5 Features in Call of Duty: Vanguard That Stood Out
Another year, another Call of Duty. Sledgehammer Games are back behind the wheel and once again steering us toward the long-treaded WWII era. While us seasoned COD veterans are familiar with the setting, the studio’s approach with Call of Duty: Vanguard is full of new ideas we’re anticipating.
Here are five things about Vanguard I’m looking forward to:
1. Story and Characters
Multiplayer is COD’s bread and butter, but I’m a fan who looks forward to an adrenaline-fueled blockbuster campaign every year. In Sledgehammer’s words, Vanguard features a fictional tale with characters that are “historically inspired, but not beholden.” It focuses on the birth of special forces across every allied nation during WWII, guaranteeing high-stakes missions not typically explored in previous entries.
Each role you inhabit is intended to be well realized between backstories, motivations, animation, and visual fidelity. The one mission we witnessed involved an American paratrooper dropping into France the night before D-Day. He made his way through an extended stealth sequence involving woods, fields, a dilapidated town, and it resolved in a classic firefight.
Collectively, the characters are pursuing Nazi Germany’s secret project codenamed “Phoenix,” led by the fictional Heinrich Freisnger, leader of the Gestapo and member of Hilter’s inner circle. The campaign doesn’t feature co-op, as Sledgehammer designed the game to focus solely on the individuals highlighted across each special force.
2. New Multiplayer Features
Miraculously, after 18 years, Call of Duty developers are still implementing new ideas into multiplayer. Vanguard features new mobility mechanics, specifically the ability to slide your weapon across surfaces once you’ve mounted it for cover. Maps now feature destructible areas, including walls and floors intended to give players a tactical advantage, and Gunsmith is returning with the inclusion of custom ballistics and ammo types. While all of these features have been present in other shooters, they’re undoubtedly healthy additions to COD’s ecosystem.
Multiplayer also enables players to choose their preferred combat pacing such as tactical, standard, and blitz, which significantly alter the flow and speed of gameplay. There will be 20 maps and multiple new modes at launch, but most interestingly, Champion Hill. The specific details are still under wraps, but it’s being touted as “Battle Royale meets Gunfight.” I’m into Battle Royale, and I’m a massive fan of gunfight. The idea of blending them inspires a lot of hype.
Few details were shared on what to expect from Zombies, but Sledgehammer shared that Treyarch is leading development on a prequel story to Cold War’s zombie narrative. Zombies are always a good time, so I trust there’s much to look forward to there as well.
While Warzone is seemingly plagued indefinitely by cheaters, Sledgehammer, along with the other Call of Duty studios, are finalizing a new anti-cheat system that will be implemented with the launch of Vanguard. Vanguard’s likeness, including characters, weapons, and more, will be implemented into Warzone on day one of release.
Also, expect a new map post-launch. That is outstanding news as I am ready for a new battle royale map.
5. Graphics and Audio
Modern Warfare’s engine has clearly had some upgrades. Vanguard is the first Call of Duty in years that has visually astounded me. Mind you, I watched gameplay through a Zoom stream, and it still blew my mind. Textures, lighting, and reactive environments to weather, hazards, characters, and gunfire are gorgeous. Further enhancing the visuals is the remarkably mixed sound design and score.
Excellent sound design has long been present in Call of Duty, and it’s in no short supply in Vanguard. Guns, explosions, kills, and environments sound crisp, guttural, and brutal. I also found myself emotionally moved by some of the orchestral score throughout the presentation, notably during the campaign demo. I rarely notice the music in Call of Duty games, but its collection of dreadful drones, nail-biting staccato sequences, and heroic melodies evoked various feelings that I’m sure will boost the gameplay experience.
While we’ve only witnessed a glimpse of the final package, Vanguard looks excellent and promises several new features that seemingly set it apart from those that came before.
For more on Call of Duty: Vanguard, stay tuned to COGconnected.
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