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Kicking off 2022 in Games
Call of Duty: Vanguard
Call of Duty: Vanguard

PC | PlayStation 5 | Xbox Series X
Genre: First Person Shooter
Developer: Sledgehammer Games
Publisher: Activision Classification: TBC
Release Date:
November 2021
Tuesday, 7 December 2021
Post by Steve Farrelly @ 12:27pm 07/12/21 | 0 Comments
Free for everyone to play from December 9, Call of Duty: Warzone Pacific is just one moving part of the greater Call of Duty: Vanguard Battle Pass option, which starts its Season One content this December 8.

And yeah, it might seem to some like they haven't even won the war in Vanguard proper just yet (myself included -- too much Halo), but Seasonal content waits for no soldier, and with an entirely new region to conquer with new gameplay options and innovations baked in aplenty, this is all looking very fun.
Rise on a new front and discover this secret in Season One of Call of Duty: Vanguard and Warzone Pacific, a massive island-sized introduction to another incredible year for Call of Duty — complete with free weapons, maps, Operators, and more content, especially for Vanguard owners.

Season One will begin on December 8, following updates to Vanguard and Warzone. Vanguard’s update is scheduled for December 6 at 9 PM PT. Warzone will schedule its update for when it shuts down its servers from December 7 at 9 PM PT to December 8 at 9 AM PT to prepare for Warzone Pacific.

From all the free content across Multiplayer, Zombies, and Warzone Pacific, to new innovations within the Battle Pass system and 24 hours of exclusive access to the new Caldera map for Vanguard owners in Warzone Pacific, this is everything you need to know for Season One:


VANGUARD AND WARZONE OVERVIEW
  • Vanguard Owners Drop in on December 8. Play the new Pacific map, Caldera, a day early by owning Call of Duty: Vanguard. Rebirth Island will remain live during this time for all other players.

  • The Battle Pass: The Best Value Gets Better. Three functional weapons, two Multiplayer Perks, new Equipment in Vanguard, as well as other unprecedented free items in Tiers and dozens of other items in the full Battle Pass.

  • Tips of the Three-Pronged Spear. S.O.T.F. Trident is prepared to pierce through the Pacific, with Francis “Kai” Lanakila arriving first with the Season One Battle Pass...
There's a lot more you can learn about the new Season and Warzone content from here, but to quicken your expectation check out the new trailer highlighting much of the above and that link, embedded below.




Friday, 12 November 2021
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 03:44pm 12/11/21 | 0 Comments
Call of Duty: Vanguard takes the series back to its Nazi-fighting roots with a World War II setting that provides an engaging globe-trotting campaign focusing on the rise of the very first Special Forces unit. From there this paves the way for some by-the-number CoD multiplayer and Zombies, with the former bringing one hell of a launch suite to the table.

A snippet from Toby Berger's in-depth review. Which we assume was written whilst his boots were on the ground.
After battling it out in the present and then heading back to the Cold War era, it felt like a bit of a misstep for Call of Duty to take things all the way back to World War II – at least on paper. Yet Sledgehammer Games’ latest crack at the long-running franchise, Call of Duty: Vanguard, is the developer’s best.

With a campaign that packs some of the best CoD moments in years and a multiplayer suite that reworks rather than reinvents, Vanguard feels like a step in the right direction. For both the studio at the helm and the series as an FPS stalwart. It’s a shame then that the Zombies mode is as barebones as it comes.

Head Here For Our Full Call of Duty: Vanguard Review
Wednesday, 10 November 2021
Post by Steve Farrelly @ 05:04pm 10/11/21 | 0 Comments
Which is to say, rather than sticking to a strict roadmap where post-launch content is concerned, the multiplayer team is readying for the game's community to voice constructive feedback now that it's out in the wild, and for its developing meta to help shape portions of its longer term future. Often games stick to a strict plan, but Vanguard looks to be a bit different in this respect.

"We certainly have stuff that we're planning in the longer term, but at the same time, we're always listening to our players and developing things on-the-fly as we see them," explains Greg Reisdorf, Vanguard's multiplayer creative director. "For example, the beta was a huge learning experience; we’ve certainly been able to take things that the community really liked from that and moved them into the launch experience. After that, we will of course move forward with new and interesting stuff as the game develops over time, because it is a [truly] living game.

"We plan to be updating and changing Vanguard all the time".

In addition to the above, we managed a handful of questions for the senior multiplayer team who touch on the game's meta, learnings from the beta and hopes for the Champion Hill game mode. Click here for our Q&A with the team.
Friday, 5 November 2021
Post by Steve Farrelly @ 12:16pm 05/11/21 | 0 Comments
Due to issues beyond our control, review access to Call of Duty: Vanguard -- normally early in time for publication at launch -- wasn't in the doable basket for 2021, meaning we're only kicking off our in-depth time with the game alongside you, the punters, now. So our review is, in fact, a 'review-in-progress'.

