A return to WW2 for Call of Duty 2021 might not sound exciting on paper but could be interesting if developer Sledgehammer focuses on new experiences.
Call of Duty – as well as its free-to-play battle royale game, Warzone – has shown no signs of slowing down in recent years. With every year has come a new Call of Duty game, and the rumor mill is already suggesting players may be returning to the familiar battlefields of World War 2 in COD 2021.
According to recently leaks, COD 2021 will supposedly be titled Call of Duty WW2: Vanguard and will take players to a WW2 setting once again. Production is said to be led by Sledgehammer Games, which would make sense, given Sledgehammer was responsible for the straightforwardly named Call of Duty: WW2 in 2017. If Call of Duty does really return to World War 2, it would bring into question what exactly will happen to Warzone this year. Will Warzone receive World War 2 weapons and a new map? And how can Sledgehammer make another game set during WW2 stand out from its 2017 entry?
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The initial report does seem to be true, as it was later verified in part by Eurogamer. Call of Duty returning to 1945 wouldn’t be the most exciting revelation for many fans, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t still potential in a WW2-themed COD game. Here’s how Sledgehammer could make a new World War 2 entry in the blockbuster shooter franchise interesting.
How Vanguard Could Make A WW2 COD Interesting
Because the game has yet to be officially announced, there are still plenty of unknown details about Call of Duty WW2: Vanguard. ModernWarzone, which originally reported the game’s existence, also said it would feature an alternate timeline, in which WW2 didn’t end in 1945. Eurogamer, on the other hand, reported this detail “isn’t quite right” and that COD WW2: Vanguard will have “a traditional WW2 setting.” The game might not even be called WW2: Vanguard upon release, according to ModernWarzone.
Regardless of the details, a Call of Duty returning to World War 2 has its work cut out for it. While Sledgehammer’s Call of Duty: WW2 was relatively well-received, there’s only so much one can do with a somewhat realistic World War 2 setting before it quickly begins to feel like a “been there, done that” experience. An alternate timeline where World War 2 continued after the real-world one ended could certainly make for unique experiences.
An alternative would be to keep the game’s story more grounded in real history and focus on WW2’s seldom represented Pacific theater. It’s a setting only seen once before in the franchise, in about half the campaign of 2008’s Treyarch-developed Call of Duty: World at War. This could breathe new life into the setting by featuring previously unseen scenarios many players aren’t as familiar with. Players have stormed the beaches of Normandy dozens of times, but capturing Iwo Jima or storming the Japanese mainland at the Battle of Okinawa would be a new scenario.
This would also open up fascinating new possibilities for Warzone. While it remains to be seen if 2021’s Call of Duty will feature Warzone integration in the same way as 2020’s Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, it would certainly make sense. The game could receive an island map set in the Pacific, filled with new vehicles and weapons for players to use. The game’s storyline could be tied back to 1945 in some way and could even feature returning characters from World at War or Sledgehammer’s previous World War 2 game.
COD fans will likely have to wait a little longer before 2021’s Call of Duty is officially revealed. But if the game is indeed going back to World War 2, the least Sledgehammer Games can do is put a more interesting spin on the time period by either taking its rumored alternate history approach or focusing on infrequently represented battles.
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