As more details about Call of Duty: WWII emerge in the wake of its official reveal, it’s becoming increasingly clear that Activision and Sledgehammer Games aren’t shying away from mixing up the series’ formula, even if it means abandoning features and gameplay that have become trademarks of the brand.
Talking with Polygon, Sledgehammer Games co-founder Glen Schofield hinted that the series’ trademark health-regeneration would not be returning in Call of Duty: WWII—at least not in the single-player campaign.
“You have to worry about every bullet,” Schofield said. “You’re not the superhero. You can’t just stand there taking seven bullets, ducking, shooting again. It’s refreshing for us to deal with recruits who aren’t tier-one warriors, to show that vulnerability. They’re naive. It’s been a really cool challenge creating this different kind of gameplay.”
Exact details are still scarce, but this new health system will likely depend either on randomly scattered health-packs, dedicated medic characters, who can provide healing, or some combination of the two. No matter the approach, the change will require players to use deeper tactics than just tanking damage and then dropping behind cover.
To restate an important point, however, there’s absolutely no word on whether or not multiplayer will take a similar approach. Regenerating health is such a crucial component of the pace of the game online that it’s difficult to imagine Call of Duty: WWII moving away from it, but perhaps Sledgehammer does indeed have a big surprise in store.
Additionally, the developer emphasized that the main character—Private Ronald “Red” Daniels—won’t have any special abilities, with only his wits getting him through each fight. The absence of any special abilities or futuristic technology from previous installments will have the player running through more conventional shooter combat, supplemented by the grittier tools of the time like knives, grenades, and smoke bombs.
The Polygon interview also revealed that players would take on the role of more than one soldier throughout the campaign. This is common practice in Call of Duty campaigns, and while Sledgehammer has yet to elaborate on the device, shots from the trailer showing vehicle driving and other unconnected set-pieces could suggest a similar pattern to the periodic character swapping of older installments. It is confirmed, however, that the Axis forces will never be playable within the campaign.
GameSpot also got a look at the recent behind-closed-doors demo, during which animation director Chris Stone discussed another classic gameplay mechanic that would be set aside in Call of Duty: WWII.
“There is no stacking up on a door, and breaching a door, and flash-banging 12 guys and killing them with one shot,” Stone explained. “It’s just, what would you do if you were a kid with no training? Maybe you’d peek around the corner, maybe you’d take a shot, and maybe you’d kind of move somewhere… In terms of trying to recreate a visual experience of World War II, it’s all those little things that add up.”
Call of Duty: WWII is slated to launch November 3rd on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Fans can check out the game’s official reveal trailer to pump themselves up for the upcoming private multiplayer beta, available through pre-order and coming first to PlayStation 4.