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Review: Call of Duty: WWII - United Front

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Third time is a charm?

So far Call of Duty: WWII's add-ons have stayed the course. Some of you might know even be aware that WWII is on its third DLC -- that's how low key these releases have been.

United Front mostly maintains the status quo as we wait for Black Ops 4.

Call of Duty: WWII - United Front (PC, PS4 [reviewed], Xbox One)
Developer: Sledgehammer Games
Publisher: Activision
Released: June 26, 2018 (PS4) / TBA (PC, Xbox One)
MSRP: $14.99 ($50 Season Pass for four packs)

Maybe their would be an outcry if say, Sledgehammer put a waterpark level into a historically-centric shooter, but I think they could make it work (how about a troupe stumbles across one?). In the meantime we have Market Garden, set in an Allied mansion base in the Netherlands.

While the initial wow factor hit  me as I looked up at the Gatsby-esque structure right after zoning in, the mysticism faded quickly. Many of the more interesting locales are boarded up or otherwise inaccessible, most notably a burning watch tower that would have been a really fun place to set up shop. Most of the perimeter is barren, but the centerpiece makes for some great objective-based play.

Italy is a perfect setting for pretty much any form of media, but the washed-out countryside of Monte Cassino isn't doing the prospect any favors. As a real 1944 battle (literally a mountain west of Cassino) it has its roots in reality, but the reality of this adaptation is a little too dull.

Paintings are nicely placed across the war-torn roads, several of which are direct copies. It's a minute thing to point out, especially for a DLC map, but it sets the tone for Monte Cassino -- there isn't anything special here.

Stalingrad is one of the most tried and true Call of Duty maps, both from the perspective of solo and group play. It's a no-brainer for an inclusion in a World War 2 joint. Oh, and you better believe it's snowy.

A lot has changed since some of the older COD games, and that list includes better particle effects. The juxtaposition of flurries and flames makes for a great visual, and Stalingrad is open enough to generally work as a remake -- and the strongest board in the DLC.

Operation Supercharge is the next addition to the mini-mission mutliplayer supported mode, and immediately jumps out because of its Tunisian setting. It's a front few works of fiction have explored, and the micro-objectives will help ease you into it.

Navigating air drops while engaging in firefights has always been one of the more intense aspects of Call of Duty's dominate killstreak era, and you immediately get a sense of that in Supercharge as you race the clock to grab parachuted-in supplies which may or may not drop onto a rooftop. If you like operations and consider them to to be the best part of WW2's add-ons, you'll dig it.

Zombies: The Tortured Path is possibly one of the most familiar zombies maps in the history of the series. You'd be hard pressed to pick it out of a lineup, which isn't a great look given just how many insane concepts each of the three teams has handled in the past (we've seen Shangri-La, Alcatraz, and even the old west).

Working toward the Easter egg is still enjoyable, especially with a team as you're all trying to figure out the riddles upon riddles, and the "darker" theme works to its advantage, especially when the environments are a little more fleshed out, as does its main gimmick.

Tortured Path is framed as more of a wave-based survival affair than an endless romp, complete with its own unlocked chapters, a more advanced XP system (which mainly feels like it was implemented to encourage grinding) and randomized (mostly basic) micro-objectives. It's a very cool idea, I just wish it was utilized in a more exciting setting.

Season passes for Call of Duty games are unpredictable. Sometimes they'll dole out maps you can't find in any other shooter and add a nice zombie cherry on top (Treyarch is the king of that sweetness). On many other occasions they'll simple augment the existing experience, and your mileage may vary depending on how strong the core is. That's how United Front feels.

When, not if, Black Ops 4 unveils its season pass, I hope they go big or go home with wackier ideas and a little something different.

[This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]

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Call of Duty: WWII - United Front reviewed by Chris Carter

6.5

ALL RIGHT

Slightly above average or simply inoffensive. Fans of the genre should enjoy it a bit, but a fair few will be left unfulfilled.
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Chris Carter
Chris CarterReviews Director, Co-EIC   gamer profile

Chris has been enjoying Destructoid avidly since 2008. He finally decided to take the next step, make an account, and start blogging in January of 2009. Now, he's staff! ------------------- T... more + disclosures


 


 


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