Sledgehammer takes hotline of Duty back lớn its roots, refining rather than redefining the series for the best entry in years.

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It begins, unsurprisingly, on the beach. The throwback lớn a throwback, from call of Duty World War to điện thoại tư vấn of Duty 2, from Medal of Honor Allied Assault all the way to lớn Saving Private Ryan. As the bullets whistle past your ears và thud into the churning sea, as sand scatters và machine guns rattle, as soldiers scream và shout & run, there"s more than a feeling that we"ve done this all before.

Call of Duty: WW2

Developer: Sledgehammer Games/Raven SoftwarePublisher: ActivisionPlatform: Reviewed on PS4Availability: Out now on PS4, Xbox One & PC

And of course we have many times over, but not lượt thích this, at least not for a while. WW2, the 14th mainline điện thoại tư vấn of Duty, is a reclamation of the series" fundamentals - an eschewing of sci-fi tropes, of black Ops conspiracies, Kit Harrington and the Ghosts, whoever they were. This is call of Duty as it once was, or at least that"s what the marketing would have you think. In actual fact, this is call of Duty refined if not entirely redefined - a slick, luxurious và impressive triple-A product, forged in the image of Sledgehammer but shameless in its lifting of ideas, concepts & mechanics from both the series past & any number of its competitors. & it"s all the better for it.

Call of Duty WW2, as is now the series" tradition, is split into three distinct sections, each almost feeling lượt thích their own game. It"s a little disconcerting to lớn see the words "NAZI ZOMBIES" emblazoned across a sản phẩm that"s otherwise keen khổng lồ demonstrate how earnest & respectful it is lớn the subject matter, but such is the way with call of Duty, whose tonal inconsistencies you"ve been able khổng lồ rely upon since Modern Warfare 2.

It"d be easy to lớn skip past the chiến dịch and go straight into the meat of the multiplayer, but to do so here would be lớn miss the strongest single-player điện thoại tư vấn of Duty offering since black Ops 2. A spirited run-through of the "greatest hits" of the war"s decisive last two years, it doesn"t deviate from the classic call of Duty formula of rollercoaster shooting galleries and scenery-crunching mix pieces, but it does it all with some style. Sledgehammer has worked hard lớn both streamline and subtly change the COD formula, opting for a back-to-basics approach of set-up, shootout and cool-down, broken up across key parts of the Western European theatre.

It"s all mercifully light on low-agency scripted set pieces, too. Aside from a couple of weak driving sections & a final mission that could have done with a few less Panzerschreck, this is a game of epic, thrilling shootouts và a surprisingly engaging story, with more than a little heart. It"s cliche after cliche, of course, but the performances are so strong & the trò chơi so stunning lớn behold that it"s easy lớn get wrapped up in its theatrics.

It helps, too, that your band of brothers are given an active role on the battlefield. As levels progress, your squad mates gain access to helpful abilities which you can call on - one can chuck you an med pack, for example, while another offers ammo. These aren"t huge paradigm shifts for call of Duty, but you"re consistently interacting with your mates và it helps create a sense of camaraderie in a smart piece of design.

A more noticeable change comes in the form of medpacks & diminishable health, marking a move away from the trend of healing yourself by hiding behind a wall and breathing heavily that"s gripped first-person shooters for well over a decade. It"s another smart move - there"s inherent tension in having low health in a shooter - and while you"re rarely caught without a medpack to hand, having something khổng lồ manage while you"re navigating the carnage makes every shootout that much more engaging. It all helps make for a memorable campaign, matching some wonderful production values with everything you"d hope for from vanilla gọi of Duty.

A standout mission sees you sneaking into a Nazi stronghold undercover. Stirring stuff.

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It"s also tonally respectful - if a little over earnest - which is more than can be said for the Zombies mode. Still, for all its incongruity Zombies has come a long way since the watered down Left4Dead of old, doing away with the tedious planks-on-windows nonsense, & focusing instead on a dense, elaborately designed environment. It"s still not a patch on Gears Of War"s horde, or even Mass Effect 3"s multiplayer for that matter, but there"s an awful lot of fun khổng lồ be found in the knowing schlock of what remains a seriously odd diversion.

Onto the main course, then. Call of Duty WW2"s multiplayer marks a real change of direction for the series - the biggest, perhaps, since Sledgehammer"s own Advanced Warfare revolutionised call of Duty"s player movement. Here, you won"t be seeing 1940"s infantrymen & women double jumping or wall-running, so the competition refocuses on lines-of-sight và gun-on-gun accuracy. And, of course, shooting people in the back while hidden under a table.

It"s a treat lớn go back to lớn basics. đen Ops 3 và Infinite Warfare always felt lượt thích bad Titanfall rip-offs to lớn me, as they nixed some of Advanced Warfare"s more interesting movements in favour of ludicrous slides và easy wall-runs. Here, though, call of Duty regains some of its own identity, và it"s a reminder of how good that fundamental trò chơi really is.

As always, your actual enjoyment of the multiplayer will vary depending on your skill. It"s funny how almost any multiplayer shooter is enjoyable when you"re demolishing your opposition, và a horrible broken mess when you"re on a 2-27 K/D run and you just got quickscoped by someone a px high. Yet even at its most frustrating gọi of Duty WW2 is evidently a very high quality online shooter. The usual modes are now joined by the frankly excellent War, which liberally nicks bits of Battlefield and Overwatch to create something very enjoyable indeed. Basically, it"s Battlefield"s Rush, but with much smaller teams & far more varied objectives. It benefits from the same thrill of pushing an objective or holding a bunker that both Overwatch và Battlefield fans know only too well.

In PS4 Pro"s 4K HDR presentation, the trò chơi looks truly stunning.

It"s a mode that flies in the face of the K/D nursing call of Duty community, but the maps and objective kiến thiết is good enough to lớn make you forget about that precious stat just long enough khổng lồ charge up the Omaha beach, or push a tank deep into a German village. Still, most people will likely spend their time in staples such as Team Deathmatch, Domination or even không tính tiền For All, but War is most definitely where it"s at (probably not a tagline they should use on the box, mind).

Now I can"t leave without addressing that hottest of hot topics, those loot boxes. Well, controversial opinion time - I"d be lying if I said I didn"t like them. The daft manner in which they appear from the sky, the way all the players in the Tower-like social space stare at them as they open, the stupid cosmetics that pop out - it"s enjoyably ridiculous, và most importantly it doesn"t affect the core loop of the multiplayer at all. Some will hate them regardless, và certainly it"s tough lớn sell a trò chơi on its authenticity when such patent ridiculousness is right there in the middle of the social space, but for me, they"re good fun. Your own mileage may vary, of course.

A quick word on that social space too. It"s neatly designed, full of little secrets and tidbits like the Pit 1-on-1 mode, the firing range"s hidden sequences, và there"s even a collection of retro Activision games, all of which amounts lớn a fun diversion - if and when it works. Somewhat atypically for the series, call of Duty WW2 has launched with more than its cốt truyện of teething issues, with hệ thống problems and social spaces that are embarrassingly devoid of other players. Be warned that, in these early days, this is a trò chơi that"s still finding its feet.

Even taking those issues into consideration, call of Duty WW2 is quite the package. By returning the series lớn its roots, Sledgehammer has made the series feel relevant again. There"s a stunning-looking campaign that"s the most enjoyable single-player since black Ops 2, a smartly retrogressive multiplayer with some enjoyable add-ons, and a trò chơi that looks like it"s going lớn earn every bit of its inevitable commercial success. Gọi of Duty WW2 isn"t just a throwback - it"s the best entry in the series for quite some time.