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
Vanguard players want simple QoL change to improve HUD
Vanguard players are asking for a quality of life change to help better understand what weapon they are picking up and using.
Vanguard players are calling for the devs to make one simple change to the way the HUD works in order to make it easier to know which weapon they are holding.
Since the mid-season update, players have been asking the devs for a lot of changes and fixes for Vanguard. As well as fixes for bugs, such as the scam MP40 blueprint and demon gun glitch, players have also been asking for smaller, quality of life changes.
In general, these changes are small and don’t really impact gameplay. However, they do make the experience much smoother for players. The latest QoL change players want is to do with Vanguard’s HUD.
Reddit user masterchiefs put a post up on the Vanguard subreddit mentioning the QoL change they want to see in Vanguard, which players in the community clearly agree with as the post has over 300 upvotes at the time of writing this article.
The post is titled: “Show the gun’s name on the HUD, not blueprint name!” Clearly, this player would prefer to see the gun’s name on the bottom right of the HUD rather than its blueprint name, which can no doubt be confusing if you aren’t familiar with all the weapons and their blueprints.
Sometimes you may find yourself picking up a weapon that you have no idea about, as the blueprint has made the weapon look different. With no clear indication for what the weapon is, some players would prefer to see the gun’s original name.
As stated in the post, the player feels as if Vanguard should follow the format Black Ops Cold War set out, the one “that shows the name of the gun all the time, not a white sketch, not the blueprint’s name that disappears after 1 second, just the name of the gun, that’s it.”
Some of the comments under the post also agree, as well as bringing up another issue about the alphabetical code-names for the game’s weapons: “This s*** is annoying, along with naming guns after the phonetic alphabet. Just use the guns name? I’m almost 100% certain they did this to confuse or trick people into spending money somehow.”
Hopefully, the devs can come to realize how many players wish for this small QoL change and bring it to the game. For now, check out the dev’s response to player frustrations.
Image Credits: Activision / Raven Software
CoD Points price: How to buy, spend & do they carry over
CoD Points are the official currency of Call of Duty. Check out CoD Point prices, where to buy them, and whether they transfer between games.
Activision’s in-game currency lets players purchase cosmetics for their characters, and we’ve got everything you need to know about CoD Points prices, how to buy them, and all the items you can spend them on.
Call of Duty offers a huge palette of extra goodies you can add to your game, requiring players to spend their own currency named CoD Points to acquire them.
CoD Points can be purchased in-game using the menu systems in games like Vanguard or Warzone or through console marketplaces like the PS Store or Xbox Marketplace.
The gaming landscape has changed over the years with the incorporation of microtransactions and live-gaming services. Many games offer extra content – with cosmetics being a big proponent of this. With Vanguard and Warzone offering special Attack on Titan and Christmas skins as well as unique weapon Blueprints for popular weapons, it becomes easy to see why players would want to spend CoD Points.
- CoD Points Prices
- How to buy CoD Points
- Where to spend CoD Points
- Do CoD Points carry across games?
- What can I buy with CoD Points
CoD Points prices
There are different amounts and bundles you can opt for when buying CoD Points that are tailored to different needs.
Some players just need to top up their account with a few hundred points to get the latest bundle. Whereas others need a big restock with the intention of spending many points. The more points you want, the bigger the discounts grow.
Here are the different prices for the various CoD Points bundles:
- 200 CoD Points: $1.99 / £1.79
- 500 CoD Points: $4.99 / £4.31
- 1,000 (+100 Bonus) CoD Points: $9.99 / £8.49
- 2,000 (+400 Bonus) CoD Points: $19.99 / £16.79
- 4,000 (+1,000 Bonus) CoD Points: $39.99 / £34.99
- 7,000 (+2,500 Bonus) CoD Points: $74.99 / £69.99
- 10,000 (+3,000 Bonus) CoD Points: $99.99 / £84.99
- 15,000 (+6,000 Bonus) CoD Points: $149.99 / £123.99
How to buy COD Points
You can be very flexible with how you buy COD Points as there are a few different ways to do so. To make sure you’re buying them for the right platform, just double-check with our guide on transferring COD Points across platforms.
