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Call of Duty makes fun of itself with Vanguard’s ‘F’ achievement

Sledgehammer Games gets self-referential in Call of Duty: Vanguard

A soldier aims a rifle in a screenshot from Call of Duty: Vanguard Image: Sledgehammer Games/Activision
Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

In 2014, the Call of Duty franchise offered players its greatest, longest-lasting cultural contribution with five onscreen words: “Press F to pay respects.” Since then, the prompt from Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare — a pretty good Call of Duty game! — has stayed in the cultural consciousness, graduating to an enduring meme status mostly divorced from its source material.

Sledgehammer Games, the developer of Advanced Warfare, is paying respects to F with its latest game, the World War II-era shooter Call of Duty: Vanguard with an amusing achievement (or trophy, depending on your platform). Players who blow themselves up with their own grenade in the game’s campaign will earn the achievement simply named “F.”

That’s Sledgehammer both acknowledging the meme — used frequently and repeatedly in chats or on message boards when someone experiences something unfortunate — and poking a bit of fun at itself.

Amusingly, players have also noticed that Sledgehammer Games is using the ol’ F prompt for another in-game action: spending time with family.

Given the Toretto Principle, which states that nothing’s more important than family, it will be difficult to see how F can be used in a more grave manner in future Call of Duty games. Good luck, Sledgehammer!

Call of Duty: Vanguard is out now on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.

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