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codww2beta

The first private multiplayer beta for “Call of Duty: WWII” is in the books. Like many, I spent the weekend trying out the new divisions, exploring the new maps and relishing the franchise’s return to World War II.

Here are some random takeaways from my first foray into “Call of Duty: WWII”:

  • Each of the three maps in rotation for standard multiplayer modes offered a nice mix of open spaces for sniping and choke points that favored those toting shotguns. The narrow trenches on Pointe du Hoc provided ample opportunity to try out the new bayonet charge melee attack.
  • The return to World War II means a return to era-specific weapons. Admittedly it took a few rounds to get a feel each gun, but I appreciated the authentic look and performance of each weapon. The exception, of course, are the incendiary shotgun rounds, which, frankly, are over overpowered and I can do without.
  • The actual gameplay was fun, though perhaps a little more fast-paced than I was expecting. As someone who generally takes a tactical approach to shooters, I was a bit overwhelmed at times by the constant movement going on around me. I did find my way into a couple of lobbies with players who shared a similar style of play, and those were the most enjoyable experiences I had with the beta.
  • War Mode is a welcome addition to the series. Other games have been doing the attack-and-defend objective-based modes for a while and it’s refreshing to see “Call of Duty” deliver its own take. Some of the fiercest firefights I saw were over the bridge objective in War Mode. I can’t wait to see what other missions Sledgehammer Games has in store.
  • The shift to Divisions instead of classes is a smart move and should allow for even more ways to customize your character to your liking. You can rank-up within any of the five Divisions, rank-up overall and even rank-up specific weapons, and there are unlockables and boosts available each time you increase any of those ranks. The Pick 10 system was a neat idea for outfitting your soldier, but this progression-based model seems to put more of an onus on player skill.

Another multiplayer beta event is set for this weekend, this time for both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One users. Hopefully Activision rolls out some new maps and modes for players to test, but if not I’ll be happy to return to the battlefield regardless.

“Call of Duty: WWII” launches Nov. 3 on PS4, Xbox One and PC.