There are four ways you can buy COD Points:
- PC players can purchase CoD Points on the Battle.net website
- PS4 & PS5 players can purchase CoD Points in the PS Store on their console, or on the PlayStation website
- Xbox Series X, Series S, or One players can buy CoD Points on the Xbox Marketplace on their console, or the official Microsoft Store website
- Select physical retailers stock vouchers and gift cards with a code that players can redeem for CoD Points.
Where to spend CoD Points
Spending your CoD Points is incredibly easy, with players able to purchase cosmetic bundles and Blueprints in the in-game store.
The stores are available in Vanguard, Warzone, Black Ops Cold War, and Modern Warfare, so you can kit out your character regardless of your preferred title.
Do CoD Points carry over across games?
The good news is that your CoD Points will transfer across your Call of Duty games, as they are linked to your Activision account.
Players who still have CoD Points in their account from Black Ops Cold War don’t need to worry, as they will automatically be in your account when turning to Vanguard.
What can I buy with COD Points?
Call of Duty’s currency is used to primarily buy two things: the Battle Pass for the current season and Bundles containing a variety of items.
A Battle Pass is a paid Tier system that allows regular players to earn dozens of extra rewards and cosmetics for essentially playing the game.
Vanguard and Warzone Pacific are currently in Season 1 at the moment. Both titles are currently running in tandem with each other and share the same Battle Pass.
It features 100 Tiers for players to smash their way through the course of Season 1, and if players are committed enough, they can actually earn enough CoD Points, through leveling up the pass, to get the next one for free.
You can buy the Vanguard & Warzone Season 1 Battle Pass via a couple of different methods:
- Purchase it from the Official Call of Duty website
- Buy it from the in-game store on your respective platform
The other main content you can buy is a wide range of Bundles and Operator Bundles. These special bundles vary in price, and each comes with its own unique items.
The collectibles you can expect to find are Calling Cards, Emblems, Operator Skins, Weapon Blueprints, Weapon Charms, and more.
Image credits: Activision / Sledgehammer Games / Raven Software
“Scam” Vanguard MP40 Blueprint gives players a completely different gun
Players are calling the new Rune MP40 Blueprint a “scam” after the weapon fails to load into Vanguard Multiplayer matches.
For the second time in Vanguard, an MP40 weapon Blueprint is failing to appear in-game as advertised, leading to outrage for anyone who purchased the Graveyard Shift bundle.
Thanks to an incredibly unique design, Vanguard players were eager to get their hands on the Rune MP40 blueprint that is a part of the Graveyard Shift bundle. The Call of Duty developers deserve credit for such a detailed and eyecatching design.
Unfortunately, the Rune MP40 blueprint is completely broken and does not spawn in as the correct weapon in Vanguard leaving players who purchased the bundle for 2400 CoD points furious with the outcome.
Players who equip the Rune MP40 Blueprint to one of their classes will not be able to use the weapon in Multiplayer. Instead, the weapon will spawn in as the STG44.
Players can’t help but feel “scammed” after the blueprint doesn’t even render in Vanguard Multiplayer matches. The clip below showcases the strange shapeshifting weapon blueprint as it continuously turns into the STG44.
As you can see in the video, no matter the amount of times the player selects the Rune Blueprint, it reverts to the STG44 in Vanguard.
The fact that the weapon changes into an entirely different one is baffling but players have found a quick fix to temporarily alleviate the issue.
How to fix broken MP40 Rune Blueprint
There’s no doubt that Sledgehammer will work on alleviating this issue but in the meantime, players can fix the Blueprint by removing certain attachments. ElvisCOD took to Twitter to detail the required steps.
Removing the Removed Stock attachment will stop the MP40 Blueprint from turning into the STG44. Furthermore for the dismemberment animations to work players will have to equip the Lengthened ammo type and remove the magazine.
Of course, forcing players to make these attachment changes is frustrating for those who paid for the bundle and a permanent fix should be a top priority for Sledgehammer Games.
For more Vanguard check out this insane Vanguard glitch that makes High Alert even stronger despite a recent nerf.
Image Credits: Activision / Sledgehammer Games
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