The latest Call of Duty just launched last week, but fans are already rummaging through Vanguard’s files for hints at upcoming content. Some of the juiciest morsels apparently reference Marvel superhero Captain America, beloved graverobber Indiana Jones, and even the wildly popular Attack on Titan anime and manga franchise.
It started slowly. According to VGC, notable Call of Duty dataminers Nanikos and Zesty spent the weekend uncovering text strings referring to an “aot_sword” and an “aot_titan” operator, which they logically recognised as a common abbreviation for Attack on Titan. A third dataminer, Drake Hurley, eventually found the sword model and uploaded a screenshot confirming its similarities to the weapons used by the series’ high-flying soldiers.
Seems the Attack on Titan crossover is confirmed. Here is the sword model that is inside of Vanguard.
— Nanikos (@_Nanikos_) November 7, 2021
Hurley deleted his original post due to complications with the creators of the program he used to source it in Call of Duty: Vanguard’s data, but the image still survives courtesy of the Nanikos tweet above.
More recently, intrepid Call of Duty fan ModenasHD found code pointing to possible appearances by Captain America and Indiana Jones, or at least upcoming content referencing the two action heroes.
As noticed by Polygon, the images ModenasHD used were old pieces of fan art, but one of the Captain America player banner backgrounds has since been ripped from the game. It depicts a soldier using a shield to deflect bullets, which is pretty much Captain America’s whole deal.
Captain America – Calling Card in #Vanguard
Part of the "American Heroes" Stuff. pic.twitter.com/5T8gkh5Ohd
— ????????' -Hotel Six- ???????? (@ModenasHD) November 11, 2021
While none of this indicates Captain America or Indiana Jones themselves showing up as operators — the game’s multiplayer characters — it’s a pretty clear indication that players will be able to interact with these two properties somehow, even if it’s just via cosmetics and other customisation options.
Crossovers have become an easy way to get attention on your game, thanks in part to the success of Fortnite and its voracious appetite for devouring properties like Star Wars, Street Fighter, and Dune, whole. Heck, we just saw Donnie Darko content appear in Call of Duty: Warzone, for crying out loud. It seems like nothing is off-limits as long as the original rights holders are willing to sell.
And, hey, it’s probably a super easy way to distract players from the fact that your company is currently battling multiple lawsuits concerning your allegedly horrendous, sexual abuse-filled workplace.