18 years after Medal of Honor, the original World War II shooter created by developers who would later go onto found Infinity Ward, we’re back on the beaches of Normandy for Sledgehammer Games’ Call of Duty: World War II. This is the one we’ve all been asking for – a return to boots-on-the-ground gameplay for everyone’s favorite blockbuster first-person shooter series – and Sledgehammer seems to have delivered with aplomb.
COD: WWII is a sprawling FPS epic, offering a stirring seven-hour campaign, a massively expanded multiplayer offering and, of course, Nazi Zombies. We’re going to take a look at each component individually over the next few days, but to get you up and running, here’s a few tips for anyone setting foot in multiplayer for the first time.
Choose your Division carefully
When you first get to Headquarters, the new Destiny-style social hub that forms the backdrop to all multiplayer activities, you’ll be greeted with a slick set of “Recruitment” videos that serve as the means to pick your class. There are five Divisions you can join – Infantry, Airborne, Armored, Mountain and Expeditionary – and each has unique Basic Training abilities that give it a certain flavor in combat, so it’s important to choose yours carefully.
Infantry is the one to choose if you like getting up close and personal, because the bayonet is an instant kill when you’re in someone’s face, whereas other classes usually need a couple of stabs of the melee button to deliver fatal damage. Airborne is the assault class, with a suppressor and faster movement speed. Armored are basically tanks, who can use light machineguns with a bipod, and soak up more damage. Mountain are snipers, with various perks to match, and Expeditionary are another close-range choice thanks to their incendiary shotgun shells. They’re also French, so clearly they’re the classy choice.
Think about how you usually play Call of Duty and choose your Division accordingly. We initially went for Infantry, not realizing how each class worked, but started seeing better results when we switched to Airborne because it suited our playstyle better.
Explore Headquarters fully
HQ may seem like an unnecessary novelty on the surface of it, but it’s woven deeply into the fabric of COD WWII multiplayer and embracing it will help you unlock more stuff and level up faster. The first thing you should do is go pick up some Orders, which come in daily and weekly varieties, and instruct you to do things like capture 10 points in Domination or win a game of TDM. The rewards for these range from Armory Credits to Rare Supply Drops, and since they’re awarded for doing stuff you would be doing anyway – i.e. trying to win – you should make sure you always have some active. You should also make sure that any available Boosts are active to help level faster.
There’s a lot more to HQ than that. There are various training areas, including a firing range and somewhere to try out all the different scorestreaks away from the frontlines, as well as vendors and a 1v1 pit where you can queue up to fight other players mano a mano. This is an addictive pastime anyway, whether you’re playing or spectating, but inevitably it also tosses up some solid rewards if you get onto a winning streak.
Finally, HQ is a social space, so you’ll be exploring it alongside other real players, and that’s where the social score comes in. You can equip various emotes to the d-pad, and if you interact with other players, or offer them commendations through the menus, you’ll boost your social score, which in turn boosts your XP, which obviously helps you level up faster. Make a special effort to be nice to people, and good things will happen.
Focus on modes that suit you
There’s a wide range of stuff to do in multiplayer, from TDM and Domination to Gridiron, Search & Destroy, and of course the new War mode. By all means dabble in everything, but if you find something you like and you’re good at, don’t be afraid to focus on that to help you get your eye in. There’s nothing wrong with building yourself into a Domination one-trick who knows all the maps and strats instinctively before you start trying to win the War.
As for how to get ahead in each mode, Sledgehammer’s Greg Reisdorf shared some tips today that make a lot of sense. He recommended new players start with Domination, because it’s an objective-based mode where you can help your team just by capturing objectives, so even if you’re dying every 10 seconds and wouldn’t know jump-shotting from Adam, Domination will probably give you a beachhead to work with.
Reisdorf also recommended the Airborne class for Gridiron, COD WW2’s boots-on-the-ground take on the American Football-inspired Uplink. Since this is a mode where you’re running around trying to make plays with a virtual football, Airborne is a good bet because the Gunslinger basic training lets you shoot while sprinting. Slap on a sub-machinegun and Gunslinger, says Reisdorf, and you’ll be a beast.
Meanwhile, if the more exacting Search & Destroy is your poison, throw on a great gaming headset (we can probably recommend a couple you’d like!) and take advantage of the game’s audio design to get the jump on enemies. Playing as the Mountain Division class, you’ll have quieter footsteps yourself, and by listening for movement around bomb sites, you’ll inevitably be able to pick up kills on unsuspecting opponents.
Above all, take your time and have fun!
Call of Duty launch day can be a frantic time – everything’s new and exciting, and everyone wants to Prestige as quickly as possible – but there really isn’t any hurry. COD: WWII is an incredibly generous proposition, with what feels like three entire games’ worth of content, all of which is rife with new ideas and cool features, so drink it all in at your leisure. You’ll learn the maps in good time, and you’ll figure out the best loadouts and unlock the best stuff as you go. Trust us – it’s better to be a well-rested soldier than a frazzled one. GLHF!