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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

Call of Duty: Vanguard

Vanguard’s Double Barrel meta is over and players couldn’t be happier

Vanguard players are delighted following a recent nerf to the Double Barrel Shotgun that has limited “toxic players”.

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Vanguard Double Barrel nerf

After weeks of torment, the Akimbo Double Barrel meta is finally over in Vanguard following a recent nerf and players are overjoyed with the change.

After Vanguard players requested a change to the overpowered Akimbo Double Barrel Shotgun for almost a month, their prayers were finally answered on January 20 as the weapons received a significant nerf.

Due to absurd range and damage output, players gravitated to the Shotguns resulting in a vicious circle of frustrated players. It hasn’t taken long for the community to notice drastic differences with Vanguard’s Multiplayer.

Double barrel shotgun in cod vanguard

Depending on your stance in the debate, the Akimbo Double Barrel Shotgun either helped improve your K/D ratio or completely ruined it. Even players who didn’t necessarily want to use this broken weapon were forced to do so in order to keep up with enemy players.

However, now that the Double Barrel is no longer as dominant, it seems some players are having a hard time adjusting to the nerf.

After weeks of prospering and abusing the Double Barrel shotgun, Reddit user Kalashcocknov expresses the joy that comes from watching “toxic” players revert to their old selves.

The post expresses how the noob-friendly Akimbo Shotgun catered to less experienced players and that these players are struggling to adapt to traditional CoD weapons.

The nerf to the Akimbo Double Barrel Shotgun has made it so the weapon is bound to be a less frequent option.

However, players are worried that those who loved the overpowered weapon will move to the Combat Shotgun, which has reemerged as the most dominant close-range weapon in the game.

Only time will tell if Shotguns will once again infuriate Vanguard players but for now, you can rest easy knowing the most broken weapon in the game has been dealt with.


For more Vanguard news check out a ranked list of the best Assault Rifles and SMGs in Vanguard.

Image Credit: Activision / Sledgehammer Games

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Call of Duty: Vanguard

Vanguard players furious with “broken” Attack on Titan bundle

The highly-anticipated Attack on Titan bundle is leaving Vanguard players feeling frustrated with the unfinished product they purchased.

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Attack on Titan Vanguard bundle

Just one day after the release of the highly-anticipated crossover and Vanguard players are already frustrated with the “broken” Attack on Titan bundle.

There’s a ton of overlap between fans of both franchises therefore a crossover between brands checked a lot of conceptual boxes. However, early feedback from Vanguard players has been incredibly disappointing as they’ve highlighted major flaws with the cosmetics.

The Attack on Titan bundle already received its fair share of negative feedback prior to release due to the poor design of the Survey Corps Operator skin but some new flaws are leading players to claim the bundle as “broken”.

Attack on Titan bundle CoD

It didn’t take long for things to go sour with the Vanguard Attack on Titan bundle and given the fact that the bundle costs around $20 it’s easy to understand why players feel shortchanged. Paying customers expect a finished product and the bundle is clearly failing to deliver on this promise.

The bundle consists of one Operator skin, three weapon blueprints, three in-game animations, one emblem, one sticker, and one charm. Players have already called out the skin for its poor design and now it seems like two of the weapon blueprints and some animations are not working as advertised.

As you can see in the clip posted to the Vanguard subreddit, the weapon blueprints that advertise Orange Tracers actually boast lackluster “cartoonish muzzle flash.” Without the Tracers working as intended the weapon blueprints look and feel like half-finished products.

A separate post detailing issues with the bundle’s animations is additional proof that the bundle is broken “Dunno if it’s just me but the MVP highlight is broken, just shows every character beating someone with an invisible gun.”

Once again, the most significant selling point fails to work as intended. Without the iconic AoT blades, the MVP highlight animation is meaningless.

Ideally, the bundle would work as intended from the getgo instead of presenting an unfinished product to paying customers.

As this bundle isn’t cheap, costing players $20, hopefully Sledgehammer Games will look into these issues and ensure that they work as intended moving forward.


For more Vanguard news check out our guide to the best Assault Rifles in Vanguard as well as a ranked list of the best SMGs in Vanguard.

Image Credit: Raven Software / Sledgehammer Games / Activision / MAPPA / Wit Studio / Funimation

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Call of Duty: Vanguard

Vanguard graphics glitch makes CoD Zombies “unplayable”

A new Vanguard graphics glitch appeared after the January 20 update, and it’s making CoD: Zombies “unplayable.”

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Vanguard Zombies

CoD: Vanguard’s January 20 update brought a new graphics glitch to the game, and players are frustrated as it has made the game’s Zombies mode “unplayable.”

Sledgehammer Games released a major Vanguard update on January 20 to address the game’s problems. This patch finally nerfed the Double Barrel Shotgun and fixed some frustrating glitches.

However, this update also brought some frustrating new issues for players to deal with. A new visual glitch has been ruining the graphics in Vanguard’s Zombies mode and making the game unplayable.

Vanguard Operator holding flamethrower in Zombies mode

Reddit user ‘SecretlyHiddenSelf’ showcased this glitch in the CoD: Vanguard subreddit. The image they posted showed missing textures in the game’s Zombies mode, with large polygons taking up most of the screen.

This isn’t the first time that Vanguard players have had to deal with frustrating graphics issues. The Redditor called these new graphical glitches “insane,” claiming that they’re making Zombies “unplayable.”

The commenters were equally frustrated with these texture issues and some of them came to the conclusion that this glitch is a result of the NVIDIA Drivers update on PC. So, they began looking for ways to fix it.

How to fix Vanguard Zombies graphics glitch

A few of the commenters in this thread stated that reverting the NVIDIA Drivers update on your PC will fix this graphics glitch. “If you’re on PC roll your NVIDIA Driver back to 497.29,” suggested one user.

You can get this done by going on NVIDIA’s website and manually choosing a specific driver version to download and install. If you already have the latest driver installed then you can simply uninstall it.

Ultimately, this is a game-breaking glitch that the developers will need to address soon. At the time of writing, it’s unclear whether or not they’re aware of the issue, but we’ll be sure to update you if they announce a fix.


For more Vanguard content, check out this Ranked mode that’s been confirmed for Vanguard Season 2 as well as the best SMGs to use in Vanguard’s multiplayer.

Image Credits: Activision / Sledgehammer Games

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