Multiplayer in Call of Duty: Vanguard is simple and unforgiving. It throws you right into the chaos of a simulated WWII battlefield without wasting anyone’s time. The game mechanics are pretty much standard CoD, and you’ll find yourself finding yourself almost instantly if you’re familiar with the franchise. Despite Activision going with the banal WWII theme for its new first-person shooter (FPS), the game feels starkly different from 2017’s Call of Duty: WWII. Vanguard is 2020’s Black Ops Cold War wrapped in a WWII skin with tweaks borrowed from 2019’s Modern Warfare. free – and not a natural next chapter in multiplayer games.
We were able to experience Call of Duty: Vanguard’s multiplayer open beta over the course of two days on Xbox Series S. The game is based on the Modern Warfare engine and is developed by Sledgehammer Games – with Treyarch handling the Zombies mode we haven’t seen yet – who previously developed 2017’s Call of Duty: WWII. The common theme is no coincidence.
One of the first things to work in the developers’ favor is that the Call of Duty: Vanguard multiplayer open beta turned out to be a lot less buggy than expected. Sledgehammer Games managed to resolve some of the series’ issues with graphics, sounds, and gameplay that plagued the alpha. That said, occasional cheaters devoid of any qualms have had a free run with Activision’s heavily advertised new anti-cheating program yet to be implemented. But once we got past that, there were enough faithful, enthusiasts and amateurs to keep the fun alive.
Call of Duty: Vanguard maps and matchmaking
Call of Duty: Vanguard Multiplayer has loads of new stuff to get players excited. One of the essential additions is Combat Pacing – a new form of customizable matchmaking. Tactical lobbies are classic 6v6, Assault is balanced pace with 20-28 players, and Blitz takes you into high-intensity lobbies with 28-48 players. It’s a sensible addition to give new players more breathing room, balanced gameplay for casual gamers, and a taste of madness for like-minded ones. But how well it performs in the long run will require us to experience the full game when it launches on November 5th.
New, fun and realistic yes, but here’s a buffer that goes against hours of non-stop play – at least in the Vanguard beta. In keeping with the theme, the overall colors on most maps look a little muted. There’s also more wood around that should be destructible, which contributes to making the overall color palette slightly dull. The dust of destruction, mixed with fire, smoke, sparks or snow across different maps and the effects of different weapons, compromises the overall visibility a bit more that feels comfortable for intense multiplayer firefights, mostly making it difficult for players with heavy beige WWII operator skins to spot and causing extra eye strain. Here’s hoping the variety in the full game solves that as much as it’s intended.
Call of Duty: Vanguard gameplay and weapons
The use of cutting-edge weapons is fast – a little faster than the Cold War we felt – and the weapons do the 1940s justice with a noticeably heavier feel and greater vertical recoil. But to make things interesting, the developers have brought back the weapon mount mechanism – meaning you can mount your weapon on most flat surfaces like walls and crates for stable aiming. Destructible environments are another help. You can shoot at wooden planks, dividers, walls, and doors to make aiming holes, or knock them down completely to create new paths. Just expect more bangs to the wall as we should have, with our cover blowing to pieces far too often. A side note to the Vanguard developers: some solid-looking ports shouldn’t be vulnerable to mere bullets – a complaint that’s also being echoed around the Call of Duty forums.
Weapons in Call of Duty: Vanguard are now extremely customizable. Expect to miss combinations until you fail, with 10 attachments each for primary weapons at your disposal. Born campers, however, will have less to rejoice and more to learn from scopes getting a true WWII treatment. The old-style enlargements will take some getting used to, as will the indentation and load times.
Call of Duty: Vanguard’s solo campaign storyline feels fresh and expansive – scaling walls and rooftops never gets old – and should give players enough time and experience to settle into a new environment before diving into full-time multiplayer. That said, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, which achieved a rare balance between real and futuristic, will remain in the fray when choosing a lobby.
You can pre-order Call of Duty: Vanguard now. The game will launch worldwide on November 5 for PS5 (review), PS4, Xbox S/X (review), Xbox One, and PC on November 5. The standard edition of Call of Duty: Vanguard intended for the high-end PS4 and Xbox One consoles is priced at Rs. 3,999. New console owners are encouraged to spend more on a cross-generation optimized package of the game priced at Rs. 4,999 with some bonus content. Call of Duty: Vanguard Ultimate Edition supplemented with more bonus content is priced at Rs. 6,999. PC gamers can choose between the $60 Standard Edition and the $100 Ultimate Edition (approximately Rs. 4,490 and Rs. 7,480).