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Call of Duty: Vanguard

CoD Vanguard Zombies review: Empty experience sees series take giant step back

Treyarch has returned to carry on their Zombies adventure in Vanguard, but a worrying lack of content has gotten things off to a bad start.

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Vanguard Zombies branches the Dark Aether story off into a darker, but sadly not deeper direction. The game’s debut map, Der Anfang, is a paltry offering devoid of life and content, getting CoD’s latest Zombies adventure off to a disappointing start.

We should prefix this whole review by saying that we understand Treyarch is battling on multiple fronts when it comes to Call of Duty.

They are overseeing the maintenance of Black Ops Cold War, it wasn’t long ago that they developed and released the final round-based map for the game – Forsaken, and they’ve also had to make brand new exciting content for Call of Duty: Vanguard.

Something had to give, and it appears like Vanguard has taken the fall as the introduction of the new Der Anfang map has come with very little substance to keep hungry Zombies players entertained.

Not even a Ray Gun?

The most alarming thing about Der Anfang is how the more you play, the more you realize how much is actually missing from the experience. What’s the metric you ask to compare Der Anfang to? We’ll go with a very basic one – Black Ops Cold War.

The world was in the midst of a serious pandemic, and it seemed like Cold War’s development was going to be hindered as a result. Yet, the game launched with the terrific Die Maschine round-based map, and also Dead Ops 3 as a bonus.

A ton of features included in Die Maschine are noticeably absent in Vanguard, and here’s a small sample of missing features: No round-based map, no Wonder Weapons (including Ray Guns), no Easter Eggs, no PAP camo, fewer Perks, no power to turn on, no Killstreaks, and no split-screen.

There are many more things missing, but if stuff is missing, then the stuff that made the cut must be worth a dime, right? Not exactly.

Repetition. Repetition. Reptition.

It feels like the Zombies themselves have more life than Der Anfang as this bare-bones game mode genuinely has all the potential in the world, but not right now.

You start off in an enclosed version of Stalingrad with a choice of the game’s three objectives: Blitz, Harvest, and Transmit. Blitz wants you to survive in a small area for a set amount of time, Harvest is about killing enough Zombies to collect 15 runestones, and Transmit task you with guiding a floating head in a linear path.

Aside from trying to find the odd chest or crystal to smash and get a tiny amount of Essence or free goodies, there’s not much else to Der Anfang.

The Pack-A-Punch machine is there, live, and already good-to-go. The workbench returns with a more limited selection, the Mystery Box is fixed to the same spot, and you’ll have to use it as wall buys are gone, and the Altar of Covenants is available too.

Cold War’s Outbreak was a breath of fresh air in our eyes and we loved it. When it was announced that we were going to get a hybrid of the classic game modes, we were excited.

But instead, all players get is the same three objectives over and over, in a handful of the same locations, with nothing to grind for – e.g the Aetherium Crystal system that Cold War had.

Is it worth playing?

Honestly, yes, at least a few games anyway. If you already own Vanguard, then you should have games of Zombies with friends to make the experience more enjoyable. There’s still some fun to be had after all.

We alluded to the Altar of Covenants earlier, and despite it being a transparent RnG system with not much to it, it does change the dynamics of the gameplay, especially as you improve your upgrades using hearts.

After the sluggish nature of the first couple of rounds, the intensity does start to amp up with the introduction of exploding Boom Schreiers and minigun-wielding Elite Sturmkrieger enemies. However, these two enemy types pretty much cover the “special” enemy Zombie types and you’ll have seen everything by round five.

Perks return in a slightly rejigged and reshuffled format with new names and all, and you can work towards upgrading them to Level IV, as well as getting any weapons you have to Level 3 via the Pack-A-Punch machine.

And that’s it really.


Call of Duty: Vanguard’s Zombies currently feels like a huge step back from everything that Black Ops Cold War achieved. The removal of so many cool systems and features becomes seriously detrimental to Der Anfang’s potential and already risks alienating the Zombies fanbase.

Potential is the keyword as Treyarch’s new formula meshes a bit of round-based here and Outbreak there, sadly there’s nothing to sustain it. With Season 1 on the horizon and presumably plans for future content, Treyarch might need to inject Vanguard Zombies with a lot more content going forward to pick things back up.

Verdict: 4 / 10


For more Call of Duty: Vanguard content, take a look at our extensive ranking of every Vanguard weapon, and our top 10 too.

Image Credit: Activision / Treyarch

Activision

Activision apologize for using artist’s design in now canceled Vanguard & Warzone skin

Activision have scrapped an unreleased Warzone and Vanguard skin after using an artist’s work without permission.

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Activision admitted to the major misstep of using an artist’s work without permission. The original art was to feature in an upcoming Vanguard and Warzone skin that has since been axed.

Major content drops like new seasons or midseason updates deliver weapons, maps, and changes to Call of Duty games, but they also tend to bring brand-new skins to enjoy. Vanguard and Warzone have seen some noteworthy skins that certainly got players talking.

After all, who could forget the Armored Titan, or Godzilla and King Kong skins? At the start of Season 4 Reloaded, players also received a new Terminator crossover. However, teasers for Season 4 Reloaded also hinted at a mysterious wolf-like skin.

After the wolf skin was teased in an official Call of Duty blog post, it was later inexplicably removed and replaced from the very same post. It turns out, Activision used content that did not belong to them in order to create the aforementioned skin.

