Beyond allowing series veterans to gain a tantalising taste of the full product and drum up hype – not to mention pre-orders – ahead of release, multiplayer betas generally serve a wider purpose for developers, allowing them a near-unparalleled insight into gameplay faults which sorely need remedying before the rest of the public plunge into the finished package.
Take Sledgehammer Games, who appear to have jotted down notes aplenty on potential areas for improvement over the course of historical FPS Call of Duty: WWII’s PS4-exclusive first private beta. Only so many changes can be made in the three months remaining until release, of course, but suffice to say the developers don’t look set to rest on their laurels…
- Writing on COD: WWII’s community page, the studio has announced a bevy of gameplay revisions, some likely to have only an incremental effect upon the player experience come November, others sure to be all but unmissable.
- On the former front, as one would expect Sledgehammer promises to remedy any bugs highlighted by beta participants in recent weeks, along with optimising elements like hit feedback, the strength of imbalanced units like paratroopers and the vulnerability of recon aircraft to rifle gunfire and incendiary shells.
- More importantly, though, their biggest admission was this: “You know what else would help to improve [WWII]? More maps and modes.” No further details have been provided just yet as to the precise implications of this vague mission statement, but even if the umpteenth COD instalment – we’ve lost count by now – debuts with as many gameplay modes and maps to roam as originally promised, chances are more are forthcoming via DLC packs sooner rather than later.
Sledgehammer clearly intend for this evolving learning process to continue throughout the final stages of WWII’s development too, since September 1st-4th saw a second beta weekend in operation for the studio to gather further data on the strengths and weaknesses of the project in its current form.
Time will tell whether the team tasked with restoring faith in the Call of Duty brand after 2016’s space-bound Infinite Warfare failed to reach its recent predecessors’ lofty commercial heights – despite its Special Edition’s inclusion of a long-awaited Modern Warfare remaster – though that they’re so intent on constantly learning from their mistakes could if nothing else bode well for a franchise too often obsessed with maintaining the status quo.
Look out for plenty more coverage of Call of Duty: WWII, gameplay tweaks and all, in the run-up to its November 3rd release on PS4, Xbox One and PC.