CoD:WWII PC Beta Impressions

Posted: October 1, 2017 in Gaming, Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

CoDww2

CoD:WWII PC beta was this weekend on Steam. I was excited for this beta because of the lack of FPS options out there and this was an opportunity for me to look at how CoD has evolved over the years since the last one I played, which was Modern Warfare 2. Yeah, it’s been a long time and though I liked MW2 OK enough, it didn’t keep my interests. The entire iw.NET thing was a disaster on PC with the constant disconnects, freezes, and lag issues brought on by peer-to-peer hosting.

So after all these years I decided to try the WWII PC beta. I loved CoD:W@W and thought it had some great maps and designs going back from modern shooters to a world war game was risky and a lot of people didn’t care for it. The voice acting and game sounds were great though and the graphics were very nice for its time.

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I know, the past is great and all that, but what about WWII? Simply put the game was very lacking. The graphics are nice and looked good to me when I look back at previous CoD titles, but for the #1 FPS game it seemed dated. You just don’t see the fine details and the maps were pretty enough, but everything looked mapped on. Soldiers had some detail, like in the picture above, but like I said, it seemed just OK.

I’m not one to focus only on graphics for a game. There are plenty of beautiful games out there that play terrible. The Battlefield series is enough evidence of that. So what about the rest of the game? Well, it was still underwhelming. Lets focus on a few mechanics:

Menus

It was really cumbersome to flip around the menus and select soldier options and get back to the game then get into the game. A lot of times I spawned in as a different class than what I thought I was picking. After a few hours of playing and trying it out everything started to come together, but not really. I felt the menus were designed for the controller buttons and I just wasn’t getting it on keyboard/mouse. I never figured out how to properly end the game. Each time I just went to my Task Manager and killed it after leaving the lobby.

Sounds

Sounds were nice. A lot of gun fire and running around on different surfaces were obvious. I think Sledgehammer did a good job on sounds and all the different things you heard. Some games have a lot of sound issues, but I think everything was in order on this. The weapons didn’t sound super powerful or anything, but I thought it all sounded good.

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Player Screen

The screen is very important to tell you the information you need while playing the game. Unfortunately there is so much going on that in the end you end up ignoring all of it but the map and your sights. Constant splashes of emblem cards, rewards, medals, and who’s killing whom. The kill scroll reminded me of a cross between CS:S and Team Fortress 2. It’s large and scrolling constantly. There were other things on the screen that I never figured out what they did. I never saw a health indicator either and that bothered me. I guess I’m just used to seeing that and knowing how far I have. In the game red = bad and the more red you have the worse off you are and that is what you have to work with.

VOIP

VOIP worked well, though there isn’t much reason to use it I didn’t have any delay issues or static. There were a few squeekers on that knew they were being annoying, but it worked well.

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Map Design

Map design on an FPS is critical and everyone has their own opinion about what makes a good map and in my case CoD:WWII did not have good map design. Within the first few rounds of Domination I could tell everyone was just moving in circles. As I was looking at the map screen I could see that everything was just a circle with a few different paths and directions and all the players were being herded together to duke it out. You couldn’t form a strategy in TDM or Domination because you had to keep moving. Any moment the enemy was going to be behind  you either because of the circle paths or because they were going to spawn in near you.

Another issue was the invisible walls. They are EVERYWHERE. The picture above with the chalk board, its an invisible wall. You think you can move the board or jump on the stairs, nope. There were buildings with rubble and you could easily climb up into that blown out building, but the invisible wall was in the way. What was worse was it was not consistent. I fell to my death a couple times because I went over a ledge. I thought there would be a wall, not a pit of death!

The only map that didn’t seem like a circle was the one when you were playing WAR. The game mode was fun, but you move toward the enemy and they move toward you to stop you. Again, you had paths to take, but the route was so narrow you all end up together anyway.

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Another issue on the maps was they were very one dimensional. Sometimes you could go on a second floor or down in a tunnel, but it was for a short time and the way everything curved it was easy to spot others and hard to setup ambushes or defend a position.

Gunplay

It had to be run-n-gun. The circle and really fast spawns made any other option not available. Flanking was hard to do most the time and the gun mechanics were real simple. You would win a fight if you had a shotgun first then the SMGs followed by sniper rifles then finally the rifles. Rate of Fire won. Period. If you used a suppressor that cost you, thus breaking stealth or flanking. Most the time I didn’t bother to aim down sights because the time it took me to do that I was already dead. Center your cross hairs and go.

Final Thoughts

It’s obvious that CoD is no longer for me. Maybe it left me behind, I don’t know. Activision had a vision of making an easy port and they did it. They were successful and this CoD was ported very well. There were “netcode” issues now and again and it seemed that sometimes others were faster than some, but it is a beta and I expect to see some of that anyway. I know that not everything was in the game, but this was Sledgehammers chance to put their best foot forward and what I saw was small run-in-gun maps with some clunky screens and movements with no room for anything else.

I asked some about how this CoD felt versus previous titles and was told that it felt the same, so if you loved the last couple CoDs I suppose you will really enjoy this one. If you are like me though and I really enjoyed the MW4/W@W CoDs, well, I guess we have a longer wait.

Overall 4/10

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Comments
  1. jimykx says:

    I really didn’t enjoy it. My last COD was also MW2 and from what I have seen every new cod since them decreased the map sizes and increased the speed of combat making it more frantic
    I’m not a very big fan. While I also wasn’t a big fan of BF1, seeing how BF1 has massive maps 64 players, destruction, incredible ammount of detail and graphics, and COD WWII ran 3 times worse than BF1 does on my PC, it really doens’t make sense, and shows a really awful port.

    I was also checking out the Battlefront II beta, it was nice but not THAT amazing either to be worth spending 60€ at the moment. It felt like a nice shooter, but for some particular reason it didn’t feel much like star wars.

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