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Call of Duty: Vanguard

Call of Duty: Vanguard Alpha Review – A promising start

The Call of Duty: Vanguard Alpha was open to all PlayStation players and delivered a lot of promise ahead of its November 2021 release.

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call of duty vanguard review champion hill

The public got their first real taste of Call of Duty: Vanguard with Champion Hill in the free Alpha test. It was available to all PlayStation 4 and 5 users, and there was a lot to like about Sledgehammer Games’ newest project.

After months of rumors and leaks, Call of Duty: Vanguard was finally announced on August 19, 2021. It signaled the next chapter in the storied franchise and instead of a foray into more modern-day war or Vietnam, the game is instead going back to its World War II roots.

Sledgehammer continues to polish the next entry into the legendary CoD franchise, and the devs announced an Alpha test phase would take place exclusively for PlayStation gamers.

We were able to get hands-on with this exciting first chunk of playable Vanguard, and we’ll dissect what we loved about the game so far.

The Champion that Vanguard needs

operators in call of duty vanguard

The Vanguard Alpha sadly had no customization options for clan tags, calling cards, etc, and only had one mode, but, thankfully, it was the brand new Champion Hill mode. A combination of Counter-Strike, Apex Legends’ Arenas, and Warzone, Champion Hill is a deep game mode.

Check out our full guide explaining what Champion Hill is, and how it works here.

We played several hours of it, and it was more than able to sustain our interest. Wins are most definitely possible, and dubs give you a great feeling of euphoria.

From the first match to the last, Champion Hill is several small games of Call of Duty with lots of strategy and teamwork required.

Old dog, new tricks

layout of champion hill map in vanguard

Breakable cover is nothing new in first-person shooter games but with competitors such as Battlefield 2042 emphasizing destruction, Call of Duty has decided to step up.

Each of the maps contained a multitude of vulnerable doors, walls, and surfaces. Meaning you can’t always just hide behind something and expect it to protect you now.

Although it wasn’t too thrilling on one map where we spawned and were immediately shot from the other side of the map through a wall. We also had multiple instances of killing a player, and them spawning right near us and killing us very quickly. So spawn points definitely need to be looked at and addressed before the beta phase.

map in vanguard champion hill

Another slight issue with the 2v2 format is that there was quite a lot of camping, even in smaller maps. There were multiple instances of the enemy team lying prone at the back of the map, especially when they had a much inferior life count.

Whilst you are technically penalized for non-aggressive play by not winning matches and obtaining cash as a result, it still feels like there needs to be a way to force players to compete and not hide.

Nevertheless, destructible cover is welcome, wall-mounting adds an extra dimension and can be effective if used right and the jury is still out on the new blind-fire mechanic.

Variety is the spice of life

vanguard operator firing an lmg

Despite some camping and more run-ins with SBMM, there’s so much to consider during the course of a full game of Champion Hill.

Do you focus all your money on upgrading your BAR or STG-44? Do you try to collect Perks? Do you focus on buying extra lives? Or do you try and save up an obscene amount of money to earn a game-ending V2 Rocket?

Even the maps themselves have an extra life in each one, leading to unreal dilemmas of whether you should gamble to get it or not.

players firing guns in cod vanguard

Maps do possess a decent bit of personality, despite being quite similar in some respects. One is Airstrip, a literal giant airstrip with bunkers and watchtowers, and another is Market, and it’s filled with stalls and cover.

Beautiful battles

cinematic skyline in cod vanguard

Our experience was on a 4K HDR TV on a PS5, so we can’t say how the PS4 version fares. However, PlayStation’s newest beast is capable of making Vanguard a dream to look at.

Call of Duty continues to excel in its ability to have hyper-realistic lighting and does so by returning to the Modern Warfare engine once more. The way dust particles fly up and stream across your screen is breathtaking.

Explosions look spectacular and the way in which they affect the environment feels spot-on. The audio feels pretty good, but we have found that footsteps can be inconsistent, with no sound coming through until the last second.


In Conclusion

Polina Petrova in cod vanguard

The Call of Duty: Vanguard Alpha bodes well for the game’s beta testing and eventual release. Champion Hill looks like another winner, and it has more maps to come in the future as well to flesh the experience out.

Given that this is very much an Alpha, there was always going to be an issue or two. Spawn points and audio mix irregularities are two things that can be cleaned up, and Sledgehammer has already confirmed some fixes.

The rest of the Alpha and Champion Hill as a whole is a lot of fun, and we look forward to seeing what Sledgehammer Games has in store for the Vanguard beta!