Of course if you've already nabbed the game, this post really doesn't mean much to you, but for the rest of you hoping to read an in-depth breakdown of WWII proceedings from Sledgehammer Games, stay tuned.

Here's the official line on the game being out now from Activision:
Starting today the highly-anticipated Call of Duty: Vanguard is available worldwide. Vanguard delivers an unparalleled depth of Call of Duty content across a gripping single-player story, 20 multiplayer maps on day one, an all-new Zombies experience that further explores existing story cannon, along with the deepest integration yet with the all-new Warzone Pacific map “Caldera” coming 3rd December AEDT/NZDT.

In Vanguard, players will experience the origins of Special Forces fighting across four major theatres of World War II like never seen before.

With development led by Sledgehammer Games, Vanguard enlists players in an engaging blockbuster campaign as ordinary soldiers from diverse backgrounds rise on all fronts to turn the tides of war. Multiplayer features 20 maps, 12 Operators and over three dozen Weapons in the revamped Gunsmith all starting day one. Vanguard multiplayer delivers new ways to play with the Combat Pacing system and the fast and frenetic multi-arena survival Champion Hill mode. Vanguard also brings a franchise-first Zombies crossover developed by Treyarch, expanding upon the Dark Aether storyline that players were introduced to in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War.

Season One will bring a brand-new map, Caldera, to the free-to-play Call of Duty: Warzone, along with a massive amount of new gameplay experiences—for free. Operator, Weapon, and Battle Pass progression will also be synchronised across Vanguard, Black Ops Cold War and Modern Warfare® when Season One begins on 3 December AEDT/NZDT.

Releasing alongside Vanguard, the RICOCHET Anti-Cheat TM initiative is a multifaceted approach to combat cheating, featuring new server-side tools that monitor analytics to identify cheating, enhanced investigation processes to stamp out cheaters, updates to strengthen account security, and more. RICOCHET Anti-Cheat’s back-end anti-cheat security features will also come later this
year with the launch of Call of Duty: Warzone Pacific on PC.

Vanguard features unified progression and supports cross-play across next-generation and current-generation systems. Players can look forward to a new level of social features bringing friends to play together with clan features and more.

Vanguard is available worldwide starting today on PlayStation®5, PlayStation®4, Xbox® Series X|S, Xbox One®, and PC in a fully optimised experience for Battle.net, Blizzard Entertainment’s online gaming service.
Watch the game's PC trailer embedded below, and stay tuned for our full review incoming soon.


Tuesday, 2 November 2021
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 03:45pm 02/11/21 | 0 Comments
Call of Duty: Vanguard is out this week, launching on November 5. Today comes a look at the PC version which is being developed by Beenox in partnership with Sledgehammer Games. PC players can expect to find UltraWide support, 4K graphics, low-latency modes, and full control of settings and performance.

Vanguard is set to support both NVIDIA DLSS (Deep Learning Super Sampling) and AMD FSR (FidelityFX Super Resolution). Really though, this is a good excuse to see Call of Duty: Vanguard running in UltraWide... and yeah, it looks good.



As for the game itself, Call of Duty is continuing its trend of being able to install each of its components separately -- and for those wanting to play in 4K, well, you'll need a bit of a beast.

Minimum



    Operating System: Windows 10 64-bit (latest update)
    CPU: Intel Core i3-4340 or AMD FX-6300
    RAM: 8GB
    Storage Space: 36 GB at launch (Multiplayer and Zombies only) with Hi-Rez Assets Cache Up to 32 GB
    Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 or AMD Radeon RX 470
    Video Memory: 2GB

Recommended



    Operating System: Windows 10 64-bit (latest update) or Windows 11 64-bit (latest update)
    CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K or AMD Ryzen 5 1600X
    RAM: 12GB
    Storage Space: 61 GB at launch with Hi-Rez Assets Cache Up to 32 GB
    Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 or AMD Radeon RX 580
    Video Memory: 4GB

Competitive



    Operating System: Windows 10 64-bit (latest update) or Windows 11 64-bit (latest update)
    CPU: Intel Core i7-8700K or AMD Ryzen 7 1800X
    RAM: 16GB
    Storage Space: 61 GB at launch with Hi-Rez Assets Cache Up to 32 GB
    Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070/RTX 3060 Ti or AMD Radeon RX 5700XT
    Video Memory: 8GB

Ultra 4K



    Operating System: Windows 10 64-bit (latest update) or Windows 11 64-bit (latest update)
    CPU: Intel Core i9-9900K or AMD Ryzen 9 3900X
    RAM: 16GB
    Storage Space: 61 GB at launch with Hi-Rez Assets Cache Up to 64 GB
    Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 or AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT
    Video Memory: 10GB

Call of Duty: Vanguard is available on PC via Battle.net where pre-loading is set to commence today.
Friday, 15 October 2021
Post by Steve Farrelly @ 04:12pm 15/10/21 | 3 Comments
Read: Because it's awesome. The trailer, that is. But ultimately that feeds into the point because Zombies as a game mode in the Call of Duty series, barring *maybe* the Advance Warfare entry, has always remained not just a fan-favourite, but arguably the most polished and unique of all. And today's Vangauard Zombies trailer is a basic highlight of the need for this mode to simplay stand on its own two rotting feet.

