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  • Awesome Music: Wilbert Roget, II's music for the game is quite remarkable, which odes a lot to Michael Giacchino's work on the very first game in the franchise, while giving off a vibe that the late James Horner or Alan Silvestri scored this game based on the arrangement and recording of the score and its Orchestral Bombing cues.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Pierson. Some absolutely hate him for his callousness and aloofness towards Daniels (to say nothing of his refusal to rescue civilians or POWs). However, others are more sympathetic towards him given how he has a rather tragic backstory and an actual character arc.
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  • Cliché Storm: The whole campaign seems to be a mishmash of every single cliche one would expect from both a World War II story and a Call Of Duty campaign. Character-wise, the hero is a simple country boy with a girl back home, his immediate superior office is a jerkass, one of his squadmate is a nerd, and his commander is a benevolent father figure, and so on. Gameplay-wise, there are mandatory turret sequences, vehicle sections, and slow-mo shootouts just like the ones seen in previous campaigns.
  • Complete Monster:
    • Main campaign: Metz is the SS commandant in charge of sending hundreds of American POWs to labor camps throughout Europe, where they would be worked and tortured to death. Trying to separate the Jews from his next batch of American POWs, Metz shoots one for no reason and beats up Robert Zussman when he refuses to comply with his demands before sending him and the other POWs to his own labor camp; the 1st Infantry Division arrives there, discovering the numerous corpses caused by Metz's cruelty throughout the burned-down camp, many of whom he starved and tortured to death. Metz is last seen executing his remaining prisoners before nearly executing Zussman.
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    • Nazi Zombies: Peter Glücksbringer Straub is a Nazi Mad Scientist instructed by Adolf Hitler himself to create a new type of soldier that doesn't rest or fear death. Finding a mystical sword hilt in Mittelburg, he used the energy from it to kill his own men, resulting in these soldiers becoming walking corpses. Believing he found his perfect soldiers, Straub would then use the sword hilt to turn the town's entire population into undead abominations, having a subordinate sewn onto one of them alive when he learns of his ties to the Allies. Leaving Mittelburg, Straub goes to the island of Heligoland where he stored thousands of his creations and takes them to his Zeppelins where Straub would travel to the Berlin, so he can unleash them in hopes they would kill off every human being in the city while he would reclaim what's left of it for the Nazis. Taking pride in creating the Devil himself, Peter Straub would gladly doom the world with his monsters if he could prove his superiority.
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  • Critical Research Failure: Navy and ship buffs will quickly realize that the multiplayer map modeled after the battleship USS Texas looks nothing like the ship it is based on. The most egregious example is the fact the in-game ship is missing two turrets the real ship has.
  • Fandom Rivalry: Call of Duty once again came head-to-head with its old competitor, Battlefield. However, this time the rivalry are even more vitriolic due to Battlefield 1 having came out the year before with a similar historical throwback theme comparable to Call of Duty: WWII. The fandoms of the two games have fought and argued with each other over which game is more historically authentic, innovative, and fun. The only thing anyone can agree on is that Battlefield 1 got one hell of a head-start.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, released in 2007, was widely praised for abandoning the World War II shooter genre for a modern take. Exactly ten years later, Call of Duty: WWII is widely praised for returning to the World War II setting.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks!:
    • While the return to the classic "boots on the ground" setting is well received, some fans felt that multiplayer didn't take full advantage of the historical setting. Given the small map sizes and low recoil on automatic weapons, the current metagame is dominated by submachine guns and assault rifles at the expense of the more iconic and ubiquitous semi-auto and bolt-action rifles of World War 2. For some, this has resulted in the game feeling too much like the fast-paced Modern Warfare games instead of the slower-paced historical games that WWII is trying to emulate.
    • As noted in Hollywood History on the main page, the campaign is focused exclusively on the Western Front and the main characters are US Army soldiers. Given how there have been an overabundance of Call of Duty games that featured Americans vs Nazis in Europe, some fans wished that the game could've also focused on different theaters of the war, like the North African or Pacific campaigns, or even different units, such as Japanese-American soldiers of the 442nd Infantry Regiment.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Pierson, who is generally a callous and aloof sergeant who used to be a A Father to His Men in the past until a mistake he made resulted in the deaths of his men. Up the events of the game, his failure has haunted him and turned him into the bitter NCO he's become.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: Some are only interested in playing the Nazi Zombies mode while ignoring everything else; many horror fans are particularly looking forward to this mode since many of Sledgehammer's staff, including co-founders Glen Schofield and Michael Condrey, have previously worked on Dead Space
  • Memetic Mutation: A weird announcer glitch on the War mode causes the announcer's voice to suddenly go to eardrum-shattering levels of volume. The sheer unexpectedness and frequency of this glitch caused a few specific quotes that this glitch happens on to go memetic, namely "A BOMB'S BEEN PLANTED ON OUR AMMO SUPPLY!" and "B IS RETREATING, KEEP FIRING!"
