A new Call of Duty game is coming November 3rd and it’s finally bringing players back to where it all started: World War II. No more spaceships or wall-running, and definitely no energy weapons. Call of Duty: WWII is all about the “boots on ground” experience in its multiplayer modes, and the authenticity of the setting and the atrocities of the era in its story campaign.
Publisher Activision and developer Sledgehammer Games, makers of Advanced Warfare, held media events recently and a public livestream yesterday to officially unveil Call of Duty: WWII but as expected, it was an extremely controlled event, built around marketing keywords and limited showcases of select gameplay so not too much was revealed outside of the main trailer and confirmations of a few new and returning modes and features.
From various vague interviews with Sledgehammer co-founders Glen Schofield and Michael Condrey, and the just-revealed teaser website for the game, we have a few more things to share on what to expect from Call of Duty: WWII leading to its multiplayer reveal at E3 in June. First, some notable details on the game itself:
No Health Regen, Limited Ammo
No longer will players in the campaign be able to go prone and hide in cover to regain full health. The them of the game is ‘never fighting alone’ so players will rely on squad mates for medical assistance and for ammo. That means throughout the story – whether scripted or otherwise – losing players who provided certain abilities to you or your squad will change the way you play.
Never Before Seen Map Designs
Need to get creative while still honoring the authenticity of WWII combat and real-life locations that the dev teams and artists scouted and photographed. This is especially important to keep environments dynamic for those accustomed to the verticality provided by double-jumps and other exoskeleton abilities from the last few games in the series.
It’s A Global Conflict
The main story fallows the dozen soldiers of 1st Infantry Division, but it’s not just about them. Sledgehammer co-founder Michael Condrey explains that their journey will span “Normandy to the liberation of Western Europe” and see them interact with the Bridge Troops who helped construct or repair passageways the Nazis damaged during their retreat.
Infamous locations and battles from the war, like the Battle of Normandy and Battle of Aachen, will of course be included.
Multiple Playable Characters
As part of 1st division, players step into the boots of Ronald “Red” Daniels for most of the game. He’s the main protagonist but players will also play as Private First Class Robert Zussman (Jonathan Tucker). Outside of the squad, there’s at least one other key playable character in French Resistance fighter Rousseau meaning the campaign does include playable male and female characters.
Supporting characters include at least one British officer, a German family, an African-American soldier, emphasizing the reality that WWII was a global war, and not an American one. Condrey tells GamesRadar:
“The Allied force was a global force, the German force – the Axis force – was more than just the Nazis. It was Germans as well as other nations, and so it was important for us to not… this isn’t an American war, this isn’t a story of an American squad – this is a global cast and so you’ll see some really powerful performances on both sides of the war. You’ll see some powerful performances by the men and women who sacrificed, families that were involved.”
Players will not fight as an Axis soldier during the game will explore the humanity of the German people and German soldiers who were not devoted to the SS or Nazis.
Taking A Cue From Battlefield
Battlefield 1 won the PR game last year when its WWI setting and trailer reveal stole the spotlight away from the reveal of the futuristic, space-faring Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. BF1 featured a new type of mode call operations, where teams battled from one map to the next, completing objectives to reach a larger goal.
Call of Duty: WWII is going behind its standard lineup of familiar, intimate modes, with the brand new “War” mode which was described as an objective-based Axis vs. Allies experience. The idea is to offer something in addition to standard multiplayer that doubles down on strategy and played as a squad. Details are scarce but we’re hoping this might be the time Call of Duty finally ups their player count to deliver something big as a new game type.
Taking A Cue From Destiny
When Call of Duty: WWII details leaked prior to the official reveal, a social hub type experience was teased and we immediately figured Sledgehammer Games was looking at Bungie’s work on Destiny (Activision’s other massive shooter IP) for some ideas at evolving the online experience. This is where “Headquarters” comes in and the teaser showed only a base camp with dozens of players walking around it.
As expected, it’s pretty much The Tower from Destiny and players will start their online play session here. There are little details on this as well but the Sledgehammer co-founders tease it’s a place for players to showoff achievements and their personality. Expect stores for microtransactions and emotes.
The Viral Marketing Campaign
COD fans excited for the next game in the series and are looking to follow every news drop have something neat to dive into, as discovered by CharlieIntel. The weak sauce tweets read and displayed during yesterday’s livestream event actually had a legitimate meaning, each featuring few letters that when put together form “CAL LOF DUT Y.C IED” which is short for the domain name http://callofduty.com/classified.
This teaser site features a big, old school Enigma code breaker machine. Now, here’s where it gets interesting. If you look very closely at the Nazi Zombies teaser image revealed yesterday, there’s a hidden code that reads “IUFDJ BHLOP JMUBA” so punch those in one at a time.
Note: as you type in each code, a message is left for you. After typing IUFDJ you get ANEWH, after BHLOP you get ORROR, after JMUBA you get RISES! A NEW HORROR RISES. Zombie setup, much?
The screen will fade to black and a folder will appear and clicking on it reveals two old images. One of Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa (referring to Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941.) and the other, Portrait of a Young Man, Rafael (a painting stolen by Nazis)
But wait, there’s more!
There’s also a serial number at the bottom of the Enigma electro-mechanical rotor machine. Google these and you’ll see that it’s actually the coordinates to Dunkirk, which could be referring to the Battle of Dunkirk from WWII, or the rescue of Allied Troops years later (and the story of Christopher Nolan’s upcoming movie of the same name).
There’s more codes being found which have yet to be cracked so stay tuned if you’re interested!
Call of Duty: WWII takes the franchise back to its roots in a bold cinematic experience that captures the unforgettable heroism of the soldiers who fought together in a war that changed the world forever. Activision’s gripping new title is an honest portrayal of World War II from the perspective of the famed 1st Infantry Division, with an ensemble cast of global and diverse characters. Through stunning visuals and intense audio, players storm the beaches of Normandy on D-Day, march across France to liberate Paris and ultimately push forward into Germany in some of the most monumental battles of all-time.
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