On November 3, Sledgehammer Games and Call of Duty: WWII will take players back to a popular war era and setting – the European Theater of World War II. The franchise returns to the boots-on-the-ground setting fans have been clamoring for, with no jetpacks, power slides, or lasers. Here’s everything we know about Call of Duty WWII right now.

The Campaign

You spend much of the campaign as Private Ronald “Red” Daniels in the 1st Infantry Division. A 19-year old fresh out of Texas, you’re as green as they come, a common man thrust into impossible situations.  In stark contrast to many modern Call of Duty titles, you’re not a super soldier or anything even close to it; you’re vulnerable and inexperienced. You rely extensively on your squadmates to survive brutal battles and conflicts, and they will rely on you as well.

Your squad is somewhat divided internally. The hardcore badass leader in your journey is Sgt. Willian Pearson, an “anything goes to complete the mission, end justifies the means” type. Another leadership figure in your division offers a more empathetic approach to war, and there’s conflict that arises as a result of these different philosophies and figures (think Platoon).

The campaign spans the European Theater, from D-Day on. Beginning with the landing on Omaha Beach, you move across France toward the liberation of Paris, and finally into Germany. Along the way you have the opportunity to play with (and even as, sometimes) the British, the French Resistance, and more.

The Omaha Beach battle channels Saving Private Ryan’s famous scene extensively, except it’s more focused on your perspective in the center of the insanity and death.

One battle that hasn’t been extensively covered in various mediums that players experience is Battle of Hürtgen Forest. In a short demo reel I watched as the player covered his squad from afar, sniping German soldiers at range before the forest began crashing down, splintering deadly trees everywhere. The tactic of blowing the tops of the trees off to form a deadly, chaotic environment is fairly insane to witness from Red’s eyes.

Classic weapons from the era look and sound amazing in the demo I saw, with the signature M1 Garand and its “pinging” en bloc clip. There are quick-time events as well, including a brutal close-quarters  encounter with a German soldier and a knife that ends with you smashing his face in with your helmet. 

While one can argue that Call of Duty titles often inherently glorify war or violence, what I saw focuses on glorifying the heroism of individual soldiers and squad comradery, showing a reverence and respect to the source material instead of sinking into popcorn-munching action-movie fare. 

Call of Duty: WWII does not shy away from showing the atrocities and brutality of war with an unflinching realistic eye. Instead of being jazzed to be at the center of combat with your rocket launcher blowing away robot guards, the feeling is instead one of extreme vulnerability, fear, and chaos at all sides.

Players do not recover health or ammo passively. You cannot simply get hit, hide behind some cover, and heal up. You need to call upon your squadmates to get health packs, ammunition, or even covering fire. This makes getting hit carry significantly more weight than other Call of Duty titles, as taking a bullet has consequences every time.

Sledgehammer is attempting to give personality to important pieces of the war, including environments, vehicles, and more. “The best example I can give you is from Saving Private Ryan,” says Sledgehammer Games studio head and co-founder Glen Schofield “In the end, in the town, when the two tanks are coming up, if you go watch it again you realize for the first seven minutes they never show you a tank. You just hear the sound. And it sounds like a dinosaur. So it’s Spielberg telling you a monster is coming. These tanks were monsters.”

Looking for a co-op experience outside of the single-player campaign? Call of Duty: WWII comes with a separate co-op campaign featuring its own story.

Multiplayer

Divisions function as a kind of class system that allows you to progress through the ranks. Players enlist in armor, infantry, airborne, or other divisions and grow their character out from there. 

Part of the multiplayer ecosystem revolves around a mode known as War. These symmetrical, Axis vs. Allies battlegrounds place players in two-sides of a single conflict, such as Normandy. One side tries to take the beach, while the other side defends from bunkers.

Headquarters functions as a new way to socialize and interact with players outside of matches. This shared social space allows players to get rewarded, hang out, and interact without the traditional lobby structure.

Call of Duty: WWII multiplayer is expected to be playable at E3.