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Call of Duty: WWII

Sledgehammer on how women will feature in COD: WWII

Some creative license taken to give the game contemporary equality.

The way that women are portrayed in historical conflict is a conundrum for developers, and Battlefield 1 is a case in point, with female soldiers only now coming via the upcoming In the Name of the Tsar DLC. Naturally, it's also something for Sledgehammer to tackle in the upcoming Call of Duty: WWII, and the studio has recently confirmed how they're going to handle it.

For starters, the solo campaign will be played from an Allied perspective, and the roster of playable characters includes the French Resistance fighter Rousseau.

"You will meet up with the French Resistance and play as the strong female French Resistance leader Rousseau," Sledgehammer chief Michael Condrey told Eurogamer, "and that's important. That happened in the conflict and we know that."

When it comes to multiplayer, though, things will be a little different, as players have to switch between fighting for both the Allied and Axis forces, with the latter not featuring female troops at all in real life.

"Multiplayer is this gritty, immersive experience, but it's also about putting you - this is about you - in World War 2," Condrey told the site.

Call of Duty: WWII

"And so, that evolution of your character means it's important for us to allow you to choose to be you, and to have a hero that represents who you are, whomever you choose that to be.

"So, if you're a female, or you want to play as a female, if you want to be any one of the multinational cast of characters to represent who you are, to look up to and respect as your avatar, we want to give you that opportunity.

"Now, the challenge there, which is real, is half the time you'll be playing on the Axis team. That was a decision we made intentionally. We want it to be you and we're willing to have you be you, no matter what side of the conflict you're on.

"I'll come right through the front door on it: we know that didn't happen in the German forces. We know there was a lot of racism and racial tension in the 40s, so you wouldn't have a black German soldier fighting next to the other Germans. We want this to be about you. We're not making a statement about the authenticity of the Axis force. We're making this about putting you in this social space and you into your soldier. And we want that to be rewarding and meaningful. I don't want it to be our decision to force you away from your character into playing a German soldier, just because we put you on the Axis team."