The military adviser on the Call of Duty series says Call of Duty 5 is returning to a World War II setting because they "didn't finish telling the story" in the first three games.
Following the runaway success of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, the first game in the series not to take place in the heavily-used World War II setting, there was a widespread assumption that Activision would leverage that popularity by continuing in the same direction. The decision to return to the Second World War with Call of Duty: World at War, which will take place primarily in the Pacific theater of operations, was met with some surprise and skepticism, but retired Lieutenant Colonel Hank Keirsey said differences in the nature of the game's enemies will result in a changed experience for the player.
Referring to the war in the Pacific against Japanese forces, Keirsey said, "[It was a] very difficult fight, a very close fight, and a very gritty fight - Treyarch did a good job of bringing that fight out and telling the story." Treyarch had previously developed Call of Duty 3, before passing the series to Modern Warfare developer Infinity Ward.
"Treyarch put out [Call of Duty 3] in eight months," Keirsey continued. "And for an eight month product, they put out a hell of a game. But now they've been given a two-year development cycle, so the lads were actually able to put a lot of polish on this game." He also claimed the "intensity" of the combat will be borne out in the game's M (Mature) ESRB rating. "The only thing we're missing is the smell, the heat, the bodies being rotted with maggots crawling over them, and we're putting that together in an expansion pack," he said.