The Call of Duty series has seen its ups and downs, but we don't think anyone can deny that it is a leading figure in the war genre. The latest installments have gone in a modern, and even futuristic, direction, and as such, are entirely fictional. However, the series was once well-renowned for its historical accuracy, particularly regarding World War II.
The developers have done their research, and it may surprise you just how authentic the earlier games were. These are five things that are historically accurate in Call of Duty, and five things that aren't.
Call of Duty drops a lot of military lingo on you, but rest assured that it is all entirely accurate. Many of the regiments found throughout the series, including the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, and the 29th Infantry Division (also known as the Blue and Gray Division) are all real.
Of course, we don't expect a series as big-budgeted and extensive as Call of Duty to make up nonsense regiments, but it's still good to know that they've adhered to history and reality!
Throughout these games, both you and the enemy spray each other with full-automatic fire, emptying entire magazines in a matter of seconds. This is complete nonsense, and if this were to happen in real life, it would likely result in a lot of standing around and throwing helmets at each other.
Full-auto fire is a good way to waste perfectly fine ammunition, and it's typically reserved for very specific scenarios. We understand including full-auto fire from a design perspective, as it's simply more fun to spray the enemy with lead. That said, it kind of takes you out of the moment when you're running around like Rambo when you should be pinned down and scared for your life.
We're sure you know this already, but Call of Duty has recreated some incredible and monumental battles throughout history. In the first game alone we got Operation Overlord, the Battle of Stalingrad and the Battle of the Bulge, three of the most famous battles in modern history.
We've also taken part in the Battle of Moscow, the Second Battle of El Alamein, Operation Plunder, and the Battle of Berlin, among many, many others. The first couple of games were a treasure trove for history buffs, and quite frankly, we miss taking part in these monumental pieces of history. Enough of the futuristic settings, Call of Duty!
Despite Sledgehammer Games claiming that they were taking great pains to be as historically accurate as possible, there was a jarring lack of swastikas in the multiplayer component of Call of Duty: WWII. This decision sparked some controversy, as fans thought that it wasn't appropriate to hide from history, while others thought that the game was being too soft for the sake of profits. The reasons for their omission were complex.
Sledgehammer's co-founder, Michael Condrey, has stated that he wanted the multiplayer component to be accessible to everyone. According to him, "Including Nazi symbols wouldn't bring honor, nor be appropriate, without the rich history of a WWII story to ground their context in multiplayer." They also wanted to adhere to Germany's law of prohibiting Nazi imagery, ensuring that everyone could play the game and have fun.
Many women were employed in the Red Army throughout World War II. The Red Army employed between 800,000 and two million female soldiers. This included medics, engineers, communications, and anti-aircraft artillery. Many women also saw action in the field, including roughly 20,000 soldiers and thousands of snipers, including the famed Lyudmila Pavlichenko, who is credited with 309 confirmed kills, making her the most successful female sniper in military history.
Their numbers may be minuscule when compared to their male counterparts, but there is absolutely no denying that females played a major role within the Red Army during World War II.
One of the staples of Call of Duty is the ability to locate grenades and potentially throw them back if you have time. Luckily, if you notice a grenade, you have more than enough time to run away to safety, even if that means running five feet in the opposite direction. Yeah, this is absolutely not how grenades work.
In real life, grenades will send shrapnel flying in all directions, and simply running five feet in the opposite direction will not do enough to shield you from its effects. We understand that this is a mere gameplay mechanic and that it would be frustrating to die every time a grenade was thrown in your direction. But it's still insulting to think that a grenade is so easily avoided when many people can attest that it is not.
Along with the lack of swastikas, the inclusion of black soldiers in the German army drew some criticism from history buffs. However, evidence suggests that black people did indeed serve within Nazi organizations. For example, there were a number of black people within the Hitler Youth, and many served within the Wehrmacht, the Armed Forces of Nazi Germany.
could be found in the Free Arabian Legion, a branch of the Wehrmacht that formed from Arab volunteers. Sure, they may not have been as prolific and numerous as they are in the video game, but they WERE there. Chalk the exaggerated numbers up to creative license.
While the battles themselves are real, the events therein are obviously truncated or just plain made up for the purposes of the story. For example, all of the characters are fictional, and they all do things that would wildly unrealistic in real life (like, as we mentioned, running like Rambo through the streets of a war-torn city).
Other events are heavily sanitized and quickened for the purposes of fun, and to give players a sense of incredible excitement and visceral thrills. It's not like we expect total realism from war video games, so we can forgive some blatant creative licenses regarding the battles. Still, a super-realistic depiction of some of the most famous battles in history could be fun...
Modern Warfare may not be based on a real, historic event, but it still abides by reality. For example, Infinity Ward brought in real U.S. Marines during the development of Modern Warfare to ensure the accuracy of emotions and attitudes of real soldiers in the midst of modern combat scenarios.
They also helped design the artificial intelligence of the NPCs and supervised the motion capture sessions to ensure the accuracy of both the actions, thinking, and movements of soldiers during combat. Now you know why Modern Warfare felt so real and authentic...
According to some users over on Reddit, there are a host of problems stemming from the weapons found in Call of Duty: WWII. For example, the rates of fire and magazine capacities were grossly exaggerated for the purposes of gameplay, some of the extended magazines don't even exist!
Also inaccurate is the FG42's firing rate, the existence of the Breda M1935 PG, the fact that the Sterling is in full use and not in a prototype phase, and the Volkssturmgewehr being a fully automatic rifle (it's a semi-auto). We can forgive these minor inaccuracies for the purposes of gameplay, but it must drive the gun nuts...well, nuts!