Similar to its predecessors, Call of Duty: WWII is a first-person shooter game but it removes the advanced system of movement present in the three previous Call of Duty titles, which included double jumping and wall running. Instead, it features a return of traditional movement to the series, taking it back to a “boots on the ground” gameplay style. The game does not feature an unlimited sprint mechanic, seen in the previous two titles. Instead of a “slide” movement mechanic, which allowed players to slide quickly on the ground, WWII features a “hit-the-deck” mechanic that allows the player to leap forward and throw themselves on the ground in order to get to cover quickly, similarly to a previous mechanic known as “dolphin dive” in Treyarch’s Call of Duty: Black Ops and Call of Duty: Black Ops II.
Gameplay-wise, WWII is the first title since the original Call of Duty to not feature health regeneration in the campaign. Instead, players must rely on their medic squadmates to provide health packs, as well as other squad members to provide ammunition. Other squad members can spot enemies, revealing their position in form of silhouettes. Enemy soldiers in the campaign can be captured, and wounded allies can be dragged to cover. Both of these actions, as well as killing enemies and completing objectives, add up to player’s experience (XP) which can be increased and improve the character’s skills. In some parts of the campaign, players will be able to control vehicles.
The multiplayer mode for Call of Duty: WWII was revealed on E3 2017, which took place from June 13–15. Sledgehammer Games has announced new features such as the new headquarters social space, divisions, war mode and the return to “boots-on-the-ground” gameplay. Players who pre-order the game will be invited to a closed beta, which will initially be for the PlayStation 4, but later be released on other platforms.
In online multiplayer matches, players are randomly assigned either to Allies or Axis side. On Allies side, players can play as soldiers in American, British, or French Resistance armies. On the Axis side, players play directly as Germans. When explaining which German Axis powers would be playable, Glen Schofield, co-founder and co-studio head at Sledgehammer, appeared to state that the Clean Wehrmacht myth was the criteria they had used in their decision, saying: “The big distinction that Germans still make today is that between the German military and the Nazis. We made sure we made that distinction in the game, that the Germans were doing their duty.”