Back in 2008, Call of Duty Roman Wars was nearly a thing that existed. While Call of Duty has always been seen as a first-person shooter set either in World War 2 or sometime between that period and modern warfare (and beyond), Roman Wars would have been a very big departure from the original series.
the game would have revolved around the campaigns of Julius Caesar’s Tenth Legion, who were essentially the special-ops soldiers of their day. As one of the pinnacles of ancient warfare, the disciplined Roman Legions were the main reason that the Roman Empire was able to expand so far.
Call of Duty Roman Wars would have apparently been primarily third-person, but would have also included third-person combat that was styled after Condemned: Criminal Origins, which came out in 2005 but was acclaimed for how well it did first-person melee combat.
Among other things, in the game you could ride horses and elephants, fire catapults, and participate in massive battles. You would also use different weapons, ranging from a sword and shield to a bow, spear, and axes. You could even throw sand in your enemy’s eyes to blind them.
For all intents and purposes, it seemed like a game that might have been something good, especially since Vicarious Visions, the creators of the Marvel: Ultimate Alliance games, was assigned to make it.
Unfortunately, it would never be. 2008 was a rough time for Activision, with Guitar Hero along with numerous other projects going through tough times, and people leaving Activision. A concern about saturating the brand (ironic nowadays) and studio stubbornness saw Call of Duty Roman Wars die before it even got off the ground, and the game was eventually pitched off to Ubisoft.
While we’ll likely never know how Call of Duty Roman Wars would have worked out, it’s something that could spark curiosity, especially with the unpleasant revelation for Activision that people are getting tired of the games going farther and farther into the future.