While I only discovered the joy of the Call of Duty franchise just last year with the release of WWII, since that time I have put many hours into multiplayer on a daily basis. I am the epitome of the “casual player” in the sense I do not care about my “kdr”(Kill Death Ratio, I had to look it up), my score per minute, or how many times I die in general. That said, I did just hit Prestige Five and most important, I have fun playing my way. I enjoy the daily orders, leveling up different weapons, and CoD:WWII is my way to blow off steam after a rough time at my day job. I don’t talk to people, I don’t have a group, or team, or clan, or anything like that. I guess I am just an old hermit, but I was having fun still, even five months after launch. Apparently I was in the minority as Activision and Sledgehammer Games felt the need to really change things up with the newest DLC The War Machine. At first I didn’t see the point, but really I just didn’t know what I was missing. After a week with my hands on the new content and major changes, I am getting even more enjoyment out of WWII!
As with previous DLC, The War Machine brings new maps to WWII multiplayer and I definitely welcomed them, but the huge change to divisions and many weapons’ unique features is by far the star of this update. Many players are calling this “CoD: WWII 2.0″ and the effect on player numbers is evident. Many who were not fans of multiplayer in the last few months are returning and from what I am reading on forums it has been very well received. So lets get into it and see if I can convince those who left, why they should come back now more than ever.
First of all, everyone now has unlimited sprint. This has made a noticeable different in match lengths. Players get back in the action faster and objective based matches like Hardpoint and Dom are honestly more fun for it. The only caveat is now melee took a big a hit as its much harder to actually catch runners and bring them down if you are like me and trying to fulfil your daily melee order. Don’t worry too much though as the changes to Airborne let them keep the “speed king” title. And on that note, lets go over some of those division changes.
Forget everything. Sledgehammer decided to give the divisions more versatility and it feels great. No longer are you forced to use Mountain for sniping, any can use the tactical knife, and Armored is amazing now! Here is a quick run down:
- Additional Primary Attachment
- Second Pistol Attachment & swap weapons faster
- While aiming down sights, have less idle sway
- Move faster while aiming
- Fire guns while sprinting & diving
- Reload while sprinting
- Climb over obstacles faster & no damage from falling
- Sprint faster over time
- Take significantly less explosive & fire damage
- Immune to Shell Shock and Tactical Equipment
- Increased bullet penetration through surfaces
- Greatly reduced flinch when shot
- Invisible to enemy Recon Aircraft & controlled streaks
- Killed enemy death locations hidden
- No name or reticle change when enemies aim at you
- Silent movement
- Double Lethal + Tactical & enhanced equipment use
- Munitions replenish from killed enemies & over time
- Improved Tacticals & Easier to destroy War buildables
- Equipment damage paints enemies on mini-map
- Mini-map indicator & scrambler of close hostiles
- Enemy movements are easier to hear
- Kills & assists grant Intel Ping of nearby enemies
- Easier to spot targets & increased mini-map coverage
I spent a good hour just redoing my division loadouts. Resistance is now my sniper. Mountain with silencers is a fun stealth class. Expeditionary is my go to for War. Airborne is so much fun with shotguns and Infantry maintains its well rounded status. All LMG now have bipods. Sharpshooter is included in with any sniper rifles and has been buffed to 10 seconds! As I said previously, any pistol can have a tactical knife if you want, and once leveled can equip a silencer. Rifle grenades were a new addition but I honestly haven’t been very impressed with them. Don’t want a pistol or melee as your secondary, how about a launcher? Yep, everyone can take that as a secondary, granted it got a damage nerf, but now I am more inclined to use one to take down those pesky recon planes. Now everyone uses tactical equipment too, as you can carry one lethal and one tac no matter the division. Bullet penetration was silently nerfed, a welcome change in my opinion as it was abused by spawn campers in Shipment. Honestly though the class everyone is raving about (and using the most) is Armored so still expect that to continue for now. I do expect we will see a nerf to the Armored division though, it’s just so much better over all in so many play types.
Some major changes to many Basic Training are also included in this update. Primed and Bang are gone and many were changed because they are now included as Division perks. The big news is the addition of Clandestine and Blitzkrieg. Clandestine adds intel packs that drop from your slain enemies that will ping and show other enemy positions, it also lets you spawn with a ping. Blitzkrieg is the game changer though, expect to see it often. It changes your scorestreaks to be earned by kills and not score, but also buffs them and lets you add a fourth! Trust me, you will want to use this one.
Now let’s talk about the new maps. We have three new ones, V2, Dunkirk, and Egypt. Of these Egypt is by far my favorite. V2 is rather small and squared off, with more focus placed on the vertical accent of the rocket tower and a gimmick where the rocket fires up time to time and frys those on the base level. I am not a fan of the climbing or the layout. Dunkirk is more of a long map that feels more like USS Texas but with lots of places to hide and a beach front that makes the B position in Dom a bit crazy. I do enjoy it for Domination, but on kill objectives it can be a bit too large for my taste, granted its not Gustav Cannon, but when you are running around trying to find someone to kill, it can feel that way at times. Lastly, there is Egypt, my new favorite map in the game. It’s a medium size with multiple layers and tons of places to hide or get cover. A perfect balance that accommodates all weapon play styles very well and let’s face it, having the Sphinx in the background is pretty damn cool!
Also added is the new War mode, Operation Husky. I am undecided on this one. While definitely not my favorite War mode, it is rather short compared to the others. It contains only three objectives, the first is to defend or steal data, essentially a ctf, the second, to transmit, or stop the data from being transmitted, of said data, a hardpoint, and last is the most unique and exciting part, an actual dogfight in P-47 Thunderbolt planes! For the first time in this Call of Duty where we can use a vehicle beyond just gunning in a tank. Players actually fly and must shoot down the opposing teams planes. While fun, I found the controls to be difficult personally and frustrating at times. No matter how solid your team may be in the first two objectives, many times a loss is still imminent in this phase. Still, I applaud Sledgehammer for adding something unique. And if you lose the first round as the allies? It’s a brutal cut scene…
Lastly The War Machine brings a third chapter to the Zombies mode, The Shadowed Throne. I am not a huge fan of the Zombies but still played it once, as I did with previous chapters and it was more of the same; fun but only for that crowd who gets into the team based wave slog. I don’t let this affect my score though just like previous DLC.
Overall, The War Machine DLC is just the change Call of Duty: WWII needed to bring it back to life halfway through its cycle. Players are returning and generally the community has responded positively. I am enjoying it even more and these changes will keep me playing until the next DLC for sure. The new maps are graphically beautiful as to be expected, well designed, and diverse. The new War mode is quick and has a DOGFIGHT! If you left for some reason or were holding out, now is the time to come join me in Call of Duty: WWII! So what are you waiting for? Grab your gun soldier!