‘Call Of Duty: Vanguard’ turns national war hero Australian, and New Zealanders aren’t happy

“It’s an insult. At best, it’s ignorance; at worst, it’s a giant middle finger to us all”

Sledgehammer Games has turned New Zealand’s national war hero into an Australian in Call Of Duty: Vanguard.

The upcoming World War II shooter is set to introduce four heroes to the game who are each inspired by real-life people, including the Russian Polina Petrova, the British Arthur Kingsley, the American Wade Jackson and the Australian Lucas Riggs.

However, Lucas Riggs, who is based on the real New Zealander Charles Upham, the only man to be awarded two Victoria crosses for his service in history, has for some reason been turned into an Aussie in Vanguard, and New Zealander’s aren’t happy.


The New Zealand site Newshub explained (as reported by Kotaku), “Charles Upham’s significance cannot be overstated. No other combat soldier has ever been awarded two Victoria Crosses in all of history. That incredible achievement belongs to our country alone, Aotearoa New Zealand.

Call Of Duty: Vanguard
Call Of Duty: Vanguard. Credit: Sledgehammer Games

“It’s an insult. At best, it’s ignorance; at worst, it’s a giant middle finger to us all.”

The Creative Director on Call Of Duty: Vanguard, David Swenson, responded to the criticism saying, “As with all the main characters in the campaign, we drew a lot of inspiration from real-life soldiers. With Lucas Riggs, we drew a lot of that inspiration from Charles Upham, whose exploits embodied the spirit of all the Commonwealth forces serving in North Africa.”

Even though the three other characters are each modeled after real soldier’s from their own home countries, it’s a wonder why the Lucas Riggs protagonist wasn’t.


Call Of Duty: Vanguard is set to launch on November 5 for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S. Here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming shooter, including plot, gameplay, multiplayer and more.