Sledgehammer Games’ Call of Duty: WWII is looking to return the series to its World War II roots with an epic single-player campaign and a slew of changes to its multiplayer modes. Below, you’ll find everything we know so far, plus what we’re hoping to learn in due time.
What we know we know
What is Call of Duty: WWII? The latest incarnation of Activision’s line of incessantly popular first-person shooters, Call of Duty: WWII returns to the series’ roots and focuses the action on the Second World War. Like other games in the series, it’ll have distinct campaign, multiplayer, and co-op modes.
When and where is Call of Duty: WWII set? The game will be set in the European theater of the war, primarily focusing on the years of 1944 and 1945. Some flashbacks in the campaign will focus on events outside this time frame, however, and multiplayer may take players to different fronts of the war, such as Africa and the Pacific Theater.
What (and who) is Call of Duty: WWII‘s campaign about? Players will take on the role of a private named Ronald “Red” Daniels in the Army’s 1st Infantry Division, also known by its nicknames, the Bloody First and Big Red One. Daniels is new to combat, and we’ll follow his story from the D-Day invasion up through the end of the war in Europe.
Also in your squad are some recognizable faces. Josh Duhamel (Transfomers: The Last Knight) plays a technical sergeant named William Pierson, Jonathan Tucker (Kingdom, The Black Donnellys) portrays Red’s close friend Pfc. Robert Zussman, and Jeffrey Pierce (The Last of Us, Bosch) is 1st Lt. Joseph Turner.
A teaser site for the game recently revealed a cache of new hints about the campaign, so if you’re in the market for more details, you might want to take a look.
Will Call of Duty: WWII‘s story include other characters or countries, and will they be playable? Multiple characters have been confirmed as playable, but the only one we know by name so far is a French Resistance fighter named Rousseau. Other characters announced as part of the story but not yet confirmed as playable include a British intelligence officer named Crowley and Cormack, an African-American officer from another U.S. regiment.
Will Call of Duty: WWII let us play as female soldiers? Sledgehammer co-founder Michael Condrey confirmed as much to a fan on Twitter, specifically mentioning multiplayer. Exactly how this will work is unclear, but all evidence points to gender being a cosmetic option when customizing your soldier.
While women fought in combat roles for Russia and in the French Resistance, they weren’t allowed in the infantry in the U.S. military, nor would they be for many decades after. The game won’t, however, limit women fighters to historically accurate factions, ditching this one aspect of historical accuracy in favor of inclusivity. One example that made the rounds during E3, for instance, was that of a black woman fighting for the German army. It’ll happen in the game, but you can be sure that it definitely wouldn’t have happened during the real World War II.
The campaign, as well, will let you play as Rousseau, the French woman mentioned above.
Finally, Sledgehammer confirmed that the Zombies mode will also feature playable women characters during a recent livestream Q&A.
Are there any new modes in Call of Duty: WWII‘s multiplayer? A new mode, War, is one of the biggest additions to the Call of Duty multiplayer formula. War is a 6v6 asymmetrical battle between two dedicated factions (Americans versus Germans, for example) in which one team has to complete objectives while the other team has to stop them. One of the maps at the E3 2017 demo, Operation Breakout, tasked players will objectives such as building bridges to advance their offensive push, which involved getting a tank to the other side of the map.
The other confirmed addition, Headquarters, is a social hub akin to the Tower in Destiny. Up to 48 players can hang out on the beaches of Normandy prior to joining matches. There, players can practice their aim at the shooting range, find other players to team up with, pick up daily challenges, or challenge players to Shootouts, which so far include a 1v1 survival pit and a competitive firing range.
Two classic multiplayers modes that are confirmed to return to Call of Duty: WWII are Team Deathmatch and Domination. Kill Confirmed, a popular mode that premiered in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III, has not been confirmed as playable. Call of Duty: WWII might bring back Uplink, except it wouldn’t involve jet-packs.
How will classes work in Call of Duty: WWII‘s multiplayer? Call of Duty: WWII will introduce Divisions, which will replace the create-a-class system from recent Call of Duty games. Players will choose from five iconic World War II divisions—Airborne, Mountain, Infantry, Armored, and Expedition—each with specific division training and weapon skills. The division you choose will determine what weapon type you will get, but you can change your division whenever you want.
