Call of Duty: WWII, the next entry in the immensely popular FPS series, is taking gamers back to its roots with a World War II setting as the name implies. Developer Sledgehammer Games is the team working to return the series to its “boots on the ground” warfare origins following the American 1st Infantry Division as they fight their way across Europe in WWII.
“In developing the combat for Call of Duty: WWII, the key word was ‘grounded’,” said Sledgehammer Games head, Glen Schofield. “We looked at it like a return to the roots of the series, a chance to revisit what made Call of Duty a cultural milestone – an old-school battle that takes advantage of new gaming technology.”
“We focused on the European theatre of war because we wanted to deliver a deeply personal story that conveyed what it was like to be a soldier in those ranks at that time. In order to tell that story, we needed to focus on a tight-knit group that started together, fought together, and struggled together over an extended period of time.
“Which led us to The Fighting Fist, perhaps the most famous infantry division in all of U.S. military history. Their story was a perfect narrative vehicle because it covered a massive amount of ground in the European theatre and they were involved in some of the most iconic battles of WWII.”
For everything we know about Call of Duty: WWII so far read on, and watch the game’s huge reveal trailer below:
When is the game coming out?
The Call of Duty: WWII release date is set for November 3, 2017 on Xbox One, PS4 and PC.
Will there be a Call of Duty: WWII beta?
Yes. Anyone who puts in a Call of Duty: WWII pre-order ahead of the release date will get access to the game’s multiplayer beta. There are no dates as yet for the Call of Duty: WWII beta but Activision states that it will last for a minimum of three days.
What’s going on with the story?
The single-player campaign of Call of Duty: WWII will see you playing as Ronald “Red” Daniels, a 19-year-old American soldier from Texas. He’ not a trained soldier, he’s pretty much a regular kid who’s been drafted into the army to fight in Europe. He then becomes a Private in the Bloody 1st Division.
“The story follows Red Daniels and his squad,” explained Sledgehammer Games head, Glen Schofield in a PlayStation Blog post. “Red grew up on a farm in a small town, and his journey is one of personal growth that takes us through some of the most dramatic and iconic moments of the war.
“He is a young recruit who is seeing his first real combat during the invasion of Normandy. While the main story will follow Red, you will play as a few other characters Red encounters, including a female French resistance fighter named Rousseau.”
Sledgehammer Games says you definitely won’t be playing as an Axis soldier in the game though.
You'll fight and follow the Allied cause. The Axis power is a ferocious enemy. But no, you won't play as Axis in campaign.
— Michael Condrey (@MichaelCondrey) May 24, 2017
According to Activision, this will be a tale of “unbreakable brotherhood” within the US 1st Division, and the fellow soldiers Daniels will bond with include the hard-nosed veteran Sgt. William Pierson, played by none other than Transformers star, Josh Duhamel.
When asked about his character, Duhamel said “he’s a bit of a d*ck. He’s somebody who’s mission-before-man”.
As you can see from the trailers, Sledgehammer Games is certainly crafting a very serious and realistic look at WWII.
“We want the player to feel something,” said art director Joe Sauld. “The vision we have is dark and beautiful. Emotionally dark and visually beautiful.”
“Getting WWII right is incredibly important to us,” added Schofield. “We spent two and a half years visiting museums, firing weapons and meeting with WWII veterans.”
“It’s going to expose the WWII story to a whole new generation,” said Duhamel.
What’s new in Call of Duty: WWII Multiplayer?
With the return to “boots on the ground” warfare, there’s more hype for Call of Duty multiplayer action than ever. But as of yet, Activision has been keeping its plans for the online multiplayer component under wraps. The plan is to reveal several of the new multiplayer components at E3, but it seems Sledgehammer has a few big changes in store for fans this year.
In a recent PlayStation Blog post, Sledgehammer Games head Glen Schofield explained that Call of Duty WWII will ditch the traditional Create-a-Class system in favour of what they’re calling Divisions.
“Divisions fundamentally redefines how players invest in their Multiplayer soldier career,” explained Schofield. “Replacing the Create-a-Class system, players choose from five iconic World War II divisions each with specific basic combat training, division training and weapon skills.”
As for new modes, Sledgehammer isn’t quite ready to talk about much yet – more will come at E3 2017 next week – but there is one called War Mode, which will attempt to immerse players in iconic, PvP WWII battles.
“War Mode is just that, a narrative-based mode where Allied and Axis soldiers clash in team-driven assault & defend gameplay in the fight for strategic objectives,” outlined Schofield. “It’s a fun new mode, and an important component of bringing our overall vision to life.”
Are there going to be zombies?
Sledgehammer Games has teased a Nazi Zombies co-op campaign mode, which will allegedly contain an original story showcasing the Third Reich trying in vain to create an unstoppable army in the closing hours of the Second World War, only for it all to go very, very wrong indeed.