Call of Duty: WWII is now officially available and with it comes a strange objective to actually watch other players open their loot boxes. For those unaware, loot boxes are a form of microtransaction that multiple developers have started implementing in their games that operate as a form of gambling. Essentially, players pay for loot boxes and when they open them there is a random chance to receive rewards. In the case of Call of Duty: WWII those rewards include cosmetic perks like different skins for guns, social emotes, soldier apparel, and multiplayer call signs.
Recently, other developers like DICE have changed their loot box system in Star Wars: Battlefront II because of player backlash. It remains to be seen whether or not the loot boxes in Call of Duty: WWIIare truly egregious, but it’s certainly not venturing down a promising path.
With the game currently in the hands of journalists and influencers across YouTube and Twitch, many of its multiplayer features have already been dissected, including the loot boxes. The reward crates can be opened in the Headquarters social space in real-time as they drop from the air to reveal what’s inside. The strange twist here is that, since they’re opened in the game world in real-time, that means other players can see each other opening loot boxes.
Activision and Sledgehammer Games took this feature a step further and one of the “Orders” that can be completed (basically they’re like mini objectives that you can do at any time for rewards) is called “Loot Spectator.” It’s a Daily Order, meaning you can complete it once per day, and it rewards you with loot for watching at least three people open their loot boxes at the Headquarters.
While this feature does amplify the social interaction of the game and make it feel like a more connected experience, it also cheapens the otherwise grim setting. World War II is one of the most horrific events that has ever occurred in the entire history of humanity and it certainly feels odd for it to literally rain microtransaction loot boxes on the same battlefield that people bled to death. It seems a little distasteful.
Either way, if loot boxes and competitive multiplayer aren’t really your thing, Call of Duty: WWII is promising a longer campaign than in years’ past and is bringing back the ever-popular cooperative zombie-killing game mode as well. Between those two features, and the competitive multiplayer, there is plenty to do for fans of all types.