Taking nothing away from its inclusion in the overall Vanguard Call of Duty offering though, which we're yet to play in final form, today's trailer is also just a massive tease for wanting to jump into it in ASAP form. But here's an official debrief:
Stalingrad, 1944. The mass graves of fallen soldiers stir as Dark Aether magic animates the dead’s limbs. This is Call of Duty: Vanguard Zombies.

Developed by Treyarch Studios in a franchise-first crossover, new characters and new horrors will await your arrival when Vanguard launches on 5 November AEDT/NZDT.

The four-person co-op mode continues and expands on the Dark Aether story first experienced in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War. Set in World War II in the ruins of Stalingrad, this new incarnation of Zombies takes players to the darkest corners of the occult, where mortals bond with Dark Aether entities to gain immeasurable power… but at what cost?
Our contact for the undead also pointed us in the direction of Zombies blog as well as a dev Q&A. But naturally you're mostly here for the trailer, which you can watch embedded below.


Tuesday, 12 October 2021
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 01:21pm 12/10/21 | 0 Comments
Call of Duty: Vanguard might be set during World War II but its story tells a global tale of five soldiers "whose individual actions helped turn the tide of World War II across four major fronts". And we get to see this first-hand in the impressive and explosive story trailer.



The story itself takes place during the tail-end of World War II with the villain set to be ruthless Nazi Officer Hermann Wenzel Freisinger. As we meet the heroes of the story it looks like we're getting personal tales spanning the Eastern Front, the Pacific, North Africa, and Western Europe before culminating in Task Force One putting a stop to the rise of the Fourth Reich.

According to developer Sledgehammer Games the campaign will begin with the climax, inside a "heavily fortified U-boat facility" before presumably presenting a few personal tales via flashback. It sounds like a pretty cool setup, one bolstered by some fantastic cinematic sequences as seen in the trailer above.

“You had battles happening on the snowy landscapes of Stalingrad, over the Solomon Islands in the Pacific, and in North Africa,” said David Swenson, Vanguard’s Campaign Creative Director. “We’ve got the backdrop of these epic battles in diverse locations, but we’re also focusing on the personal stories of those who fought in World War II. These are the stories we want to tell.”

“In doing a story on World War II, a place that’s been well trodden in video games, and using that history and that pivotal moment in time as a springboard to tell unique, interesting stories is one of the most excited parts of the Vanguard campaign,” adds Narrative Lead Stephen Rhodes.

Call of Duty: Vanguard is out November 5, for more on the game be sure to check out our recent hands-on with the multiplayer.
Thursday, 9 September 2021
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 02:59pm 09/09/21 | 0 Comments
Ahead of the Call of Duty: Vanguard multiplayer Beta we had the chance to go hands-on with the new WWII-set CoD and check out its multiplayer suite. With Stephen playing on PlayStation and Kosta on PC we had the chance to check out the new Patrol mode, classic TDM action, Domination, Kill Confirmed, and Champion Hill. Instead of breaking down all of that we’ll focus on the first three, accompanied with footage captured on PC running in 4K at 60fps.

A taste...

Domination





Playing the objective in Call of Duty is a phrase you don’t often hear, on account of just how fast-paced and short the TTKs have been for a while now. Domination presents that typical capture point setup, though in defence of the design you have to stick right on the flag to capture it -- and that instills a sense of ‘playing the objective’. In the Beta, and our hands-on we got to play on a Russian wintery map, with the snow and buildings adding a distinct visual feel that suited the style of play.


"With Vanguard built on the engine that powered the 2019 Modern Warfare reboot, here we get to see that game’s smooth presentation and improved lighting in full and matured."



It’s worth mentioning that even in its Beta state, all of the modes and maps and performance we encountered (granted we were playing on a high-end GeForce RTX graphics card) was as smooth as you’d want -- and on par with the solid Call of Duty multiplayer that has become a series hallmark over the years. And really, the differences here are many but seamless. A new mode, new weapons, new Kill Streak rewards, new maps, but all with the same feel.