Verdict: 8 / 10

Image Credit: Activision / Sledgehammer Games

Call of Duty: Vanguard

Best BAR loadout for CoD: Vanguard Beta

With manageable recoil, underrated firepower, and tremendous accuracy, here’s how to get even more out of the BAR in CoD: Vanguard.

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call of duty vanguard bar

The BAR is another classic World War II gun that has featured in multiple Call of Duty. It returns in stunning fashion in the Vanguard Beta, and our best loadout will apply the ideal Perks and attachments to increase its viability.

The Browning Automatic Rifle, or BAR for short, is an iconic weapon in FPS games as the gun is an interesting hybrid of Assault Rifle and LMG. It only holds 20 rounds, but its power and precision can allow it to take aim at several people at once.

Call of Duty: Vanguard’s Beta has several weapons all competing to be the main meta weapon, and the qualities of the BAR ensure that it’s in the conversation.

Best Vanguard BAR Gunsmith loadout attachments

cod vanguard bar ar
  • Muzzle: A2 Flash Hider
  • Barrel: Chariot 18″ Rapid
  • Optic: Zeiss G16 2.5x
  • Stock: Chariot WR
  • Underbarrel: M1941 Handstop
  • Magazine: .50 BMG 30 Round Mag
  • Ammo Type: Lengthened
  • Rear Grip: Stippled Grip
  • Proficiency: Hardscope
  • Kit: Fully Loaded

The A2 Flash Hider is great for reducing vertical and horizontal recoil and won’t take too long to unlock. There are several different ways you can go with the barrel, but we’ve opted for the Chariot 18″ Rapid to increase its fire rate by 25%.

A solid optic is the Zeiss G16 2.5x as the BAR has awesome range, and this will help you make the most of its capabilities. Whereas the Chariot WR recovers a lot of the lost recoil from equipping the Chariot 18″ Rapid.

Attaching the M1941 Handstop works wonders for the BAR’s recoil, the .50 BMG 30 Round Mag lets you hold 10 more bullets and massively increases firepower, and Lengthened ammo will give a huge buff to bullet velocity and effectively increase the weapon’s speed.

The favorite Stippled Grip returns to boost the gun’s vertical and horizontal recoil, Fully Loaded is good in case your ammo supplies run low, and Hardscope is great for concentrated fire, especially with 30 rounds in a mag.

Best Perks to run with Vanguard BAR

cod vanguard ghost perk
  • Perk 1: Ghost
  • Perk 2: Radar
  • Perk 3: Overkill

Ghost will be selected by many in Call of Duty: Vanguard as it can effectively shield you from Spy Planes, Field Mics, and Enemy Intel, and is too valuable to pass up.

Another meta Perk is Radar as Vanguard uses Modern Warfare’s minimap system, so Radar will help to sniff out players who don’t have Subsonic rounds equipped.

The final option goes to Overkill as no matter the attachments we suggest, the BAR will always suffer some mobility issues, so Overkill will let you use a speedy SMG like the MP40 or M1928.

How to unlock the BAR in Vanguard

cod vanguard bar gun lying down

The BAR is a weapon that all players so try out to see if they can get the most out of it in Call of Duty: Vanguard.

With several hours or so of the Beta under your belt, you should be able to reach Level 18 that is required to use it.

Best alternatives to Vanguard BAR

For a drastic change of pace from the BAR, we’d suggest either going for a fully-fledged LMG like the MG42 or test out your sniping skills with the 3-Line Rifle.


And that’s the best BAR loadout you can run in Call of Duty: Vanguard! Be sure to check out all of the other weapons, Perks, and Killstreaks in the Beta.

Image Credit: Activision / Sledgehammer Games

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Call of Duty: Vanguard

CoD: Vanguard Killstreaks list: V2 Rocket, Attack Dogs & more

Call of Duty: Vanguard has taken Multiplayer back to Killstreaks, bringing back some fan-favorites, as well as introducing some new ones.

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cod vanguard killstreaks

Call of Duty: Vanguard has some great Killstreaks to obtain for those good enough to be rewarded for their effort. Let’s take a look at all of the Killstreaks that players will be earning.

The Call of Duty: Vanguard Beta was officially extended to September 22, allowing those on all consoles to get more time with the Beta and ultimately express their opinion and give feedback to the developers.

With that being said, many players were happy with the return of killstreaks, giving players that classic Call of Duty Multiplayer feel to the game.

Let’s take a look at all of the killstreaks currently available in Call of Duty: Vanguard.

call of duty vanguard minigun killstreaks

Although some players weren’t too happy with certain Field Upgrades, overall, the feedback for the Vanguard killstreaks has been primarily positive.

