Despite the game not expecting to release until Q4 of 2021, there is plenty of focus on the 2021 instalment in the Call of Duty franchise after several reports emerged seemingly confirming Sledgehammer Games would be spearheading development, the title of the game, its setting, and the engine that it will be running on.
Reportedly titled WWII: Vanguard, the game will be making its return to World War 2 for the first time since 2016 where Sledgehammer Games bought about the return of boots-on-the-ground Call of Duty with a release named after the war.
The confirmation of a return to this particular setting has been met with polarizing opinions from the vocal community, some of which even called for a return to a futuristic setting due to the sheer number of first-person shooter titles that have been set in this particular time period.
The setting may not be to everyone’s taste but some eagle-eyed fans have realised that WWII: Vanguard is named after 2007s Medal of Honor game titled Vanguard. Is there a chance Sledgehammer Games is taking inspiration from EA’s series?
Inspiration From Vanguard
Medal of Honor: Vanguard isn’t exactly considered to be one of the very best instalments in the series but its setting and single-player missions could provide a rough idea in regards to the direction Sledgehammer Games is taking with COD 2021.
The opening mission in Medal of Honor: Vanguard takes place in 1943 where the Allied forces are flying off the Italian coast and suddenly come under fire from US Navy ships that believe the aircraft to be German. The player lands and regroups with their squad leader before beginning a fight through a small coastal town and makes their way to a coastal bunker that could destroy any navy ships. The bunker is destroyed, protecting the allied forces. As the story progresses, players battle through enemy-occupied territory before the story concludes with an epic finale that sees the opposition fall back into the surrounding hills.
Considering that WWII: Vanguard has the same name as the Medal of Honor game, there’s every chance that COD 2021 could be set in exactly the same period of time, much to the annoyance of those that were intrigued by the possibility of WWII: Vanguard featuring an alternate timeline where the war didn’t end in 1945.
Throughout the promotion prior to the release of World War 2 in 2016, Sledgehammer Games used the word “visceral” at almost every possible opportunity to emphasise that the game would portray a somewhat realistic storyline and to an extent, the developer delivered on its promise of a gritty storyline which appealed to the fans that had grown tired of the advanced movement mechanics and futuristic settings.
With significant advancements in technology meaning that the two games will ever be judged in a similar fashion, I think there’s absolutely nothing wrong with taking inspiration from another franchise. Armed with additional ideas, WWII: Vanguard could well be one of the best World War 2 FPS games ever created.
Although many won’t mind WWII: Vanguard being inspired by another franchise, if the game bears too much resemblance to the storyline of Medal of Honor: Vanguard, there’s every chance that the backlash should occur. Taking a few elements such as a focus on flying and vehicular warfare is only going to be a positive but if the single-player campaign fails to stand out from other World War 2 titles, there is a real risk of separating the player base between Black Ops Cold War and WWII: Vanguard.
Read More: Is COD 2021 Set In An Alternate Timeline?
Will It Impact Multiplayer?
Considering the fact Medal of Honor: Vanguard released all the way back in 2007 and featured a very minimal multiplayer section, it’s unlikely that the game will significantly influence Sledgehammer Games’ thought process when it comes to the development of WWII: Vanguard’s multiplayer offering.
With both games set in a similar period of time, the weapon arsenals across the two titles are likely to mirror each other in order to adhere to the time period and the settings for multiplayer maps may be similar but other than that, there will be little to no impact to WWII: Vanguard multiplayer if Sledgehammer does draw on Medal of Honor for some inspiration.
Since the release of Call of Duty 4, COD multiplayer has stood out from the incredibly competitive crowd as one of the very best in the FPS genre which features a style that no other franchises have come close to matching despite their best efforts. With the inspiration from Medal of Honor likely to have an impact on the story and the setting of WWII: Vanguard, there is a possibility for some backlash for fans sceptical of a return to World War 2 again, but I think that if Sledgehammer does opt to use the game as inspiration, it’s only going to make WWII: Vanguard the best FPS title set in the time period.