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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

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.

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

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.

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

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

First Perk in CoD: Vanguard Zombies revealed

A Call of Duty: Vanguard Zombies screenshot has confirmed one of the Perks that will be in the game and the design they’re going for.

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The official reveal of CoD: Vanguard’s Zombies mode has shown off many elements that players can expect, including a first look at one of the Perks – Stamin-Up.

The fun part of pre-game hype for CoD Zombies is wondering what new enemies we’ll see, the new Wonder Weapons, abilities, and of course – Perks.

Treyarch’s October 14 reveal of Der Anfang showed off a litany of terrifying new Zombies, a darker approach to the Zombies world, and even managed to sneak in a look at one of the Perks and its dispenser.

When you think of Call of Duty Zombies Perks, you think of Juggernog, Speed Cola, Quick Revive, and Double Tap Root Beer. They are the original four Perks that introduced the concept to Zombies.

Since then, there have been many Perks that have had reoccurring roles in subsequent games, and one of these is the legendary Stamin-Up Perk.

It’s gone on to become one of the most important and critical Perks for long runs as the ability to sprinter faster and for longer is vital to escaping perilous situations.

Here is a sneaky glimpse of it in one of the official screenshots.

The striking thing about the Perk is the absence of any discernible vending machines to purchase a can or bottle from.

It seems very much like a magical drink fountain that players will be able to gulp down a few mouthfuls of secret formula to get their sprint on.

As we get closer to Call of Duty: Vanguard’s release, more screenshots, and footage will be sure to uncover another Perk or two.


Also, make sure to check out all the hot information on Call of Duty’s RICHOCHET anti-cheat system.

Image Credit: Activision / Treyarch

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Call of Duty: Vanguard

CoD Zombies players furious over no round-based Vanguard map at launch

Zombies fans have voiced their displeasure about Vanguard’s lack of a round-based Zombies map at the game’s launch.

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Despite Der Anfang shaping up to be one of the most intense and unique Zombies experiences ever, fans are unhappy that Vanguard will feature no round-based map at launch.

The Call of Duty Zombies experience is continuing as Treyarch develops the Dark Aether story in Vanguard. However, the debut map – Der Anfang – isn’t a traditional round-based map, and potential players aren’t happy.

Every CoD game that has had Zombies has always launched with round-based Zombies content, and this will mark the first time that a Call of Duty game hasn’t done this.

Black Ops Cold War’s starting map – Die Maschine – was the perfect example of classic CoD, start in a confined space, slowly accumulate points from early rounds, buy doors, Perks, eventually Pack-A-Punch, and you’re off.

Call of Duty: Vanguard’s Zombies portion of the game was revealed on October 14 with a tasty reveal trailer. But once Treyarch began to filter information through about Der Anfang, players became concerned.

“Why do they think we don’t want round based maps?” was the question posed by Reddit user Dreww_115, in response to Der Anfang not being a classic-style map.

They said: “With the vanguard map seemingly being like outbreak 2.0 and not a round based map I am left wondering why the developers think we don’t want a classic round based map.”

The question was counter-pointed by an articulate response pointing out the potential developing schedule of Treyarch: “You have misunderstood everything mate. It’s not a matter of what we want but a matter of what they can deliver with the hell of a schedule they have.”

He continued: “Activision made Treyarch release Cold War one year earlier and also made them make this year’s zombies mode too. They literally didn’t have the time to release a round-based map for launch.

This comment generated nearly 300 upvotes and it’s clear that this response has had some impact on players concerned for the future of Zombies.

It’s highly unlikely that Treyarch will ignore purely round-based Zombies content, and given that Vanguard will probably have a full-year cycle, we’d expect to see several of them.

Image Credits: Activision / Treyarch

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Call of Duty: Vanguard

CoD: Vanguard Zombies will feature fan-favorite World at War Zombies map

Call of Duty: Vanguard Zombies’ latest reveal trailer may have hinted at a fan-favorite World at War map returning to the mode.

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The latest news on Call of Duty: Vanguard Zombies revealed some exciting developments for a fan-favorite World at War map potentially returning.

Call of Duty: Vanguard isn’t too far away now, and players are beginning to get more information about its release, such as the new anti-cheat system and map when it is integrated into Warzone.

As we edge closer, it seems the developers have decided the time was right to release a new trailer for Vanguard’s Zombies mode in the spirit of Halloween.

The trailer didn’t just reveal information and details about the story direction, it also hinted at a fan-favorite map returning.

Vanguard Zombies will launch with a new mode called “Der Anfang,” which is said to combine the classic round-based format with features seen in Black Ops Cold War‘s Zombies and some new innovative mechanics that haven’t been seen before in Zombies.

As we know, the mode will be created by Treyarch, but in the Vanguard/Modern Warfare engine, and it will carry on the Dark Aether storyline introduced in Cold War.

During the trailer, it’s clear that players will be going through rifts and traveling across various maps to complete challenges.

One of the maps the players in the trailer travel to is a classic from World at War, Shi No Numa.

In Der Anfang, not only will players be battling hoards of Zombies in areas exclusive to Vanguard, but also the swamps of Shi No Numa, and who knows, maybe even more classic Zombies maps.

Shi No Numa is a great Zombies map to bring back into the Zombies mode for Call of Duty, allowing those new players to experience a classic map and giving those dedicated fans a nostalgia trip.

This particular map was one of the first that helped put Call of Duty Zombies on the map and become the global success it has been over the years, with Vanguard taking the franchise back to World War II and Treyarch leading the development of the game’s Zombies mode. Shi No Numa is a perfect choice for incorporating classic areas into the franchise’s latest game.

For more on Call of Duty: Vanguard, make sure you check out our piece on Warzone players being mad about the STG44’s visual recoil in Warzone Season 6.

Image Credits: Activision / Sledgehammer Games

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