After Infinite Warfare’s less-than-stellar reception, it’s no surprise to see the franchise going back to its roots with boots on the (Earth’s) ground. The next entry in the franchise – developed by Sledgehammer ( Advanced Warfare, MW3) will be yet another COD focused on World War II.
Previously, Call of Duty 1, Call of Duty 2, Call of Duty 3, and Call of Duty: World at War were all set in this era. Modern Warfare took a much needed detour and Sledgehammer’s Advanced Warfare was loved for its new movement mechanics. Ghosts and Infinite Warfare under-performed however, and it seems the futuristic experiments are done for now.
Just in case there was any confusion, the new game will be called Call of Duty: WWII. Activision is starting the hype train with a streaming event and the release of the first trailer.
It begins with the popular “ACTUAL IN-GAME FOOTAGE” which is obviously a severe distortion of the truth. A few of the scenes were identifiable as a portion you would actually control and experience, but most of the footage was obviously pre-rendered or the usual uncontrollable cinematic sequences so common in COD games.
The first sequence shows the D-Day invasion which is a must for a WWII shooter and is always an exciting scenario to portray and experience. Unfortunately, it looks like the usual ‘follow the soldier’ format will be implemented as we see a character yell at the camera to ‘keep your head down and keep moving!”. This could easily rob the D-Day gameplay of tension as players simply walk the pre-determined path from point A to B.
The original throwaway side-mode has grown to become one of the most widely requested and expected features of new COD games. Sledgehammer has confirmed a Nazi Zombies component as “an all-new cooperative mode featuring a unique standalone storyline set during World War II that’s full of unexpected, adrenaline-pumping action”.
More of the same?
The COD franchise is often criticized for offering the same formula year after year, but at least the last few games had introduced new mechanics and settings. Advanced Warfare’s movement and Infinite Warfare’s interesting planets, dog-fighting missions, and Mass Effect-esque hub ship were creatively interesting and bold choices.
The pendulum has swung away from innovation however, as Activision is boldly celebrating a return to old territory. New ideas might be here but weren’t mentioned as it seems the marketing is all about the comforting feel of nostalgia. I’m surprised they didn’t announce a remaster of an earlier WWII-centric COD, but perhaps that’s exactly what we’re getting with Call of Duty: WWII.