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If you're diving into the Call of Duty: WWII campaign this weekend and find yourself thinking, "This feels more difficult than previous games in the series," you aren't alone. According to the team at Sledgehammer Games, that's exactly how you're supposed to feel. But they actually ramped up the difficulty for a good reason: you're no longer a super soldier.
The folks over at Polygon recently had a chat with Sledgehammer co-studio head Michael Condrey. According to Condrey, the team expects players to have a bit harder time working their way through the WWII campaign. But they didn't ramp up the difficulty to "weed out the N00bs" or anything like that. According to Condrey, it all has to do with the game's setting and cast.
It was a very conscious decision. It was deliberate. One of the things we talk about with the subject matter was that it was the common soldier. It was the common man. It was a 20-year-old kid going to war with whatever they had available at the time. It wasn't a super experienced soldier who had all the equipment and all the training and all the weaponry and all the intel to be a tier one soldier, which was some of our last games.
That makes a heck of a lot of sense. Since Modern Warfare and on up to the most recent outing, Infinite Warfare, the Call of Duty games have typically put players into the boots of the military elite. These are the guys and gals with years of experience, amazing technological wizardry at their disposal and gear that can literally rip a tank in half. They've got scopes that can let them see under any condition, grenades that can track down the enemy, drones that can give them a bird's-eye view of the battlefield and health that regenerates.
Obviously, that kind of combat is a far cry from Normandy Beach, where many soldiers were baby-faced teens who had never seen a lick of combat. Their gear was archaic by modern shooter standards and their intel was spotty at best. They knew to hit the ground running and to fire at anything that didn't look like an ally. They were scared, not stone-cold military elites.
As such, Sledgehammer opted to change a few things about the gameplay in Call of Duty: WWII. The action is more intense and the enemies more relentless, which should help create that sense of being overwhelmed and terrified. You can't take much damage and, when you do, you've got to rely on med kit pick-ups. Your health doesn't regenerate in WWII so, instead of strategically waiting behind cover for that life bar to fill back up, you'll more regularly find yourself cowering in a corner, wondering if you can make it to those supplies that are waiting just past the next firefight.
If you've had a chance to play WWII already, what are your thoughts on the difficulty? Did Sledgehammer figure out a way to make you rethink your FPS tactics? Let us know in the comments below.