The annual blockbuster video game franchise returns to a familiar furrow with its first trailer for November 2017's "Call of Duty: WWII," emphasizing the violence and senselessness of war while preserving its cultural reputation and commercial bankability as a theater for entertainment and spectacle.
"Call of Duty" returns to World War II for the first time since 2008 in its 2017 installment, "Call of Duty: WWII," now previewed in a debut trailer (youtu.be/D4Q_XYVescc).
Over the last decade, "Call of Duty" has moved its focus to the modern era, the Cold War period and, most recently but least commercially successful, increasingly sci-fi settings.
By contrast, and in the wake of 2016's World War I victory from genre rival "Battlefield 1," "Call of Duty: WWII" now promises meticulously researched and realistically portrayed historical locations, equipment, weaponry and personnel on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows PC.
Like other games of the same era it's leaning hard on themes of bravery, camaraderie, determination, and freedom.
Just as 2002's "Medal of Honor: Allied Assault" and "Medal of Honor: Frontlines" were influenced by Oscar-winning movie "Saving Private Ryan," "Call of Duty: WWII" channels another Spielberg-related production in Golden Globe and Emmy awarded TV miniseries "Band of Brothers."
Geographically, players can expect to travel through France, Belgium and then Germany as members of an Allied military assault; the debut trailer features plentiful US accents and a smattering of British English too.
With the increase in visual and audio power available thanks to the move to a new console generation, the horrors of war can be portrayed in a greater fidelity than ever before -- brutal violence, bloodied carcasses, and deafening soundscapes combine to further illustrate the vulnerability of combatants and the against-all-odds nature of their missions.
In addition to a glossy campaign storyline and fast-paced versus multiplayer, the popular "zombies" game mode is coming back for "CoD: WWII," in which players team up to repel waves of undead soldiers.
As the franchise begins its expected recovery from a period of relative listlessness, fans are encouraged to get behind the new "Call of Duty" by pre-ordering immediately; as an incentive, there'll be a private, early access beta at some point before the November launch, lasting a minimum of three days.
Game-related merchandising and special editions have also been announced.