Campaigns are a big part of the overall Call of Duty package, and for many players, they are still must-play journeys. Vanguard’s does absolutely nothing to reinvent the wheel but relies on a safe formula to give players a good story that is over before it really gets going.
Sledgehammer Games have made sure not to repeat the mistakes made by Black Ops IIII, and have included a campaign. And it works out, for the most part.
Vanguard’s story goes in a slightly unfamiliar direction for World War II, and we’ll explain it all in our Call of Duty: Vanguard Review.
Tried and tested tropes
Ever since Call of Duty 4’s masterful solo ride changed campaigns, every CoD game since has shared many of the same characteristics: a stealth mission, a vehicle mission, a ‘survive’ mission, and an epic finale that sees you fighting through waves upon waves of enemies.
Call of Duty: Vanguard ticks off every one of these, and that’s not a bad thing. Anyone who’s played a CoD campaign in recent years knows to expect a four to six-hour experience of thrills and spills.
Again, there is nothing in this campaign that makes Vanguard stand out and be memorable, but you’ll enjoy the ride whilst you’re on it.
Welcome to Team Vanguard
The first two missions set up the rest of the campaign nicely as Hermann Freisinger is revealed as our fictional antagonist, with Jannick Richter backing him up as his secondary villain.
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We then go on an exploratory adventure through each of the four main character’s backstories as we find out who they are, their motives, and tell the player why they were chosen to be part of ‘Vanguard,’ a special task force team.
Lucas Riggs, a loud-mouth Aussie, Wade Jackson, a stereotypically confident, boisterous American, Polina Petrova, a silent but deadly Russian Sniper, and Arthur Kingsley, a well-spoken Englishman with strong leadership skills, represent this internationally diverse squad.
The game’s plot centers around “Operation Phoenix,” a mysterious plan that would ultimately lead to Germany taking over the world if they were successful. We never really find out too much about it as there’s little exposition to push the narrative on, and it never feels like a main point of the story, leaving the ending feeling a bit empty.
On the plus side, the game’s missions are fun, albeit quite cookie-cutter and by the numbers, but you begin to realize that Vanguard’s story might have been better just concentrating on one or two of the protagonists – or just Polina Petrova.
Anyone for a Polina party?
Her tale is comfortably the most compelling and the two main missions you get with her far exceed anything else you get in this campaign in terms of plot, emotional investment, and gameplay variety. A few hours with ‘Lady Nightgale’ might have negated the Vanguard name, but it would’ve resonated a lot deeper and lived long in the memory.
The opening moments of her first mission are about as powerful as any in the campaign, and her style of gameplay is so different that we can’t recall ever seeing anything like it before. Scurrying around rooms between holes in the wall and conveniently placed furniture is as close to a Ninja as you could wish to be.
But again, by only having two missions, and giving pretty much the same time to each character, it means that as soon as you’re caught up with everyone and you’re just starting to forge a bond with this Vanguard, it’s over after just nine missions.
There’s always the hope that a Call of Duty campaign will one day go all-in and make a 20-25 mission campaign with tons of character development and exposition.
Gorgeous and grandiose gameplay
Call of Duty’s shooting mechanics have always made its games a delight, and Vanguard feels great to play – helped by a large number of weapons and attachments made available throughout the campaign.
As we’ve already mentioned, in the space of nine missions Sledgehammer Games does its best to keep the game moving with a series of easily digestible chapters, all tailored towards each character’s special ability and personality.
Kingsley really encourages teamwork as you overcome huge odds in massive shootouts, Riggs is more an explosive solo project that complements his explosive specialties, Polina employs sniping and stealth over everything else, and Wade… is just kind of there with his focus ability.
Whereas Black Ops Cold War introduced puzzles and had some very open missions for you to explore and do what you want, Vanguard regresses slightly, doesn’t really do anything to innovate, and keeps it linear.
Again though, this isn’t a bad thing, and we get plenty of nice moments in the campaign such as Arthur leading his team over the top after surviving on his own, Polina’s epic sniping duels and literally cleaning house, and Lucas blowing up factories and planes.
But Wade’s horrific flying mission and boring jungle survival are a big sour point for the campaign.
