There are a few video game franchises that have long anticipated sequels coming out this year. The most lucrative and a clear fan favorite is Call of Duty: World War II. While this new installment is being heralded as a dedicated interpretation of historical conflicts, there is a notable difference available in game play that has some people scratching their heads.
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You can play as a black female Nazi.
“What we wanted to do was acknowledge the fan base that already existed,” Producer Matt Rubin told Polygon. “We have a lot of different kinds of people who play [Call of Duty] and we want them to be represented when we do character creation.”
Those who question this logic point to the fact that the game has a historical timeline based on real events. The inclusion of black women Nazis seems over-the-top, even for video game standards.
As the team at Polygon reports, “the game’s multiplayer modes, including Team Death Match and the new War Mode, will give players a wide variety of options for customizing their avatar. Multiple races and genders will be available to choose from, and players will appear on both sides of the conflict to fight for both the Axis and the Allies.”
“We wanted you to be able to play as you,” Greg Reisdorf said. He’s responsible for the multiplayer aspect of the game. “You get thrown on either side. It’s a 50/50 chance.”
So, if “you” happens to be a black woman Nazi, you’re set.
“We do take some liberties in multiplayer within the historical context,” Reisdorf said. “The single-player campaign is more about accuracy. But, even in our research, we know there were French resistance fighters who were women. There were women fighting on the Eastern front. There were tons of different nationalities out there. So it’s relevant to the game, and we wanted it to be in multiplayer as well.”
All of this is interesting, but it gets even more confusing when you find out that the multiplayer version of the game has scrubbed out all of the Nazi insignia. No swastikas.
“We didn’t feel like it was appropriate there,” Michael Condrey of Sledgehammer Games said. “It’s a dark symbol and we have to be really respectful and mindful of customs and regulations of different territories and we wanted the whole community to play it together. You’ll see it in the campaign in a historical and accurate way but not in multiplayer and zombies.”
Nothing disrespectful or unmindful about killing folks, though.