Call of Duty: WW2

Sledgehammer takes Call of Duty back to its roots, refining rather than redefining the series for the best entry in years.

Key events

7th November 2017

Call of Duty: WW2 review

Big Call of Duty: WW2 patch nerfs quickscoping, speeds up gameplay

A big patch coming to Call of Duty: WW2 tomorrow speeds up competitive multiplayer gameplay and nerfs quickscoping.

Quickscoping is the act of using a sniper rifle to aim down sights before pullling the trigger at the first viable moment for what is hopefully a one hit kill. Those skilled in quickscoping can use it to devastating effect, turning a sniper rifle into a killing machine at medium and even close range engagements.

Quickscoping is the subject of much debate within the Call of Duty community, with some saying it should be scrubbed from the shooter entirely. After tomorrow's patch goes live, you'll find quickscoping with the Kar98k and the M1903, two of the more popular sniper rifles in Call of Duty: WW2, much harder as the ADS transition times for both guns have been nerfed.

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Call of Duty: WW2 is my first Call of Duty. This, I'm told, is an odd thing. How could I possibly have managed to avoid playing a Call of Duty game over the last 10 years? Well, Activision's mega shooter series has never sparked an interest in me before. Modern Warfare? I was too busy playing Halo 3. Black Ops? I was into Reach. Ghosts passed me by (I did like Colin the dog, though), and then it was on to Destiny.

This week Call of Duty: WW2 saw the release of its first DLC pack, dubbed, The Resistance, for the PlayStation 4 version of the game. I've put time into the three new multiplayer maps, the new War map and the new Zombies chapter, and can happily report that they're all pretty great, and I had a blast getting to grips with all the new gubbins on offer.

Big new Call of Duty: WW2 update is just what the game needed

Sledgehammer Games has released perhaps the most substantial update for Call of Duty: WW2 yet.

Update 1.09, which comes alongside the Resistance event, adds new weapons, new game modes, a raft of user interface tweaks and fixes and, crucially, makes key gameplay changes.

Let's start with the user interface. Sledgehammer has moved the HQ from being the first default option in the "find match" menu - a change players have called for since the game came out last year. Previously, players would often accidentally trigger the start of HQ when they wanted to jump straight into another part of the game.

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The year in loot boxes

The empire strikes back.

The great Star Wars debacle - and I'm not talking about The Last Jedi's second act here - dominated video game headlines in the last quarter of 2017. But in truth the year was packed with depressing stories about loot boxes, so many in fact that it has at times felt like our beloved hobby was more about the chance to win a rare item than it was about the chance to play.

The year in Nazis

2017 - the year we did Nazi coming.

The reason we don't have annual "The Year In Nazis" articles is because not many years are like this one, in which fascist ideas have seeped and clawed their way back to a dreadful prominence that has transformed virtual Nazi killing from a leisure activity into a political one.

Long-awaited Call of Duty: WW2 patch nerfs the best gun in the game

Sledgehammer has revealed a big patch for Call of Duty: WW2 which makes some much-needed changes to the game.

Perhaps the headline change is a nerf to the M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle, otherwise known as the BAR. Most players agree the BAR is one of, if not the best weapons in the game. The video below from YouTube Drift0r goes into detail on the BAR's qualities. In short, it's powerful (it's one of the few fully automatic assault rifles that can kill in three or four shots), has decent range and is super accurate. Well, it was super accurate.

Today's patch brings with it a nerf to the BAR that increases the recoil, which makes it less accurate and in turn less deadly. Now, the BAR isn't all of a sudden a terrible weapon, but it's perhaps not quite so overpowered.

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Call of Duty: WW2 devs accidentally gave everyone double XP from launch

Call of Duty: WW2 developer Sledgehammer accidentally gave all players double XP from the launch of the game - and have only now turned it off.

Sledgehammer launched a 2XP event for the weekend just gone, but players soon noticed the amount of XP they gained wasn't quite double.

So what happened? Sledgehammer co-founder Michael Condrey took to Twitter to confirm the studio accidentally triggered 3XP when the event went live because, unbeknown to players, 2XP was already in place.

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How does Call of Duty: WW2 look on Xbox One X and PS4 Pro?