  • Most Annoying Sound:
    • Hope you liked that M1 Garand ping from the teaser. It is everything in the game. Start a level? Garand ping. Level up in multiplayer? Garand ping. Select any menu option? Garand ping!
    • You'd better use those squad abilities in the campaign fast when you get them, because your teammates will not shut up until you do.
  • Most Wonderful Sound: At the end of the teaser trailer, the sound of a M1 Garand's ping is notably one of the finest things to hear. Even if one hates the teaser, M1 Garand's ping is a welcoming noise.
  • Narm: The over-the-top train crash at the end of S.O.E. is pretty difficult to take seriously. Basically, Daniels and Zussman catch up to the armored train in a jeep and took out many of its occupants, but then a grenade causes them to veer straight onto the tracks sideways, derailing the trainhead while they bail. The first few dozen train cars derails normally, but all of a sudden the traincars behind them shoots across the screen like being launched by a train-catapult. The game spends a good 30 seconds launching traincars across the screen, causing explosions, big crashing noises, and destruction, all the while Daniels sits in the middle of an open field miraculously avoiding the flying traincars.
  • Older Than They Think:
    • This isn't the first Call of Duty title to cover the 1st Infantry Division. Treyarch actually beat Sledgehammer by 12 years with Call of Duty 2: Big Red One in 2005.
      • And a year before that, there was Call of Duty: Finest Hour, which was the first appearance of the 1st Infantry Division in the series.
    • Many younger fans were surprised that the game's campaign has non-regenerative health even though this mechanic was present in the very first Call of Duty game.
    • The fact that swastikas won't appear in multiplayer due to German laws caused considerable outcry, though this was already the case in the previous Call of Duty games set in World War II.
    • Several people praised the inclusion of Rousseau as a playable character, some calling it the first playable female character in the series. Tanya Pavelovna was a playable character (and for more than half a mission) in Call of Duty: Finest Hour back in 2004.
      • Medal of Honor: Underground was also mentioned in the discussion as it was an entire FPS that starred a female character, also a member of the French Resistance.
  • Snark Bait:
    • The weapons, and the errors in them. While the weapon selection (and the inaccuracies that come with them) has never really been a major issue with the franchise up to this point (outside of the hilariously anachronistic Black Ops weapons that handwaves for being in-setting prototype and Rule of Cool, and some hating the bulky fictional designs of Black Ops III), a lot of people were not OK this time with how much Artistic License was taken to the World War II weapons and how others were just simply wrong. Examples include the Springfieldnote , the Lee Enfieldnote , the Karabinnote , the M1928note , the Type 100note , the PPSh-41note , the Toggle Actionnote , the M1911note , and the Kar98knote .
    • The revelation that you can play as any gender and any race in Multiplayer, no matter what side you're on. This includes black female soldiers...fighting for the Nazis. The fact all COD multiplayer segments aren't even close to canon hasn't exactly stopped many from mocking this senseless, joking about other historically impossible combinations.
  • The Scrappy: Anna, of the Damsel Scrappy and The Load variety. While the intention was to evoke sympathy, she has not been well-liked given her lack of personality and general helplessness with Daniels having to rescue her after she runs off from her sister Erica. Not to mention that she put the squad's mission on jeopardy and got her sister killed due to a stray bullet from a German attack thanks to the escape being delayed because of her.
  • Special Effects Failure:
    • In what is either a bizarre animation error or an equally bizarre easter egg, during the empty "tacticool" reload for the SVT-40 (i.e. using a fresh magazine to press the magazine release and knock out the empty magazine), you can see the fresh magazine fly out of the player's hand with the empty magazine. The character left hand then instantly gets a new magazine offscreen and puts it in.
    • When Red gets incapacitated during an artillery strike and sees a hallucination of his brother giving him a pep talk, the character in question's face is mostly in shadow, but just visible enough so that you can see that his lips aren't moving when he speaks.
    • In the intro cutscene, at one point the knife clips through Zussman's fingers rather than go in between them.
  • Strawman Has a Point:
    • Pierson may be an insensitive asshat but he's right to be pissed off at Daniel's insubordination. In an attempt to save the captured Zussman, Daniels disobeyed orders, pushed Pierson, and then stole his jeep (in the middle of a battle) while jeopardizing the mission in the process. Not to mention that Pierson previously lost several of his men in a rescue attempt at Kasserine, hence why he would dismiss rescue missions as pointless. Daniel is pretty lucky Pierson didn't just shoot him right there after catching up with him.
