Activision and Sledgehammer Games are hoping to spark a resurgence in the Call of Duty franchise this holiday season. Not only does Call of Duty: WW2 bring fans back to where it all started with World War II, the game makes further changes to many of the core mechanics of the franchise – including the removal of regenerating health and unlimited sprint – providing a more authentic and gritty experience. Another big first for the franchise is a social space known as Headquarters. According to new details, this 48 player space plans to be much more than a simple multiplayer area for players to hang out in between matches.
Set in a zone 3 days after D-Day, Headquarters represents an Allied staging area for major operations filled with supplies, vehicles and more. Players will have a number of options available to them here between Call of Duty: WW2 multiplayer matches including:
- A shooting range to test weapons or challenge other players to an accuracy contest.
- Loot boxes are available to open here as well filled with period authentic cosmetic items. In addition, players who watch others open loot boxes are also rewarded with prizes as well.
- Proximity voice chat is enabled in this zone, allowing players communicate with one another between matches.
- For folks who want to test their skills, an area known as The Pit allows players to square off against each other in 1v1 matches.
- While not specifically detailed, the developer teased that players will be able to "kick a few objects around."
It's clear that this Destiny-like social space represents a larger piece of the puzzle to Sledgehammer Games as the developer is also tailoring long term events to make Headquarters a place people want to visit often. Outside of daily and weekly challenges and leaderboards, dynamic events can also take place here as well. One of the examples given was an aerial attack, pushing players to jump on nearby AA guns to repel the enemy attack. While nothing's official as of yet, seasonal specific events are a possibility as well.
After the YouTube controversy of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, the changes being driven by Call of Duty: WW2 appear to have the franchise back on track. According to Activision, the upcoming shooter has seen an overwhelmingly positive response from critics and fans, with the reveal and zombies trailer both going on to become the most liked videos in franchise history. Arguably the most important statistic for the company is that preorder numbers have been very strong up to this point. It seems Call of Duty: WW2 just might represent the franchise turn around Activision has been looking for.
Call of Duty: WW2 launches on November 3, 2017 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.