Ever since the Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare reveal trailer earned 3 million dislikes, players have been crying for a new World War II Call of Duty, which was really funny because, before 2007’s Modern Warfare, everyone had been complaining about how the WWII shooter genre had become oversaturated.
Fast-forward to 2017 and Call of Duty: WWII is less than two weeks from launch. But amidst the hub-bub leading up to the game’s reveal and release, Call of Duty: WWII has been shaping up as one of the most exciting entries in the series in the last several years. That’s because developer Sledgehammer Games is taking the gameplay of the earlier, World War II-focused Call of Duty games and combining it with the modern amenities of the Modern Warfare games to make a truly unique shooter.
Here are five reasons we think that Call of Duty: WWII can (and will) be a return to form for the series.
No more pay-to-win supply drops
Call of Duty: WWII will still have Supply Drops, and players can still pay real money to buy them. However, unlike recent entries in the Call of Duty series, WWII‘s Supply Drops will only offer cosmetic variants, according to Sledgehammer co-founder Michael Condrey. That means no more Supply Drops with stat boosts, which can now only be earned through playing the game.
That doesn’t mean that Supply Drops won’t at some point include new weapons, especially considering Sledgehammer was the developer that introduced Supply Drops to Call of Duty in Advanced Warfare. But at least there’s a way to earn extra Supply Drops without paying for them this time around: you can earn prizes just by watching other players open their Supply Drops in the new Headquarters social space.
Considering we live in an era when even single-player games like Middle-earth: Shadow of War are offering microtransactions that give players stat buffs and better weaponry, the fact that one of the biggest shooters of the year (from Activision, of all publishers) is limiting Supply Drops to cosmetic items shows that the developer and publisher are serious about bridging the gap between the series and its players. Hopefully they’ll keep it that way.
The story will actually be good
Call of Duty is responsible for some of the most exciting single-player campaigns in the first-person shooter genre over the last decade. We still think about the nuclear blast in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare‘s campaign, and that game came out 10 years ago.
But more recent Call of Duty entries have pretty much dropped the ball. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare‘s story was probably our least favorite thing about that game, and Black Ops III‘s engaging story was derailed by its need to build a completely new world without ever fully recovering.
Call of Duty: WWII‘s campaign is looking to follow in the footsteps of the series’ best stories by focusing the narrative on a core group of soldiers fighting through a series of condensed missions amidst a war raging in the background. WWII‘s story is centered around Pvt. Ronald “Red” Daniels as he and his squad attempt to rescue one of their infantrymen from a Nazi concentration camp. It promises to be an intimate and intense campaign with the backdrop of the biggest, most brutal war in modern history.
Multiplayer is both more and less modern
Call of Duty’s gameplay has changed exponentially between the first Call of Duty back in 2003 and last year’s Infinite Warfare. Early Call of Duty games didn’t have wall-running and killstreaks, that’s for sure. But the more complex Call of Duty’s movement, customization, and killstreaks became, the less people stayed interested, to the point that Infinite Warfare‘s reveal trailer became one of the most disliked videos ever posted to YouTube.
Call of Duty: WWII‘s multiplayer is looking to mix the old with the new: it’s keeping killstreaks (now called “scorestreaks”) and classes, but it’s taking out the wall-running in favor of returning to “boots on the ground” gameplay. This also means a return to one of the best things about older Call of Duty games—that is, focused map design.
This mix of classic Call of Duty gameplay with the more modern installments of classes and weapon customization will hopefully be exactly what players have been hoping for since the disappointment with Infinite Warfare.
Headquarters offers more than just a place to socialize
Headquarters is probably one of the most interesting additions to Call of Duty in some time. It’s a 48-player, third-person social hub like Destiny’s Tower or Farm where players can socialize, purchase items with in-game credits, open Supply Drops, and find players to join your squad.
But socializing isn’t the only thing you’ll be doing in Headquarters. There’s a target range where you can test weapons and scorestreaks, a one-on-one PvP mode, check out leaderboards, or even occasionally take part in “dynamic events” in which you’ll, for instance, be tasked with protecting the Headquarters from an aerial invasion by manning an AA canon.
But Headquarters isn’t the only new multiplayer mode in WWII.
War gives players more to play than just team deathmatch
Call of Duty has introduced a ton of different multiplayer modes since its inception in 2003. But let’s be real: none of those modes has ever felt like you’re taking place in a big military skirmish.
WWII‘s other multiplayer addition, War, tasks one team with completing objectives while the other team has to stop them. It’s the kind of asymmetrical objective based gameplay that series like Battlefield have been doing for years now, and it’s nice to see that Call of Duty is finally trying something new.
Call of Duty: WWII is launching on November 3rd for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.