Release Date : November 5, 2021
Developers : Sledgehammer Games
Publisher : Activision
Platforms : PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC
Call of Duty Vanguard is one of the most anticipated titles of this end of the year. Many console and PC players are waiting for the new installment of the franchise. After many hours of play, as usual, we can give you our opinion on this new version of Activision’s FPS.
Just like Call of Duty: WWII in its time, Call of Duty Vanguard initiates a return to the roots. The developers take us to follow the journey of the first special forces team. This international team of the best elements of the Allies aims to help each other and put an end to the war. Of course, there is nothing original here.
Campaign mode and the 4th Reich
Each of these characters reveals their story through flashbacks. Each of them takes place in a particular field of operations of World War II. This is an opportunity to know the origins of each of the protagonists. They all have a different past and are united around a common goal: to put an end to the madness of Freisinger and the Phoenix Project. This evil project aims to set up a… Fourth Reich. That’s it.
This campaign mode is in line with the usual Call of Duty. Always as spectacular, the developers take us on a journey with this new team. Although it isn’t that memorable, this single-player mode will do the job well. Surprisingly, this single-player mode is rather raw, quite violent, not hesitating to show the horrors of war. We are drawn into the different scenarios proposed to flesh out the background of our heroes. The challenge is there, without being overwhelming. I finished the game in veteran mode. There is still the desire to discover more with this team, which is a good thing.
On the multiplayer side, this is like being at home with your little fancy pants. In the sense that the player is placed on a very familiar ground. The sensations are similar to those of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. The tactical sprint is back and the feelings are quite good. The time to kill is correct and the weapon balancing is not completely effective, in the sense that, as in the beta, the MP-40 is a very, if not too effective weapon. And it is of course not the only one. We’ll have to rely on multiple future updates to fix all this.
Speaking of weapons, you should know that there are many of them and that they are very similar to Modern Warfare in their customization. The interface has a lot to do with it. There are a lot of choices and as usual, you will have to play and play again to unlock the different accessories.
7 main weapon slots
As you know by now, there is no shortage of weapons in Call of Duty. Here is the arsenal designed by Sledgehammer studio. For the experts, We let you admire this. These are the main weapon slots available.
- Assault rifle
- Machine guns
- Machine guns
- Tactical rifles
- Sniper rifle
- Close combat
There is nothing new under the sun here, except that the shotgun becomes a primary weapon again and the shield, which was the subject of so much discussion in Modern Warfare, is back. The most crowded class is the machine gun class with 6 weapons for the launch. For sniper rifle lovers, the KAR-98 is also present and it must be said that it does the trick. Camille will not disagree with me.
As mentioned above, the sensations are good with the gun in hand, the recoil is present and is easily felt. In short, the gunplay is not bad at all. However, the only thing we can complain about is the sound design, which is far from being up to scratch.
One of the main components of the multiplayer in addition to the gunplay is of course the level design. From this point of view, Sledgehammer does not offer excellent performance. The different maps, 16 in total for the launch of Vanguard, are far from being up to the great era. Some of them lack a coherent structure, even if the three-way level design is present, this does not make them excellent maps.
However, there is nothing unpleasant about playing them, quite the contrary. The variety of the levels is a big part of it, knowing that some old levels will make a comeback like the shipment for example. Moreover, some parts of the levels are destructible, like the doors or wooden structures. Once again, there’s nothing very special, even if it tends to offer more opportunities to flush out possible campers.
As for the game modes, we’re still playing the classic MME, Free-for-All, or confirmed elimination, but with some new features such as the patrol mode or Hill Champion replacing the gunfight mode. This mode is played in duo or trio, the goal is to eliminate all the opposing teams by removing the maximum of lives and thus win the game. The number of players can range from the classic 6v6 to 24v24 on large maps.
A solid technique
Concerning the graphical aspect of Call of Duty Vanguard, in the single-player version, the engine holds up very well. It moves and farts all over the place without ever raising the framerate. Activision’s in-house engine remains solid on its supports.
On the multiplayer side, there again, no big surprise, it’s fluid and doesn’t flinch an inch when it comes to technique. Without being visually spectacular, Call of Duty Vanguard offers a dynamic and smooth experience. The FOV is also part of the game for console players, which is something we like.
And another point to note, beyond the technical aspects, and this is a nice surprise: the size of the game. It is about 40 GB (without Warzone). We are far from the space taken by Modern Warfare or Cold War.
Call of Duty Vanguard in short!
To summarize the multiplayer mode, the developers made the right choice to return to the gameplay of Modern Warfare, even if it keeps the flaws related to the tilted and mounted shots favoring the static game. As for the reappearances, they are not great, since it happened several times to be spawn killed. The SBMM that has been so much talked about will also be part of Call of Duty Vanguard.
The killstreak is not the best idea either, since it favors static gameplay and makes it easier to chain kills without having to move to play the game objectives. As for the levels, they aren’t revolutionary and lack identity. Some maps are too big for 6v6. However, don’t worry, there are not only negative aspects, because those with three-way branches offer good moments that only the license has the secret of.
In any case, we’d like to thank the game engine and the gameplay of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare for the good gunplay sensations and a very correct TTK (time to kill), even if the footsteps will still make many players argue.
The famous game mode, loved by a lot of fans, is not exactly revolutionary here, on the contrary. It is present, but it is clearly below what is usually offered. In the sense that the game mode is far too repetitive. The player starts in a central hub and has to complete missions to expand it. Except that these missions are always the same. Even after 15 waves, they remain the same.
In the end, the game goes around in circles very quickly. There is no story to follow or any notable challenge. It is mostly repetitiveness that is the watchword and that will make many players drop out. Clearly anecdotal, this Vanguard-style Zombie mode allows you to level up very quickly without offering a sufficient challenge or re-playability.
And… Warzone in all this?
Concerning the famous Battle Royale, the new map Caldera will definitely replace Verdansk. This one should arrive on December 2nd for Call of Duty Vanguard owners and on December 3rd for everyone else. We’ll have to take a look at Activision’s roadmap to know exactly what is planned.
Call of Duty Vanguard is a good game. Far from being revolutionary, it has at least the will and the credit to propose a new perspective about World War II. We quickly get attached to this heterogeneous group. It’s especially on the multiplayer side that there is much to say. The good idea is to use the gameplay of Modern Warfare to the fullest, or even too much to the fullest because it brings the flaws of Infinity Ward’s title. Activision doesn’t want to rush players, offering content that has been seen and reviewed for years while adding a few neat subtleties like the Hill Champion mode. Clearly, the multiplayer is a step above Cold War, especially in terms of gameplay and overall gunplay. Call of Duty Vanguard is not a revolutionary game, but it clearly does the job, offering a title that will hold up for the next years.