Call of Duty Vanguard Features We Want to See
No surprise to anyone, Activision is once again releasing an annualized Call of Duty title this year. Despite the ongoing pandemic in the world, the developers at Sledgehammer Games, along with help from the other studios, have crafted the World War II game. There are tons of new and returning Call of Duty Vanguard features that will be released with it.
Call of Duty Vanguard: What We Know Thus Far
Call of Duty Vanguard will be released later this year on November 5, as noted in the Battle of Verdansk Warzone reveal, and offer the typical trio of content that we see from the series most of the time. The mainstay Call of Duty Vanguard features will include the singleplayer story campaign set in World War II, the online multiplayer, and Zombies.
We only know a little about each of these three main Call of Duty Vanguard features, but it is enough to give us an idea of what this game will be like. In terms of the singleplayer story, we know that a diverse and talented group of writers are coming together to craft a, hopefully, meaningful story.
We know that it will be set in four different theaters of War: the Eastern Front, Western Front, Northern Africa, and Pacific. There will be a different protagonist that the players will follow in these four locations, including a diverse set of heroes who will be our gateway into its story.
On the multiplayer side, Sledgehammer is promising a breadth of game modes and maps that players will be able to enjoy, including the new Champions Hill tournament-style mode. Unfortunately, details are still a little bit unknown about how this section will work.
And then there is Zombies, which is surprisingly being developed by Treyarch, despite its work on Black Ops Cold War last year and the continued content that it has been releasing for that, plus whatever its next game will be. Of course, Raven will be throwing in some Warzone connections, too.
With all of this being the case, it is time to go over the Call of Duty Vanguard features that we want to see from all four of these areas. This includes what we want to see in the campaign, the types of content in multiplayer, how we want Treyarch to handle Zombies, and what Warzone can do to shake up the mix. Let’s get started.
Call of Duty Vanguard Features We Want: An Excellent, Focused Story
To begin with, we have the singleplayer story campaign that Sledgehammer is coming up with. This is the part we know the most about, given that we will have four different areas with four distinct tales of four different protagonists that we will follow.
This is a bit of a mixup already from what we saw in the developer’s last game: WWII. Sure, it had different heroes that we would enter the boots of, but there was still a general main hero at the end of the day. This time around, though, it looks like this will be an even experience for each of them.
This sounds awesome as it could help with the pacing and flexibility issues of Call of Duty campaigns, but it could also be extremely messy, depending on the execution. I could see it very well lacking focus and intrigue, given that the campaigns in Call of Duty games are never that long.
Even if you spend two hours total with each hero in three to four missions each, that would be the bare minimum necessary to offer something that would be deep enough to be worth playing and that is still pushing it. Even still, the chances of this being eight hours long or more is, honestly, not too high, which gives even more concern.
There is also the issue of quality as dividing up between four heroes gives even more chances for only one or two to be great characters that can carry the story. That could leave us with half, or worse, of the campaign feeling like a slog.
Given that the campaign was one of the better parts of WWII, in my opinion, I have high expectations for this one, but I’m not confident that it will be able to pull it off given the setup. Furthermore, I hope the campaign can shake up the gameplay and offer diverse missions that feel more fun to play than the 2017 entry. At the very least, I have hopes this will be accomplished given the four distinct characters’ roles.
Large Game Modes and Traditional Ranked Play
When it comes to the online multiplayer segment of the Call of Duty Vanguard features we want, there are two main aspects that I would like to see in terms of game modes. The first is that I want to see at least one large-scale game mode that can capture the feeling.
I’ll be honest: I was not a fan. If it does return in this game, I would like to see it heavily changed and iterated on. For one, it was not on a big enough scale, in my opinion. It is high time for Call of Duty to offer a World War II game mode with 32 or even 48 players in a lobby.
From there, it needs to have interesting and fun objectives, much like what Fireteam tried to do in Black Ops Cold War. Unfortunately, most of the modes there were messy, but there were some solid additions. It would be great to see War or a new game mode expand into a more focused, large-scale experience.
Having tanks fighting against ground troops while fighter planes are soaring above the battlefield would be a wonderful experience, given the expected high quality of the fast gameplay. On the opposite end of the spectrum, I want to see a more traditional ranked game mode.
I’m not too worried in this regard, given what Sledgehammer did with WWII, but there are some inherent issues with Cold War’s ranked play that makes it one of the worst in the series. That is why it is worth mentioning that I want something more traditional here in Vanguard.
Have the expected ranking system and the ability to rise and fall based on how good or bad you do in matches, and only mix it up with excellent rewards that you can get. Since 2017, we now have staples like weapon blueprints and operators that would be great rewards for ranking well each season.
