Sledgehammer fights COD: WWII bugs on the beaches with post-beta update

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.

Katheryn Winnick joins doctors and daredevils in COD: WWII Zombies

With just over three months standing between developer Sledgehammer Games and their latest project’s release, Activision has confirmed Katheryn Winnick as the newest addition to the voice cast of Call of Duty: WWII’s multiplayer Zombies campaign.


  • The co-op component in question focuses on “an entirely new story” to previous Zombies-featuring entries like World at War or Black Ops, substituting the hilariously over-the-top confrontation between JFK, Nixon and the living dead for what Sledgehammer calls a “pretty horrifying” alternative rendition of WW2’s titular conflict.
  • Winnick will wade into this desperate battle for survival as Marie Fischer, an “intrepid” avatar who’ll bear witness – albeit in an as yet unconfirmed capacity of friend of foe – to “the Third Reich’s desperate attempt to create an army in the final stages of the war”.
  • The 39-year-old actress needn’t fear a sense of isolation in the Zombies recording booth, however, since this bonus COD adventure has already attracted plenty of star talent; listen out for past Doctor Who and Kinect Sports Rivals narrator David Tennant along with Elodie Young, better known to TV fans as Daredevil and The Defenders’ bandana-donning version of ninja fatale Elektra.

It’s safe to say given Sledgehammer’s emphasis on WW2’s back to basics formula that Zombies won’t likely get quite as much attention in the latest FPS instalment’s marketing as the solo plot. Even so, the more iconic stars like these that Activision attracts to lend their vocal chords, the more hype the mode’s sure to generate in the run-up to release.

Speaking of which, keep those vintage 1940s binoculars trained on D-pad Joy for all the latest news, opinions and our final verdict on Call of Duty: WWII in its entirety as its November 3rd launch on PS4, Xbox One and PC nears ever closer.

Meanwhile, check out the Zombies reveal trailer below…

Call of Duty: WW2 shows off Nazi Zombies co-op survival mode

Sledgehammer Games has shown off the new co-op survival experience in Call of Duty: WWII called ‘Nazi Zombies’. Here’s what they had to say:

Players will embark on a chilling and mysterious journey through a snowy Bavarian village in Mittelburg, Germany, as they attempt to recover priceless works of art stolen by the Axis powers in World War II. This village holds a shadowy secret key to an unimaginable and monstrous power. Nothing is as it seems in this zombies horror, as a dark and sinister plot unfolds to unleash an invincible Nazi army of the dead.

The new co-op mode features some recognisable faces too: David Tennant from Doctor Who, Katheryn Winnick from Vikings, Udo Kier from Melancholia, Ving Rhames from Dawn of the Dead and Elodie Yung from Daredevil. Quite a cast. You’ll be able to see these guys recreated in-game.

Call of Duty: WW2 is released on PS4, Xbox One and PC on November 3rd. Has this given you one more reason to buy it?

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered standalone re-release inbound

UPDATE – Activision has just officially confirmed that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered will launch on its lonesome next week, coming to PS4 “first” in stores and via PSN on June 27th, then to Xbox One and PC at a TBC later date.


If the prospects of the just-released Zombie Chronicles spin-off or this November’s WW2 outing weren’t enough to leave Call of Duty fans salivating this year, then the rumour-mill suggests series publisher Activision may have a further nostalgic ace up its sleeve.

The ace in question? A standalone re-packaging of last year’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered purportedly set to grace video game retailers the world over on June 27th, if CharlieIntel’s reports of its shipping to GameStop and other stores already hold weight.

Originally released in a hefty £90 special edition bundle with 2016’s divisive space-bound COD effort Infinite Warfare, the FPS remake resurrected its critically adored 2008 source material in sparkling HD form with both its visceral, refreshingly grounded campaign (“All Ghillied Up” included, naturally) and similarly acclaimed online multiplayer modes intact.

That didn’t save the Infinity Ward developed – and somewhat egotistically-titled, thinking about it – Infinite from underwhelming sales though, with analysts reporting a sales drop of over 50% from 2015’s Black Ops III despite the long-awaited Remastered’s inclusion.

Indeed, it’s hardly a stretch to guess six months on from the 13th Call of Duty instalment’s launch that the special edition’s sales might have outpaced the standard edition’s, prompting Activision’s enthusiasm to capitalise on Modern Warfare’s evidently long-lived appeal.

Whether this gamble will pay off, however, inevitably depends on two factors, namely the veracity of CharlieIntel’s claims and the volume of ardent franchise fans remaining who haven’t shelled out the extra cash for Infinite’s premium bundle already.

There’s certainly evidence in the former regard, with US superstore Target for instance recently thought to have added a standalone version of Remastered to their website listings for $39.99 (£25), but the latter question remains far harder to quantify for the time being, and misjudging the fervour for such a release would likely prove costly to Activision at best.

