One of the biggest upsets surrounding Call of Duty: WWII at launch (other than server issues) was the multiplayer maps. A week before launch, via leaked copies, it was noted that the game would only have 9 MP maps (10 if you bought the Season Pass), making it the lowest amount of maps in a Call of Duty base game in history. The second lowest was Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare with 12 maps. Sledgehammer Games’ last title, Advanced Warfare, launched with 13 maps on the disc.
Yes, Call of Duty: WWII does have its new War mode, which brings its own 3 separate maps, but that’s where the distinction is made: it has its own 3 separate maps which cannot be played in regular MP. So while MP delivers a total of 12 maps for all modes, only 9 can be played outside of War. In a World War II shooter, there is no D-Day map in regular rotation, which seems like an oversight. Operation Neptune delivers a D-Day experience specifically for War, but what about players that do not want to play War?
You can say that if the map design is great across the maps, and the maps are enjoyable, then maybe 9 maps is a good fit. The quality over quantity argument. But not all Call of Duty: WWII map designs are that great. There are some maps which shine — like London Docks and Sainte Marie du Mont. Sainte Marie du Mont is a typical Call of Duty design map: the map plays great across modes, especially Hardpoint. The map utilities the 3 lane structure and flows really well for objective modes. London Docks is also fun to play on. The overall design also has a 3 lane structure, while providing easy access to get across the map, with the dock side area to get by the center, and the underground tunnel.
But there are others that just do not live up to Call of Duty map styles. Let’s talk about Gustav Cannon…this map is…well, um, kinda…not a Call of Duty map style at all. I have been playing it on Hardpoint (Hardpoint is my favorite mode to play) because for some reason it keeps appearing in the rotation. (Side note: don’t get me started on the map vote system in this game…why do I need to press L2 first then vote on a map? Many players already do not vote on maps in lobbies, and now there’s an extra button ensuring even lower amount of players vote for the map). If you are not a sniper, the map puts you at a disadvantage. Almost every sight line across the maps can be seen by a sniper, which makes it difficult for different style of players to enjoy this map. The huge, useless cannon in the center — which is not even symmetrical on both sides (why does one side have additional ways to get up on the cannon and camp while the other side is limited?) — is just odd for a Call of Duty map design. It kinda works for objective modes — and even that, not that well. If you get into a TDM lobby with it, many players end up leaving the lobby. The map just does not work in Call of Duty that well.
Now about USS Texas. This map appears to have taken its form from a similar design style to Hijacked in Black Ops 2. But Hijacked was a lot better. The biggest gripe with USS Texas, however, is the vantage points and how fast the spawns change. If you play Hardpoint on this map, it seems like, if your team fails to move on one specific objective, you are basically punished immediately for the next hill, because the spawn instantly flips to give the team with the last control of the hill a closer spawn to the newest hill. And if you push a little into the enemies’ spawn side, it flips it. There is no way to control the map — it is complete chaos of running back and forth. USS Texas could be a good map with spawn updates, but right now, it just seems like you are playing a chaotic mess.
Out of the 9 maps in game, only about 3-4 maps keep showing up in the rotation. I have spent a majority of my gameplay time playing Gustav Cannon, Gibraltar, London Docks, and Sainte Marie du Mont; sometimes Flak Tower and Pointe du Hoc do show up as well. Those maps seem to be most appearing in Hardpoint. There is a 10th map if you got the Season Pass — Carentan. This is a fantastic map, but if you have to play the Carentan 24/7 playlist to play on the map, and not everyone has the Season Pass. This map should have been a pre-order bonus for Call of Duty: WWII not tied to the Season Pass. It does not make sense why they did this — Infinite Warfare and Black Ops 3 gave away a free map for pre-orders. Activision really should consider un-bundling Carentan from the Season Pass. It is a great map, but unfortunately many players will never experience it.
Sledgehammer Games seemed to have gone for the “quality over quantity” idea in MP for the nine base maps, but that did not seem to pay off. The maps are not that great, and I do worry fans will start to quickly get bored of them. In previous Call of Duty games, there would always be that one map that everyone could pick out and say was their favorite, but I cannot really tell SHG a map I would want a 24/7 playlist of in this game. No map really stands out.
Let’s hope the DLC season brings some better maps.