Unique Nazi Zombies
The new Zombies experience in Vanguard sounds so far as the best part of the game, which is not surprising given that Nazi Zombies in WWII were arguably the best section of that title. With Treyarch taking the helm of this mode, there are chances for something really special to happen here.
In the best-case scenario, we could have the wonderful quality that Treyarch usually brings to Zombies, including the relevance to the new storyline that started in Cold War, along with the Nazi Zombies setting that we had in WWII.
This is a chance not to happen since Sledgehammer is not handling it, but it would be great to see Treyarch’s take on Nazi Zombies here. That game mode had such a deliberately creepy and fascinatingly horror-like take on the mode that is quite unlike any other in the series thus far.
If Treyarch could hone in on that element and give us a truly scary Zombies experience that also ties into the ongoing storyline, we could seriously have the best Zombies mode to date. Of course, some other elements of this mode also need to be addressed.
Having Zombies be connected to every other mode in Cold War was an excellent move. That needs to continue here, with your levels and weapon progress continuing across both this and multiplayer. One area that Treyarch needs to address is the amount of content, something that its last attempt was lacking at launch. Hopefully, we have more than just one map to play when Vanguard comes out.
A Return of Divisions
If anything that the Call of Duty series has taught us, it is to expect every single game to handle loadouts and classes differently. I do appreciate the general simplicity of Cold War, to an extent, but I like what WWII did with the Divisions feature.
If I had to choose for Vanguard, I would like to see the return of the Divisions as it offered some uniqueness that each player had to choose between for what they wished to specialize in for the match. With Battlefield 2042 going in the opposite direction of potentially watering down its classes, it would be great to see Vanguard going in the other direction and doubling down on this element.
I would love to see these Divisions have their individual abilities that differentiate between them while still allowing for player customization in your weapons and general loadout. It would make the whole gameplay feel more diverse and interesting in multiplayer.
Of course, in the hardcore and ranked modes, these elements could be stripped down to ensure that it is a more competitive-friendly area, but for regular multiplayer and whatever large-scale modes will release, it would be a must-have.
Meaningful Warzone Content
When it comes to Call of Duty Warzone, I am not too worried about what Raven Software has in store based on what we have heard in rumors, but it is still worth mentioning that it is time for some meaningful Warzone content.
Warzone was highly praised when it came out for what it did to not only offer a brilliant free-to-play battle royale experience but its general connection to Modern Warfare. However, that was ultimately pretty shallow when the Cold War came out later that same year.
Though they share the same battle pass, operators, and weapons, very little seems to be connecting the two thematically and map-wise in a meaningful way. Rebirth is just a Black Ops 4 map, not Cold War while switching Verdansk to a 1984 setting is just a palette swap.
Not having the highly rumored, dedicated Cold War map that would be made up of some of the areas from the Fireteam maps and like was a huge mistake, in my opinion. Hopefully, we will have more meaningful content for Warzone and Vanguard, especially given their same engine.
Right out of the gate or soon after launch, we will need to see the first season with the two games coming together and a brand new map that is not Verdansk set in World War II. Of course, this should be included with the shared weapons and operators as well.
At the same time, though, I also want to see Warzone continue to do its own thing regarding Cold War and Modern Warfare. Perhaps there could be a three-game cycle that is always connected to the three most recent games and then drops the oldest one when the next game comes out.
What this means in practice is that I think Verdansk should stick around as a map along with Rebirth Island for those players who love it. Chances are, not everyone will be a fan of WWII guns and gameplay, so having these options will help to appeal to every Warzone fan.
Wild Post-Launch Seasons
Speaking of post-launch content, one of the most important Call of Duty Vanguard features are the seasons. We already know the game will likely have free content for the first year, including new battle passes, operators, modes, maps, and the like.
Cold War and Modern Warfare settled into a general formula, but I would like to see Vanguard shake it up some. Sure, it is great and crucial that we get new multiplayer game modes and maps over time, but I would like to see some other crazy additions.
Have themed seasons that focus around the four theaters of War, for instance, offering new modes, characters, and events based on that region. I would also like to see ranked play day one in season one and be expanded upon and balanced throughout each season.
Perhaps the wildest addition I would like to see post-launch is new story content. With four characters in the campaign, there is much room for new missions to be added in the future, either singleplayer or cooperative, that could expand their story beyond that.
Cold War had an issue with this as we were to suspend our disbelief that the main story was continuing each season, but without any actual story missions to do, only cutscenes and lore to find. Vanguard could rectify this with new missions or characters to follow for the first year of content, so long as it does not take away from the already completed launch campaign.