Call Of Duty has returned once again, but this time it’s turning back the clock to the war-torn era of World War Two. The shift back to the period that put COD on the map a decade ago isn’t just for looks – developer Sledgehammer Games has reintroduced classic features such as single-player medkits as well as bringing in a new class-based set of Divisions for multiplayer.
Even Zombies has been given a healthy dose of horror to pull the mode back from the silly slapstick of previous iterations. Add it all together and you’ve got the COD you know with plenty of much-needed improvements. So to get you ready for the fight, here are ten things you really need to know before you strap on your soldiering boots.
Everything has health (and none of it regenerates)
From the moment you step onto the deadly beaches of Normandy, you’ll learn that developer Sledgehammer Games has dropped regenerative health completely. It’s a trial by fire tutorial that wishes to impart one lesson: health is precious, so look after it.
Always use cover, line up shots as fast as possible and search high and low for health packs. You can carry up to four health packs at once, so make sure your health is fully filled before passing one up. Checkpoints are usually disparate, so don’t enter a new area with a sliver of health bar to your name. Vehicles also have health bars, so drive with care.
Squad abilities are your best friends
Teamwork is a big theme for COD: WW2 across all its modes, with new multi-phase War in multiplayer and Zombies usual co-op action bringing players into tactical harmony. That principle has been applied to single-player as well with the inclusion of special character-specific powers.
Each one – such as Zussman’s ability to chuck you medkits and Pierson’s trick of revealing enemy positions - appears depending on the mission you’re in and can be regenerated by killing enemies. So if you’re running low on health, you’ll need to actively re-enter the fight. It’s a classic risk/reward, but in a satisfying form that urges you to be bold.
Always have Challenges and Contracts activated
COD: WW2’s multiplayer uses two kinds of persistent tasks to help you earn more XP for completing certain accolades on a regular basis. Challenges, which can be collected from Major Howard (in the bunker directly from where you spawn at HQ) offer daily and weekly rewards that come with a set time limit.
Contracts, which are available from the Quartermaster (accessible from the ‘R2’ quick access menu), typically have no time limit and center around more long term tasks (such as scoring 100 kills, 50 head shots or winning 25 matches of TDM). These cost credits, so think of them as a way of speculating to accumulate.
Check your mail every day
As soon as you spawn into the Headquarters, you’ll drop right in front of the postmaster. Approach this area (it appears as an envelope symbol on the HUD) and press ‘Square’/’X’ to open your inbox.
Checking this every day serves two purposes: firstly you’ll be able to pick up your daily Payroll (which offers 100 credits). Interestingly, this payroll actually refreshes every four hours, so check back often for more credits.
Secondly, this is where all the items you’ve pre-ordered or items you’ve been gifted will end up. This will include special items such as helmets, unique weapons and double XP tokens.
Use XP buffs to accelerate your leveling
As with previous CODs, both your profile and your weapons can be leveled through completing matches and reaching certain accolades. However, it can be grind to hit each level so play smart and use new incremental XP boosts.
There are daily and weekly challenges that reward both rank and weapon XP boosts, but these often have short time frames before they run out. These challenges refresh multiple times a day so keep checking back to keep the XP flowing. Completing weapon sets – which can take a while – also offers additional boosts for XP.
Don’t treat Divisions like atypical loadouts
This is one of the most important aspects of multiplayer in COD: WW2. Think of Divisions less like the styled loudouts of previous CODs and more like class types.
Each one corresponds to a certain style of play and each one will excel on different maps and modes. For smaller maps such as Carentan and USS Texas, using Infantry (with its melee focus) or Expeditionary (for its CQC) will pay dividends.
The sniper-friendly loudout of Mountain suits larger maps such as Aachen, while the tank power of Armored makes it perfect for laying down suppressive fire in modes such as Domination and War. Get to know your maps and modes, and pick the right Division for the job.
Don’t navigate the map like you have in previous CODs
These aren’t the futuristic battlefields of Black Ops III and Infinite Warfare, so don’t expect to be wall-running, boost jumping and drop-shotting every opposing player in multiplayer.
The biggest takeaway: don’t become reliant on sprint. It lasts for a shorter period of time in COD: WW2 and the amount of time between ending your sprint and raising your weapon has been increased (leaving you open to enemy fire).
Instead, use sprint to help escape enemy fire or to close the distance with some dropped dog tags in Kill Confirmed. Since players aren’t going to be using height to kill you, focus less on speed of movement and more on the accuracy of your shots.
Always have the right consumables in stock
Alongside power-ups (which can be bought from Blitz Machines during each wave and used as extra abilities), Zombies also uses special consumables to keep you afloat with additional buffs.
Each consumable comes with two numbers attached to it you’ll need to keep track of – the top one defines how many charges you can use in a given match, and the bottom one determines how many of said item remain in your inventory.
Some consumables are ultimately more useful than others - Elektromagent earns double Jolts for a short period of time, Taschen Voll replenishes all ammo and items on the team, Blitz Machine Coupon gives you a 50% discount and Totengriff enables one shot kills for a little while.
Customize loadouts and choose the right special
After passing level five, you’ll be given the the important ability to customize your loadouts beyond the vanilla ones available to you from the start of the game. The most important element of your loadout is your special and it’s a powerful addition to your zombie-fighting arsenal.
Some are defensive, such as Camouflage which turns you briefly invisible, enabling you to briefly slip away from a converging horde of undead fascists. Others are more tactical in nature, such as Frontline, which attracts more zombies towards you but rewards you with a damage buff.
Upgrade weapons with Pack-a-Punch machines
Weapons are your best friend in a mode all about staying off the zombie food menu, so you’ll need to upgrade each one to ensure it’s got enough oomph to take down the progressively tougher waves of the undead. To do this, you’ll need to gain access to the the Pack-a-Punch machines.
First you’ll need to travel down the sewer pipes located in the Laboratory, Tower and Command Room. Once you’ve ticked these off, use the newly unlocked machines to upgrade your chosen weapon. Just remember that upgraded guns require more expensive ammo. Time to start using those headshots to bank those Jolts.