This year's Call of Duty WW2, will include quite a diverse cast to reflect the "global cause" of the Second World War, according to developer Sledgehammer.
At the reveal event I spoke to Sledgehammer co-founder Michael Condrey about the new instalment (get all the Call of Duty WW2 details in more depth here), and about some of the characters. At the event I was shown a concept art panel showing a line up of 1st Infantry Division soldiers, who are the main focus of the game. However, there was also art for a black soldier, several women, a German SS officer, and a child.
I asked Condrey about this extended cast, and he explained: "we really wanted to capture that it was a global cause, right? The Allied force was a global force, the German force, the Axis force, was more than just the Nazis. It was Germans as well as other nations involved, and so it was important for us to not... this isn’t an American war, this isn’t a story of an American squad – this is a global cast and so you’ll see some really powerful performances on both sides of the war."
To prove that, Condrey ran through the characters revealed so far: "there’s a German family and two sisters, there’s Crowley – a British officer – there’s an African-American officer from another regiment." However only one additional character is confirmed as playable so far, Rousseau, a French Resistance fighter.
Condrey says "that moment where you join with the French Resistance is a really nice moment." Although for the most part you'll stay with two of the 1st Infantry Division, particularly two soldiers - Red Daniels and his best friend Zussman because "we do want you to stay attached to the characters [to] give them time to develop and breathe, and so character hopping makes it hard to keep that connection. We do it, but but primarily you stay with the squad, primarily you stay with Daniels.'
As for that German soldier, while he appeared prominently in the character line up Condrey confirmed that, "in campaign you won’t actually play as an Axis soldier."
You can get a full breakdown of the latest Call of Duty WW2 details here, and a look at some of the real life heroes that have inspired COD's characters.