The Call of Duty series is going back to where it all started with its latest installment, Call of Duty WW2. In recent years the franchise has focused on modern and futuristic settings which have been hit and miss for most players. For some time people have yearned for a COD devoid of thrust jumps and wall running and now it looks like their wish has come true.
After a week of suspense the first trailer was revealed yesterday as well as a release date; November 3rd for PC, Xbox One and PS4. On top of that further details about the game were revealed in an hour long live stream which you can watch here.
One of the interesting points from the live stream is the fact that a new generation of gamers have come through since the last world war two themed COD release, and that these gamers may not have experienced this setting in a Call of Duty game before. If you’re one of these people get hella hyped as I’ve used a very dated and (up until now) useless portion of my brain to put together this list entitled…
Ten Rad Features From WW2 Call Of Duty Games
(Specifically Call of Duty United Offensive because that was my jam back in the day)
1. The Maps (Carentan, Dawnville, Stanjel, Cassino, Foy, Harbor, Peaks…)
The original Call of Duty released with sixteen infantry focused multiplayer maps which is a solid total when you consider Call of Duty Infinite Warfare shipped with twelve included (not DLC) maps. The expansion pack (remember those?) for Call of Duty, entitled United Offensive, introduced tanks and jeeps and with that twelve new multiplayer maps which brought the total up to a ridiculous twenty eight.
But what’s the point of having twenty eight maps if they’re all garbage? Well they weren’t all garbage, the majority of them were rad. It seems that because Infinity Ward and Grey Matter weren’t spending all their time designing weapon skins they were able to produce a large set of multiplayer maps that created really diverse levels of gameplay.
Take Peaks for example. In Capture the Flag the two teams start at opposing ends of what is basically one winding street which on paper sounds awful. It sounds like the round would end in a stalemate with both teams fighting over ground somewhere in the middle. This certainly happened on occasion but more often than not squads could flank the opponent through the buildings and routes on either side of the road.
And then there was Carentan, a map so popular it was brought back to life in COD 2 and as Chinatown in COD 4. Like Peaks the strength of this map was the number of different ways you could navigate from one end to the other. Even to go from Front Road to Arches House (no one actually used these names but it makes sense for the image below) there were at least four different routes, not including back doors, windows and upper floors which you could use for detours. Shouts to that one time I got eleven caps in a scrim thanks to some nifty defense along the Back Yard > Grassy Alley > Arches House > Big Arch > Front Road route.
2. Unassisted Melee Kills
Back in the day melee kills were two hits from the front, 1 hit from the back and that was it. There was no lunge radius or animation assist, there was also nothing to use except the butt of your weapon (actually you could bash with your binoculars). The mechanics of a melee kill were super simple which made it all the more challenging and hilarious. I distinctly remember people in pub servers sitting back to let two guys duke it out like a hockey match just for the entertainment factor. While all the bashes in the video below are sneaky ones, the guy does miss on one occasion proving that melee kills weren’t always as guaranteed as they are in modern games.
W, A, S, D to move, Q & E to lean. It made so much sense back then but these days from what I can see leaning hasn’t been regularly included in recent COD games (I haven’t played COD since Black Ops III and I’m pretty sure there was no lean function in that). I think this speaks to the different dynamic and style of gameplay recent COD games have compare to the old WW2 titles. Back then leaning was essential to ensure you weren’t unnecessarily exposing yourself as doing so would likely get you picked off. It was a time before thrust jumping and wall running, a time which required a more subtle style of play.
4. The MP44
The MP44 was the most versatile weapon in the game and given that the majority of the maps were infantry focused it was difficult to pick another German gun over it unless you wanted a rifle. At short ranges it was effective as a full auto and at medium to long ranges it was still decent when fired in bursts. A short reload time and a thirty round magazine made it useful for firefights involving multiple targets. Off the hip or down the sights the MP44 was a beast.
See the MP44 in action in the video below which also features some hectic spawn camping. I never really played Deathmatch so this is news to me!
5. Bolt Actions on Par with Autos
In Black Ops III the closest you get to an iron sight is the ELO attachment which you unlock after two sights with magnification and a thermal imaging sight. This to me was an outrage. Back in the WW2 COD’s iron sights were stock and rifles were well balanced with auto’s so that there was as much reason to pick a rifle over an auto if your eye was good enough. Ultimately if you played long enough you had to adapt and learn to use a variety of weapons as you couldn’t just rely on spamming mg’s.
6. Cooking Nades and Satchels
To this day I pride myself on my nade hucking ability which is something that I honed back in the COD:UO days. There was nothing sweeter than perfectly cooking a grenade to take out 2, 3 or 4 of the enemy, unless it was a perfectly cooked satchel charge. Satchels were introduced in United Offensive as a way to counter tanks; they were capable of destroying a tank if they exploded underneath it. With a seven second fuse it was always satisfying to get the timing just right and have a tank roll over your satchel as it was about to blow.
In saying that there was that one time where I received a call from our backfield to nade a specific room and ended up taking out our entire offense. Nice comms, bruh.
7. The 200 Club
Back in a time before medals, bonuses and multipliers it was considered particularly difficult to reach 200 points in a round of Capture the Flag. It’s been a while but from memory you gained a point per kill and ten points for capping which puts into perspective how difficult reaching 200 points was. My only chance of doing so came in public servers on sides stacked with our own clan but there were some players that often reached this mark on their own back.
Having a simplified points system doesn’t really sound that important but I think it was easier for everyone to understand who the good players were and what was considered a particularly good round as your points were only influenced by your gameplay.
8. A Small but Large Community
I recall never having difficultly joining a server, and never having difficultly finding a near full server to join, even in the early hours of the morning. You could also always find familiar faces in the servers, be they pub regulars or players from the game’s one main ladder which was run through Telstra’s GameArena (which was sadly shut down in 2014). In my experience so far with BF1 (as an example) there are countless servers to join and you feel like you’re playing with entirely new players every time. I think you could primarily chalk this down to the fact that BF1 is a brand new game and that over time the casual/hype players will be weeded out leaving a dedicated community, but there is no denying that the gaming community in general is massive compared to what it was 10 years ago and that this can negatively affect your enjoyment of modern games particularly over VOIP.
9. The M1 Garand
I was watching a review video for the COD:WW2 release and someone described the M1 Garand as the “gun that goes ping.” My initial reaction was “no shit,” but then it was “no shit, I guess not everyone has emptied a clip from one of these bad boys before.”
The M1 Garand was a beast of a semi auto that made a distinctive pinging sound when an empty clip was ejected. With eight round mags you had to be a bit more selective with your shots but a fast reload kept you firing. The M1 Garand wasn’t quite as dominant on the field as the MP44 or BAR; the semi auto nature of the rifle meant it wasn’t as suited to close combat as the aforementioned weapons. In saying that though there were few things more satisfying than headshotting someone on the last round of a clip and hearing that distinctive “ping.”
10. No Regenerative Health
From COD 2 onwards health packs were taken out of the game and replaced with a regenerative health system meaning that if you take a hit you can find a corner and chill until your health regenerates. In vanilla COD and UO you had to pick up health packs off dead bodies to regenerate health. This was another subtle feature that ended up having a big impact on gameplay. Given that dead bodies dropped health it encouraged you to move forward towards your dead enemy rather than backwards behind the cover of teammates.
How many of these features do you think will make it into COD:WW2? What do you want to see included? Hit me up in the comments, bruh, as I love talking vCOD/UO. Peace!