Call of Duty Vanguard Reveal: Warzone Battle of Verdansk Recap
Activision has finally revealed the new Call of Duty Vanguard title. Officially the 2021 mainline entry in the series developed mainly by Sledgehammer Games, this next iteration will bring players back to the World War II era, as revealed by the recent Call of Duty Warzone Battle of Verdansk event.
Vanguard Finally Revealed Through Warzone Battle of Verdansk
As previously announced, the Call of Duty Warzone Battle of Verdansk event was revealed where the community would find out the first bit of information regarding the next entry in the long-running, annualized franchise and it has finally happened.
We now know what Vanguard is, thanks to this event. The Call of Duty Warzone Battle of Verdansk event is a limited-time mode that players can check out that lets you experience a special in-game match. It is unlike any battle royale experience to date, as it is not even a battle royale mode.
Instead, it is a cooperative experience that has players join together to, essentially, take down a massive in-game boss in a single match. It is a pretty wild experience, unlike anything we’ve seen in Warzone to date, certainly bringing it more on par with the live events that Fortnite has had.
The Call of Duty Warzone Battle of Verdansk event was there to offer a crazy new in-game event and reveal the next game in the series: Vanguard. Since Vanguard is a World War II-themed entry, it makes sense that this event pays homage to that in several different ways.
We got into the Call of Duty Warzone Battle of Verdansk event as soon as it went live on Thursday, August 19, 2021, at 10:30 a.m. PT (after some server issues, of course) and have completed it. Here’s everything you need to know about the event, plus what we now know about Vanguard.
Warzone Battle of Verdansk Recap
For starters, if you do not want the Call of Duty Warzone Battle of Verdansk event spoiled for you, this is your chance to turn away now or skip to the next couple of points where we go over what we know about Vanguard. Still here? Alright, here is what happened in the Battle of Verdansk.
In this event, all of the other battle royale game modes were disabled temporarily to allow for everyone who wanted to experience the battle to join in. After some minor server issues waiting to get into the event, I was able to join a lobby with 31 other players.
It is worth noting that squad fill is required for this event, likely due to its popularity and the fewer players involved in the match. In total, there are only 32 players in a single experience of the battle, which is one of the lowest player counts for a single game mode of Warzone.
You will be paired up with up to three other players in the match, unless, of course, you go ahead and bring some friends along for the ride ahead of time and sent into a lobby. One of the immediately noticeable features is that you cannot fight the other players before the match starts.
Unlike normal battle royale, all 32 players are on the same team essentially as this is a cooperative boss battle experience. Once the match started, we had the standard cutscene leading up to choosing when to drop onto the Verdansk map.
Only half the map was available in this mode. There was a marker already available for us to go to plant some explosives for our team. The marker was placed at the entrance of a train tunnel because the special boss in this game mode was an armored train that gave off some serious WWII vibes.
I went there with my team, planted the explosives, and immediately began to gear up. The armored train boss has eight cars, including the locomotive, with the other seven having about two turrets each. The goal of the match is to take down the turrets on each car first, which then makes the car itself vulnerable.
If you die in the match (which will likely happen often), this is not a problem as you immediately are thrown back into the fight. I loved to parachute onto the moving train and shoot the turrets up close, which was a lot of fun.
Once the turrets were taken out on a car, we could destroy the car and then move onto the next one. Eventually, we took out all of the cars. That just left the locomotive to take out. There were, unfortunately, cluster strikes falling at this point, so there were many deaths.
It is worth noting that while death is not something you have to worry about, the damage your squad deals is important. There are special cosmetic items that you can get in the Call of Duty Warzone Battle of Verdansk event by dealing enough damage.
Once the locomotive was destroyed, a cutscene appeared, and many WWII-era planes began bombing Verdansk. We had to run to an exfiltration location to try and escape. I made it to the spot but was blown up. Then the Vanguard cutscene was shown, revealing the next Call of Duty game.
Can You Still Play It?
The Call of Duty Warzone Battle of Verdansk event is unique, so it is understandable if there are players who still want to experience this game mode while it is around. Fortunately, you can do just that even if you missed out on the initial reveal at the beginning of the event.
Raven is great about offering the Battle of Verdansk game mode multiple times for the next several days. Even if you missed out on the first opportunity, there would be several throughout today and into the weekend. This is great for everyone who missed out or wants to try it again.