Every year, a new Call of Duty arrives, the franchise standard bearer for 60 frames per second gameplay and by extension, the end product of some of the industry's most talented engineers, miraculously working more effects and features into a minuscule 16.7ms per frame time slice. Based on what we've seen so far, WW2 can stand proud alongside the technological miracle that was last year's Infinite Warfare. Small issues aside, this is another beautiful-looking title, pushing the series on once again without unduly compromising the 60fps lock.

To be clear though, this is just a first look at WW2, with an emphasis on the premium console platforms - PS4 Pro and Xbox One. And our focus is limited to the campaign, the area of Call of Duty titles where the linear nature of the experience typically allows the developers to carefully budget resources, pushing the sliders up as far as they can comfortably go. It's in this area of the game where COD typically delivers the most bang for your buck, but it's a world apart from the more freeform multiplayer.

Regardless, it's fascinating to see the aesthetic of the game and the core enhancements in technology reflect the series' aim to get back to a more realistic setting. The lighting in WW2 is a massive revamp from what we've seen from the series before, the COD engine (or at least Sledgehammer Games' fork of it) offering up a beautiful, full HDR presentation for the first time. The realism extends to materials too, which fit seamlessly into the scene in all areas. There's also a renewed emphasis on character rendering: WW2 features beautifully realised characters, with remarkably well-realised skin shaders and excellent animation.

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Call of Duty: WW2 gets its first big update

Call of Duty: WW2 gets its first big update

But Headquarters is still lonely.

Call of Duty: WW2 has its first big update - but it doesn't fix the game's troubled social space.

Sledgehammer's first-person shooter has got off to a rocky start performance-wise, with connection issues and server problems marring what is a solid and fun multiplayer experience (I like War mode in particular).

The launch troubles were so bad, Sledgehammer had to make the 48-player social space default to solo only (you can still invite friends into the Headquarters).

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Call of Duty: WW2 launch sales double Infinite Warfare

Activision's annual Call of Duty: WW2 sales press release is in, and amongst the bombastic headlines are a couple of genuinely interesting tidbits.

First off, just like Assassin's Creed earlier today, Call of Duty: WW2's launch sales were double that of its series' previous entry.

As we noted earlier in the week, when the UK chart was published, this says a lot about how little Infinite Warfare did for the series, but it's still pleasing to see COD bounce back.

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Who wore it better - Activision or Thomas Pynchon?

Or why I reckon Call of Duty: WW2 has the V-2 all wrong

I will state up-front that I am no historian. I know next to nothing about World War 2. But the one thing I thought I knew revolves around the V-2 rocket. And now the V-2 rocket is in COD: WW2, I'm starting to worry I might be wrong about that as well.

Call of Duty: WW2 review

RecommendedCall of Duty: WW2 review

Loot's on the ground.

It begins, unsurprisingly, on the beach. The throwback to a throwback, from Call of Duty World War to Call of Duty 2, from Medal of Honor Allied Assault all the way to Saving Private Ryan. As the bullets whistle past your ears and thud into the churning sea, as sand scatters and machine guns rattle, as soldiers scream and shout and run, there's more than a feeling that we've done this all before.

Call of Duty: WW2

Developer: Sledgehammer Games/Raven Software

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Call of Duty WW2 launch sales up by half on Infinite Warfare

Call of Duty WW2 has stormed the UK chart, with sales up significantly on last year.

WW2 launch sales were up by an impressive 57 per cent on 2016's unloved space-based installment Infinite Warfare. It's an impressive stat, although one which goes to show just how much last year's COD missed the mark.

Infinite Warfare sales were themselves down 48 per cent on 2015's Black Ops 3 - making Call of Duty WW2's total likely just under that of 2015's game (although UK numbers company Chart-Track does not count digital downloads).

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Are loot boxes gambling?

Crate escape.

Sin City is the global capital of gambling. Casinos with colourful chips, well-postured croupiers and automaton pensioners plugged into slot machines. At first glance it might not seem sinister, but strip back the glamour and Las Vegas paints a sad picture - its denizens cogs in a billion-dollar machine fuelled by potentially addictive gaming. The novelty of the place can hide its true intentions.

PC gamers hope for improvements after hackers and performance issues mar the Call of Duty: WW2 beta

It rings out from the rooftops, across vast swaths of the Net - Call of Duty is in trouble. Yes, after rocketing past the drone-choked skies of its "near-future" into the same bleak vacuum of military-fetishist sci-fi occupied by its rival, Titanfall 2, COD finds itself desperately jamming on the eject button as it falls back down to Earth.

