When Call of Duty premiered its first release on PC in 2003, it offered something new to the FPS genre that gamers haven’t seen before. For the first time in computer gaming, we were situated in missions that didn’t make you feel alone. Prior to Call of Duty, titles like Medal of Honor: Allied Assault (and Frontline) were the most promising games for history nerds (like myself) in high school looking to kill some time on an old Dell PC.
But those games felt broken; you knew that the mission came down to you and you only. Friendly AI was there for spectacle – not utility. Many AI movements were scripted and cinematics directed gameplay. But Call of Duty came along and disrupted the genre by providing a truly fun and exciting WWII experience where friendly AI was smart enough to help you through missions and in-game characters made you feel like part of the story.
The original CoD was so good at this feature that Medal of Honor: Pacific Assault tried so hard to mimic the “tactical-teammate AI” and failed. They just couldn’t capture the same marveling effect Call of Duty had on its audience. And CoD’s multiplayer fun – simple, Counter Strike-esque mechanics made gaming with friends online enjoyable and interesting.
But the new Call of Duty: World War II Open Beta had me incredibly disappointed for three main reasons. First, the game felt like a cheap Black Ops with a new skin on it. There’s nothing new about the game that makes it exciting. It feels like a mod to an older game at best.
Secondly, multiplayer CoD is still garbage. The developers sell you the idea that new game modes like “War” and other phony objective-based modes will have players fighting to reach some heroic goals to accomplish the missions; total horseshit. CoD players still run-and-gun, spray-and-pray, and ignore objectives to improve their KD ratio. If only developers would understand what made the original CoD multiplayer so much fun – keep it simple. We don’t need new fancy game modes in multiplayer; just more interesting maps.
Lastly, why on earth are there female combatants in infantry uniforms running around multiplayer matches? Today’s political correctness need not apply to the 1940’s historical feel that the game is supposed to have. This new “feature” really took away from the “World War II experience” that so many of us legacy gamers were itching for – and now it’s gone.
I can’t say that I’ll be buying Call of Duty: World War II upon release. The Open Beta felt so cheap and boring; the developers simply did not offer anything new to the FPS experience like they did in the past. Unfortunately, for CoD:WWII, I’m passing on this one.