Call of Duty WWII not breaking any new ground
Game review: Call of Duty: WWII (PC/XboxOne/PS4) 7/10
This year marks the first of an aeon of 14-year cycles, where the Call of Duty franchise repeatedly comes full circle and just releases another World War 2 game because they have completely run out of ideas.
Of course, that is not to say that Call of Duty WWII is a bad game. Of course it isn't, Sledgehammer and all the other developers who have worked on the Call of Duty games have been afforded plenty of time to hone and perfect the workings of the game engine and all have delivered faced-paced and visceral gameplay in some form or another and WWII is no exception.
While the core gameplay may feel wholly familiar, Sledgehammer have messed with the tried-and-tested blueprint in just enough ways to make it a little less fun that the previous instalment in the series. Gone is the automatic health regeneration that has remained a series stalwart throughout the last decade, only to be replaced with a new and wholly revolutionary means of health regeneration - health packs.
Another change in gameplay comes through a deeper integration with your team. One squad member can hurl you health packs, while another can toss you a smoke grenade to usher in a mortar strike. This addition in particular makes chaotic gun fights far more frustrating, particularly when you are turning your back to gunfire to try and locate a vital team member.
The entire cast are your archetypal "Easy Company" mishmash of cultures and social backgrounds, cynically engineered to appeal to as many people as possibe. The problem with this approach, however, is that you never really connect with any one character and any deaths tend to fall a little flat, even if they are presented as momentous occasions.
The multiplayer is pretty much exactly what you'd expect from the FPS juggernaut, with one notable exception. War is a rather exciting addition that gives the game a distinctly 'Overwatch' feel. Players can now assume actual roles, such as a sniper, allowing you to master the roles and expectations of each class and therefore allowing new players a much more manageable learning curve.
Call of Duty: WWII certainly isn't breaking any new ground but it goes without saying that the gameplay is as sharp and polished as it ever will be. Everything else, be it the story or the aesthetic is the same utterly bland and meaningless fodder that we ate last year.