Set upon by the encroaching tide of so-called "hero shooters" brimming with colour and vibrancy, steward Sledgehammer Games has retreated to the closest thing the megaseries ever had to a coherent identity - the beaches of Normandy, set in sepia like an insect in amber, where soldiers were soldiers, Nazis were Nazis and those heavy boots stayed planted firmly in the sand.

But even as the ludicrously-named Call of Duty: WW2 creeps ever-closer to its 3rd November release date, if the bumpy reception of last week's open beta is anything to go by, Sledgehammer still has a ways to go - even as the studio head recently announced the end of creative work on the project.

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Call of Duty: WW2's new story trailer reiterates that war is hell

Call of Duty: WW2 has unleashed a new trailer highlighting its single-player story campaign.

Unlike Bethesda's jollier Nazi-slaying Wolfenstein series, Call of Duty: WW2 looks to remain historically accurate with no shortage of gruesome imagery. While not explicitly revealed, this trailer seems to tease a stage set around a concentration camp with one character interrogated by a Nazi commander before being forced onto a train. Of course, there's a chance this soldier could be saved before it comes to that as another character proclaims: "let's take that bridge and find our boy!"

While we're not sure how deep this historical atrocity rabbit hole Activision's shooter will tread, we know that its campaign will include swastikas and other Nazi iconography, but only in its single-player story mode.

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Call of Duty: WW2 is getting an open beta on PC this month

Call of Duty: WW2 is getting an open beta on PC this month

Tentative system requirements revealed.

Call of Duty: WW2 is getting an open beta on PC via Steam from 29th September through 2nd October.

Unlike the console beta that occurred earlier this month, this will be available to everyone - not just those who pre-ordered the game.

Developer Sledgehammer Games said that part of the reason for its openness is because it wants to "stress test core gameplay systems and online backend infrastructure at scale".

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How Call of Duty: WW2's new play of the game works

Forget your K/D - it's all about "top performance".

If you've been playing the Call of duty: WW2 multiplayer beta (check out Edwin's impressions here), you'll have noticed the new Overwatch play of the game-style feature that displays at the end of a match.

Digital FoundryCan Call of Duty: World War 2 improve on one of gaming's fastest engines?

Digital Foundry gets to grips with Sledgehammer's PS4 and Pro beta code.

It's only a tiny slice of the final product of course - a taster of three years' hard graft from one of the most respected developers in the business - but the arrival of the Call of Duty: World War 2 beta gives us our first look at how Sledgehammer Games has evolved one of the most significant console engines of this generation, and how its work scales between PlayStation 4 and PS4 Pro.

Searching for the past in the Call of Duty: WW2 beta

So we're fighting the Nazis again. And in the game. Call of Duty's return to the heroism-soaked beaches and foxholes of World War 2 is either providentially or unfortunately timed. Wolfenstein and Sniper Elite's fine efforts notwithstanding, I'd sort of forgotten that National Socialism was once the industry's second favourite foe (its favourite being zombies, which are both dependably noxious and, as mindless cannibals, easier to design around), and it's odd to be kicking the crap out of them, or indeed kicking crap as them, in the context of a genuine far-right resurgence.

Small wonder that actual National Socialist iconography is absent from the game's multiplayer, or that National Socialism's obsession with racial purity and patriarchal values doesn't apply when it comes to customising your avatar. Call of Duty: World War 2 may style itself an authentic recreation in places, but it's governed by the understanding that history is always a Machiavellian fabrication, a daydream that trades in the appearance of fidelity for political force. In a world where a For Honor emote derived from an 11th century papal address can become an accidental rallying point for alt-right trolls, it repays developers to be selective when assembling their visions of the past.

Call of Duty: World War 2 isn't just a selective representation of World War 2, of course - it's a selective representation of Call of Duty's original WW2 phase, as much a continuation of lessons learned in the Modern/Advanced Warfare years as it is a back-to-basics reboot. Fire up the Pointe du Hoc map in this weekend's beta and you might feel like you're storming trenches in Call of Duty 2, but this is a vista refracted through the prisms of later games. Most obviously, there are all the usual killstreaks: Modern Warfare's radar sweep, the competitive MP equivalent of the Wilhelm scream; on-rails turret gunning from Modern Warfare 2; a posse of AI-controlled paratroopers who recall World of War's legendary attack dogs.

