Call of Duty: Vanguard shows what happens when game devs make a music video

Call of Duty: Vanguard will soon be upon us and in the runup to release Sledgehammer has released what I guess is the game's official theme, 'Taking Me Back' by Jack White. It's the first solo music from the former White Stripe man in four years and, if you like his stuff, has a familiar sound to it (there was also a gentler version released simultaneously).

As a bit of a White-liker myself I had a look, and was instantly transfixed by what Activision has done with the video. It's like an angry teenager obsessed with jump-cuts was let loose to set an admittedly fairly heavy rock song to as many guns and explosions as they possibly can, all while stamping the lyrics on-screen like a harassed passport inspector.

It's just a bit bonkers, but then you start actually listening to the lyrics and wow. First of all this is a song about a breakup, so it's a bit of an odd match to rah-rah army types shooting shit up. Get a load of this: "When you listen to mystics / As you lay at your picnics / You're taking me back." Mystics and picnics, amazing enough. But my spider-sense really did start to tingle with the later verses, wondering: Just how much did Activision pay for this and did he actually want to do it?

Jack White posing with his guitar.

(Image credit: David James Swanson via Third Man Records)

Look at this. Just look at it.

"When you drop the mail off to me
And make us both coffee
Are you taking it black?
Are you taking me back?"

Maybe it's just me, I dunno. I suggest some alternative lyrics:

"I didn't want to write a song
But then a cheque came along
From Call of Duty
I thought 'you beauty'"

I'm just playing, Jack White's awesome and all that, but this particular combination of song and game is just quite silly. Call of Duty: Vanguard launches November 5, and here's everything we know about it.

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."