Expect to hear more from Activision on Remastered’s future – or lack thereof – shortly, but until then, don’t miss our guide to all of the key details on how the COD franchise is returning to its roots with Call of Duty: WW2 this November.

Call of Duty: WWII Details & Teaser Trailer

After teasing a global announcement over the weekend, Activision have kicked the marketing train for their fourteenth Call of Duty entry fully into gear, unveiling new details on what’s to come when the franchise returns this November 3rd on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC.

Dubbed Call of Duty: WWII, the Sledgehammer Games-developed spiritual successor to 2008’s World at War will – in Activision’s words – aim to convey “the story of heroism on a global scale”, presenting fans with a supposedly “gritty, intense campaign” which professes to pack “overwhelming odds and hostile terrain across Europe”, not to mention Transformers star Josh Duhamel’s chiselled features in digital form.

Indeed, Duhamel’s presence represents just one of a number of unexpected twists contained within the teaser trail regarding the single-player storyline, with other surprises including the reprisal of Call of Duty 2‘s iconic Normandy landings; the Apocalypse Now-esque psychological turmoil evidently awaiting our newly-recruited Texan protagonist and his comrades on the battlefields; and the opportunity to gain access to a pre-release private multiplayer beta for those keen enough to pre-order the title.

The news from Wednesday’s hour-spanning livestream reveal didn’t end there, either. Answering a variety of probing Twitter questions from their intrepid fan-base, Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg and other members of the WWII development team confirmed COD‘s famed multiplayer offerings will return in full force.

Ranging from the Divisions class system with its myriad perks to War Mode’s challenge of pitting factions in a prolonged conflict over multiple locations, from the sure-to-be brag-laden Headquarters social platform to a co-op campaign once again featuring – yes, you probably guessed it – hordes of undead Nazi foes for players and their comrades to mow down, there looks set to be no shortage of offline and online modes to keep fans sated until the next annual instalment.

Yet while DICE apparently intends to halt its Marmite season pass model for Star Wars: Battlefront II this autumn after the backlash that emerged from its predecessor’s lack of recent content, we’re hearing nothing of the sort on Activision’s part in this instance. Quite to the contrary, a WWII Season Pass has already been confirmed, available for approximately £40 / $50 on its lonesome or as part of two bumper packages set to retail alongside the standard edition.

Indeed, those willing to go the extra mile in monetary terms for their next COD dosage can sleep safe in the knowledge that both a Digital Deluxe and Pro Edition of Sledgehammer’s second full franchise contribution are available for pre-order as we speak, with the former housing the Season Pass “and more” exclusive content while the latter adds a steelbook to the equation for £80 / $100.

Expect plenty more coverage from us soon on Call of Duty: WWII‘s E3 gameplay reveals (we can hear the explosions already), subsequent announcements and the title’s overall prospects amidst the horde of AAA licences making their returns this autumn, but until then, check out the full livestream recap below for further details on what the Second World War holds for players 80 years on.

Call of Duty: WW2 announced: The times are quite literally a’changing

It would seem that the times are quite literally a’changing for the Call of Duty series this year, as Sledgehammer Games prepare to transport players back to the historical era where it all began.

Following countless rumours from Eurogamer and other sources surrounding the title’s existence, the FPS franchise’s official Twitter account confirmed yesterday that its fourteenth instalment will indeed go by the name Call of Duty: WWII. “After three years in the making,” Eric Hirshberg, the CEO of publisher Activision, tweeted, “Call of Duty is going back to its roots.”

Short of a colossal rug-pull of M. Night Shyamalan proportions, the news all but confirms that as with the first, second, third and fifth core COD entries, fans will swap the space-bound action of last year’s Infinite Warfare for the trench combat and gruelling brutality of the Second World War (1939-1945) here.

The possible reasons for this sudden time-jump after years of the annual saga dabbling with modern and near-future conflicts are endless, but that EA’s rival shooter Battlefield 1 ditched its franchise’s recent modern warfare trappings last year and scored 10 points higher than Infinite Warfare on Metacritic won’t likely have gone unnoticed despite the latter’s superior sales.

Further details are few and far between at present, though UK retailer GAME’s pre-order listing of a “standard edition” of WWII may hint that announcements of the franchise’s trademark special editions mightn’t be far behind. What’s more, if Sledgehammer views EA’s recent FPS development strategy as a guide, then the revelation that Star Wars: Battlefront II won’t feature a season pass could prove influential too.

What we do know for certain, though, is that more information on the project will follow this Wednesday, April 26th at 10am PDT / 1pm EDT / 5pm GMT via a worldwide reveal on WW2‘s official website. Expect talking heads aplenty, war movie references by the bucketload and – God willing – 100% less discussion of dog animations than was the case with Advanced Warfare, but whatever happens, be sure to check back at D-Pad Joy afterwards for a full rundown of all of the key details.

In the meantime, why not check out this video retrospective on some of the Call of Duty franchise’s finest moments to date…