Call Of Duty: WWII Multiplayer Has No Playable Nazis, Sledgehammer Says

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'Call Of Duty WWII'
Call Of Duty: WWII multiplayer won’t feature any Nazis, and Sledgehammer says that’s historically accurate. Online modes will feature ensemble Axis and Ally casts. Call Of Duty: WWII comes to PS4, Xbox One and PC Nov. 3. Sledgehammer Games/Activision

Call Of Duty: WWII aims to be a historically accurate representation of a massive global conflict, and according to the game’s directors, that means excluding German Nazis from online multiplayer. In an interview with Game Informer, Sledgehammer Co-Studio Heads Michael Condrey and Glen Schofield discussed the complexities of the situation.

A fan asked the two reps if it’s possible to always play as an Ally, because they didn’t want to assume control of a Nazi. Call Of Duty: WWII won’t have any team selection features like the fan describes, but the additional context added to this question might surprise you.

Condrey spoke most openly on the matter:

“You'll never play as a Nazi, you will play as a German or other members of the Allied or Axis forces... There's an ensemble cast on the Axis side, but yes you will spend half your matches being the Axis side.

“A lot of the Nazi soldiers weren't on the frontlines of the battle anyway. When you think about what really happened in the war, the SS and the Nazi forces were doing other things than sitting out there defending Normandy Beach. In fact, Normandy Beach was largely not even made up of Germans. It was made up of conscripted soldiers from other places that the Axis forces had captured.

“It does reflect what really happened, which is oftentimes the frontline fights were an ensemble cast of Axis forces, but they weren't Nazis, they weren't SS, and so that is the route we went.”

Schofield backed up Condrey’s words, adding that many veterans make the distinction that they were Germans, but not Nazis. As a result, the studio felt it was important to make that distinction in Call Of Duty: WWII’s multiplayer suite.

As with most historical records, the actual truth of World War II’s events are a bit muddled, even to the most knowledgable scholars. For example, while there has been much discussion and debate about the irony of Polish, Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian soldiers fighting for the Axis, historians suggest those conscripts only made up about 16 percent of the total German force.

The distinction between German and Nazi in the context of the war gets even messier. Determining how many Nazis fought in World War II depends how you define the term itself. Sledgehammer’s perspective isn’t wrong, it’s just the interpretation the studio chose to support.

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard about Call Of Duty: WWII’s depiction of the Nazi cause. Speaking to Eurogamer at E3, Condrey revealed that Nazi Swastikas will be visible in the campaign, but not in online multiplayer. “Frankly, it's a dark symbol with a lot of emotion behind it we don't feel matches our multiplayer experience,” he said. Avatar customization, fun and individuality will be front and center once everything goes online.

Call Of Duty: WWII is currently in Private Beta for PS4 and Xbox One pre-order players. The full game comes to PS4, Xbox One and PC Nov. 3.

What do you think about Sledgehammer’s perspective on the Nazi role in World War II? Is multiplayer better served without that imagery? Tell us in the comments section!

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