The new Call of Duty has been revealed! It’s going back to the “good” old days by setting Call of Duty: WWII during World War II. There’ll be some sort of cooperative campaign, of course multiplayer, and everything you’d expect from one of the top selling first-person shooters in the world. Things are going to get gritty. Activision is turning back to history. It’ll be about getting in the trenches with characters inspired by actual soldiers facing iconic battles.
Does that sound similar to you? It should, because Call of Duty’s return to form is coming a year after Battlefield 1 did the exact same thing. It paid off for EA in a big way. Battlefield 1 ended up being one of the greatest games released last year. Now that Activision feels like it has something to prove after the underperforming Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, it’s doing the same thing. But is it too much?
A lot of the Call of Duty: WWII taglines have a lot in common with Battlefield 1’s. Both featured iconic locations from the wars. Each one focuses on individuals, with bonds between men detailed. Of course historical games allow people to relive major battles. There’s also the idea of lifelike gameplay, something Battlefield 1 also offered with its variable weather. It feels like this new Call of Duty could be trying to hard to not only court players with classic gameplay, but also woo people who loved the new Battlefield with a similar experience.
There was certainly an element of trying to hard with Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. After that first trailer for the game, which was pretty much hated by anyone who saw it, Activision did a lot of explaining and hyping in an attempt to make the concept seem more palatable. It offered lots of pre-order incentives. It showed off multiple gameplay videos. There was a lot of hyping, and it all felt a little bit desperate.
As did the tying of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered to Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. That was a product that would have sold well on its own. It would probably have been quite beloved. But instead, Activision tied it to the game people weren’t as sure about. If hype and cavalcades of information weren’t going to sell the newest installment, then maybe forcing you to get it for a remaster of one of the best Call of Duty games ever would do it.
Activision really just needs to get back in the groove with Call of Duty games. It isn’t difficult to see what premises and concepts work. After all, it’s been a successful series since 2003. Hopefully, it won’t try to piggyback too much on Battlefield 1’s success with Call of Duty: WWII. So long as it delivers the solid gameplay people enjoy and a multiplayer experience that is easy to work, things should go well.