Call of Duty Almost Went To Ancient Rome
It looks like Call of Duty could have headed back in time to ancient Rome.
According to a news report by a source at GamesRadar credited as “Polemus,” publisher Activision was seriously considering releasing a radical departure from the popular first-person shooter’s past installments titled Call of Duty: Roman Wars in 2013 for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
According to the leak, Roman Wars would have been a first-person and third-person action game focused on Julius Caesar’s war against the Gallic tribes alongside his trusted 10th legion with the player jumping from multiple roles in the conflict similar to the perspective-hopping found in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.
“You were going to play a lead centurion, you were going to play a grunt and you were going to play all the way up to Julius Caesar himself,” Polemus told GamesRadar.
The leaked gameplay video revealed a mission based on the Battle of Alesia where the player’s objective was to eliminate an archer assault and a first-person battle sequence in Rome’s Colosseum straight out of the film Gladiator.
The game was in development by Vicarious Visions. The New York-based developer is directly owned by Activision and is best known for their work on the highly lucrative toys-to-life series Skylanders and the Guitar Hero series.
The Call of Duty franchise is one of modern gaming’s most popular series. Its popular multiplayer modes and action-packed campaigns have kept millions of players entertained since 2002 going from different theaters of war from World War 2 to The War on Terror to speculative near-future wars involving PMCs and robots.
While Activision hasn’t commented yet on why this Call of Duty spin-off didn’t make it to store shelves, the game itself has circulated to other studios. Notably, after the development team left Activision, the game was reworked and retitled Roman Wars and was even pitched to Ubisoft. While the game itself wasn’t meant to be, the idea of experiencing ancient battles from the side of the Romans was eventually realized on the Xbox One launch title, Ryse: Son of Rome.