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Call of Duty: Vanguard

Call of Duty Vanguard Campaign Review: An unspectacular but solid ride

Call of Duty: Vanguard gives players another campaign to fight through, but is it really worth your time to do so?

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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.

By this point, everyone knows what they’re going to get with a CoD campaign: a reasonably short tale that gets you warmed up for Multiplayer and Zombies.

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.

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


For more Call of Duty: Vanguard content, why not check out our review of Vanguard’s Zombies and Vanguard’s Multiplayer.

Image Credit: Activision / Sledgehammer Games

Call of Duty: Vanguard

All Vanguard & Warzone weapons arriving in Season 5

Here are all of the weapons coming to both Call of Duty: Vanguard & Warzone Pacific in the Season 5 update.

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Vanguard and Warzone Season 5 Last Stand will bring five new weapons to both games as players get set to experience the end of a Call of Duty era.

Anticipation for Vanguard and Warzone Season 5 is on the rise after Activision confirmed that it would be the final season for both games. A new season’s roadmap always reveals the exciting new content that will be available to players once the update goes live and Season 5 is no different.

Thanks to the Season 5 roadmap we know that Last Stand will see the return of classic Call of Duty villains as well as new weapons to unlock. Here’s a look at the new weapons that will be making their way to Warzone and Vanguard Season 5.

Every new weapon in Warzone and Vanguard Season 5

Vanguard and Warzone Season 5 will see the devs stick to a similar formula while also trying out some unique concepts. Players won’t be surprised to discover that a brand-new post-launch SMG will enter the fold during Season 5.

Despite this expected discovery, the devs have decided to break the mold by delivering the EX1 Energy Rifle. There currently isn’t a weapon in either game quite like it, so it will be interesting to see how it fits in.

The EX1 and RA 255 will be available at the start of Season 5 on August 24, while the Valois Revolver is expected shortly after. Meanwhile, the BP50 and Lienna 57 will arrive with the midseason update.

EX1 Energy Rifle

This new Season 5 weapon is unique in that it leaves ballistics behind in favor of a battery system that powers its energy beams. The EX1 is a prototype weapon that shoots red beams and it is said to be effective at long-range.

While you’ll never run out of ammo, the weapon does exhibit a cooling-off period after a charge is depleted. This cool-down essentially acts as the EX1’s reload mechanism.

It’s going to be interesting to see the weapon’s attachments and how they improve the EX1’s attributes. According to the devs, “its Gunsmith potential is impressive, with options for every scenario.”

RA 225 SMG

If the RA 225 is anything like the Vanguard SMGs that came before it, then it is destined to rise to the top of Warzone’s close-range meta. The Welgun, Armaguerra 43, H4 Blixen, and Marco 5, all had their time in the Warzone spotlight.

While little is known about the weapon, the devs have emphasized its lightweight design, mobility, and fast fire rate. Usually, when an SMG is lightning quick, it doesn’t pack the hardest punch, but we’ll have to wait and see if this is the case for the RA 225.

It does have some upward kick that players are going to have to get used to, but with the right attachments, this shouldn’t be an issue.

Valois Revolver

The Valois Revolver is yet another unique addition in Season 5 thanks to its ability to act as a melee weapon and a pistol. This hybrid weapon is sure to take many enemies by surprise.

The six bullets it could hold and low damage output should prevent it from dominating either game but the ability to eliminate players with a one-shot melee attack will be a clever tactic to exploit.

BP50 & Lienna 57 Assault Rifles

While Season 5 is the final major content release for Warzone and Vanguard, players can still expect a midseason update to arrive. Warzone and Vanguard Season 5 Reloaded are set to deliver two new weapons to the games.

The weapons arriving with the midseason update are the BP50 and Lienna 57. Interestingly enough, it seems the BP50 is modeled after Modern Warfare 2’s F2000. Both weapons are Assault Rifles, which means Warzone’s long-range meta could be in for some drastic changes.

There you have it, those are the five new weapons coming to Vanguard and Warzone Season 5 Last Stand.


For more, check out how Warzone players were shocked to discover a game-changing Redeploy Balloon trick or our guide to turning off crossplay in Vanguard and Warzone.

Image Credit: Activision

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Call of Duty: Vanguard

Warzone & Vanguard Season 5 bring classic MW2 and Advanced Warfare weapons

Warzone and Vanguard Season 5 bring classic weapons from both Advanced Warfare and the original Modern Warfare 2.

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Warzone Pacific Season 5 is almost here, bringing back fan-favorite Call of Duty villains and teasing a fiery end for Caldera. That’s not all though, as both a Modern Warfare 2 and Advanced Warfare weapon arrive in both Vanguard and Warzone.

Warzone Pacific Season 5 will be a send-off to this generation of Call of Duty, with it being the final Vanguard season ahead of Modern Warfare 2 and Warzone 2’s launch. With the storyline wrapping up, the developers are going all-out and throwing classic characters and weapons into the mix.

Al-Asad, Menendez, Rorke, and Seraph feature in the Season 5, which will also see Caldera’s volcano erupting. Eagle-eyed players also spotted some classic Call of Duty weapons that will be appearing in both Warzone and Vanguard Season 5, and they’ve now been confirmed.

EX1 – Advanced Warfare’s EM1

Players spotted that Menendez was carrying Advanced Warfare’s EM1, and has been confirmed to hit Vanguard and Warzone as the EX1.

This was a powerful weapon in Advanced Warfare, being unique in that it fired a continuous beam of energy and overheated instead of needing to be reloaded.

It will act the same in Warzone and Vanguard, where players can “Equip the Heat Muzzle for extra charge capacity, insert a new Battery, and transform the EX1’s capabilities with the Burst Barrel or Charge Sniper Barrel.”

