Similar to its predecessors, Call of Duty: WWII is a first-person shooter game but it removes the advanced system of movement present in the three previous Call of Duty titles, which included double jumping and wall running. Instead, it features a return of traditional movement to the series, taking it back to a “boots on the ground” gameplay style. The game does not feature an unlimited sprint mechanic, seen in the previous two titles. Instead of a “slide” movement mechanic, which allowed players to slide quickly on the ground, WWII features a “hit-the-deck” mechanic that allows the player to leap forward and throw themselves on the ground in order to get to cover quickly, similarly to a previous mechanic known as “dolphin dive” in Treyarch‘s Call of Duty: Black Ops and Call of Duty: Black Ops II.
Call of Duty: WWII focuses on the actions of a 12-men squad of the 1st Infantry Division from 1944 to 1945 in the European theater of conflict, at a time when the Allied forces were starting to gather strength on their march into Germany. The campaign will cover fighting in occupied France and Belgium, and across the Rhine river valley into the heart of Germany. Some of the iconic historical battles covered in the campaign will be the Invasion of Normandy (D-Day), Liberation of Paris, Battle of Aachen, Battle of Hürtgen Forest and Battle of the Bulge. Although the story is primarily set in 1944 and 1945, some parts of it will “touch on” events that happened from 1940 to 1944 to “help set the stage for the narrative and establish the characters.”
In the single-player campaign, players primarily play as two soldiers of the 16th Infantry Regiment: 19-year-old Private First Class Ronald “Red” Daniels (Brett Zimmerman) and his best friend, Jewish American, Private First Class Robert Zussman (Jonathan Tucker). Additional playable characters include Rousseau, a female Maquis leader of the French Forces of the Interior, and Major Edgar Crowley, a British Special Operations Executive officer. Daniels’ and Zussman’s platoon mates include Technical Sergeant William Pierson (Josh Duhamel), and platoon leader, 1st Lieutenant Joseph Turner (Jeffrey Pierce).
The Zombies story of WWII takes place in an alternate history, where the Nazis have conducted research on necromancy based on the legend of King Frederick Barbarossa‘s hidden treasure. The story is centered around Marie Fischer (Katheryn Winnick), a young German engineer working with the Office of Strategic Services. Marie’s brother, Klaus, has taken part in the research of Barbarossa’s treasure, working with Doctor Peter Straub (Udo Kier). Marie is joined by three companions: art thief Drostan Hynd (David Tennant), art historian Olivia Durant (Élodie Yung), and military sergeant Jefferson Potts (Ving Rhames), as they attempt to conduct a covert operation to learn of the Nazis’ plans, retrieve the stolen artifacts and rescue Klaus in the process.