Thankfully, all of this is boosted by Vanguard’s jaw-dropping visuals which feel like the first, truly ‘next-gen’ CoD title and are a promising sign of things to come. Ray Tracing and proper visuals bring fire, ash, and weather effects to life, making for more realistic and alive environments.
Call of Duty: Vanguard’s campaign is one that can easily be filed away under “fun, but won’t play again in a hurry.” It lacks some of the ingenuity and creativity that made last year’s Cold War campaign appealing and has missed a big opportunity with Polina Petrova.
Nevertheless, for what it is, a starter before the game’s other main courses, it’s definitely worth going through at least once. A few more missions could’ve really opened things up a bit more and made people care about Operation Phoenix and its potential consequences on the world, but we’re not complaining too much.
This is a great romp through an alternate-history Germany that has just-enough substance and character exploration to leave you feeling good after it’s over.
Final Verdict: 7/10
Image Credit: Activision / Sledgehammer Games
When is Vanguard Season 5? Season 4 end date & expected content
Here’s everything you need to know about the Vanguard Season 5 update with its expected release date and content.
Call of Duty fans are busy enjoying everything Vanguard Season 4 has to offer, but it’s never too early to look forward to the Season 5 update. Here’s when you can expect Season 4 to end as well as Season 5’s expected content.
Vanguard players are still getting to grips with the Season 4 update that brought USS Texas to multiplayer and the round-based Shi No Numa to Zombies. Initial reactions haven’t been positive, which is why players are eager to discover what awaits in Vanguard Season 5.
Vanguard Season 4 Reloaded, the mid-season update, is set expected to arrive in late July followed by Season 5. Here’s everything we know about Vanguard Season 5, including its release date and expected content.
Expected Vanguard Season 5 release date
Vanguard Season 4 is set to come to a close on Wednesday, August 24, and Season 5 should arrive immediately after.
Keep in mind that the date has not been officially confirmed by Sledgehammer Games. However, if we assume there won’t be delays, the new season should begin on August 24. We’ll update this article when an official release date has been revealed.
Vanguard Season 5 expected content
As of yet, none of Vanguard’s Season 5 content has been revealed, but we can use previous seasons to give players an idea of what to expect from the update.
Like previous seasons, Vanguard Season 4 brought new weapons like the Marco 5 and UGM-8 to the game. Season 4 also introduced players to a new multiplayer map, Zombies map, and Blueprint Gun Game mode.
Using Vanguard’s previous seasons as a starting point, here’s everything we expect to see in Vanguard Season 5:
- Season 5 Battle Pass
- New Operators
- New weapons
- New Ranked Play rewards
- New game modes
- New multiplayer map
- Weapon buffs and nerfs
- New Zombies content
After the Season 4 update, Treyarch confirmed that more round-based Zombies maps would be coming to Vanguard and we might see another new map in Season 5.
Back in April, a CoD leaker reported that in-game files suggest there won’t be a Season 6 for Vanguard and Warzone Pacific. As of yet, there’s no official word if Season 5 will be the final season of Vanguard content.
Those are the details we know about Vanguard Season 5 so far! We’ll be updating this section regularly so be sure to check in as information about the next season gets revealed.
If you’re interested in the battle royale aspect of Call of Duty, be sure to check out everything we know about Warzone Pacific Season 5.
Image Credit: Activision
Modern Warfare 2 fans beg devs not to add the “most annoying thing ever” from Vanguard
CoD fans have revealed which Vanguard feature they don’t want Infinity Ward to include in Modern Warfare 2’s release.
Modern Warfare 2 will feature a plethora of content when it arrives, and Call of Duty players are hoping that one “annoying” Vanguard feature won’t be included in the game.
As the game’s release date draws near, Call of Duty players have revealed what Vanguard content they don’t want to see appear, including one particular feature that has been heavily criticized.
MVP voting in Vanguard has been criticized because it stops the game and makes players watch animations. The Redditor claimed that whenever this pops up, they instantly shut the game off.
Mysterious-Aerie6654 stated: “I can’t believe anyone would think players would enjoy this. I can only play 1 game on Vanguard before I close it down for a few weeks. Seriously though, if MWII has MVP voting then I won’t buy it. That is how strongly I feel.”
