In recent years, Call of Duty has felt like it was floundering for ideas a bit. The franchise had extreme early success with its initial World War II setting, but fatigue set in as every other major and minor game developer threw their lot into the Nazi shooting escapades of the 1940s. After their initially successful modern pivot, the franchise seemed to lose its footing and quickly became the shorthand for dismissing gamers as immature online trolls who are somehow sexually prolific with each and every mother on Earth. But there’s hope thanks to Call of Duty: WWII, 2017’s upcoming release. All signs point to a respectful, impactful game, where the developer aimed less for the demigod status of previous entries and more for the terrifying randomness of the actual war. The main single player experience follows a young private on his first experience of warfare during the invasion of Europe and early gameplay emphasizes the fear and overwhelming anxiety of the Western Front. It’s the first time in nearly a decade we’ve really cared about what Call of Duty is doing, so here’s hoping they don’t fall into old bad habits.
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