Many Call of Duty fans were relieved when they discovered that this year's Call of Duty would be ditching the unrealistic science-fiction action of recent entries to return to the franchise's grounded, historical roots. However, some fans have raised their eyebrows at the announcement that Call of Duty: WW2 will feature female soldiers in multiplayer, bringing into question the game's dedication to historical accuracy.
Some fans have voiced their disapproval of this announcement, taking the inclusion of female soldiers in the game's multiplayer as a sign that it will not strive to be as historically accurate as possible. However, Call of Duty games have rarely been celebrated for their historical accuracy, and there are sure to be plenty of other historical inaccuracies in Call of Duty: WW2 that likely won't receive as much scrutiny as female soldiers.
The multiplayer mode alone is sure to have numerous "inaccuracies" that female soldier detractors accept as part of the game. Respawning, for example, sees dead people immediately come back to life, and is a feature used in almost every shooter game made to date. The maps, while based on true locations, are unlikely to be an exact representation of the real-life World War II battlefields. Shotguns, we're sure, will function like typical video game shotguns, where they're devastating at close range but become little more than pea shooters when enemies are more than a few feet away. And that's not to mention killstreaks, which give soldiers special abilities after killing a certain number of enemies in a row.
To put it simply, Call of Duty's multiplayer has no shortage of historical inaccuracies that fans have accepted for years, so throwing female soldiers into the mix is hardly the most unrealistic thing about the game. Not only that, but the multiplayer aspects in Call of Duty: WW2 isn't trying to tell a story, so it seems better to just give players as many options as possible as opposed to limiting them for the sake of being historically accurate.
The campaign, meanwhile, is sure to have a number of historical inaccuracies from a gameplay perspective as well, but since it's story-based, we can understand people wanting it to be more historically accurate than the multiplayer. For example, it would be odd to see female soldiers storming the beaches of Normandy, but having said that, it's not like female soldiers were completely nonexistent in World War II.
Past Call of Duty games have even featured females fighting alongside the player in World War 2, perhaps most notably in Call of Duty 3. While there weren't female combat soldiers fighting for the US, the French resistance fighters and the Russian army both featured female combatants. In fact, one of the deadliest Soviet snipers, Lyudmila Pavlichenko, was female, and has been credited with over 300 kills during the war.
Many details on Call of Duty: WW2's story campaign are being kept under wraps for now, but female characters could still make an appearance without being historically inaccurate. And for that matter, perhaps female soldiers in the game's multiplayer will be French or Russian, meaning the multiplayer could still retain some historical accuracy even while including female characters.
And then there's the matter of Nazi Zombies. In Call of Duty: WW2, the Third Reich uses its supernatural connections to raise an army of the dead, creating a horde of Nazi Zombies to use against the Allies. It's possible this detail was cut from the history books, but it seems like the existence of Nazi Zombies in the game sort of throws historical accuracy out the window.
In summation, Call of Duty: WW2's multiplayer could still feature female characters while being historically accurate. However, it would be historically inaccurate if the female soldiers are fighting for the US in multiplayer matches. But since the games have never been all that concerned with historical accuracy, especially when it comes to things like Nazi Zombies, our question is, does it really matter? How important is historical accuracy in games like Call of Duty? And should historical accuracy trump giving players more options in multiplayer? Let us know your thoughts on the matter in the comments.
Call of Duty: WW2 will launch on November 3rd for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.