Call of Duty fans weren’t too impressed with last year’s Infinite Warfare.
It wasn’t actually a bad game – but the leap into space proved too alien for most.
The result was lower than expected sales figures and a rallying cry to take COD back to its roots.
Enter Call of Duty WWII, which returns to the harrowing battle tackled in the original 2007 game.
You play as private Ronald “Red” Daniels of the 1st Infantry Division, who take part in gruelling battles across the Western Front.
Here’s why it could be exactly what the series needed.
Sledgehammer Games were behind the brilliant Advanced Warfare – which boasted some seriously impressive visuals.
This time, though, they’ve cranked them up a few notches.
Perhaps the most impressive use of the engine comes in the opening sequence, a stunning Normandy beach assault reminiscent of Steven Spielberg’s epic, Saving Private Ryan.
Bodies get cut down by machine gun fire, the sea turns red with blood – it’s all disturbingly impressive stuff, which has been tackled with care and accuracy.
If there’s one criticism, it’s the inclusion of motion blur and depth of field.
Whereas Spielberg’s epic had a raw, pale colour palette – COD WWII boasts a ‘Hollywood’ sheen that takes away from some of the realism.
Still, character models are well animated and detailed – with Transformer’s star Josh Duhamel looking indistinguishable from real life.
There’s also a sophisticated damage system – which sees limbs detach from bodies during explosions or high-calibre weapon fire.
Unsurprisingly, the age rating has jumped from Infinite Warfare’s 15 to an 18 – and it’s a hard one at that.
For those new to the series (there won’t be many) COD’s played from a first-person perspective.
While the last games added complex moving systems, such as double jumps, you’ll find nothing of that ilk here.
There’s no unlimited sprint, while slide has been replaced with a soldier-style dive on the ground.
Single-player gameplay is as expected – fast, frantic and with an emphasis on picking up and scavenging weapons and ammo.
Cover is vitally important, with fixed machine gun fire able to mow you down in seconds.
Grenades, too, are a constant pain – and can, luckily, be returned to sender.
Should enemies get too close, which will happen often, brutal melee kills can put them down.
For many people, it’s multiplayer that holds the greatest appeal – and thankfully COD WWII really delivers.
In online multiplayer matches, you are randomly assigned an Allies or Axis side.
As the Allies, you’re able to play as American, British, or French Resistance armies, while the Axis sees you play as the Germans.
There’s no create-a-class system, replaced instead by Divisions. Here, you’ll have a choice of five ‘classes’, each with their own training and skills.
These range from Infantry, equipped with an automatic rifle for mid-long range combat, to Mountain, the sniper class.
For those who enjoy running in, Armored offers the heaviest firepower and carry rocket launches as secondary weapons.
There’s also a Headquarters, which serves as the social space in the game.
Here you’ll find loot boxes, as well as a firing range to brush up on weapon skills. You’re also able to take part in 1 v 1 fights and watch duels.
Apart from Team Deathmatch, which returns with aplomb, be sure to check out War Mode.
This sees you team up and fight for objectives, much like a smaller version of Battlefield’s Conquest mode.
Some of the most fun you can have in COD is with Zombies.
COD WWII offers a stand-alone cooperative campaign that sees you embark on a chilling journey through a snowy Bavarian village in Germany.
Expect plenty of guns and relentless action – with one wrong move or lapse in concentration costing you dearly.
All in all, it’s a very impressive package.
PS. For the bigger COD fans among you, the Cable Guys have launched COD WWII-themed device holders.
These come with a three-metre long USB cable and adaptors – making them perfect to charge phones and controllers.