Call of Duty: WWII features a horror-focused “zombies” mode as well as competitive multiplayer, but the heart of this year’s period piece shooter is its emotional campaign. In a new documentary short, Sledgehammer Games explained how the game uses its story to pay tribute to the heroes of World War II.
“I’ve devoted my life to studying the subject of the Second World War,” said historian Martin K.A. Morgan in the video. “I’m very fortunate in this career to follow the story of individuals who were willing to make a sacrifice for the bigger picture. They represented the greatest possibly bravery — the greatest possible courage — under the worst possible circumstances.”
Call of Duty: WWII features some of the most famous battles of the war, including the storming of Normandy, France, on D-Day, but Sledgehammer wanted to also highlight the battles subsequent generation might have never been told about, as well as the struggle of French citizens living under Nazi rule.
“This is an incredibly suffocating and stifling experience,” Morgan said. “But throughout all of it, the resilience of the Parisian people never faltered — never shuttered.”
While the Call of Duty series and its World War II installments have traditionally focused on enlisted servicemen, Call of Duty: WWII also includes a female French resistance fighter working to take back her homeland from the Germans. Elsewhere, we see the Battle of the Bulge at Ardennes, a bloody conflict which stood as Germany’s last-ditch effort to halt the advance of the Allies.
“The Second World War isn’t about you as an individual. This is about people. This is about an idea: The idea of freedom, and freedom from oppression,” Mordan added. “If people remember, people will memorialize. And if people memorialize, people won’t forget.”
It’s a tone that the Call of Duty series and Activision haven’t used in recent years as campaigns moved toward the fantastical, with Black Ops III simply using the name “Player” for its protagonist. We’ll see if Call of Duty: WWII can truly pay tribute to our fallen heroes when the game releases for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC on November 3.
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