Activision and developer Sledgehammer Games have released the first trailer for the Call of Duty: WWII’s story-driven campaign today. While news that the Call of Duty series is returning to its WWII roots has largely been focused on the game’s parallel focus on gameplay — so-called “boots on the ground” multiplayer — the series has always maintained a focus on the campaign modes. Here’s the YouTube description of the campaign:
Call of Duty: WWII tells the story of Private Ronald “Red” Daniels, a young recruit in the U.S. First Infantry Division who experiences combat for the first time on D-Day, one of the largest amphibious assaults in history. After surviving the beaches of Normandy, Red and his squad will fight their way across Europe, engaging the enemy in iconic battle locations such as the Hürtgen Forest and the Battle of the Bulge, as they make their way into Germany.
You can see evidence of one of the game’s central conflicts as depicted by Daniels’ superiors, Pierson and Turner, in the trailer. During the game’s reveal event earlier this year, narrative director Scott Whitney told us, “Pierson and Turner have served together for years, so there’s a real bond between the two men. At the same time, they each embody a very different worldview, with Turner embracing a man before the mission philosophy, while Pierson is all about the mission before the man. Over the course of our story we see how these two philosophies come into conflict and how Daniels, caught in the middle, learns to navigate a path for himself.”
There’s no actual first-person gameplay shown; instead, the trailer focuses on its stars, in turn highlighting the facial capture work done to harness their likenesses and performances. While the trailer doesn’t show Nazi concentration camps, it does show trains rounding up Jews, a notable thing to highlight in a video game trailer.
“We’re storytellers,” Sledgehammer co-founder Micheal Condrey told us in April. “Part of that narrative is having fans really be able to experience that for themselves. We don’t want to get into mass graves or things like that. I don’t want to get into the full narrative arc, but suffice it to say there is a flux in human history because of the power of those atrocities committed and we want to tell the whole story.”