Call of Duty: WW2’s return to its historical roots is not just a sudden change of scenery for the more recently high-tech franchise — it’s also a return to a more grounded kind of shooter in general. The advanced weaponry and enhanced mobility mechanics of the series’ last handful of games are obviously gone in favor of period-appropriate firearms and movement that doesn’t get much fancier than vaulting over cover.
Those looking for the type of power fantasy offered by Advanced Warfare might not get the same kick out of crawling through the mud and having bell towers crumble down on you and your teammates, but it seems there are still plenty of big, cinematic set pieces to keep the experience as thrilling — just in new ways. Whether or not that’s compatible with the “authentic” World War experience its creative directors seem to be aiming for is another story. Then again, how many of us are looking for a touching, meaningful meditation on war’s atrocities from a series known for its action flick-style bombast?