Call of Duty: WW2 will address racism, reveals Sledgehammer Games. The game’s story campaign will explore discrimination in the armed forces in what the developer is calling an ‘authentic’ take on history.
The upcoming first person shooter was announced earlier this month, with Activision and Sledgehmamer also also confirmig that Call of Duty: WW2 features playable female characters.
Call of Duty: WW2 to Tackle Racism
Speaking during the GamesBeat Summit 2017 in the clip embedded above, Sledgehammer co-founder Glen Schofield said that “In America we had a segregated army but the African American troops were indispensable and so the part of the story is that they crossed paths and we worked together and that’s the way it was. We don’t hide the racism, we don’t shy away from it.”
Though, Call of Duty: WW2 won’t only look at discrimination against black soldiers as senior creative director Bret Robbins also spoke to Mashable about anti-semitism in the game.
A Jewish soldier named Zussman is the best friend of the main player character and “right out of the gate [the game tackles] the fact head-on that not everyone in the squad is comfortable with the fact that he’s Jewish.” The developer will use a “story piece” that “sort of elevates [the characters] to overcome this institutional thinking.”
One of the strongest arguments against Call of Duty: WW2 taking on racism is that it seems antithetical to the attitude and blockbuster action style of the series. The problem isn’t that Sledgehammer should avoid addressing the issues, but it’s more a concern that the developer will not get it right and will not deliver nuanced discussion alongside those explosive set-pieces that the franchises is known for.
However, Sledgehammer Games co-founder Michael Condrey told GamesRadar that “We didn’t want to dishonour the fact that those things happened – but we also wanted to make sure that we were respectful and not showcasing anything unnecessarily or gratuitous in gameplay or narrative. So it was always a fine balance.”
Sledgehammer has also spent over two years researching the war, meeting with WW2 veterans and is working with historian Marty Morgan. This does suggest that the Call of Duty: WW2 developer has taken the proper steps and won’t drop the ball on this, but it’s understandable if many fans still decide to take the ‘wait and see’ approach.
Call of Duty: WW2 will be released on Windows PC, PS4 and Xbox One on November 3.
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