Before Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare changed things there was a third-person action title set in WWII and called Call of Duty: Devil's Brigade from X-Men: The Official Gamedeveloper Z-Axis.
Devil's Brigade didn't make it past 2008. The monolithic FPS that is Modern Warfare rose up and marched forth.
One very decent thing did emerge from this canning though. The behaviour of the dev team.
According to The Verge in a very, very excellent feature, "In 2005, (Jason) VandenBerghe left Electronic Arts for Activision, following former co-workers Scott Bandy and Trevor Jalowitz. They were hired to salvage X-Men: The Official Game, which had gone bottoms up at Activision's internal development studio, Z-Axis.
"The founders of Z-Axis had left years earlier, taking their buyout money and running. A series of GMs kept the studio afloat in the interim, but the team never fully recovered. Firm leadership was in short supply. Wisely, the last of these GMs made a push for talent, hiring the guys from EA, along with people from brand name studios like Eidos and LucasArts. Bandy took over the role of GM, while VandenBerghe and Jalowitz became Creative Director and Executive Producer respectively."
When the game was canned, however, rather than cutting a running, Scott Bandy stood up and said, "We're probably not going to be able to keep everybody on. I don't know when that's going to be in effect. I don't know when I'm going to have to lay people off. But what I'm going to do now while we still have resources to do it is I'm going to offer severance packages if you want them. If you don't want them, I'll keep you here as long as I possibly can. Basically, until my pockets run dry. While you're here, if you want, I'm talking to all the other Activision studios, and I'm going to be flying you out there for interviews. I'm setting these up so you can stay inside the company if that's something that's interesting to you."