SHG talks about the usage of swastikas, and female soldiers in Call of Duty: WWII
In an interview from E3 with EuroGamer, Sledgehammer Games’ Michael Condrey talked about the usage of swastikas in the game and how female soldiers will play a role.
As confirmed during the Making Call of Duty stream from E3, SHG is ensuring that the campaign is historically accurate and will include the swastikas in the campaign. The swastikas, however, will not be used in MP or Zombies.
“The campaign in this game is about finding that line of quality entertainment with respect for the world’s greatest conflict and the people who sacrificed and died. We tell that narrative in a way we think honors the cause.
Multiplayer is about bringing a community together that enjoys playing Call of Duty. It’s faster. There’s a brutality to WW2 multiplayer that is different than the last few games we made, but we were able to take some creative liberties to make that an experience multiplayer fans really love.
And Zombies gives us a tremendous amount of creative freedom. It also goes back to its roots of Nazi zombies, but with a Sledgehammer stamp and adrenaline-filled, gritty original story.
Each of those modes has a different approach.”
SHG says that decision is based on the fact that MP and Zombies is played by a global community and restrictions apply in some regions, so swastikas will not be shown in those modes.
“But in our global community of multiplayer and zombies players, we’ve chosen deliberately not to include that. We want the community to play together. We want to be respectful of local customs and laws around the world. And frankly it’s a dark symbol with a lot of emotion behind it we don’t feel matches our multiplayer experience.”
“Campaign will take a different approach, which we can stand behind. I firmly stand behind the approach we took in multiplayer, which is different.”
In the campaign, SHG has worked to ensure its historically accuarte throughout. There are female soldiers in campaign, but there are exclusive to the divisions they fought in during World War II. There’s a French Female soldier, which players will interact with in the campaign. Beyond just playing as Private “Red” Daniels in the campaign, players will also get to play as Rousseau, a female French resistance leader.
“You will meet up with the French Resistance and play as the strong female French Resistance leader Rousseau and that’s important. That happened in the conflict and we know that.”
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And in multiplayer, SHG is bringing a wide range of customization options to players. Players can chose how their character looks — it’s totally up to each player. SHG says they understand that during WWII, there were no black German soldiers fighting the Axis power, but for MP, they want the customization of the player to be controlled by the player themselves.
“And so, that evolution of your character means it’s important for us to allow you to choose to be you, and to have a hero that represents who you are, whomever you choose that to be.
So, if you’re a female, or you want to play as a female, if you want to be any one of the multinational cast of characters to represent who you are, to look up to and respect as your avatar, we want to give you that opportunity.
Now, the challenge there, which is real, is half the time you’ll be playing on the Axis team. That was a decision we made intentionally. We want it to be you and we’re willing to have you be you, no matter what side of the conflict you’re on.
I’ll come right through the front door on it: we know that didn’t happen in the German forces. We know there was a lot of racism and racial tension in the 40s, so you wouldn’t have a black German soldier fighting next to the other Germans. We want this to be about you. We’re not making a statement about the authenticity of the Axis force. We’re making this about putting you in this social space and you into your soldier. And we want that to be rewarding and meaningful. I don’t want it to be our decision to force you away from your character into playing a German soldier, just because we put you on the Axis team.”
So, while being historically accurate is in the campaign, the MP experience is allowing players to play as characters they want too. It’s not all about historical accuracy in MP, it is also about allowing the community to build their own character to play in these modes.