Canned Call of Duty tactics game unearthed

Footage of Vicarious Visions-developed prototype suggests World War II-era spin-off for first-person shooter series had been in works.

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Call of Duty has yet to stray from its first-person shooter roots, but Activision has apparently been trying to expand the brand for some time. A prototyped Call of Duty project was uncovered this week by gaming sleuth superannuation, which found a video clip of the game on a developer's personal website (which has since been taken down).

This COD spin-off is MIA.

The clip starts with an over-the-shoulder third-person view of a soldier firing a bazooka, but backs out to an overhead perspective that shows four soldiers taking down an enemy post in a coordinated effort. The gameplay appears to be a form of real-time tactical combat, with the interface allowing players to monitor lines of sight, soldiers' health bars, and ammunition.

The clip was listed as a Call of Duty project, which the animator in question presumably worked on during his six-year stint at Vicarious Visions. According to superannuation, the game was "briefly a thing around 2009 or so."

This prototype wasn't the only attempt Activision made at extending the Call of Duty brand. After the company fired the founders of primary series developer Infinity Ward in early 2010, Activision established a Call of Duty business unit that would be dedicated to extending the brand into new genres, geographies, and business models. A Sledgehammer-developed third-person Call of Duty action game was announced but ultimately shelved, and a microtransaction-based spin-off for the Asian market was also planned.

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