Since officially unveiling Call of Duty: WWII, developer Sledgehammer Games has done a lot of boasting about the level of historical accuracy they’re bringing to the game. According to Sledgehammer, they won’t be shying away from the dark and uncomfortable realities of World War II, but some fans have their doubts.
Many took notice of the fact that the Call of Duty: WWII E3 2017 multiplayer trailer seemed to omit the Nazi swastika, replacing it with a generic cross symbol, and the game’s avatar customization allows you to be any race or gender you want, resulting in black female soldiers proudly fighting in German World War II uniforms. Needless to say, this has caused more than small amount of drama amongst CoD fans.
As you would expect, there are some people who want Call of Duty: WWII to fly the swastika and omit non-white, non-male characters for less-than-savory reasons, but you can also argue that smoothing over the horrors of World War II and the true goals of the Nazis is an affront to the conflict’s countless victims. It’s a tricky balancing act, that needs to be handled properly.
Thankfully, Sledgehammer Games co-founder Michael Condrey clarified how Call of Duty: WWII will approach history in a recent interview with Eurogamer. Basically, Call of Duty: WWII’s campaign will be as historically accurate as possible, while multiplayer will be a safe place that sidesteps the darker aspects of World War II. Here’s what Condrey had to say about multiplayer character customization:
“Multiplayer is this gritty, immersive experience, but it's also about putting you in World War II. So, if you're a female, or you want to play as a female, if you want to be any one of the multinational cast of characters to represent who you are, to look up to and respect as your avatar, we want to give you that opportunity.
Now, the challenge there, which is real, is half the time you'll be playing on the Axis team. That was a decision we made intentionally. We know that didn't happen in the German forces, but we want this to be about you. We're making this about putting you in this social space and you into your soldier. And we want that to be rewarding and meaningful. I don't want it to be our decision to force you away from your character into playing a German soldier, just because we put you on the Axis team."prevnext
Condrey also addressed the swastika and other Nazi iconography, which will be in the single-player campaign:
“In campaign, we need to balance the authenticity with the respect for the fact 100 million people died in the darkest days of humanity. So, you will see the swastika in the campaign, using our military historian to make sure it's authentic, tasteful and respectful.
But for our multiplayer and zombies players, we've chosen deliberately not to include that. We want the community to play together. We want to be respectful of local customs and laws around the world. And frankly it's a dark symbol with a lot of emotion behind it we don't feel matches our multiplayer experience."
This seems like a reasonable compromise. Telling a specific, unflinching story about World War II is one thing, but letting teenagers play as Nazis in multiplayer is a bad look. I think most reasonable gamers who aren’t pushing some agenda will understand why it has to be this way.0comments