Call of Duty: WWII story trailer features explosions, drama, and the horrors of war

The Call of Duty: WWII story trailer is out, and as you might expect it's filled with gunfire, explosions, evil Nazis, and fresh-faced young men struggling to come to grips with the essential immorality of war, even when it's waged in pursuit of the greater good. 

Sledgehammer co-founder Michael Condrey said in May that the new CoD will not give players the opportunity to view the war from the German perspective, and if there was any lingering doubt, this trailer quite clearly puts it to rest. Not that there's ever been any question that the Nazis were (and are) the bad guys, but I don't recall any previous game putting such an obvious emphasis on it. The villain even has a pronounced facial scar, a telltale sign of the worst of the worst, even among a vile lot like Nazis

"Call of Duty: WWII tells the story of Private Ronald 'Red' Daniels, a young recruit in the U.S. First Infantry Division who experiences combat for the first time on D-Day, one of the largest amphibious assaults in history," Activision said. "After surviving the beaches of Normandy, Red and his squad will fight their way across Europe, engaging the enemy in iconic battle locations such as the Hürtgen Forest and the Battle of the Bulge, as they make their way into Germany." 

Setting aside the excess of "Red" (as every Lee Marvin fan can tell you, the First Infantry Division is also known as "The Big Red One"), that synopsis unfortunately indicates that Activision and Sledgehammer have no interest in not "rehashing every World War 2 shooter campaign ever," something we suggested would be a good idea back in May

"Activision should surprise us if it's going to give Call of Duty the shot in the arm it needs right now," we wrote at the time. "So much of the initial, positive reaction to Battlefield 1, after all, was because it dared to take us to a place and time we hadn’t seen much of in war games before. It had the guts to explore the unexplored. Another D-Day level in 1440p with better textures and face capture isn’t really that." 

Call of Duty: WWII will be out on November 3. A multiplayer beta is set to come to the PC on September 29. 

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.