When the wolf skin was first teased, it certainly generated a ton of buzz, or rather raised a ton of eyebrows. The anthropomorphic Operator definitely sticks out in a WWII-era Call of Duty game. Nonetheless, fans were excited at the prospect of running around as a wolf in Warzone.

Unfortunately, that idea won’t come to fruition as Activision have confirmed that they completely removed the skin from their planned content drop for Season 4 Reloaded.

It seems Activision overstepping bounds is the reason behind the skin’s cancelation.

An artist claimed that the wolf skin, also known as Samoyed skin, was stolen without their permission. In a strange turn of events, Activision has issued an apology, seemingly confirming the artist’s claims.

In a statement, Activision admitted that they “regrettably erred in our process and have removed this imagery from the game,” apologizing for the misstep.

While fans may be disappointed to lose their chance at slaying in a furry wolf skin, most would agree that if the artist’s claims are legitimate, the greater injustice was corrected as nobody should have their work stolen without credit.


For more, check out how CoD players are thrilled with the rumored change to Modern Warfare 2’s movement.

Image Credit: Activision

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When is the next Vanguard & Warzone Pacific Double XP event?

We have the dates and times for the next CoD: Vanguard and Warzone Pacific Double XP event to help you rank up weapons and the Battle Pass.

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We’re past the Season 4 halfway point of Call of Duty action, and there’s still plenty of time to level up, prestige, and unlock weapons before Modern Warfare 2. Here are the full dates for the next Warzone and Vanguard Double XP weekends.

XP has been a vital component of Call of Duty’s multiplayer for many years. It’s the quintessential upgrade mechanic that allows you to increase your in-game level and provide you access to better gear and attachments.

Vanguard and Warzone Pacific carried on from where Cold War and Warzone left off by giving players limited-time windows of opportunity to increase the XP they can earn.

Vanguard & Warzone Double XP dates

Call of Duty players can get Double XP by taking advantage of the Double XP promotional events that Activision put on.

Thanks to the Raven Software Trello board, we know when the next Warzone & Vanguard Double XP events are:

  • Double XP event – All platforms: Thursday, August 4 – Thursday, August 11
    • Double Weapon XP and Double Battle Pass XP

These special Double XP events are coming as part of Vanguard & Warzone’s Season 4 Reloaded. With major weapon buffs and nerfs, changes to the Fortune’s Keep map, and the new Vargo-S AR there is plenty of new content for players to sink their teeth into.

What time does CoD: Vanguard & Warzone Pacific Double XP start?

Here’s a full list of the usual Double XP event’s start time & dates in some of the key timezones:

  • PT – 10:00 AM
  • CT – 12:00 PM
  • ET – 1:00 PM
  • BST – 6:00 PM

These special Double XP events usually occur during a weekend, as it naturally gives players the most time as it’s away from school hours and generally when people are off work.

If you’re worried about slow progression for Vanguard and Warzone’s Battle Pass, the active Double XP event will no doubt give you a great boost to unlock all the Season 4 Reloaded rewards.


For more Call of Duty, find out everything you need to know about the next release in the legendary franchise, Modern Warfare 2.

Image Credit: Activision / Sledgehammer Games / Raven Software

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Call of Duty: Vanguard

Warzone & Vanguard players claim Terminator bundle was a huge “missed opportunity”

Call of Duty fans are disappointed with Warzone and Vanguard’s Terminator skin as they feel a huge opportunity for the bundle was missed.

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Two Terminator bundles made their way to Warzone and Vanguard at the start of Season 4 Reloaded, but players feel as though a huge opportunity to bridge the two franchises was missed.

The Call of Duty franchise is no stranger to pop culture collaborations that bring unique bundles and skins to their games. These exciting new skins never fail to generate hype amongst players, but sometimes it’s for the wrong reasons.

We’ve seen players react poorly to the Attack on Titan Levi skin, while the Godzilla and King Kong skins were met with positive reviews. The Terminator skins were the latest to hit Vanguard and Warzone, but players are now claiming that the Call of Duty team missed a major opportunity to celebrate the Terminator franchise.

The Terminator T-800 Mastercraft Ultra Operator Bundle comes with several items including an Operator modeled after Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator character in the films.

It also comes with three weapon blueprints, but fans of the Terminator films believe that this is where the crossover fails to deliver. One Reddit user calls the bundle “the biggest missed opportunity” as they point out: “they could have given the FINN LMG a minigun mastercraft skin.”

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator famously operates a minigun and with the FiNN LMG in the game, players believed that a perfect opportunity to raise the authenticity of the collaboration was overlooked.

Ultimately, it seems like multiple players voiced their grievances with the bundles not pulling enough content from the movies. In addition to the minigun, Vanguard players were also disappointed to not see a version of the Winchester Model 1887 shotgun used in the films, especially when it’s used in his Highlight Intro.

As the OP puts it, there’s no excuse to overlook such a blatant addition as the “gun is even period correct.”

It remains to be seen if more unique collaborations are on the way in Vanguard and Warzone Season 5 after an Umbrella Academy crossover was leaked. It’s safe to assume that when popular franchises come together, expectations are high.


For more Call of Duty news, check out the latest on Warzone’s current meta, after major buffs to Modern Warfare weapons.

Image Credit: Activision

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