Head Here For Our Call of Duty: Vanguard Multiplayer Hands-On
Wednesday, 8 September 2021
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 06:34pm 08/09/21 | 0 Comments
This year's Call of Duty: Vanguard sees a return to the World War II era with an ambitious four-theatre campaign and a focus on the history of what we now call Special Forces. Of course, all of that is filtered through the bombastic spectacle that is Call of Duty. Today comes our first look at the Multiplayer, alongside info on the Beta which *checks notes* is kicking off this weekend.

First up though is the multiplayer trailer, which dials up the Tarantino vibe and over-the-top action you'd expect from CoD. So yeah, if you were expecting a slower and more measured pace befitting of the 1940s, well, this is very much in line with Modern Warfare.


Become the original Special Forces in Vanguard’s intense, adrenaline-fueled Multiplayer. From the map and mode offerings on day one to advanced weapon customization, to all-new social and Combat Pacing features and a deeper focus on Operators.

Sixteen maps for traditional core play, four maps for 2v2 Gunfights, and one Champion Hill experience — this is what players can expect on day one at launch for Vanguard’s Multiplayer. These maps take place across a wide variety of different global environments and are ready to host an abundance of game modes.

Outside of Champion Hill — a fast and frenetic tournament for Solo, Duos, and Trios — Vanguard will introduce another new game mode: Patrol. Based on Hardpoint, this objective-based mode features a scoring zone in near-constant motion; if Operators want to rack up points for their team, they should keep up and move around the map within this Patrol point.

These modes are in addition to the classic offerings one would expect in Call of Duty. Modes like Team Deathmatch, Kill Confirmed, Domination, and Search & Destroy are just some of the ones returning with Vanguard.

As per above this is running on the same engine that powered 2019’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare so it definitely looks like a step up over Call of Duty: WWII visually. From a setting perspective it's great to see the globe-trotting side of the campaign make it's way to the multiplayer. Stay tuned for more on the multiplayer (our impressions basically) as we got to go hands-on with the Beta during a recent preview session. It was very cool.

And speaking of the Beta, it kicks off this weekend - starting on PlayStation 5 with Early Access given to those who've pre-ordered. Next weekend opens up Early Access to Xbox and PC in addition to Open Beta action for everyone.


Weekend One

11 – 14 Sep AEST/NZST – PlayStation Early Access

Weekend Two

17 – 19 Sep AEST/NZST – Xbox + Battle.net PC Early Access, PlayStation Open Beta
19 – 21 Sep AEST/NZST – Open Beta All Platforms

The Beta is set to include three Vanguard maps: Hotel Royal, Red Star, and Gavutu in addition to Team Deathmatch, Domination, Kill Confirmed, and the new Patrol game modes. For info on the beta and the reveal -- head here.
Thursday, 26 August 2021
Post by Steve Farrelly @ 02:31pm 26/08/21 | 0 Comments
And honestly, based on what's at play here, this looks to be the beginning of the campaign overall, as there are definite Tutorial markers present. But what we can glean from this is both the cinematic approach to Vangauard's SP offering, with a small hint of expansive gameplay featuring decision-making around how to approach combat scenarios amidst the more familiar corridor shooter makeup of the series overall.

The small taster here is taken from a level called "Stalingrad" and features the character, Polina Petrova who, among many other skills, is a crack sniper. But perhaps most importantly here is the revelation of a climbing mechanic limited to certain coloured bricks, but climbing nonetheless.

We've explored a bit of Petrova already in our in-depth initial preview of Call of Duty: Vanguard, but words can't do justice to what moving image offers.

Check out the new video below, and stay tuned as we gain more access to Vanguard ahead of its release this November.

Friday, 20 August 2021
Post by Steve Farrelly @ 03:47am 20/08/21 | 0 Comments
Sledgehammer Games' Call of Duty: Vanguard is finally out of the bag in terms of 2021's Call of Duty offering. A follow-up to the events of the studio's 2017 Call of Duty: WWII, Vanguard takes us on a far more expansive journey through one of history's most poured through conflicts and looks to surprise with its level of sophistication and storytelling.

We had a chance to go beyond the reveal video and get deep with the devs thanks to a hefty, in-depth presentation on just what makes Vanguard tick. Here's a snippet:
And finally, this original ragtag group is rounded out, as it should, by the Aussie 2Lt. Lucas Riggs of Australia’s 20th Battalion. He’s a veteran of the North African conflict and was inspired by Charles Upham. Riggs’ character is bolstered by the tall tales of the “Rats of Tobruk” -- an Australian-lead garrison who reclaimed the Rats of Tobruk handle given to them by German propaganda, and even created their own medals they struck from a downed German bomber. These guys were truly badass.

What’s interesting and cool about the collected individuals above that form the first Special Forces is that they’re not strictly hierarchical -- it’s their skills that play out over rank, which is best exemplified with the lowly sergeant Kingsley leading three officers. Moreover, Sledgehammer promises that each arc is based on “tide-turning” battles and events.
Click here for our in-depth Call of Duty: Vanguard preview.