Call of Duty: Vanguard Review
Every year, Call of Duty fans have a new main series game to look forward to, and 2021 is no exception to that rule. This time, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and Call of Duty: WW2 studio Sledgehammer Games is back in the driver’s seat with Call of Duty: Vanguard, a game that doesn’t reinvent the wheel by any means but is still one of the more good Call of Duty games. Like previous Call of Duty games, Call of Duty: Vanguard is divided into three different categories. First up is Campaign, with this year’s entry taking the franchise back to World War 2. But instead of trying to tell a historically accurate story, Call of Duty: Vanguard goes for more of an action movie vibe. , following a band of multinational Allied heroes who form a Special Forces group tasked with eliminating the Nazi threat once and for all. The group, known as Vanguard, consisted of two British soldiers, an Australian explosives expert, an American pilot, and a Russian sniper. Very early in the Call of Duty: Vanguard Campaign, the group is captured by a cartoonish Nazi villain named Hermann Wenzel Freisinger, whose character initially looks like he’s trying to imitate Hans Landa from Inglorious Basterds before transitioning into a more generic bad guy role as the story continues. Lost’s Dominic Monaghan, on the other hand, players a more interesting villain in Jannick Richter, a cowardly Nazi interrogator tasked with extracting information from the heroes. The problem for Richter is that he is paranoid, anxious, and delusional, which lends itself to some interesting interactions between him and the Allied prisoners. The story itself is unremarkable despite some entertaining scenes, and its structure hinders players’ ability to become invested in the characters. The majority of the Call of Duty: Vanguard Campaign consists of flashbacks to the previous World War 2, where players can see how characters such as Russian sniper Polina Petrova earned her nickname “Lady Nightingale” and how Arthur Kingsley learned to be a leader. There are really only two missions that take place in “current” World War 2, and so the central conflict has little room to develop or breathe. The plot is a reason to transport players through different eras of World War 2, and while it leads to many fun gameplay moments, it has value in the story. Granted, most people probably don’t play a Call of Duty game for its story, and luckily, the gameplay in Call of Duty: Vanguard Campaign is basically a ton of fun. One mission might have players sneaking around snow-covered Stalingrad, silently taking out enemies through melee-like execution, while the next will see them divebombing aircraft carriers in the Battle of Midway. Another mission sees players blowing up tanks in the desert, and another tries to survive the harsh jungles of the Pacific Theater. The Call of Duty: Vanguard Campaign is a spectacle, trimming the fat to focus on spectacular scenery and set-pieces. Call of Duty: Vanguard looks incredible, and while Campaign showcases the game’s graphical prowess better than any other game mode, its high level of polish is also present throughout the game. . Call of Duty: Vanguard Multiplayer is also very good, especially on next generation consoles. Call of Duty: Vanguard’s multiplayer maps have a higher level of destruction than previous Call of Duty games, which helped greatly in giving weight to each conflict and making the maps feel more alive. Maps are relatively untouched at the beginning of a match, but by the end of it, everything will be on fire, holes will be in the walls, and all the damaged wooden structures will be left in splinters. Call of Duty: Vanguard Multiplayer is better for introducing destruction, but it also deserves praise for its other major innovation. Call of Duty: Vanguard implements a new idea called Combat Pacing that allows players to focus on the types of maps and modes they enjoy the most. E.g. Call of Duty: Vanguard Combat Pacing, increased damage, and well-designed maps all add up to making this the best Call of Duty multiplayer in years. The only downside to Call of Duty: Vanguard’s multiplayer is missing some fan favorite game modes, especially Gunfight and Gun Game. The absence of Gunfight in Call of Duty: Vanguard is especially disappointing, as the mode was promised for the game, although Activision seems to have used “Gunfight” to refer to Vanguard’s Champion Hill mode as opposed to a proper representation of Gunfight mode. Call of Duty: Vanguard’s Champion Hill mode is the big new match type for this year, and while it works similarly to Gunfight, there are some key differences that ultimately make it a different experience. Champion Hill, for the uninitiated, has teams of two or three battling other teams with limited lives, earning money while buying upgrades, killstreaks, armor, and more. The problem with trying to pass off Champion Hill as a Gunfight is that a proper Gunfight puts Call of Duty players on equal ground. Call of Duty Gunfights start with the same guns, so things like custom loadouts aren’t a factor like they are in other multiplayer match types. The gunfight comes from pure skill more than any other Call of Duty game mode, but that element is missing in Champion Hill. Champion Hill’s currency system is the main reason Gunfight fans probably won’t like it, as it gives teams a huge advantage. Many Champion Hill matches tend to end with a team having a ridiculous amount of money to throw around, where they can buy Call of Duty: Vanguard’s more overpowered weapons and just mow to any of the other remaining teams. The mode can still be fun, especially with the right partners, but it doesn’t scratch the same itch as Gunfight. While the lack of Gunfight is disappointing, especially given that it was in the game before launch, Call of Duty: Vanguard’s multiplayer is otherwise a lot of fun and should keep fans busy for hours on end. And if Zombies was as good as the Campaign and Multiplayer, Vanguard would be a home run, but that’s where the game falls short. Call of Duty: Vanguard Zombies is the weak link when it comes to the three main gameplay experiences the game offers. This new version of Zombies in Call of Duty: Vanguard is more objective-based, with players bouncing around different areas (like the Hotel Royal multiplayer map and even a slice of Shi no Numa from in Call of Duty: World at War) through portals that all exist in the same hub area. This hub is an interesting innovation for Zombies, as it contains everything Call of Duty: Vanguard players need in one place, such as the Pack-A-Punch machine, Mystery Box, and a crafting station. Players will return to this hub after each trip to one of the portals, thus effectively eliminating the need to create “crawler” zombies as required in previous Zombies modes. This new setup equates to a huge quality of life improvement that makes the Call of Duty: Vanguard’s Zombies experience more bearable when playing with random players online. The issue is that Call of Duty: Vanguard Zombies is very easy-going, to the point where there’s no real fun in playing it. Call of Duty: Vanguard Zombies offers zero challenge. Players will have Pack-A-Punched weapons, fully upgraded perks, and many special abilities by the 10th round and will be almost unstoppable from that point on. The only thing to do then is to keep going through the same portals and complete the same objectives to build a fortune and keep killing hordes of the undead. Players rarely feel like they’re in danger of losing, and since there aren’t any Easter eggs or anything like that to think of, players won’t have much reason to stick with Zombies for long. Honestly, the only reason to keep playing Zombies is if someone wants to unlock all the Call of Duty: Vanguard achievements/trophies or if they want to use Zombies to level up certain weapons for Multiplayer, as progress is shared between game modes. . Call of Duty: Vanguard Season 1 will add Zombies updates of some sort that will hopefully make it more useful, but as it stands, Zombies in Vanguard is a disappointment. Call of Duty: Vanguard Multiplayer will also be getting new post-launch content, as Activision has already shared some of the content fans can expect from the game post-launch. For example, before Vanguard Season 1 even begins, players can look forward to the addition of the fan-favorite Multiplayer map Shipping, which fits in nicely with the solid selection of new maps available in the base game. Call of Duty: Vanguard will get better over time, but the launch game is still an impressive package. The Campaign is short but sweet and the multiplayer is a blast, though Zombies fans will likely be disappointed. Even if Zombies fails to live up to expectations, however, Call of Duty: Vanguard still has a lot to offer fans of the franchise and is well worth the price of admission. Call of Duty: Vanguard is out now for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X. Today Technology reviewed the game on Xbox Series X.