A Mighty Endeavor: Call of Duty Returns to World War 2

Posted on 26 Apr 2017 by
Kyle Johnson

Call of Duty: WW2 has been revealed today, bringing with it major changes, and a fresh direction for the franchise.

Beginning with a quote from former President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and his D-Day Prayer, Call of Duty: WW2’s trailer shows only a brief, tantalizing glimpse of the campaign, but it’s enough to at least suggest that something different is in store for the long-running first person shooter series. Multiple previews would corroborate this new direction for Call of Duty. Let’s dive in for an extended look at the campaign.

Following the bloodshed of the 1st Infantry Division, who, as you may recall, were also at the center of Call of Duty 2, we play as Private Ronald “Red” Daniels, a 19-year-old draftee from rural Texas, thrown into the largest military conflict ever fought. His two superior officers adopt two different stances on the war (prioritizing the men, or prioritizing the mission), while a conflict that would go on to define a generation and an entire continents rage around them. If anything, all of the interviews and preview content suggests that Call of Duty: WW2 will focus more on the men who fought the conflict, rather than the battles themselves.

That’s not to say that specific conflicts won’t appear, one of the demos shown off at a preview event concerned the Battle of Hürtgen Forest, an oft-overlooked conflict in the war. Considered a major defeat for Allied forces, its outcome directly allowed its more well-known successor to occur; the Battle of the Bulge. Other specific events have not been mentioned, but Sledgehammer has indicated that we will step into the roles of other characters in the war, from female French Resistance fighters, British officers, African-American soldiers segregated from the rest of the U.S. Army, and even a child’s perspective.

Other new features include the removal of regenerating health and ammunition. Soldiers will no longer be able to take a few rounds in the gut, duck behind cover, and wait for the jam at the edge of their vision to disappear. Whether this means health packs or actual medic NPCs will be used was not clear, but it’s a welcomed change regardless. A co-operative campaign will also make an appearance, as well as a narrative campaign for the Nazi Zombies mode, far removed from the wave-survival outing in previous Call of Duty games.

Little information is currently available about the state of multiplayer, but there appears to be new progressions, modes, and social features. The three new additions are Divisions, War and Headquarters. In Divisions, players create their own soldier as they see fit, enrolling them in the infantry, armored, or airborne division, as well as being white or African-American GIs, British soldiers, French resistance fighters, and more. In War, Sledgehammer aims to deliver an objective-based team mode, where the Axis and Allied armies are either on attack or defense. Co-founder Glen Schofield said “It’s an asymmetrical fight over objectives, sort of linear” which, to me, smacks a little bit of Battlefield’s Conquest Assault game mode.

Finally, new social multiplayer features make an appearance in Headquarters, which is a shared social space to “have fun and hang out in between matches” with the possibility of some rewards too. Multiplayer will be fully revealed at E3, which is roughly a month and a half away already. Will this be a “righting of the ship,” so to speak for Call of Duty?

Maybe if the success and popularity of Battlefield 1 is any indication, it’s that the time is right for shooters that are less futuristic, less insane than what we’ve been seeing in recent years with many FPS games. Sledgehammer did well enough with Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, now let’s see how well they can take on the “boots-on-the-ground” warfare found in more traditional conflicts.

Call of Duty: WWII releases on November 3rd, and will cost $59.99 USD. A “Pro Edition” will be available for purchase as well, which comes with the season pass, a steel-book, and “additional bonus content,” with no word on what that content is. Stay tuned for more news about all things Call of Duty.

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