How will weapons and killstreaks in Call of Duty: WWII vary from early installments? Weaponry will obviously resemble guns from the earlier Call of Duty games, which were set during the Second World War. Some of the weapons confirmed so far are the M1903 rifle, the M1 Garand rifle, the M1911 pistol, plus a light machine gun, shotguns, and a variety of grenades. Unlike previous WWII Call of Duty games, weaponry will not be locked to the specific army you’re fighting for, so Germans can use American weapons and Americans can use German weapons if that’s what you prefer. While players can still earn new weapon and gear variants through Supply Drops, it looks like the variants earned will be cosmetic only, a change from recent games in the series which randomly gifted players with gear mods that offered better stats on weapons and gear.
Killstreaks will now be known as “scorestreaks,” and they will return in Call of Duty: WWII with appropriately themed benefits. Some of the known scorestreaks include a flamethrower, a recon aircraft, and a mortar strike, but more are sure to make their way into the final game. Players will be able to test out the multiplayer’s full selection of scorestreaks in Headquarters so that, when they access the rarer bonuses in a match, they’ll know how to use them.
Will there still be regenerating health in Call of Duty: WWII‘s multiplayer? We know for certain that the campaign is ditching regenerating health in favor of healing provided by your squad, but multiplayer will retain regenerating health.
Will Call of Duty: WWII have a Zombies mode? Yep. During the reveal stream, Sledgehammer confirmed that Call of Duty: WWII will have a Nazi Zombies mode, and apparently it’s featuring “some really authentic stuff” and will be “unique to [Sledgehammer bosses’ Glen Schofield and Michael Condrey’s] Dead Space signature.”
Will Call of Duty: WWII have a multiplayer beta? There will be a private beta this summer open to those who pre-order the game. Call of Duty: WWII is hosting its beta over the course of two separate weekends. PlayStation 4 players will get access to the beta first, from August 25th to August 28th. A week later, the beta will be open to all platforms from September 1st to September 4th.
Will Call of Duty: WWII get DLC? A season pass has already been announced, with new maps and more on the way as part of discrete DLC packs to be released after launch.
Will Call of Duty: WWII feature any timed-exclusivity deals on its DLC? DLC is timed-exclusive to the PlayStation 4, as is the game’s private beta.
The Basics (skip)
What developer is working on Call of Duty: WWII? Activision currently cycles main Call of Duty developers on a three-year rotation, and the responsibility this year falls on Sledgehammer Games. Sledgehammer previously led work on Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and assisted on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.
What platforms is Call of Duty: WWII coming to? Call of Duty: WWII is coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. There were rumors that a version of the game will be coming to the Nintendo Switch, but Sledgehammer confirmed that the game will not be coming to the Switch in a Reddit AMA.
What is Call of Duty: WWII‘s release date? Call of Duty: WWII releases worldwide November 3rd, 2017.
Where can I watch the Call of Duty: WWII trailer? The trailer, released during the game’s debut livestream, can be watched below.
What we think we know
How will Call of Duty: WWII‘s campaign manage multiple characters? While it’s clear the bulk of Call of Duty: WWII‘s story will put you in the boots of Red Daniels, the development team has already confirmed that the perspective will occasionally shift to other characters. The context around this is mysterious, however. If we had to guess, these changes will be limited to setpiece missions, with vehicle segments being an obvious contender. After all, the 1st, being an infantry division, wouldn’t be manning any tanks, and we know for a fact the campaign will put you inside of one.
Then again, ground-based fighters like Rousseau, a female resistance fighter, have been talked about as playable, so the full picture will likely be more complicated than that.
How is Call of Duty: WWII‘s campaign gameplay different? We know for sure that one major change is on the way for the campaign: Regenerating health is gone. Instead, the game will borrow an idea seen in BioShock Infinite, with NPC squadmates able to heal you when you take a few bullets too many. A similar approach will go for resupplying on ammo once you’re low, so it’s likely the days of plentiful bullets dropping from enemies you defeat are gone. Intriguingly, these squadmates can be separated from the group or incapacitated, in which case you’ll be without their help.
Unlimited sprint will also be a thing of the past, though it’s not yet clear whether it will still be available as a perk in multiplayer, like it was in some earlier Call of Duty installments, or if it will be taken out of the game completely.
How many players will be supported in Call of Duty: WWII‘s multiplayer? A screenshot of the game’s Xbox One store page listed the maximum player count as 48, but that seems to only apply to Headquarters. Actual competitive multiplayer modes, so far, have only showed a maximum of twelve players.
