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One of the four heroes based on famous fighters from the upcoming Call of Duty: Vanguard single-player campaign mode, has been turned into an Australian and New Zealanders aren’t happy. Following the famous fighter’s change in Call of Duty: Vanguard, many baffled New Zealanders have taken to social media to voice their opinions about Activision’s decision to completely change a historical soldier’s nationality.
Being Activision’s biggest successful franchise, Call of Duty has received numerous sequels over the past two decades and is considered to be one of the world’s most played multiplayer games. Call of Duty: Vanguard was officially announced and revealed to be set in World War 2. Though not being released yet, it has already gone through multiple controversies. The upcoming World War 2 shooter is set to introduce four heroes to the game, though fictional, that are inspired by real famous fighters. These fighters include Russian sniper Polina Petrova, British paratrooper Arthur Kingsley, American pilot Wade Jackson, and Australian infantry Lucas Riggs. While three heroes are represented from the same nations as their real-life counterparts, Lucas Riggs, who is based on the New Zealander Charles Upham, has been changed into an Australian in Vanguard‘s reimagining.
Reporting the action as an insult to the nation, New Zealand site Newshub stated their anger about the situation saying “Charles Upham’s significance cannot be overstated. No other combat soldier has ever been awarded two Victoria Crosses in all of history. That incredible achievement belongs to our country alone, Aotearoa New Zealand.” In a response to many angered New Zealanders and media outlets, Sledgehammer Games, responded by saying that they drew inspiration from Charles Upham, whose exploits embodied the spirit of all the Commonwealth forces serving in North Africa.
Call of Duty: Vanguard’s single-player campaign mode is going to take place across four areas with four different heroes based on historical figures. Each of its characters is intended to be as slight a deviation as possible from a historical figure from the war, but it is surprising to see the character based on Upham as the only one that was changed this drastically.
It is unclear if Sledgehammer Games can revert this change after the underwhelmingly negative criticism from New Zealanders. Call of Duty: Vanguard is planned to be released in November and Activision was looking to please long-time fans with new features and fan-favorite mechanics. With interested players preparing to test the game out with the exclusive Vanguard beta on all platforms later this month, the studio will be hoping this controversy isn’t overshadowed by complaints about the gameplay.
Call of Duty: Vanguard will be available for PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and PC on November 5, 2021.