Many of the commenters in the thread agreed with this, stating that Vanguard’s MVP voting isn’t fun to sit through and that the Modern Warfare 2 developers should not add this feature to the upcoming title.
According to one poll, 75% of Vanguard players want the removal of the MVP screen, and one user in the thread even described the system as the “most annoying thing ever” for making the in-game menu inaccessible when it pops up.
A few users felt that the MVP voting system can be integrated into the game in a less frustrating way if the Modern Warfare 2 developers are willing to make a few changes to how it works.
One suggestion was that rather than having everyone vote for the best player, the game should automatically put that up on the screen based on the most kills, most captured, most points, and highest K/D.
At the time of writing, Infinity Ward have not confirmed this feature for Modern Warfare 2, so it remains to be seen whether or not it will be in the Call of Duty title when it finally arrives. We’ll be sure to let you know if they announce MVP voting for the game.
For more Call of Duty content, take a look at these major Sniper changes that CoD fans want to see in MW2 and how Modern Warfare 2 can kill off Battlefield for good.
Image credits: Activision
Best Vanguard Zombies weapons to use in Season 4’s Shi No Numa
You’ll need the best weapons to survive Vanguard Zombies’ Shi No Numa, so here are the top five weapons you need in Season 4.
Vanguard Zombies has been given a welcome breath of life with Season 4’s round-based Shi No Numa remake. You’ll need the best weapons to survive, so here are the top five weapons in Vanguard Zombies.
After a poorly-received launch, Vanguard Zombies finally added a classic round-based experience with the Season 4 update. Shi No Numa has returned, bringing the Wunderwaffe Wonder Weapon and a new Main Quest Easter Egg.
Whether you’re looking to last as long as possible in Der Anfang or Terra Maledicta, or want to achieve the highest round you can in Shi No Numa, you’ll need the best weapons. While almost any weapon can be viable, we’re counting down the top five you should equip in Vanguard Zombies Season 4.
Top 5 best Vanguard Zombies weapons
With the right Covenants, the Panzerfaust Launcher will be able to decimate any zombie that comes at you in Vanguard Zombies thanks to its huge splash damage.
You’ll find the Panzerfaust pretty ineffective for the first few rounds, but keep visiting the Altar of Covenants until you equip the Legendary Death Blow, Explosives Expert, and Critical Expertise.
Combined, you’ll get more rockets back for any critical hits, you’ll get critical hits for body shots, and you’ll be completely immune to your Panzerfaust’s splash damage. With this, you can just run around and blow up any zombie in sight.
4. Whitley LMG
While it doesn’t have the same raw damage output as some of the other weapons on this list, its low recoil and high fire rate allow it to shred through Zombies extremely fast. It becomes especially powerful when Pack-a-Punched, so make sure you upgrade it as soon as possible.
3. Gorenko Anti-Tank Rifle
The Gorenko Anti-Tank Rifle will reward accurate Vanguard Zombies players with its headshots dealing incredibly high damage.
Equipped with the Death Blow Covenant, you’ll keep getting ammo back for every headshot you land, making up for its low magazine size. You may struggle when surrounded by hordes of the undead, but there are few weapons that’ll chew through a Sturmkreiger’s armor faster.
2. Combat Shotgun
The Combat Shotgun is the perfect weapon when starting out in Vanguard Season 4’s Shi No Numa thanks to its high damage and quick reload.
The Combat Shotgun deals devastating damage per shot, and thanks to its magazine, you’ll be able to reload almost instantly. With how luck-based finding the right Covenants can be,
It only gets better as the rounds go on and you start unlocking Covenants. Like all of the weapons on this list, the Death Blow Covenant is vital thanks to it keeping your ammo topped up at all times.
1. Einhorn Revolving
The Einhorn Revolving Shotgun is by far the best weapon you can use in Vanguard Zombies thanks to its devastating damage and high fire rate.
The Einhorn’s only drawback is its incredibly long reload, but that can be easily countered by picking up the Death Blow Covenant. With almost unlimited ammo and a semi-automatic fire rate, you’re completely set up for success and will make short work of any enemy that gets in your way.
For more Zombies, be sure to check out how to summon one in Warzone’s new Fortune’s Keep map, as well as everything we know about the Rebirth of the Dead mode.
Image Credit: Activision
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