How historically accurate will Call of Duty: WWII be? The development team has spoken extensively about keeping the game historically accurate. A video showing Sledgehammer’s vision that aired during the reveal stream touted the team’s extensive research and collaboration with historian Martin Morgan, and an early teaser from studio co-founder Michael Condrey mentioned many of the same points.
Based on what we’ve heard, it sounds likely that the weapons, equipment, and environments will be quite authentic, at least visually. The reveal stream also said, though, that the game will weave in and out of real-world events, so Call of Duty: WWII may take some liberties with the actual battles and historical developments it depicts.
That being said, the multiplayer will bend historical accuracy, especially when it comes to Nazi iconography.
How will Call of Duty: WWII tackle the more serious issues of World War II? Sledgehammer has said it won’t shy away from the darker moments of the war. Though the developers have provided relatively straightforward confirmation that the racism faced by black soldiers will be depicted, they’ve been cagier when asked about things like concentration camps. It’s difficult to imagine an action game like Call of Duty game handling some of these very heavy matters in a respectful fashion, so maybe the team will opt to keep them in the background. Then again, it may be courting controversy not to acknowledge them in some fashion.
What locations and battles will appear in Call of Duty: WWII? So far, just a handful of historical battles have been confirmed. First, there’s the Normandy landing on D-Day, probably the most iconic World War II setting. Also included is the Battle of Hürtgen Forest, the longest single battle the U.S. Army has ever fought. Another location that will be visited, in some form, is the Signal Hill Battery in Gibraltar, as revealed with a cryptic tweet prior to the official livestream reveal. Since then, Battle of the Bulge and Operation Cobra—an offensive which utilized the largest aerial bombardment in history to push back German defenses on the Normandy front—will also be featured in the campaign.
Beyond that, there are a few more battles the game seems likely to touch on. Based on what Sledgehammer has said about the campaign so far, the crossing of the Rhine at the Battle of Remagen seem practically inevitable. The Liberation of Paris also seems like an obvious event to include, but the 1st wasn’t involved in that, so it would seemingly involve a different playable character if it appears at all.
Will vehicles make a return in Call of Duty: WWII multiplayer? Previous Call of Duty titles set during World War II allowed players to drive vehicles on the battlefield, but the last game to do so was World at War in 2008. Since then, every yearly installment of the series has isolated vehicles to the roles of killstreaks. So far, we’ve seen that tanks can at least be used as mobile heavy machine guns, although it looks like none of the vehicles will be controllable.
Will the fans that hated Infinite Warfare enjoy Call of Duty: WWII? Early signs point to a lot of upset fans returning to the franchise. Activision said in a recent earnings call that almost all of the response online has been positive—a far cry from the widespread derision that greeted Infinite Warfare. Then again, we won’t know for sure until the game is in the hands of players.
What we still want to know
Will Call of Duty: WWII‘s campaign be set in the same universe as any previous game? A small Easter egg found in the recent Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare revealed that the game was set in the same universe as the Modern Warfare subseries. It didn’t have any appreciable effect on the game, but it will be interesting to see if Call of Duty: WWII tries something similar.
Will Call of Duty: WWII‘s Nazi Zombies mode tie into the ongoing story? While Call of Duty: WWII is indeed going back to the classic Nazi Zombies mode that started the Zombies saga, it’s unclear whether Sledgehammer’s version will tie into the broader narrative surrounding Dr. Richtofen and the other established characters. The story behind Call of Duty: WWII‘s Nazi Zombies mode sounds a bit more grounded (if that’s possible) than the Richtofen saga, centering around the “Third Reich’s desperate attempt to create an army in the final stages of the war.” Some sci-fi elements will probably be introduced to explain the zombies’ creation, but it doesn’t sound as off-the-wall as its predecessor.
Recent teaser images uncovered on the game’s site as part of an ongoing puzzle have proved inconclusive, as well, though they may offer up some insights into the Nazi Zombies story either way. We’ll know more when Sledgehammer finally reveals its version of Nazi Zombies mode at San Diego Comic-Con 2017.
Why is the game called Call of Duty: WWII and not Call of Duty: World War II? How are we supposed to pronounce it? Call of Duty: Double-You Double-You Two? Call of Duty: Wee? Call of Duty: Wuh-Wee? We have no idea. If it’s any consolation, it seems the team at Sledgehammer is pronouncing it as Call of Duty: World War II—but that just makes the abbreviated title even more confusing.