What does Call of Duty have in stock?
It’s stamped the Call of Duty franchise will be returning to WWII in 2017. The artwork you see above came from Call of Duty’s website, along with a date and time for the full reveal: Wednesday, April 26
The Call of Duty franchise faced its toughest year in 2016. While the futuristic Infinite Warfare sold pretty well, it was surpassed by other shooters in nearly every way.
In the words of Activision, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare “under-performed expectations”, and Call of duty fans have been calling for a change of the series for this year’s release. Thankfully, there are early signs that their voices have been heard. Here’s everything we know about this year’s Call of Duty game so far, including a tonne of intriguing rumours.
Call of Duty 2017 price: TBA - but likely to be $60/£50/AU$100
Call of Duty 2017 confirmed features
What we do know is that the game will focus on “traditional combat” – Activision itself said so during a call with investors earlier this year, adding that the game will “take Call of Duty back to its roots”, suggesting it would be a World War II setting. And Sledgehammer Games had something to say, studio head Glen Schofield tweeting that “there are boots and ground and I guess some roots”.
An editor at TechRadar says “The “roots” bit is bizarre – perhaps pointing to a wooded location? – but the rest suggests that jet-packs are out, and infantry warfare is in”. Activision have also said that the space setting of Infinite Warfare “didn’t resonate” with fans – which points even more strongly to a simple run and gun affair.
Aside that, there’s very little we have on us. We keep you updated as soon as we know more
The prevailing theory is that this year’s call of Duty will have a setting of World War II. It all started when a leaked artwork work posted on YouTube channel The Family Video Gamers, depicting a beach invasion, presumably Normandy, the famous D-Day battle.
This title, and the setting, has been verified by sources to IGN and Eurogamer, as well as by Shinobi602, an industry insider who is right more often than not.
Although Activision and the developers haven’t commented, the official word does back up the idea. Taking Call of Duty “back to its roots” would certainly suggest a World War II game: the first three games were all set between 1939 and 1945, as was the fifth, World at War.
It also matches with what Sledgehammer’s co-founder Michael Condrey said in 2014 about the future of the series. “A next generation game with the latest production values and robustness in a World War II setting like Band of Brothers would be amazing," he said. That was three years ago: and, tellingly, the Call of Duty games follow a three-year development cycle. A World War II setting is looking more likely by the day.
Call of Duty 2017: A November release date?
There’s been no official word on the release date, but judging by the way past years of the game release it’s likely to drop in November. The previous two games have launched in the first week of that month, both on Fridays (presumably so that people can play over the weekend). The same this year would mean a release date of November 3. And that just so happens to be the release date shown on an online leaked poster earlier this month, featuring very similar artwork to the images released by YouTube account The Family Video Gamers. I don’t think that’s a coincidence.
That same poster also suggested that PS4 players would get early access to DLC for the game. That would be no surprise: Sony had a timed-exclusive deal for Infinite Warfare, meaning their gamers got to play DLC for 30 days before anyone on Xbox or PC was allowed to.
How soon will we know more?
Very soon. Reveal trailers for the upcoming Call of Duty game will arrive on April 26. Keep your eyes on this site for the latest info as and when it emerges.
If Call of Duty is going to go back to its roots this year, it may as well do it properly. Multiplayer has become the game’s core offering, but it wasn’t always that way. The original Call of Duty games impressed because of their branching campaigns, told from multiple perspectives. The first two featured storylines from the American, British, and Soviet armies, while the third added Canadian, French, and Polish heroes into the mix.
We’d love to see refreshed ideas, with players taking part in set-piece battles across Europe and meeting comrades from across the planet. What we hear from the developers are positive – now they just need to deliver.
A female protagonist
Call of Duty characters are traditionally gruff, chisel-jawed types that you wouldn’t want to make eye contact with at a bar. We haven’t yet had a female protagonist, and we’d welcome one this year.
Judging by what Sledghammer’s Condrey said in 2015, we might get our wish. “After speaking with military advisors, strong female characters, strong female military presences are gonna be in the future, and we’re seeing it today, so absolutely, you would expect to see that one day in Call of Duty,” he said. Promising stuff.
The World War II setting would make a female protagonist less likely, given the lack of female soldiers that fought in the real war. However, a fictional lead would be very welcome – or Activision could focus part of the story on notable female soldiers, such as the famous Lyudmila Pavlichenko, a sniper who killed more than 300 Germans while fighting for the Soviet Army.
New game modes
You can bet that fans will rush to the next game’s multiplayer modes: expect the usual suspects to return alongside a revamped zombie mode, which fans love.
But if Activision and Sledgehammer truly want a U-turn with the series, they’re going to have to try something different. Sledgehammer has talked about it in the past, with co-founder Condrey saying the team have "talked about new ways to play", including "branching story-lines or third person mode or crazy changes to the multiplayer”.
In 2014, he said of the possibility of a WWII setting: "Now, how would it play and how would the multiplayer work after the new movement set in Advanced Warfare? That's a tougher question than I've had to tackle yet.”
We’re envisaging focused, multiplayer set-piece battles where players have a specific role. Take, say, the Normandy invasion. You could have attacking and defending forces with players assigned specific tasks – push up to a certain point on the beach, man a machine gun, or keep teammates healed up. Those levels could adapt over time – when the Allied forces reach the German trenches, the Germans would have to fall back and hunker down elsewhere, changing the feel of the battle.
It’s just one option – Let us all wait to see what Sledgehammer has up their sleeves.