A portion of CoD players seem to feel that Vanguard killstreaks mean players will play less of the objective. However, many others love that Killstreaks reward those with enough skill to take enemies down without dying, rather than getting killstreaks from simply capturing a flag.

In theory, Vanguard killstreaks will be less prevalent than scorestreaks, as scorestreaks were more common due to the ease of playing the objective rather than going on a meaningful killstreak.

With that being said, let’s take a look at all the Vanguard killstreaks, as well as what it will take to get them.

List of Call of Duty: Vanguard killstreaks

  • Intel – 3 Kills
    • A personal radar for the player, allowing them to see enemies closeby.
  • Care Package – 4 Kills
    • A classic, randomly drops a Killstreak into the map.
  • Spy Plane – 4 Kills
    • Otherwise known as a UAV, allow you and your team to see enemy red dots on the mini-map.
cod vanguard killstreaks spy plane
  • Counter Spy Plane – 4 Kills
    • This will prevent the enemy team from using their mini-map
  • Glide Bomb – 5 Kills
    • A remote controlled bomb that players can drop on unsuspecting enemies.
  • Deathmachine – 5 Kills
    • A huge minigun that does serious damage.
  • Mortar Barrage – 5 Kills
    • Set bombs to drop on a marked location.
cod vanguard killstreaks mortar barrage
  • Warmachine – 7 Kills
    • An explosive grenade launcher.
  • Flamenaut – 9 Kills
    • Similar to a Juggernaut, but this time with a Flamethrower.
  • Attack Dogs – 10 Kills
    • Release dogs into the map to terrorize and rip the enemy to shreds for a period of time.
Attack Dogs
  • V2 Rocket – 25 Kills
    • Not available for selection, but awarded to anyone who can achieve a 25 killstreak.

Players can select three Vanguard killstreaks before a match and will need to level up to unlock them all.

Often players will select killstreaks that they will not obtain every game, so depending on your playstyle, make sure you are choosing Vanguard killstreaks you will be able to earn consistently unless you’re going for a high killstreak, of course.

That’s all for the Killstreaks in Call of Duty: Vanguard. For more, check out our article on Ammo Types and what they do in CoD: Vanguard.

Image Credits: Sledgehammer Games / Activision

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Call of Duty: Vanguard

Call of Duty: Vanguard Ammo types and what they do

Players will be able to utilize various kinds of ammo types in Call of Duty: Vanguard to give them different bonuses to dominate their enemies.

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Call of Duty Vanguard ammo types

Call of Duty: Vanguard players will have an assortment of different ammo types they can equip to their weapons to make them even more powerful.

We’ve received a lot of information on Call of Duty: Vanguard recently, especially the Multiplayer mode. As well as details on what weapons to expect and how the Create-a-Class system will work, players finally have information on the different ammo types.

Just like the suppressors working slightly differently in Vanguard, Call of Duty’s next installment will also host a variety of Ammo types for weapons, which alter the nature of the weapon’s projectiles.

Here is the latest information on the Call of Duty: Vanguard ammo types.

Call of Duty Vanguard Operators

Call of Duty: Vanguard ammo types

A Call of Duty blog revealed some details ahead of the Vanguard Beta to give players a head start and an idea of what to expect. As well as details on the maps and modes available, we also got information on attachments for weapons.

One of the most exciting attachments is the Vanguard Ammo types, as they can completely change a player’s playstyle and the nature of their weapon’s bullets.

Ammo is one of the core areas of weapons that players can customize to a great degree in Call of Duty: Vanguard. This customization includes “How large a weapon’s magazine is, how fast an Operator can reload with it” and more. There are also sub-statistics like penetration and concealment that allow Vanguard ammo types to give players different bonuses.

vanguard operator holding a gun

You can find all of the Call of Duty: Vanguard ammo types currently known below:

  • FMJ – increases bullet penetration through surfaces
  • Lengthened – increases bullet velocity
  • Subsonic – keeps players off of enemy minimaps when they fire
  • Frangible – increases flinch dealt, delays enemy healing, and hitting enemy legs slows movement
  • Armor Piercing – increased damage against vehicles and killstreaks
  • Incendiary – adds incendiary damage
  • Hollow Point – removes damage penalty when hitting limbs

Players were able to upgrade weapons in the Champion Hill Alpha, and some did notice how their bullets seemed to take on an explosive lighting effect.

There was also a Deathmachine with explosive rounds, so perhaps we will see a similar attachment for weapons in the Beta. We will continue to update this hub with more Vanguard ammo types as they are revealed.

We’ll have to wait and see precisely how these attachments will shape up when the game releases on November 5. For now, check out our article on players being unhappy about the killstreaks.

Image Credits & Source: Sledgehammer Games / Activision / Call of Duty

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