Sledgehammer Games has a lot of promises for Call of Duty WWII ranging from what could be actual changes to the game or just simple marketing talk. How many times did we hear Call of Duty going back to its roots the last time around?
The World War 2 setting was were the franchise all started and bringing it back does spark nostalgia. A lot of gamers wanted to see and experience World War 2 with modern day visuals and sounds. We also get the iconic weapons of the era like the M1 Garand (with its iconic ping sound), MG 42, M1928 Thompson and the StG 44. That all aside, what Sledgehammer was after was the grittiness the setting gave.
A closer look identifies the sickness that had creeped in: power fantasies. In the previous games you were always the Tier 1 Special Forces, always the guy with the best gear and given the most options. The narrative had agency, but it was never transferred down to you. You were in a bubble of badassery unless the game told you otherwise often by forcing you out with a sudden. Sledgehammer wants to be grounded, for you to merely be another man in a conflict involving millions of men and women.
They want the game to be smarter, to have dread that so many games lacked in recent years. It is described as a multifaceted war but so far we have only peered into the American side of the campaign (there is said to be a British and French Resistance part). As to how Sledgehammer plans to express it, we will have to wait and see.
Multiplayer has taken an interesting twist. The standard Deathmatch flavors, Kill confirmed, Capture-the-flag, and others are likely still in the game but added on is Headquarters and War. Headquarters is not a real game mode but more of an online waiting lobby or social space that allows up to 48 players to do lobby things (expect a lot of shouting unless you mute everyone).
War Mode on the other hand is a real game mode and a real innovation for the Call of Duty franchise, but in general is nothing new. It combines objective missions with payload delivery, this means one team is on the attack and another on the defense. The attackers seem to be escorting a tank as the payload which has a usable mounted machine gun, the defense have the advantage of the land to counter the tank and its escorts. Not much is known as to how many players are there in a match, but 24 vs 24 would be nice. I do hope though that it does not die a still death by the community as it is something new to the franchise as a whole.
Call of Duty WWII is set to release on November 3, 2017.