This is the game that longtime fans of the franchise, such as myself, have been waiting for. And even though this was only the reveal livestream, there is still a lot of information to dissect about the new game, so let’s jump in.
First, the trailer showed what we can expect in terms of the game’s graphics, setting, and weaponry, as we’ll be going into the European campaign across Belgium, France and Germany. This story campaign is going to emphasize working as a unit, and that unit is led by Technical Sergeant William Pierson. I’m looking forward to finding out how you will interact with him, along with 1st Lieutenant Joseph Turner and Private First Class Robert Zussman. A clear theme here is the camaraderie among an interesting cast of regular people thrown into incredible surroundings during a dark, gritty, and in fact, monumental moment in our history. We also learned that the story will include a global cast, including Major Crowley from the (British) SOE. There’s also Rousseau, a French Resistance fighter, who sounds very intriguing and I can’t wait to see how this unfolds through the missions.
The most satisfying part of the trailer for me was the M1 Garand making its triumphant return in this setting. After years of being reimagined to great effect in newer Call of Duty titles, it was nice to see the original once again. The iconic ping of the magazine being expended resonated like a bell, as it was prominently featured as a part of the trailer. With everyone clamoring over those bolt-action M1903’s, I’m still excited to take on some green recruits in multiplayer public matches online with my M1 Garand.
Although the action in the trailer went by quickly, I recognized a few other weapons and vehicles that were showcased. The 1911 was the sidearm of choice for most of the soldiers in the trailer, and I’m curious to see what other recognizable weapons from the era will be featured in the full game. I caught a glimpse of the SVT-40, another assault rifle from the war that was primarily used by the Soviet Red Army. In terms of tanks and planes, I noticed a Sherman tank rolling around the battlefield, and am excited to see them alongside Panzers in the full game as they were a crucial part of many of the large-scale battles.
The global reveal also detailed what Sledgehammer Games did to produce this authentic World War II game experience. Over the past two and a half years they have researched the battles, weapons, and tactics that were a part of World War II. They also visited the locales, researched authentic weapons and drove vehicles from the era, interviewed veterans and worked closely with a World War II expert.
As someone who is currently up to this section in my International Relations class at Boston University, Sledgehammer Games’ way of researching World War II seems incredibly immersive. I can’t wait to see and play it all for myself this November. I wish I could have been there alongside the team as they have worked on this game, but playing it will be just as exciting.
While I’m already excited to see this generation’s rendition of D-Day mission in Normandy, I’m also interested to see how the Hürtgen Forest is represented. Given that it is the site of one of the longest single battles fought in World War II, it carries such history that I am interested to see it portrayed here. There are a lot of key moments over those months and in that area of Germany that were so crucial to the final outcome. To see Sledgehammer Games’ version of these defining moments from the Second World War come to this generation of gaming hardware is going to be memorable.
Aside from the campaign, we also saw “teases” of the new multiplayer and co-op game modes. While it was only a few seconds of the former and a still image of the latter, from those small glimpses into the other game modes there is still a lot to talk about.
Headquarters looks to be a new way for the Call of Duty community to interact. There was a teaser first-look at this all-new community feature. We also heard about War mode, an asymmetrical battle between Axis and Allies, so it sounds like we can plan for factions either capturing or defending key objectives. On top of all that, Divisions looks like it will up-end the traditional Call of Duty create-a-class system with players able to enlist in a specific unit of their choosing. We’ll get to know more about these new features and multiplayer itself in due time.
Nazi Zombies will be making its grand return through Call of Duty: WWII’s cooperative mode, as the still image shown in the reveal is indeed my favorite type of zombie. It’s almost like the franchise has come full-circle with Call of Duty: WWII offering a fresh new take on this crowd favorite. I’m looking forward to kicking some Nazi Zombie butt this fall.
Finally, it seems that the reveal is the gift that keeps on giving, because the community has already found some of the Easter eggs strewn about the promotional material. The Morse code clues ended up being the three roads that intersect at the BFI Imax Theater in London, site of the reveal, and I bet that there is more out there waiting for the community to discover.
As a fan of the franchise, this truly was an epic reveal for someone ready to play an all-new WWII game experience after such a long time. Although we’re going to have to wait until E3 to get more multiplayer details, which I’m personally looking forward to, I cannot wait to share with you what’s coming for Call of Duty: WWII.
Call of Duty: WWII will be released on November 3, 2017. Pre-orders at participating retailers include access to the Private Beta, available first on the PlayStation4, scheduled for later this year.
James Mattone is a paid writer for Activision and has been playing Call of Duty since December 25, 2009.