WWII’s November launch definitely left much to be desired for map count and quality, but the variety has slowly improved with the first two DLC map packs released so far. Now, in addition to those packs and the recent arrival of the reskinned “Shipment” map from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Sledgehammer Games has also let players use the Headquarters social space as a playable multiplayer map.
The “HQ 24/7"playlist arrived on April 17 with WWII’s Blitzkrieg community event, and this new multiplayer map is free for everyone. The playlist is a mix of three popular game modes: Free-for-All, Gun Game, and Prop Hunt.
Headquarters is the social hub that lets you duel with your friends or add tacky paint jobs to your guns. I don’t know if converting it into a multiplayer combat space was always Sledgehammer’s intention, because Headquarters has an awkward map design for multiplayer, and I feel a little torn about how the modes play.
Free-for-All and Gun Game (basically a version of free-for-all that spawns you with random guns) are both visually interesting and frustrating when played on the Headquarters map. I’ve been playing WWII since launch, so I’m pretty familiar with the layout of the social space. I know how to get around the map and where all the nooks and deadly corners exist, but playing it like this, I find myself in unfortunate spawn situations. I often spawn with an enemy in my face or right at my back unless I spawn inside the HQ’s cosy little theatre.
The map has various elevation points and an awkward flow that makes all the fighting feel congested around NPC Major Howard’s bunker. And no one wants to battle it out on the beachside with all the leaderboards and décor scattered about.
Prop Hunt, the fan-favourite mode that lets one team hide as environment objects and tasks the others with finding them before time runs out, is a little more entertaining when played in HQ. Headquarters has a lot going on in terms of décor, so it can be quite a challenging map to hunt down the prop players. The use of a headset and call-outs feel more crucial here than the average WWII Prop Hunt map. Many people forget to check the Zombies tunnel at the backside of the Headquarters, or the top of the bunker.
Additional maps—especially free ones—usually make multiplayer more enjoyable, but overall, the layout of the Headquarters isn’t the best for multiplayer modes. I’d like to see larger maps with better design flow. HQ 24/7 might be best suited for just Prop Hunt.