While for most people video games are a form of entertainment with repetitive elements of gameplay meant to pass time, they have long since transcended the boundaries of simple gameplay and have become bonafide works of art. A source of cultural commentary much in the same way that films are. The main difference between video games and films that are created as express works of art is that in video games the developers, directors, artists, animators, programmers and writers don’t just lift the veil but break through the fourth wall entirely and pull us in into the worlds they have created. We become active participants and are actively engaged in the choices and decisions made by the characters in these stories.
Billed as a return to form for the series, Call of Duty World War II was released in 2017 by Activision Publishing Inc. Boots on the ground was Activision’s chosen marketing slogan at the time. The Call of Duty video game series had long been criticised for its departure from simple combat in spite of being pioneers in the field. World War II was seen as a return to form for the series in particular because of the gameplay. Sledge Hammer Games, the main developers, did away with all the military science fiction elements of the latter series and piloted the series back to familiar territory. While for some, this wasn’t the perfect landing they had hoped for, this was a breathe of fresh air for gameplay that had begun to grow stale amongst many players.
The medium of video games freed the developers to pull us into a captivating tale of humanity and the struggle for freedom from oppression and tyranny. We are able to view the events as they unfold through the eyes of the characters we play as and became active participants in the War.Keli
I was never a fan of the Call of Duty series primarily because I have never had an interest in competitive gaming. I had no and have no desire to get involved in group matches and my focus had always been on narrative driven games such as Alan Wake and the Tomb Raider reboot series. I bought Call of Duty World War II primarily for its single player campaign and the promise of its premise: The War. While the multiplayer elements of the game were panned as lack lustre the single player campaign excelled in its story telling elements. The single player campaign of World War II is what drew me in to the series and it is what has kept me a fan for the two following games: Modern Warfare 2019 and Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War(2020).
Call of Duty World War II’s campaign is set during the height of World War 2 and covers a period of approximately one year. It covers the commencement of America’s involvement in the Second World War on June 6th 1944 to the end of the War in May 1945. Because the story focuses on a particular squadron of infantry men as opposed to random soldiers during America’s war effort it manages to feel very personal and bring the story closer to home for those who have never experienced war in real life. It manages to humanise all the soldiers that took part in the War both on the allied front and on the German front. It also effectively captures the horrors of war and in some ways gives us accurate snapshots of what life was like for the victims of Adolf Hitler’s rise and the rise of Nazism in Europe. The medium of video games freed the developers to pull us into a captivating tale of humanity and the struggle for freedom from oppression and tyranny. We are able to view the events as they unfold through the eyes of the characters we play as and became active participants in the War. The writers take us along on a believable journey through history from the time American soldiers set foot on the western shores of Europe on D-Day on Normandy beach in France, all along the eastern corridor of the War, to the final show down in the Rhine in Germany.