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Call of Duty: WWII's multiplayer sheds all the sci-fi clutter to great effect

June 15, 2017 2 min read

I haven't felt competent at Call of Duty in quite some time. With the series' move towards the futuristic came an ill-fated attempt to capture imaginations of the eSports crowd, overcrowding the once-storied Call of Duty multiplayer suite with each new installment. The further this franchise strayed from God's light, the worse I became. Remember when Black Ops III had different "heroes" with ultimate abilities?

All of a sudden, there was a "meta" to the base level of Call of Duty. What had once been a pick-up-and-play arcade shooter became a fast-paced game of rock paper scissors where you had to worry more about counter-loadouts than choosing the items that fit your playstyle – all exacerbated by a UI that resembles this Mega64 parody more than anything else. I like the idea of bringing Call of Duty to the future! Black Ops II is probably still my favorite game in the series, with Advanced Warfare not close behind. But these games needed to be dragged back in time, if only to make sure the rotating cast of developers would be forced to stick with recognizable iconography and weapons that didn't require extensive counter-picking.

Maybe it was the positive fan response to early Battlefield 1 footage that inspired the switch back to World War II, or maybe this change was always in the cards and moving away from the maligned future era is a serendipitous way to earn a little more goodwill for the series. Whatever the reason, his heart or his shoes, Call of Duty: WWII brings back the kind of straightforward multiplayer this series has been missing for so long. And because I'm uncomfortable with how glowing that last sentence was – yes, it's mondo uncomfortable to be playing as Nazis in the year 2017.

Call of Duty: WWII's multiplayer sheds all the sci-fi clutter to great effect screenshot