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The Call of Duty: WW2 beta is free on Hong Kong PSN

The Call of Duty: WW2 beta is free on Hong Kong PSN

UPDATE: Beta live early in all regions.

UPDATE 25th August 2017: Activision has confirmed the Call of Duty: WW2 beta has gone live early on PlayStation 4. We have tested it and it works. The beta is now live for all regions.

ORIGINAL STORY 24th August 2017: The Call of Duty: WW2 beta is free to download from the Hong Kong PlayStation Store - unlike in the UK where it's only available for those who pre-order. We've tested it, it works. All you need to do to is sign up for a Hong Kong PlayStation Network account, which takes two minutes.

Twitter user Moriarty spotted the free download and posted a screenshot of the listing, which shows the "Call of Duty: WW2 Early Access Beta (English Version)" with a "try free demo" button beside it.

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Call of Duty: WW2's private multiplayer beta detailed

Call of Duty: WW2's private multiplayer beta detailed

Debuts new Divisions upgrade system and War Mode.

Call of Duty: WW2's private multiplayer beta goes live on 25th August for those who pre-order the game on PS4 and now we know what it includes.

According to developer Sledgehammer Games, this early build will introduce players to the game's two major new features: Divisions and War Mode. The former is a new take on an upgrade system. Rather than opt for previous entries' "Pick 10" Create-a-Class system, Divisions offers five distinct classes: Infantry, Expeditionary, Airborne, Armored, and Mountain Division.

War Mode is a new large scale battle of Axis vs. Allied forces that seems similar to Battlefield 1's objective-based Operations. Co-developed by Raven Software, War Mode's sole beta entry is called Operation Breakout and it's set in St. Lo, France.

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In memory of Call of Duty's cyborgs

Advancing under fire.

Call of Duty has finally washed its hands of the far future, ejecting from Infinite Warfare's glistening cockpit and plunging headlong into the barbed wire thickets and bullet-churned foxholes of the 1940s. But given that Call of Duty is already the War To End All Wars, reshaping periods and places to fit its own, ageless and perpetually revisited strain of corridor shoot-out, what does a return to World War 2 actually mean in practice? The resumed brownification of video game visuals aside, it means the end of the series' brief, torrid love affair with powered exoskeletons and cybernetic enhancements, initiated by Advanced Warfare in 2014. Exosuits remain the fashion elsewhere - consider BioWare's Anthem, in which mechs surge like dolphins through the foliage of a collapsed Earth - and it's possible that 2018's Call of Duty (Black Ops 4, presumably) will bring them back into play. But Sledgehammer's decision to clear the table of cybernetic enhancements is a pivotal moment for a trope that has given rise to some powerful experiments.

How Call of Duty: WW2 handles swastikas and female soldiers

"I'll come right through the front door on it…"

By setting the next Call of Duty in World War 2, Activision charged the developers at Sledgehammer Games with coming up with a philosophy for dealing with Nazi iconography and the possibility of playing as non-German male soldiers when the game puts players on the Axis side in multiplayer.

Call of Duty: WW2 gets reveal trailer and release date

Call of Duty: WW2 gets reveal trailer and release date

Pre-orders get early beta access.

Call of Duty: WW2 has been officially revealed in a livestream. You can see snippets of it in action in the debut trailer below:

It will launch 3rd November for PS4, Xbox One and PC.

Those who pre-order will get early access to a private multiplayer beta ahead of release. No date has been set for this yet,

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Call of Duty: WW2 officially confirmed by Activision

Last month, Eurogamer reported this year's Call of Duty would be set in World War 2, and named COD: WW2. Today, this report has been confirmed, as publisher Activision has teased a full reveal for Call of Duty: WW2 on Twitter.

Yes, it really is called Call of Duty: WW2. We don't know much about the game besides the era in which it's set, but details will be announced on Wednesday, 26th April, at 6pm UK time.

Activision previously claimed that it wanted to bring the series "back to its roots", suggesting a return to World War 2 after several more recent entries have moved the setting to the present or near future.

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