It's that time of year again. Call of Duty fans are beginning to get excited for the next big title in the annual shooter franchise, which is set to release this fall. As with every year, this has lead to widespread speculation as to which of the three main studios are developing it, when it's set, and what it's called.
The last two games in the series have been relatively easy to predict their direction as Infinity Ward returned to the modern era they're known for, and Treyarch produced another title in their ten-year-old Black Ops universe. This year is the first in some time when it seems impossible to predict exactly what the studio will go with it.
It's unlikely publisher Activision will be making any official statements in the near future — as recent games haven't been announced until the summer.
However, as always, leaks have begun to trickle out as the franchise's biggest inside sources reveal the shards of information they've acquired.
THE FIRST CALL OF DUTY 2021 LEAKED DETAILS
Reliable Call of Duty insider Tom Henderson, in a tweet, shared what he knows so far about the upcoming release for the franchise. As was previously leaked by multiple sources, Henderson reveals Sledgehammer Games will be the studio developing the game, marking their first title since 2017's World War ll.
In 2019, Infinity Ward's Modern Warfare placed a lot of focus on attempting to create a realistic and controversial world. Henderson claims Sledgehammer is interested in doing something similar as he promises it to be “gritty” and “controversial like MW.”
As expected, the leaker claims the title will be “Boots on the ground,” meaning the studio won't be using any futuristic advanced movement gameplay mechanics as other installments have done.
Additionally, Henderson's sources told him the game will include “Guerrilla-like Warfare.” This is an unconventional form of war in which smaller groups use fewer traditional tactics including ambushes, hit-and-runs, and raids to tackle larger and less-mobile military.
Lastly, the leak promises integration with the Call of Duty: Warzone Battle Royale mode. This will likely look similar to what happened this year with Black Ops Cold War as the game's weapons and cosmetics were incorporated into the popular free-to-play title.
What I've heard so far with CoD 2021;— Tom Henderson (@_TomHenderson_) February 17, 2021
- Gritty and likely going to be controversial like MW
- Boots on the ground
- Guerrilla-like Warfare
- Warzone integration
Henderson isn't the only reputable leaker giving their two cents on the upcoming title, however, as Victor__Z teased a World War ll setting for the next title. Victor shared a piece of poster art from Call of Duty: World War 2 with a hammer emoji, seemingly implying Sledgehammer's next title will return to that era.
CALL OF DUTY REVVING UP FOR A NEW RELEASE
Seeing all the biggest insiders starting to reveal what they know at the same time would seem to indicate something major is happening behind the scenes as development starts to reach crunch time.
Sledgehammer taking the lead on this year's Call of Duty title was to be expected all around. The California-based studio expanded into a second studio in Melbourne last year, along with hiring a huge amount of new staff, making it clear they're gearing up for a big project.
As Treyarch delved deep into the Cold War this year, and Infinity Ward is set to release another modern-day title in 2022, it makes sense Sledgehammer would dive further back in history to World War ll.
However, what's interesting is this seems to conflict with information shared by ModernWarzone earlier this week. The popular Call of Duty source teased the title will take place in the 1950s. So, unless some weird alternate reality stuff is going on here, it's possible these sources may have some conflicting information as World War ll came to an end in 1945.
Modern Warfare made headlines in Fall 2019 for controversial moments including graphical depictions of realistic war, so it makes sense for the publisher to want to make headlines once again. A realistic historical storyline involving “Guerrilla-like Warfare” is sure to make for an interesting title when fans get their hands on it later in the year.
As the Warzone Battle Royale mode continues to be one of the most popular titles out there, it makes a lot of sense Activision would continue to integrate titles into it for years to come.
Until any official information comes along, fans will have to settle for the many games in the franchise currently available including the current title, Black Ops Cold War, which is available now on PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and PC.