Call of Duty: Vanguard – Review
Follow Genre: FPS
Developer: Sledgehammer Games
Publisher: Activision
Platform: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
Tested on: PC

Call of Duty: Vanguard – Review

Site Score
6.9
Good: Graphics, Nice maps
Bad: Loads of bugs, Disappointing Zombies mode
User Score
5.0
(1 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 5.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Almost like clockwork, certain franchises drop a yearly release to entertain the masses. This is mainly true for sports games, but the same can be said about Call of Duty, a series that hardly misses its yearly release. After years of reinventing itself with modern gadgets, futuristic and present-day warfare, Activision decides to go back to basics by releasing a World War II shooter, albeit a more inclusive one. While we weren’t treated to an absolute masterpiece, we still quite enjoyed this entry to the series, even if many bugs still need to be patched.

Story

Vanguard lets us play with different operators that were active in the midst of World War II. The game starts off with these operators from all over the globe working together to steal some secret nazi documents. When this mission goes south, the game lets you play individual chapters with the different operators, trying to make you form a certain emotional attachment to them. This works to a certain extent, but overall, the campaign is a short and superficial experience. The story content present is okay for what it is, but you’ll not be blown out of the water with what is present here. That being said, we’re quite sure that many gamers will appreciate the fairly decent quality of this short campaign mode.

Graphics

Graphically Call of Duty: Vanguard is an absolutely beautiful game. The (limited) different maps look stunning and are filled to the brim with details. There are a lot of destructible components on each map, making it truly feel like you’re never safe behind cover, or that you might be bombed at any given time. We loved the different character models as well, but the MVP screens are complete rubbish, as they loop the same animations over and over again. The latter becomes quite annoying and tedious the more multiplayer matches you play. Nonetheless, this is a pretty game, if your PC can handle all the action.

Sound

The game’s sound design is superb. During the matches, you won’t have music in the background, and you’ll have to make do with the sounds of constant gunfire and explosions, while you hear the cries of those who are shot. Other than that, there’s a bit of voice acting here and there, but this isn’t the most memorable aspect of the game. During hectic matches, the game does a great job of ‘replicating’ a proper war scenario, as it can even make you feel somewhat disorientated and uncomfortable when bombs keep dropping around you.

Gameplay

Call of Duty: Vanguard is a traditional first-person shooter, which follows the typical Call of Duty formula. The game will present you with a short campaign mode, a lot of multiplayer content, and the fan-favorite zombie mode. Sadly, the latter is somewhat disappointing in this edition, as it feels a bit bland and just not polished enough to sink your teeth into. That being said, you’ll probably be spending most of your time playing the multiplayer mode(s). Overall this package brings more of the same to the table, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

When playing enough multiplayer matches, you’ll have the opportunity to unlock more and more operators who are also seen throughout the campaign. While these operators could be seen as different character skins, they also provide experience bonuses for their preferred weapons, making it so that there is a purpose to unlock them all. This is merely a gimmick added to the mix, motivating you to unlock new characters to then in turn continue leveling different weapons. Leveling weapons will unlock new add-ons for them, allowing you to customize your experience further.

The game does offer a lot of content for every type of player. You can opt to play very chaotic matches on small or medium-sized maps, where a lot of players will be duking it out at once. This is a very hectic way of playing, but it often provides good clean fun, and many players will not reach the point where they can use their (sometimes overpowered) killstreak bonuses. Those opting for a more tactical gameplay session, can choose to play on the game’s biggest maps with a lower player count, allowing you to actually use proper tactics. Of course, it all still remains somewhat superficial, but it’s once again, a tried-and-true formula to having fun gaming sessions. We do have to mention that the (guard) dogs killstreak bonuses in this one feel heavily overpowered.

Throughout our online sessions, we did encounter a lot of bugs. We had friends that were unable to join our party, the quick play function not being available due to ‘filter’ settings that were never applied, there were a lot of random disconnects from the serves, and the MVP screens often froze or even showed absolutely nothing at all. It even got so far that we got kicked out of several matches, being awarded no experience. Even though most of these bugs were mere annoyances, having a few of these pop up in a row can ruin an otherwise fun gaming session. We hope some patches are released in the very near future.

Conclusion

Call of Duty: Vanguard is a somewhat ‘samey’ entrance to the franchise, but we did like the back-to-basics approach of a World War II-themed shooter, and we liked the diverse characters that were thrown in the mix. While the campaign might be a short bite-sized adventure, the multiplayer mode offers a lot of replay value, but we do hope some additional content and maps are added (for free) soon. The Zombies mode was a bit of a letdown in this one, but luckily there’s more than enough other content to keep you occupied for a fairly long time. We do have to mention that at the time of writing the game is incredibly buggy and that it is in desperate need of some patches. If the game would run properly (without server crashes, graphical bugs, party issues, …) then you could easily add a point or two to the score that we are currently giving it.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 5.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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Call of Duty: Vanguard - Review, 5.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
Ibuki


Aspiring ninja.

2 Comments

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