    • And the previous mission on Aachen tried to make him less empathetic, but actually give him some points unintentionally regarding evacuating the civilians out of the hotel. Since they are basically underground, sending them into a hostile battle zone to escape from a truck made Turner look like an idiotnote . Not to mention that Anna's sister got killed by a stray bullet penetrating the tarp cover.
  • Surprisingly Improved Sequel: While the game's general quality is contentious, to say the least, a lot of people do have praise for the Nazi Zombies sub-mode in that it's a big step up from Sledgehammer's previous Exo Zombies and Infinite Warfare Zombies, if only for a more consistent tone and quality.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: Roget's Orchestral Bombing Leitmotif for the game sounded similar to the high octane theme from Capricorn One by Jerry Goldsmith, except with the music notes rearranged. Listen here and here for comparison.
  • Tainted by the Preview: With the release of the beta, reception of the game has been rather mixed. While there is no shortage of fans praising the gameplay, many other longtime fans have complained that WWII sticks to the same basic Call of Duty formula that has made the franchise feel stale and doesn't try to do anything new to set itself apart from its predecessors.
  • That One Level: The 6th mission "Collateral Damage" in generally disliked for its forced stealth elements and unlikable characters. Near the end of the mission, Daniels had to rescue Anna from a building swarming with German soldiers. What makes this level particularly infuriating is that Daniels has to carry Anna to safety without any means to defend themselves, forcing him to take the stealth approach.
  • Tear Jerker: Turner's death. He sacrifices himself to the hoards of Nazis, while his men hold Daniels back from trying to vainly rescue him. The agony on Daniel's face, makes it all the more emotional.
  • They Copied It, So It Sucks!: Given the sheer abundance of class-based multiplayer shooters, some have accused the game of stealing ideas from other similar games. The WWII setting has drawn accusations that the game was trying to recreate the success of Battlefield 1's historical throwback angle. The asymmetric multi-staged multiplayer War mode was accused of copying modes like Operations of Battlefield 1 and Escort of Overwatch. The Headquarters social space, the arguably most important innovation to the Call of Duty series, is seen as a imitation of the social spaces in both Destiny and Destiny 2. With the game sharing many elements with its rivals, there are bound to be accusations of "plagiarism".
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Although the developers have stated that the game will tackle the Holocaust, some commentators felt that the game didn't really handle the subject well. For much of the game, the Nazis aren't really shown carrying out atrocities against non-Germans on screen and their racial ideologies aren't really analyzed. The Holocaust was really only briefly acknowledged in the final epilogue with Daniels encountering an abandoned concentration camp while searching for Zussman.
  • Underused Game Mechanic: Comparisons to Battlefield 1's Operations mode aside, the new multiplayer mode War has been praised as a new addition to the Call of Duty gameplay that captures the exciting cinematic experience of the single-player campaign. However, there are only 3 maps at launch, leading to some players getting bored and leaving the mode. Fortunately, Sledgehammer has confirmed that there will be more War mode maps added via DLC.
  • Vindicated by History: It's subtle, but there are a good amount of people looking back on the once-mocked game with a little more fondness (especially when it comes to the concept of adding extra weapons and monitisation) after the absolute horrorshow Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 would become to many. The extensive post-season support and being the last COD game on Steam after Black Ops 4 jumped ship to Battle.net helped for many.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: The Normandy Landing scene, it looks like it was taken straight out of Saving Private Ryan and the best bit is when the sea starts to turn red with blood.
  • Win Back the Crowd:
    • Broken Base aside, many fans had been disappointed with the franchise moving further into the future after Modern Warfare 3, with the franchise becoming Snark Bait to some. The mere announcement that the series was returning to World War II caused fans to rejoice. Given how the game grossed $550 million in 3 days (more than double that of Infinite Warfare), it's safe to say that fans are coming back.
    • The Loot system, which Sledgehammer Games first introduced in Advanced Warfare, is the fairest of all the games it has featured in. While there is a random element to receiving crates as well as being able to buy them with COD Points, you earn them through completing orders and contracts, leveling up to specific ranks and through things like Twitch Prime loot. In addition, things you can get from the loot crates can also be bought directly via Armory Credits, earned daily and from payroll, as well as completing matches. Lastly, while DLC weapons did make an early appearance in the "Winter Siege" event, they could be bought through the Armory Credits method, as well as via the Special Orders which rotated through each of the five weapons and had a very simple requirement to unlock.

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