Who wore it better - Activision or Thomas Pynchon?

Or why I reckon Call of Duty: WW2 has the V-2 all wrong

I will state up-front that I am no historian. I know next to nothing about World War 2. But the one thing I thought I knew revolves around the V-2 rocket. And now the V-2 rocket is in COD: WW2, I'm starting to worry I might be wrong about that as well.

The V-2 rocket replaces nukes in COD multiplayer as far as I can tell. Here it is in this video, around the 7 minute, 35 seconds mark.

Hear that? That's the point. V-2s were supersonic rockets, which meant - and this is enduringly weird - that you would hear the explosion, and then, only after the explosion, you would hear the sound of their arrival. COD has it the other way around.

The reason I know this - if I'm even right - is that it's a crucial detail in Thomas Pynchon's novel Gravity's Rainbow. Here's a quote. Pirate Prentice is in his bananery - don't ask - watching contrails arc across the sky:

"He takes some time lighting a cigarette. He won't hear the thing come in. It travels faster than the speed of sound. The first news you get of it is the blast. Then, if you're still around, you hear the sound of it coming in."

So either COD's wrong or Thomas Pynchon is?

Oh, alright. While we're quoting Pynchon, how about this?

"It may have been a human figure, dreaming of an early evening in each great capital luminous enough to tell him he will never die, coming outside to wish on the first star. But it was not a star. It was falling, a bright angel of death..."


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About the author

Christian Donlan

Christian Donlan

Features Editor

Christian Donlan is a features editor for Eurogamer. He is the author of The Unmapped Mind, published as The Inward Empire in the US.


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