The time offered for the first reveal was not a great time, for instance, for those on the West Coast who may be at work or school in the morning. Fortunately, more times are coming that will be great for everyone around the world to try.
And if you already did it, you can try it again to, hopefully, get a better score as a squad and unlock more rewards in the event. I found that even after completing it 40 minutes after it started, the event mode was still open, so you may even be able to do it multiple times during the windows of time that it is available.
Vanguard Will Feature Four Theaters of War in World War II
As for what we now know about Vanguard, the story campaign will be set in World War II through four different theaters of war. Releasing on November 5, 2021, it tells the origin of the Special Forces and Task Force One throughout the campaign, honing in on the Western Front, Eastern Front, North Africa, and the Pacific.
From the perspective of a diverse cast with untold stories from this monumental time, you will experience some classic WWII battles across these four theaters of war. Developed by Sledgehammer, the campaign will offer massive warfare on an epic scale.
In total, there are four main characters that we know about currently that will be the crux of the tales offered in the four different locales. Unlike Black Ops Cold War, the Modern Warfare 2019 engine will be revamped to improve graphics and an incredible experience.
We already know that a diverse selection is writing the singleplayer story campaign of writers from various backgrounds, so the stage is set for this to be one of the best stories in the Call of Duty franchise. The trailer gives us a glimpse of some of the crazy moments and beautiful areas we will visit.
Sledgehammer Is Bringing Massive Multiplayer Content
In terms of multiplayer, Sledgehammer Games is bringing a massive day one offering of multiplayer content as soon as the game launches. It will have a whopping 20 multiplayer maps available at launch, including 16 of them core player-versus-player experiences.
This tells us that the other four will likely be used for something other than the traditional multiplayer, like Gunfight or the large-scale game modes similar to Cold War with the Fireteam content. Sixteen is an impressive number, regardless, for a launch suite of multiplayer maps.
The pacing of the multiplayer combat will be unique with reactive gameplay environments in the maps. There will be new custom ballistics and the return of the Gunsmith for crafting your WWII weapons to your liking. There will even be new game modes in Vanguard.
We currently know about Champion Hill that will offer a tournament-style event where players queue up solo, in duos, or in trios to run through an arena of four maps until the last squad is left standing at the end of the match.
Treyarch Will Continue the Zombies Storyline
What is fascinating and a welcome change of pace is that Treyarch will be assisting this game in creating the Zombies experience. Continuing the storyline created in Black Ops Cold War, this new Zombies mode will follow up on what happened in the 2020 game.
Little is known about what this game mode will entail other than Treyarch ensures a crossover, unlike anything we have seen before in the Call of Duty franchise. No longer will you have to wait for the next Black Ops or Treyarch title to experience the next Zombies mainline experience.
Vanguard will offer that in this next iteration of the new Zombies storyline that we are still enjoying right now in Cold War. This gives hope for the future of Zombies, likely indicating that we will see a more interconnected and permanent future for it in all future Call of Duty games, which would be amazing.
We know about the new Vanguard Zombies because it will still offer the same general wave-based survival mode where you are trying to survive against the undead horde. It is unknown where and when it will occur, but it would not be surprising if it uses the same WWII weapons and setting.
Warzone Will Have a New Vanguard Map
Last but not least, Warzone will have a direct integration with Vanguard. From what we have heard in the past, it is presumed that it will be the biggest connection to date. We already know that this collaboration will include a brand new map for the battle royale title.
Vanguard’s WWII setting will inspire this map. We have heard in the past that it will be a massive Pacific map, though this was not confirmed in the initial announcement. This new connection will include a new anti-cheat system that will, hopefully, help with the overwhelming number of hackers.
It will use the same engine and tech as Vanguard, which means a seamless connection of weapons and operators between the two games. This should help with some of the awkwardness that would come about from Treyarch’s different Black Ops Cold War connecting with Warzone.
After the launch of Vanguard, there are other new content that will come to Warzone in the form of new maps (note the plural), game modes, playlists, limited-time events, community celebrations, and more. On November 5, 2021, Vanguard will release for PS5, PS4, Xbox Series, Xbox One, and PC. There will be a beta beforehand, so be sure to check back here for our full impressions once we’ve had the chance to play it.