With the announcement of Sledgehammer Games newest version of Call of Duty, the buzz is again all the rage in the gaming community. With a big livestream, Sledgehammer Games revealed their first trailer displaying the theme and look of the newest edition of this gaming powerhouse.

The last time Sledgehammer Games delivered a CoD project, they gave us Advanced Warfare (2014) which was an amazing entry into the CoD game-o-sphere. The last time the franchise reached back to the World War II era was Treyarch’s World At War (2008). Both of these games were high points in the timeline of not only gaming but also in CoD. As a result, the expectations and the buzz is high. The reason being that Call of Duty games started focusing on this war during its genesis so it is being billed and seen as a return to the grass roots of what made Call of Duty so popular…its gritty, hectic, and dramatic action.

While the first few Call of Duty games (which began in 2003 with Infinity Ward) had that emotion and cinematic greatest on lock, the multiplayer aspect did not take off until the game dipped into the Modern Warfare back in 2007. It was then that the Call of Duty ‘craze’ truly began and hasn’t showed too many signs of slowing down since. While some may say the numbers aren’t as high as other Call of Duty games in the past, Infinite Warfare was still the top selling game in all of 2016. I’m certain Sledgehammer plans on besting the numbers IW did as well as the numbers their previous CoD game did as well.

So what is it about WWII and this anticipated version of CoD that has people talking already?

For myself, I’ve repeatedly talked about the stale multiplayer FPS genre led by CoD and Battlefield and how we as gamers are craving new innovations like persistent online wars and more tactical gameplay with larger battles. Of course, larger isn’t always better and what has made CoD so appealing is the occasional entry that has the perfect balance of map size and design.

For CoD: WWII, the only real multiplayer info that we have are small descriptions of three new modes: Divisions, War, and HQ. Divisions is described as providing ‘an option to choose the kind of division you want to join’ (infantry, airborne, or armored) as well as further character customization (female, African American, etc). Since we don’t know the significance of the different divisions and whether that determines the weapons you use or what, we’ll have to wait a bit for more clarification. A part of me wants to say all of these choices are simply cosmetic in nature so that the gameplay will allow you full customization control over your character and their progression. The choice of having an ‘armored’ division makes you wonder about the size of the maps and the number of players Sledgehammer will have in a match. Adding vehicles in FPS multiplayer games ALWAYS requires a decent amount of space to allow for infantry to do their do and the vehicles themselves to NOT feel like they only can drive on roads and such. The Battlefield series have perfected that map design. Will CoD dare jump into that scope as a part of their baseline Deathmatch design?

War seems to be a CoD take on Battlefield’s Rush mode with one side being the attacker and the other defending. It will be objective based so this could be a chance for CoD to have some larger maps. This mode definitely sounds like the focus of making the division choices make sense. Rush maps are relatively linear and take part in stages as the attackers push back defenders a number of times. Battlefield also altered this formula with their Operations mode. Where Rush required you to destroy  objectives by planting and protecting a bomb, Operations makes the offense take over and hold a couple of map locations as is done in Conquest mode. I’m certain CoD’s War mode will be some variation of this.

Headquarters is simply a social space that has been referred to by others as “Destiny-esque”. We’ll see what this space entails later as well. I’m hoping that this space will finally take the step of including groups or clans or units in-game so that friends and groups can better coordinate gameplay times and events and such without having to use third party mobile apps or PC sites to organize. It will be interesting to see why they decided to add this social space as well. Could Sledgehammer be looking to have a kind of persistent war go on as is being done in For Honor with their seasons and such? This would be a great idea if executed in a way where it didn’t just feel tacked on.

Call of Duty: WWII pre-orders at participating retailers include access to the Private Beta, available first on PlayStation®4, scheduled for later this year. Call of Duty: WWII is available for pre-order in the following editions:

  • Base Edition and Digital Base Edition – Suggested Retail Price $59.99.
  • Digital Deluxe Edition – Season Pass** and more, SRP $99.99.
  • Pro Edition – Season Pass**, collectible SteelbookTM and more, SRP $99.99

Check out: www.callofduty.com, www.youtube.com/callofduty or follow @CallofDuty and @SHGames on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Stay tuned as more info is released as we close in on E3 this year.