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Activision’s long-running first-person shooter has officially returned to World War II.
Call of Duty: WWII brings the series back to the tableau that launched one of the most successful franchises in gaming history. The studio launched the trailer for the upcoming game, due in stores Nov. 3, via a live stream on their website Wednesday.
As audio of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s famous Prayer on D-Day speech played, the trailer featured in-game footage that puts the player on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day before taking them into the forests on the back of a tank. Visceral footage of battle in crumbling cityscapes, aerial dogfights and intense dialogue hinted at the game’s single-player storyline.
Actor Josh Duhamel also made an appearance, welcoming the player to the “Bloody 1st.”
Following the trailer, Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg appeared live from London where he promised the upcoming game was what Call of Duty fans “had been waiting to see.”
Players will play as “Red” Daniels, Private in the “Bloody 1st” Division, a young newcomer to the war.
“As I really got to learn more about, not only did they pay attention historically, but the writing rivals anything I’ve ever read as far as movie scripts,” Duhamel told the London crowd. “Some of the scene work we got to do in this game was amazing. These characters are so well-rounded.”
Speaking of his character, the hard-nosed veteran Sgt. William Pierson, Duhamel said, “He’s a bit of a dick. He’s somebody who’s mission-before-man.” Duhamel was quick to add how much he enjoyed the experience working on a video game. “Once you get past the tight suit and the little ping pong balls, it feels like you’re doing theater.”
The technical team behind crafting the game shared the great lengths to which they went to achieve the historical realism seen in the project, from studying archival footage to actually handling historical armaments from the time period.
“We want the player to feel something,” said art director Joe Sauld. “The vision we have is dark and beautiful. Emotionally dark and visually beautiful.”
Glen Schofield, co-founder of Sledgehammer Games, which produced the upcoming entry in the series, stressed the importance of historical accuracy. “Getting WWII right is incredibly important to us. We spent two and a half years visiting museums, firing weapons and meeting with WWII veterans,” said Schofield. The Sledgehammer team even consulted with historian and author Martin Morgan to assure the game correctly depicted the War to End All Wars.
“It’s going to expose the WWII story to a whole new generation,” said Duhamel.
Watch the trailer below.
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