Call Of Duty Vanguard is comprised of 3 separate game modes; Campaign, Multiplayer and Zombies.
The campaign, once you have downloaded both packs from the store (that’s not a typo. You need to, after the game is installed download an additional 2 packs to then be able to play the campaign in game) sees you go through the tail end of World War 2 as part of a special task force as you attempt to put and end to a fictional element of the Third Reich.
The campaign sees you go through the usual Call Of Duty over-the-top sequences on a variety of difficulties allowing you to interact with the environment more than any previous entry in the series.
Multiplayer gives you the usual rapid fighting in small, tight maps utilising a variety of weapons, killstreaks and tactics to take the enemy team down.
Zombies makes a return in Vanguard, which sees you take on round after round in a new hub style setting where you go through and complete timed / collection / escort objectives before you can then exfil out to safety.
If you’re a fan of Call Of Duty games, then you’ll be happy with what you have on offer here with a good length campaign that’s engaging for the most part and has plenty of action along the way.
Mutliplayer is where the majority of players will spend their time in Vanguard and as long as you’re a fan of fast paced, rapid fire combat you’re well catered for here. Even though the game is set in World War 2 the guns feel crisp, fire straight and true and have decent stopping power.
The killstreaks are a bit lacklustre but they do a job if you can rack up consecutive kills throughout a match but this is more for skilled players than casual players who, depending on their skill level might never get to use a killstreak.
Overall, if you’re a fan of Call Of Duty games and have a good outlook on what to expect here, I mean the C.O.D. series is 18 years old at vanguard’s release so if this is your first entry well done for waiting this long, for anyone else, if you’ve played one and liked it, chances are you’ll like this one as well.
The not so good
Multiplayer seems very weak in Vanguard with a heavy limitation of play modes.
Series staples such as Kill Confirmed, Domination, Capture The Flag and many more aren’t present at launch and are sorely missed with Team Death Matches being the mainstay for players, there are a few other iterations of Team Death Matches such as Western Front, although they’re the same thing with a different cover.
Then there’s Zombies which for me, feels like it’s been put in the game because it should be there and feels rushed, weak and ultimately, it seems like someone forgot about zombies then threw something together at the 11th hour.
Rather than unending waves of zombies that come after you in an unrelenting manner, Vanguard’s zombies mill around the area only coming after you when antagonised but the main problem I have is the main content of the mode is locked behind portals which take you to other sections of the main area which are then locked behind ethereal barriers blocking you from exiting until the game mode is complete.
Also, another bad point about zombies is the fact there aren’t any weapons you can procure as you go around the map which has been a staple of the series since Zombies’ debut back in 2008. Now, however, the Mystery Box is locked in the same place or you might be able to gain a weapon by smashing crystals which feels more Borderlands than Call Of Duty Zombies.
Whilst the campaign is locked to single player, the Multiplayer and Zombies modes both have full online features including cross-play between PlayStation, Xbox and PC.
Very good, stable connections, I have played over 100 matches with no connection drops, lag, or any issues throughout either Multiplayer or Zombies modes which is really nice to see.
The campaign’s audio is good, the voice actors do a very good job conveying the characters feelings which definitely helps with the immersion of the setting, that combined with solid gun sounds, environmental noise which is well put together.
Multiplayer thankfully has the option to mute all players before entering a match which is a godsend for me as I do get tired of the amount of people that want to f**k my mother when they die and it’s nice to shut them up with one button press.
Zombies sounds OK, but only OK, you get the same sound effects from years gone by and I would be surprised if the Zombie sounds were done fresh for this entry and just sound lacking.
The guns sound solid and precise as you’d expect with every bullet having realistic sound effects for the type of gun it’s fired from and sound as good as ever, reloading the gun gives all the right sounds in all the right places whether you’re cocking an Assault Rifle or loading individual rounds into a Shotgun.
The trophy list encapsulated the 3 main modes of the game; Campaign, Multiplayer and Zombies with the majority of trophies being taken up in Campaign mode.
Zombies mode, however, has 2 trophies which seem obnoxious and force players into playing perhaps a lot longer than they otherwise would have with you need to kill 2,500 zombies with a level 3 pack a punch weapon and also needing to kill 10,000 zombies which is just there as far as I’m concerned to push the game time up for completionists rather than having a purpose in game.
Click the link to go to the Call Of Duty Vanguard Trophy Guide to view it before making a purchase if trophies are important to you.
Here are a series of photos to show you how the game looks:
Overall, Call Of Duty Vanguard is another Call Of Duty game, if you’re a fan of the series, you’ll enjoy it for the most part. If you’re looking for a new direction, new ideas or any innovation then look elsewhere as you’ll struggle to find it here.
The online portion of the game, like I mentioned earlier is solid, well balanced and I experienced no connection drops, lag or any other issues which, for a game like this is really nice to see and experience.
The campaign is done well, feels good and engaging, it’s not going to win an Oscar or anything like that but it does tell a story well with decent set pieces throughout.
The Zombies mode, however, is a let down and would have probably been better off being left out altogether. It’s fine as zombies modes go but we had fine 10 years ago. It feels like Zombies is going backwards rather than pushing forward on the next gen platforms.
So overall, having taken everything into consideration and mainly due to those rock solid online connections I award Call Of Duty Vanguard a 7/10 and recommend the developers take a year off from their annual release schedule and really focus on where they want the series to go.
I understand the cash train that pushes forward each year but for the player base and loyal fans of the series, I expect better for them in future.