Call of Duty: WW2, for the first time in a long time, looks to the past for its inspiration this year.

So we have a single-player campaign set in recognisable events from the Second World War.

And a multiplayer that ditches all the fancy future tech and double jumping nonsense for a traditional boots-on-the-ground firefight.

It’s exactly what we were hoping for and helps to deliver what is currently the best shooter experience on console in 2017.

CoD: WW2’s story revolves around Private Ronald “Red” Daniels, a young recruit in the U.S. First Infantry Division who experiences combat for the first time on D-Day, one of the largest amphibious assaults in history.
Queue bloody war as our hero is dropped straight into the action on the Normandy beaches alongside a band of brothers fighting to liberate Europe from the Nazis in the 1940s conflict.

The campaign takes you through varied key moments in the war, covering occupied France and Belgium, and across the Rhine river valley into the heart of Germany as our 12-man squad pushes on into the heart of the enemy.

The Battle of the Bulge and Liberation of Paris all feature and because you know that the events really happened it adds a gravitas to proceedings that previous future-set instalments were missing.

The characters in your squad are various in their acting and backgrounds, from tough nut soldiers like Transformers actor Josh Dhumal’s Sgt Pierson to suave British spec ops heroes and feisty women French resistance soldiers like the straight-taking Rousseau.

The cut-scene camaraderie between the allied fighters and tension between different people makes for quite the interesting CoD game.

One where you find yourself pulled into the story and vested in their survival as the odds stack against.

It can be quite emotional because the stakes are so high and when someone gets cut down in a hail of bullets the visuals so lifelike it paints a bloody mess of a picture.

But in true CoD fashion you never go too long before some amazing Hollywood style blockbuster set piece brings you back to the core shooter aspect of the game.

A shame really because there’s even more potential here to offer an totally honest version of WW2 if the developers were even braver.

Controls are extremely tight and it plays like a dream.

Every bullet feels like you’ve literally fired it yourself and the built-in joypad rumble motors do a great job in giving you that authentic kick-back from authentic weapons really used in the war.

All this realism, for me, gives the game an edge over its last few predecessors.

No lasers or bend-round-corner bullets here. You get muskets, clunky pistols and basic rifles to do damage with.

Once the story is done there is the usual multiplayer suite to delve into.

If you managed to play the beta test of this a couple months back you’ll know what to expect.

Floor-based gameplay across some classic Feeling CoD maps. Tight fighting arenas like London Docks and Gibraltar at instant classics and among the best I’ve played on any CoD.

This is my favourite multiplayer for some time and the boots-on-the-ground mechanic, ditching the jet packs of the last few years, helps to level the playing field and make this a more honest, brutal online fight than ever.

Its sorts the real top gamers from the lesser wannabes as an element of natural physics returns to player movement making it harder for you to escape a top enemy shot on the battlefield.

Nazi Zombies survival mode is also there too, which helps to give the game another layer of gameplay to extend longevity. People will be playing this in huge numbers this time next year, of that I have no doubt.

And good news is the zombies mode lives up to past efforts offering a fun sci-fi take on things.

CoD: WW2 is a welcome return to the past to inspire the Call of Duties of the future.