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Call of Duty: Vanguard

Call of Duty Vanguard Beta Review: Big potential but major tweaks needed

The Call of Duty: Vanguard Beta was full of thrills and spills, but how close is it away from being perfection?

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The first full weekend of the Call of Duty: Vanguard Beta has been and gone, and after a few hours with it, we can safely say that fans should be excited.

The Call of Duty: Vanguard Alpha was merely a snippet of what the full game is going to offer, only showing off the new Champion Hill mode. With solid gunplay and a mode with potential, the Vanguard alpha certainly won us over, but the biggest test for the game so far was yet to come.

It’s arrived in the form of the long-awaited Beta testing with PlayStation users getting early access. Early indications are that whilst there is some obvious room for improvement, Call of Duty: Vanguard could be heralded as a classic upon its release.

Maps, modes, and meaty mayhem

gavutu map in cod vanguard

Keen testers are able to sample three of the game’s maps, a selection of guns, and other key elements like killstreaks, loadouts, and Perks.

Each map contains an abundance of personality: Gavutu is a gorgeous tropical island with weather effects playing havoc with your screen, Red Star is a brisk stroll through a snowy, war-torn square, and Hotel Royal could be one of the best Call of Duty maps ever.

To adequately test them out, the Beta removes the ability to custom-select the game modes you want to play, which is understandable given that Sledghemamer wants all the content to be played equally.

Alongside the classic Team Deathmatch and Kill Confirmed stipulations is the new Patrol game mode. It’s essentially Hardpoint, but the objective area is constantly moving, making for a more dynamic and proactive experience.

cod vanguard operator aiming pistol

For anyone who missed out on the Alpha, Champion Hill returns to challenge eight teams of either 2 or 3 members to go toe-to-toe and whittle down each other’s lives. We covered our full experience with it in our Call of Duty: Vanguard Alpha review, but it’s safe to say that it’s a mode that will keep people coming back for more.

The final major change that tries to set Vanguard apart from previous entries is the new Combat Pacing variants – Tactical, Assault, and Blitz.

Tactical is usual 6v6 fare, Assault ups the player count to around 20, and Blitz is a chaotic duel between two huge teams – roughly 40 players in total. In our experience, we found that this function certainly changes the way matches play out, not always for the better though.

Assault and Blitz on Red Star are immense, Tactical is not – with fewer people, the map inherits the problems that Miami originally had in Cold War by having a huge map with no one around, leading to sluggish, uneventful gameplay. If players are able to filter pacing choices in Vanguard’s full release, then we expect Assault and Blitz to be picked a lot more than Tactical.

Plenty of customization, but glaring issues

call of duty vanguard gunsmith options

Gunsmith returns in Call of Duty: Vanguard with players able to select up to 10 attachments per gun.

Each slot contains a variety of different attachments, each with its own subtle differences, so we expect to see lots of interesting loadouts for the STG44, MP40, MG42, and more.

The Perk meta may not be as interesting though, as unless another one or two are added, then we expect to see almost everyone running Ghost and Radar.

Vanguard also suffers from two problems that we can’t help but comment on – visibility and spawning. We are in love with the PS5’s ability to process breathtaking particle effects and give each map a rich, premium shine, boosted by HDR and exquisite ray tracing.

cod vanguard red star map

But its technical polish is scuppered by constant visibility issues, a common flaw of Black Ops Cold War. We found ourselves on the receiving end of deaths without ever knowing where they came from.

Maps like Hotel Royal have so much going on that it’s easy to become lost in the action, and Gavutu’s extravagant scenery also becomes perfect folly for campers. Maybe the addition of a faint silhouette or outline could help matters, but we feel that it needs to be improved somehow.

The audio seems to be fine, and with a headset, we experienced few problems, but the main issue with Call of Duty: Vanguard at present sticks out like a sore thumb – spawns. CoD games have never been renowned for having the best spawn placement, but Vanguard’s different pacing across each map is clearly affecting the game’s logic and decision-making.

We simply lost count of how many times we were killed from behind from nonsensical spawn placements and how often enemy players just appeared right in front of us, enabling us to score an easy kill.


In Conclusion

lounge area in cod vanguard

On the plus side, the game is a lot of fun to play. Guns feel distinct and tight, the hitmaker sound effect is ridiculously good, and the game modes on offer help to keep the Beta fresh.

But as the Beta progresses and we draw towards Call of Duty: Vanguard’s release, it’s vital that Sledgehammer looks at some of the game’s unwelcome distractions. We understand that visibility and spawns are hard to get perfect, but they definitely need improvement.

Overall, we feel quite optimistic about Call of Duty: Vanguard, and players who are unable to take part in the Beta can remain confident and excited ahead of its November 5, 2021 release date.

Verdict: 8.5 / 10

Image Credit: Activision / Sledgehammer Games

Activision

Activision apologize for using artist’s design in now canceled Vanguard & Warzone skin

Activision have scrapped an unreleased Warzone and Vanguard skin after using an artist’s work without permission.

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Vanguard and Warzone Season 4 Reloaded skins

Activision admitted to the major misstep of using an artist’s work without permission. The original art was to feature in an upcoming Vanguard and Warzone skin that has since been axed.

Major content drops like new seasons or midseason updates deliver weapons, maps, and changes to Call of Duty games, but they also tend to bring brand-new skins to enjoy. Vanguard and Warzone have seen some noteworthy skins that certainly got players talking.

After all, who could forget the Armored Titan, or Godzilla and King Kong skins? At the start of Season 4 Reloaded, players also received a new Terminator crossover. However, teasers for Season 4 Reloaded also hinted at a mysterious wolf-like skin.

