Divisions classes are Call of Duty: WWII‘s new take on the series’ classic create-a-class system. There are five Divisions available to use in the new Call of Duty’s multiplayer, each with their own unique weapons, equipment, and skills. During E3 2017, I had a chance to play several matches of Call of Duty: WWII, and while trying out the game’s selection of Divisions, their skills seemed to have a curious lack of impact, leaving the competition more in the hands of players and their firearms.
In earlier Call of Duty games, perks would often make or break a class, being the clincher for whether or not a player would get out of a fight alive. Perks systems have changed and become more balanced over the various iterations, but the feature’s core format has always remained intact. Perks as we know them are gone in Call of Duty: WWII, replaced by Division skills in the same way the Divisions themselves replaced create-a-class.
Division skills are unique to the Divisions, supplementing each particular playstyle. These skills can be upgraded through progressing with a Division which adds more augments to that Division’s particular set of skills. After using a variety of highly-upgraded Divisions in the demo, however, I began to notice how little I noticed them. Perks in older games felt as though they informed how you played, but in my demo with Call of Duty: WWII, I often found myself having to repeatedly check what my skills even were. This is by no means a bad thing, as it ultimately to a much more balanced playing field, but it felt different from the Call of Duty norm. There are a small handful of slightly more noticeable Division skills, like one that equips a rocket launcher, but the skills are generally mild versions of perks from older game, thinly spread across the classes.
More significant skills, like quick reloading and concealing your death location, are found in the game’s “Basic Skills” which are collections of fixed bonuses that can be equipped to any Division, where as Division skills are exclusive to that class. There is some overlap is the skill variety between Basic skills and Division skills, but neither collection holds the same impact as the perks of the old days.
Additional time with the game or a more aggressive competitive scene could change this perspective, but for now, it seems like Divisions have equalized combat more than previous perk systems. Divisions are definitely unique to each other when you account for the entirety of each class’s distinct build, but the skills feel more like bonuses than core functions this time around. Players may soon need to rely more on their wits and skill in Call of Duty: WWII if they want to claim victory.