The EX1 will be available at Season 5’s August 24 launch as part of the new Battle Pass.

BP50 – Modern Warfare 2’s F2000

Seraph can be seen with a weapon that looks exactly like the F2000 from the original Modern Warfare 2, and the weapon will be called the BP50 in Vanguard and Warzone. It has the same general shape and has the distinctive curved piece behind the rear sight.

The F2000 wasn’t the most popular weapon in Modern Warfare 2 thanks to its high recoil, but its damage made it somewhat of a skill cannon. Vanguard’s 10 attachments might bring the weapon under control and make it a powerful choice in Warzone.

The BP50 will arrive later in Vanguard and Warzone Season 5, likely in the mid-season Reloaded update.


On top of these classic weapons, the devs are also introducing the RA 225 SMG in the Battle Pass, the Valois Revolver soon after the season’s launch, and the Lienna 57 Assault Rifle later in Season 5.

You can also check out how to play in Modern Warfare 2’s Open Beta, which goes live during Season 5.

Image Credit: Activision

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Call of Duty: Vanguard

Vanguard Season 5: Release date, new maps, round-based Zombies, ranked season, more

Here’s everything you need to know about the Vanguard Season 5 update with its official release date and content.

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Activision have officially revealed details for Season 5 of Vanguard, unveiling all the content that players can expect for the final season of the game.

The fifth and final season of Call of Duty: Vanguard has officially been revealed ahead of Modern Warfare 2‘s release. Season 5 of Vanguard marks the “Last Stand,” bringing brand-new content for players to enjoy as the last hoorah for the game.

From new maps and weapons to another round-based Zombies map, Vanguard players have a lot to look forward to when it comes to Vanguard Season 5.

Here’s everything you need to know about the update, including all of the new content coming.

Vanguard Season 5 release date

According to the Call of Duty blog, Vanguard Season 5 is officially set to launch on August 24 at around 9 AM PT / 12 PM ET / 5 PM BST, with the update going live on August 23.

This will be the final season for Vanguard, so there will be a heap of content for players to enjoy, whether you like to play Multiplayer or Zombies.

Vanguard Season 5 new maps

Beheaded (Launch)

Beheaded will be available at launch, and is set on a “war-torn Times Square.”

On this small map, players will “battle under the neon lights outside famed Big Apple establishments, or take up position in Lady Liberty’s fallen head, race through her arms, and dash through the subway to flank your enemies.”

Fortress (In-Season)

Arriving in-season, Fortress will see players take to the Mediterranean on a medium-sized map “featuring close-quarters interiors with rooftop access that grant you power positions. Fight in a maritime graveyard, where ship remains litter the desert landscape. The eponymous fortress incorporates an old ship into its own design, creating a varied landscape to be exploited by savvy Operators.”

Vanguard Season 5 Operators

Raul Menendez (Launch)

Taken from the Black Ops series, Raul Menendez was born in Nicaragua and left in charge of the Menendez Cartel after his father was killed by the CIA. After his sister’s death, he became a “hostile political activist.”

“His charisma and ruthlessness propelled him to leadership of the social movement turned terrorist organization, Cordis Die…Now, you can harness his wrath against your enemies as part of Task Force Tyrants.”

Khaled Al-Asad (Launch)

Khaled Al-Asad is from the Modern Warfare series, and he “grew up in Urzikstan amid political strife.”

After taking control of the Al-Qatala terrorist group, he “transformed the militants into an army as he acquired an arsenal for the invasion of Verdansk. Committed to the demise of Western power, Al-Asad launched gas attacks in Verdansk, breaking a fragile armistice between nations.”

Gabriel T. Rorke (In-Season)

Gabriel Rorke is from Call of Duty: Ghosts, and he “led the Ghosts before being turned against them, paving the way for the Federation’s occupation of the United States.”

Rorke was brainwashed after being left behind and found by the Federation during an assassination mission.

He “Seraph” Zhen-Zhen (In-Season)

Lastly, we have Seraph, who grew up in the “Singapore Quarantine Zone as the daughter of a high-ranking officer in the 54 Immortals.” Seraph embodies force, ambition, dedication, and skill.

Vanguard Season 5 new weapons

With Vanguard Season 5, players will be getting five weapons, with two arriving with the Battle Pass at launch.

  • EX1 Energy Rifle (Launch)
  • RA 225 SMG (Launch)
  • Valois Revolver (Launch Window)
  • BP50 Assault Rifle (Midseason)
  • Lienna 57 Assault Rifle (Midseason)

Vanguard Season 5 Ranked Play

In the final season of Vanguard, players will once again be able to participate in a new season of Ranked Play to compete for exclusive rewards such as new Camos, Charms, Emblems, and Weapon Blueprints.

Players will compete in 4v4 matches that use the same “settings, maps, and modes as the 2022 Call of Duty League.”

Further, “Treyarch will launch the new season’s Top 250 Skill Division and Leaderboard on August 31 to show the world who’s the best of the best.”

Vanguard Season 5 Zombies

The Archon

Zombies fans are in for a treat as Vanguard Season 5 will bring a new round-based map called The Archon.

This new map is described as the “epic conclusion of Vanguard Zombies,” and will take place in Egypt. Players will be taking on new quests in the finale of Vanguard Zombies, facing off against Kortifex the Deathless inside the Dark Aether.

As the CoD blog states, “you’ll need every advantage you can get, so be sure to hit up the Perk Fountains, Altar of Covenants, Tome of Rituals, and the Pack-a-Punch machine and prepare for a larger-than-life final battle.”


Those are all the details we know about Vanguard Season 5. If you’re interested in the battle royale aspect of Call of Duty, be sure to check out all the details on Warzone Pacific Season 5.

Source: Call of Duty

Image Credit: Activision

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