After weeks of leaks, rumours, and speculation, the Call of Duty community finally got their first look at Call of Duty: Vanguard, the next instalment in the storied first-person shooter franchise. Despite the disapproval of many players, the franchise is heading back to World War 2 for the third time and while it may not be the most popular setting for a Call of Duty title, Sledgehammer Games looks to have pulled the rabbit out of the hat with another immersive single-player storyline and action-packed multiplayer that fans have come to expect.
Releasing on November 5th, the expectations for Vanguard are extremely high after Black Ops Cold War received a somewhat mixed reception. With a few tidbits of information and a cinematic trailer full to the brim with action, here are our first impressions of the upcoming release.
A Welcome Return To World War 2
As mentioned above, World War 2 rarely features in the Call of Duty universe, with only two titles before the announcement of Vanguard making use of this historical setting as the backdrop for the story. After a few years of modern warfare and black ops, a return to a backdrop immersed in history makes for the perfect platform for Sledgehammer Games to build another incredible story.
Vanguard will see players battle through four theatres of the war, engaging with enemies on the Eastern and Western fronts of Europe, the Pacific, and North Africa where four protagonists eventually join forces to form Task Force One, a special forces unit. The idea of battling opposition from the perspectives of four different characters is certainly interesting and a concept that has rarely been seen in a Call of Duty title. Considering Sledgehammer's history of producing excellent single-player stories combined with the immense graphical capabilities of next-gen consoles and modern PCs, Vanguard's campaign could well be one of the very best.
A Wealth Of Multiplayer Content
For many players, including myself, Black Ops Cold War's multiplayer offering certainly wasn't bad but it was by no means very good. With just eight maps available to play on release, the community quickly turned their attention to Warzone to avoid the endless repetition of the small map pool. To evade a similar fate, Sledgehammer has confirmed that a total of 20 multiplayer maps will be available when the game launches, a number that hasn't been seen since the release of Modern Warfare 2.
There will be 16 maps for six-versus-six action and four for a new mode known as Champion Hill which is being tipped to rival Apex Legends' Arenas mode. With a huge map pool combined with innovations to the Gunsmith, Vanguard's multiplayer has every chance to stand alongside Warzone as one of the main pillars of the franchise heading into 2022.
The Usual Optimism?
The Call of Duty community is no stranger from the sense of optimism that comes around when the reveal of a new title takes place. More often than not, the high hopes come crashing down but this time around, the reveal of Vanguard feels different, with more players having faith in Sledgehammer Games to deliver on what it has set out to do.
Based on the first trailer and the details released, I'm definitely optimistic for Vanguard, and with a developer that often listens to community feedback, I think that Vanguard has every chance to become one of the very best instalments in the history of the Call of Duty franchise.