After the wolf skin was teased in an official Call of Duty blog post, it was later inexplicably removed and replaced from the very same post. It turns out, Activision used content that did not belong to them in order to create the aforementioned skin.

When the wolf skin was first teased, it certainly generated a ton of buzz, or rather raised a ton of eyebrows. The anthropomorphic Operator definitely sticks out in a WWII-era Call of Duty game. Nonetheless, fans were excited at the prospect of running around as a wolf in Warzone.

Unfortunately, that idea won’t come to fruition as Activision have confirmed that they completely removed the skin from their planned content drop for Season 4 Reloaded.

It seems Activision overstepping bounds is the reason behind the skin’s cancelation.

An artist claimed that the wolf skin, also known as Samoyed skin, was stolen without their permission. In a strange turn of events, Activision has issued an apology, seemingly confirming the artist’s claims.

In a statement, Activision admitted that they “regrettably erred in our process and have removed this imagery from the game,” apologizing for the misstep.

While fans may be disappointed to lose their chance at slaying in a furry wolf skin, most would agree that if the artist’s claims are legitimate, the greater injustice was corrected as nobody should have their work stolen without credit.


For more, check out how CoD players are thrilled with the rumored change to Modern Warfare 2’s movement.

Image Credit: Activision

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Call of Duty: Vanguard

When is the next Vanguard & Warzone Pacific Double XP event?

We have the dates and times for the next CoD: Vanguard and Warzone Pacific Double XP event to help you rank up weapons and the Battle Pass.

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Warzone and Vanguard double xp

We’re past the Season 4 halfway point of Call of Duty action, and there’s still plenty of time to level up, prestige, and unlock weapons before Modern Warfare 2. Here are the full dates for the next Warzone and Vanguard Double XP weekends.

XP has been a vital component of Call of Duty’s multiplayer for many years. It’s the quintessential upgrade mechanic that allows you to increase your in-game level and provide you access to better gear and attachments.

Vanguard and Warzone Pacific carried on from where Cold War and Warzone left off by giving players limited-time windows of opportunity to increase the XP they can earn.

Rebirth of the Dead Warzone

Vanguard & Warzone Double XP dates

Call of Duty players can get Double XP by taking advantage of the Double XP promotional events that Activision put on.

Thanks to the Raven Software Trello board, we know when the next Warzone & Vanguard Double XP events are:

  • Double XP event – All platforms: Thursday, August 4 – Thursday, August 11
    • Double Weapon XP and Double Battle Pass XP

These special Double XP events are coming as part of Vanguard & Warzone’s Season 4 Reloaded. With major weapon buffs and nerfs, changes to the Fortune’s Keep map, and the new Vargo-S AR there is plenty of new content for players to sink their teeth into.

What time does CoD: Vanguard & Warzone Pacific Double XP start?

Season 4 Reloaded Caldera Operator

Here’s a full list of the usual Double XP event’s start time & dates in some of the key timezones:

  • PT – 10:00 AM
  • CT – 12:00 PM
  • ET – 1:00 PM
  • BST – 6:00 PM

These special Double XP events usually occur during a weekend, as it naturally gives players the most time as it’s away from school hours and generally when people are off work.

If you’re worried about slow progression for Vanguard and Warzone’s Battle Pass, the active Double XP event will no doubt give you a great boost to unlock all the Season 4 Reloaded rewards.


For more Call of Duty, find out everything you need to know about the next release in the legendary franchise, Modern Warfare 2.

Image Credit: Activision / Sledgehammer Games / Raven Software

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Call of Duty: Vanguard

Warzone & Vanguard players claim Terminator bundle was a huge “missed opportunity”

Call of Duty fans are disappointed with Warzone and Vanguard’s Terminator skin as they feel a huge opportunity for the bundle was missed.

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Terminator bundle Vanguard Warzone

Two Terminator bundles made their way to Warzone and Vanguard at the start of Season 4 Reloaded, but players feel as though a huge opportunity to bridge the two franchises was missed.

The Call of Duty franchise is no stranger to pop culture collaborations that bring unique bundles and skins to their games. These exciting new skins never fail to generate hype amongst players, but sometimes it’s for the wrong reasons.

We’ve seen players react poorly to the Attack on Titan Levi skin, while the Godzilla and King Kong skins were met with positive reviews. The Terminator skins were the latest to hit Vanguard and Warzone, but players are now claiming that the Call of Duty team missed a major opportunity to celebrate the Terminator franchise.

The Terminator T-800 Mastercraft Ultra Operator Bundle comes with several items including an Operator modeled after Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator character in the films.

It also comes with three weapon blueprints, but fans of the Terminator films believe that this is where the crossover fails to deliver. One Reddit user calls the bundle “the biggest missed opportunity” as they point out: “they could have given the FINN LMG a minigun mastercraft skin.”

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator famously operates a minigun and with the FiNN LMG in the game, players believed that a perfect opportunity to raise the authenticity of the collaboration was overlooked.

Ultimately, it seems like multiple players voiced their grievances with the bundles not pulling enough content from the movies. In addition to the minigun, Vanguard players were also disappointed to not see a version of the Winchester Model 1887 shotgun used in the films, especially when it’s used in his Highlight Intro.

As the OP puts it, there’s no excuse to overlook such a blatant addition as the “gun is even period correct.”

It remains to be seen if more unique collaborations are on the way in Vanguard and Warzone Season 5 after an Umbrella Academy crossover was leaked. It’s safe to assume that when popular franchises come together, expectations are high.


For more Call of Duty news, check out the latest on Warzone’s current meta, after major buffs to Modern Warfare weapons.

Image Credit: Activision

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