Who knew that after bringing us to the future, Sledgehammer Games would be the one’s bringing us to the past? The private beta was scheduled for August 25th, but after a surprise ambush by Sledgehammer Games, it looks like we’re diving into Call of Duty World War 2‘s private beta one day ahead of it’s scheduled release. How does this year’s iteration hold up? This is a beta, but I’m not holding back!
What You Need to Know
As previously mentioned the beta was set for August 25th, but was launched earlier than expected. The private beta is for PS4 users only from August 24 until August 28th. The following weekend is for both PS4 and Xbox One, although it is still a private beta.
In the beta, 5 games modes (Team Deathmatch, Domination, Hardpoint, Mosh Pit, and the new War mode) are available across 3 maps (Point Du Hoc, Ardennes, and Gibraltar). The new Divisions class system is available to test out as well. Absent from the beta is the new Headquarters social space, and the supply drops (I had the through some shade in eventually). Keep in mind this is a beta, so things will get ironed out for the full release, I hope!
With Call of Duty, the gameplay is pretty self explanatory. However, given the time setting, we are finally free from the jetpacks and wall running! Expect a return of the “drop shot”, and you will still see sweaty players jumping.
First off, the new Divisions. This in itself is C.O.D‘s way of trying to create a “class based” system. You choose from one of five classes that each have their own perks and different play styles;
Airborne: This is the submachine gun class. In it, players will have access to SMG’s such as the legendary PPSH-41 or the Grease Gun. The default ability for this class is being able to attach/detach a silencer with a press of the left D-Pad.
Armored: This is your machine gun class. You get access to LMG’s such as the Lewis gun and the MG15. The default ability is having a bipod attached to your LMG and is available by pressing the left arrow on the D-Pad.
Infantry: This class is the assault rifle class. You will have access to the rifles such as the M1 Garand or the STG44. Your weapons come with a bayonet attached to them for melee or you can do a bayonet charge.
Expeditionary: This is your shotgun class. You have access to some of the strongest shotguns in WW2, and are at the forefront of combat. The default ability of this class is incendiary rounds (more on these later).
Mountain: The sniper class. You have access to the snipers of WW2, such as the Commonwealth and the Karabin. The default ability of this class is Sniper Sharpshooter which is activated by holding down L3 while aiming. You will block out surrounding noises, gain aim assist, and acquire enemy names.
The classes have a progression system, and by using them, you will level them up and gain more abilities such as longer sprint for the Airborne class or an additional attachment for your primary with the Infantry class. These added abilities will stack so you don’t have to sacrifice the bayonet to get two more attachments. In each Division, your character can choose one Basic Training which is a perk. These perks are essentially perks from past C.O.D entries, but with a different name. For example, Scavenger is called Forage, but it also let’s you swap weapons faster. Your weapons level up also which unlocks new attachments.
This article is going to be a little short because there isn’t much to cover. I just really wanted to explain the Divisions system since it caused hysteria when people found out Create-a-Class was being replaced. It’s really not as complex as YouTubers and Internet articles describe it, mine included. It’s basically the same as how Battlefield 1 runs their class system; you can still customize your weapons and use other weapons while using a specific Division. However, you can’t cross abilities such as using the suppressor ability from the Airborne Division while playing as the Infantry Division.
One of the biggest concerns with Call of Duty going back to boots on the ground is the fear of the game being slow. So far, Sledgehammer seems to have addressed this well by making the maps smaller. This guarantees you’ll be right back in the action, although I have run into a few crappy spawns, so it’s one of those tough tradeoffs.
I will say it felt hard to earn scorestreaks. This might have to do with the fact that I play a lot of TDM, but earning them felt long in Domination as well. Keep in mind that in War mode, kill streaks are disabled too.
Remember the Incendiary Rounds I mentioned earlier? I hate them. Essentially, you shoot your opponent with bullets that light them on fire. If the first shot doesn’t kill them, they will suffer burn damage. If you played Black Ops 3, think of the Purifier specialist ability, but every time you die, your ammo count replenishes. It’s that freaking bad. What it does is it guarantees you or your opponent a free kill. You can survive the burn damage, but it’s more likely you’ll die than survive. To me that should’ve been a scorestreak.
The recoil in this game is pretty tough. I know you’ll need the Grip attachment, but even with it, it’s still noticeable. Similar to World at War, I think the SMG’s will reign supreme again. So far in the beta, all three of the submachine guns available are really good.
There are also numerous other annoyances that are present such as the awful menu system, and the way post match reports work. To further describe the latter, when you complete a match, a scoreboard is shown to show performances, the three top players are displayed, and your own after action report is shown to you. During this period, the timer for the next match starts. You have about 45 seconds (I think), in which you should have time to customize your classes. However, you remain stuck on the scoreboard and soldier display for an obscene amount of time. By the time you get to the after action report, you have about 10 seconds left to try and customize your classes or decide if you’re going to leave the lobby. What the heck is that Sledgehammer?
I think that’s enough complaining for now. Honestly, the way this series has been handled, it seems hard to get fans excited for a new entry, and with the beta out now, reaction seems to be split. If you’ve played it, watched it, or both, let me know what you think in the comment below because I’m interested in hearing what you think about this entry.