Sledgehammer Games was founded by Michael Condrey and Glen Schofield in 2009, and have since been responsible for two wildly successful Call of Duty titles: 2011’s Modern Warfare 3 and 2014’s Advanced Warfare. Later this year, on November 3, we will receive their third take on the massively popular franchise in Call of Duty WWII.
When you hear the two speak about this new title and the development behind it, their passion and excitement is front-and-center. They have gone to great lengths to ensure that WWII isn’t just some half-baked war game, but instead as accurate to the real-life war that happened in the 1940s. The team at Sledgehammer have traveled across Europe to former battlegrounds and consulted with military historians to make this game as true and respectful to the time as it can be, from the way the squad members talk to each other, to the weapons and vehicles used and the sounds they make, to the camaraderie built among the squad, and everything in between.
Condrey and Schofield look at this game as a way to take the series back to its roots while also introducing a new generation of gamers to a time period they may not be familiar with, or at least have yet to experience in such an interactive way.
In a behind-the-scenes look during E3 2017 we listened as developers from Sledgehammer gushed and gushed about the upcoming title, and how much it means to them. Instead of something like Advanced Warfare, where they would dream and imagine things that could happen, or make up awesome weapons just because they were cool, WWII required three years of research and learning to ensure its historical accuracy, which was crucial to them honoring the legacy of the war.
The theme of the game became all about camaraderie and brotherhood, and at the end of the game they want you to feel like you really know your squad; that you will develop the kind of bonds that those who actually served developed with their brothers in arms. Owing to all of this and more, Schofield claims that throughout 26 years of making games, this is the best game they’ve ever made.
During Sony’s press conference Activision and Sledgehammer revealed the first multiplayer trailer for Call of Duty: WWII, and Condrey an Schofield are just as excited about the new multiplayer features as the game’s campaign, particularly Headquarters. Headquarters is, as Condrey puts it, “the biggest innovation of multiplayer this year.” After creating a custom character to use, you can actually bring that avatar into a multiplayer world outside of matches to experience. Think of it like a few days after D-Day. There’s a base of operations set up on the beach now for the allies, and it’s where you’ll head off into the multiplayer matches, along with up to 47 others. In this sort of multiplayer hub you can show off your gear, be social, get rewarded (though for what exactly they didn’t say), and more.
Finally, of course, there will also be a zombie mode in the Call of Duty game, as has become a franchise staple. They tiptoed around the details of zombie mode as they intend to elaborate on it in the coming months leading up to launch, but they described it as a mash-up of Dead Space and Nazi Zombies. It will be much more visceral and scary than past zombie modes, and is Sledgehammer’s own unique take on the formula.
There looks to be a lot to love about Call of Duty: WWII, and a lot of passion has gone into it over the last three years. Look forward to grabbing it when it launches on November 4 for PS4.
If you’re at E3, you can try the multiplayer and check out Headquarters for yourself, and also have a go at a campaign demo by visiting Activision’s booth (#1001) in the South Hall. If you’re not at E3, mark down August 25 on your calendar to take on the multiplayer beta.