have set release dates and others do not. There is an Uncharted expansion set for August, Destiny 2 in September, Star Wars Battlefront II also in November, and of course South Park: The Fractured But Whole, and Red Dead Redemption 2, which are both expected (for now) in Q3 or Q4. Between all of these, there is plenty of reason to skip over this year's Call of Duty title.
8 The New Mechanics Will Get Annoying Quickly
As we all heard, this new game is going to have some interesting new ways to heal after sustaining an injury. We don't know any exact details, but the simple idea is that while playing the campaign, the player will have to wait to be healed by an NPC, after they have been shot or injured, so no more hiding behind something while the bloody screen goes away. Furthermore, rather than ammo crates being everywhere you look, there will be times at which the player will need to ask squad mates for spare ammo. These sound like interesting ideas, but they also sound like times the game will slow down significantly.
7 WWII Is Overdone
This should go without saying, but World War II has been the subject of more video games than any other conflict. It makes sense, because there are so many battles and areas to cover, but there is no denying the fact that every time a new WWII title comes out, we're missing out on so many other conflicts. Sledgehammer could have chosen from any of the following: the Korean War, the Spanish Civil War, the Soviet-Afghan War, and of course, they could produce an actual Vietnam War game, because the four missions we got in Black Ops gave us a taste but not nearly enough.
6 There Is Only One Campaign
Part of what makes World War II an attractive choice for a video game is that there are so many different theaters of war. The setting allows some choice in terms of main campaigns. Most of the older Call of Duty titles that dealt with WWII involved at least two separate sets of missions and characters; for instance, the Pacific theater and the Eastern front in World at War. In this game, there is just one campaign, and what we may gain in some additional character development, we'll lose in terms of mission variety, scenery, and, of course, getting a feel for just how massive and all-encompassing the entire conflict actually was.
5 …And A Big Part Of This Campaign Has Been Done Before
We just complained that not only has the Second World War been over done. Now there will only be a single, narrow campaign in this game focusing on a small group of people. Most damningly, there has already been a game in the Call of Duty franchise based on the work of the 1st Infantry Division during this war, entitled The Big Red One. The third campaign in that game took place after D-Day. Certainly, we'll be spending much more time in Western Europe, and we may get to play past January, 1945, but for the most part, we know this tale, and we've played it before. If you want originality, this may not be the game for you.
4 We Already Know Exactly What Is Going to Happen
This statement has a few meanings. First off, we know roughly where this game is going to start within the timeline of the war, and we know that there are only so many places that it can end. Either way, it is basic history, and we know how these battles went. There can be no surprises. What are they going to do, tell us Hitler and Eva Braun shot their way out of the bunker like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid?
Furthermore, every storytelling technique that can be used to make things more interesting has also been used done. Call of Duty is already trope-heavy without reliving solidified conflicts. It will be nearly impossible to throw something at the fans that they haven't seen before.
There will be some conflict within the unit, a few soldiers will die as we start to like them, there will be some edgy, dark humor, and at the end, the Allies win, and get to go home and make tons of babies.
3 It Is Already Being Politicized
Unfortunately, just about everything is becoming a political issue these days. Hence why there are controversies about video games every time a big name title seems to come out. Most of these are brought to light after the game has been released, such as the No Russian mission in MW2, or killing Fidel Castro's body double (he was a dictator, who has a problem playing a video game in which one gets to kill a dictator?) in Black Ops.
With so much going on in today's political climate, having a massive AAA release that deals with a WORLD WAR, is already stirring the pot. This will get worse before it gets better. It may be best to just stick with Star Wars Battlefront II, a universe that features other sentient species.
2 The Game Is Being Oversold
Given how much information Sledgehammer has already given up, and the fact that there will be more to come at E3 (mostly multiplayer info), they're really trying hard to make this look like the greatest thing since reproductive organs (and obviously much better than sliced bread). The CoD fans who have been playing since the first game are excited beyond belief to get back to "boots on the ground" and the new generation of fans are thinking "wow, cool, World War II!"
Schofield and Condrey have already emphasized how much research and thought has gone into this game, and they're doing a great job of getting people excited. Unfortunately, this game will be a disappointment, and even if it ends up being good overall, the amount of build up it is getting right now, on the part of fans, the creators, and the media, is building this game up to standards to which no video game can live up.
1 It's Just Another Shooter On Rails
When you get right down to it, it is unfortunate to say, but Call of Duty peddles the exact same game with a new skin every time they have a new release. Okay, some of the recent games featured missions in space, exo-suits, rogue AIs, and other interesting futuristic crap. Still, when it gets right down to it, even AW, IW, and Ghosts were all hyper-linear and basically require you to push forward while firing at everything that moves. There is no choice, there is no creativity required on the part of the player, and when all is said and done, these games are little more than fancy shooters on rails. Of course, this can be a fun style, and it is very simple, but if you think this will be different than previous titles in this respect, think again.