The new Call of Duty took an unexpected turn back to the setting of World War 2 but that doesn’t mean the game is any worse because of that. On the contrary, the game has something for everyone. Even though some bits are not in the best state, players can look forward to more updates and developments in the nearest future. So here is a review of Call of Duty: Vanguard.
Game given by: Gamezo
Hours played: 10
Table of Contents
As Call of Duty: Vanguard has three game modes: Campaign, Multiplayer, and Zombies let’s review every one of them as well as general gameplay changes that arrived in Vanguard.
Call of Duty: Vanguard works on the same engine as Modern Warfare (2019) and that allows more tactical and diverse gameplay. Levels in Vanguard have a lot of destructible surfaces which means getting shot through a wall is going to be a regular thing. Vanguard also allows you to mount your gun on different objects under different angles providing more cover. Having those kinds of features and using them always makes me feel like I am a “real” soldier.
The campaign in Call of Duty: Vanguard reminded me a lot of the way campaigns were done in Battlefield 1 and 5. In Battlefield campaign was split into multiple independent parts that will tell you a story of selected personalities from different fronts of the war.
It’s similar in the Vanguard except all those people are brought together on a mission. You have Arthur Kingsley who fought in France on a D-Day, Polina Petrova who witnessed an attack on Stalingrad, Wade Jackson who fought in the depth of a Japanese jungle, and a few more. You will get the chance of seeing them work together as well as play through their personal backgrounds which is a new approach to the Call of Duty campaign.
The campaign is not long as you might expect and can be finished in around 5-6 hours. Playing through the campaign left a few impressions: fun characters, mediocre background missions, great missions with all the characters involved which are the first and the last mission.
Multiplayer had a headstart compared to everything else with 20 maps and a variety of modes. Out of all the game modes, there will be something for everyone: Champion Hill for competition lovers, an objective mode for players enjoying classic round-based gameplay, and more.
There are also three different pacings: Blitz, Assault, and Tactical. Pacing determines how fast you will get into action after spawning. If you like everything to be quick, Blitz is for you. If you are more of a plan and execute type of player, go for Tactical. And Assault if you prefer the middle ground.
Finally, when it comes to loadouts and classes players have complete freedom on creating whatever they want. All the weapons, perks, killstreaks, and utility can be combined in your ultimate loadout. Pair that with the weapon attachment customization and you got yourself a perfect shooter sandbox.
The only issue with multiplayer and amazing customization is that in the same lobby you will encounter players that already have everything unlocked which puts you at a significant disadvantage as mentioned attachments buff your weapon quite a bit.
Zombies’ gameplay at the moment of launch is very repetitive. We have a guide with a complete breakdown of the Zombies gameplay. But long story short: there is almost no story involved and all you do is complete 3 types of missions that will have more and more zombies the further you advance.
There is plenty of options to experiment with the builds, combinations of artifacts and covenants but at this stage, it gets boring quite quickly. Although listening to some of the Dark Aether companions is quite entertaining it will not save the gameplay but I believe it is something to be fixed when the new content arrives with Season 1.
Graphics and Optimization
The game looks quite pretty especially in lush environments where lighting and shadows really show their power. The level of detail is also improved compared to the previous installments. There are more cracks from bullet holes, splashes of snow and mud when you shoot at it, basically, every interaction with the environment looks more natural than it was before.
Call of Duty: Vanguard also has AMD FSR available in the settings. FSR is basically DLSS that is available on the RTX 30 gen cards. It sacrifices a bit of quality offering a huge fps boost. The quality loss is visible but it allows for the game to run on less powerful cards like GTX 1650 in 1080p 60fps on medium settings.
Sounds and Music
Audio can make or break the game. It can look as realistic as possible, and have fun mechanics but if all that is accompanied by poor sound there will not be any interest in playing it. I feel that having good audio immerses you in the game completely.
The sound effects like gunshots, explosions, and destruction are all quite detailed. There is nothing super special when it comes to sound effects, they are there and they do not make your ears bleed. In fact, some sounds like reload or sounds of nature in the campaign were quite pleasing to listen to.
The same can be said about music. You won’t be listening to a lot of it while playing multiplayer or zombies. The campaign features a bunch of musical compositions but nothing that stood out in particular. There are some good tunes in the main menu and by the end of the multiplayer match but those are, unfortunately, very short.
Any game’s goal is to hold the player base and make them return to playing the game. How well the Vanguard is tackling this goal? When it comes to multiplayer, I am coming back to it.
The campaign is diverse enough but only a few missions are worth replaying which I will but after a few replays the interest will be gone. Zombies are still on the raw side of cooked so we will have to see what new content the devs will bring to it.
Multiplayer is all that’s left. There are a few things that will bring players back: creating your loadout and constantly customizing it, unlocking all the weapons and customization, and the satisfaction of outplaying your opponents.
In short, Call of Duty: Vanguard is fun thanks to multiplayer and what it has to offer. Everything else feels like a minor addition to the game. I never get bored of looking for new positions to surprise opponents from new angles and then after gathering a few kills dropping a glide bomb on them. If you enjoy similar things, you will find the Vanguard a fun game to spend your evening on.
My final words to wrap up the review of Call of Duty: Vanguard: play this game if you enjoy multiplayer because this is the main part of the game. If you are looking for a WW2 themed story, Vanguard might not be your best bet. The same goes with Zombies, at this stage, there is just nothing to do and come back to.
The final rating is 6.5 – which is considering all the pieces of the content offered in the game at the moment of launch and how fun that content is to play. With new updates and seasons, Sledgehammer promises a lot of new content so that is definitely what I am waiting for with high hopes.
Based in Stoke-on-Trent, UK, Edward is a Guides Editor at Gamezo. He's all about esports and gaming and plays a little bit of everything but his favorite game of all time is Destiny 2. Lowkey motorsport fan.