Operation Deadstick was the codename for the ambitious airborne operation by the British 6th Airborne Infantry Regiment that would take place alongside the Americans as they took their key objectives along the Cotentin Peninsula and causeways to Utah Beach , the British were to capture key bridges in the towns of Ranville and Bénouville that led to Sword Beach, where the British would land and it was vital for the British Airborne to succeed; if the Germans were to demolish the bridge there then the British 6th Airborne would be cut off from the reminder of the Allied forces and if they were to remain intact but in the hands of the Germans then that would allow German Armor to move to the beaches and spell disaster for Operation Overlord.
On the night of June 5th, 1944 exactly at 16 minutes past midnight, the first gliders touched down and within minutes, the two bridges were captured using a tactic known as coup de main which was a classic textbook assault and they had to repeal numerous counter-attacks including armor until they were relieved, this became known as the Battle for Pegasus Bridge.
You may have not heard of it, as opposed to the American point of view as the 101st Airborne and the 82nd parachuted into Normandy and the D-Day landings at Omah and Utah Beach but you might have played it in the only game that featured it in the Original Call of Duty that released in 2003.
Today, Call of Duty is a shadow of it’s former-self and is a brand that looms large over other franchises and has become a juggernaunt but it wasn’t always this way. 14 years ago, Call of Duty wasn’t a brand to do battle with and it was just a single game: A PC-only exclusive looking to to do battle with the might of Medal of Honor: Allied Assault, a game that pushed the genre forward.
Call of Duty debuted as the first project from Infinity Ward, a studio that was founded in 2002 and many of those developers were responsible for the might and acclaim of Medal of Honor: Allied Assault and Call of Duty is one of the most interesting games of the entire Call of Duty franchise. What’s more interesting about Call of Duty is it’s tone and how it changed the Military Shooter in the similar vein that Medal of Honor: Allied Assault gave birth to the Modern Military Shooter, Call of Duty flipped it on it’s head.
Above everything else is that Call of Duty was reverent and honest to an extent, it was never historically accurate but there was sincerity there that no other games in the franchise would never exhibit again ( except COD 2, COD 4, and MW2.) felt honest and rare that the game of this size has come and it was revolutionary. Unlike Medal of Honor, it wasn’t about just the Americans, it was about the entire Allied cause: We spent time as the British and the Russians and the battles felt like just a small part of this large conflict that would shape the world and the story touched on real life tales of great courage and heroism, engineered to excite but still honor those that fought at battles like Stalingrad and Hurtgen Forest, the description above details the taking and defending of Pegasus Bridge, if you’re unfamiliar with such events like Pavlov House and Brecourt Manor, look it up and see if it reminds you of the two most well-known levels in Call of Duty.
These days, that relates to over-the-top fantasy and casting us as a one-man soldier ready to save the world by ourselves and ourselves alone toting jet-packs and laser guns. The real drama of an actual conflict has been replaced with conflicts set in the far future and against enemies that we haven’t met yet in the real world, in the original game that released 14 years ago: The game didn’t need to manufacture drama, the game was a spin on real-life battles of WW2 and they came with their own soul and didn’t need to connect to everything, they came standalone. The characters in the original didn’t speak, they were just backdrops and they were someone you can rally behind as you fight the might of the Wehrmacht and Germany’s elite. The action was the focus and the story was the backdrop, and not up and center and allowing you to go through what soldiers might have gone through in these battles that would later become iconic.
The original Call of Duty and it’s expansion pack that became one of the best expansions ever made, United Offensive got it right.
The franchise has completely turned away from what made it great and that was one of the main reasons why I turned away from the franchise and haven’t looked back, I’m pretty weary-eyed with Laser guns, drones, and other future tech that has been prevalent since Black Ops II and Advanced Warfare.
If the WW2 rumor is true and most likely it is, I hope that Sledgehammer returns the franchise back to what made it great and have a similar tone and style to the original Call of Duty, I’m not sure if the franchise can return to that style and remain rooted in that gritty real-world tone that made the franchise great.
If Sledgehammer manages to return the franchise to that point in time then I would trade in a Chauchat for a Sten in a heartbeart.