COD Vanguard Beta Review – World War 2
Here we are: another year, another Call of Duty. This year, it’s Sledgehammer Games’ turn with Call of Duty: Vanguard. As is the norm every year, players have the option to test the game’s multiplayer before its official release, and that’s exactly what we did with the Early Access Beta.
First of all, note that the beta version of COD Vanguard is not the full version of multiplayer. Many items are locked for higher levels and we don’t have access to the full range of weapons, perks, sequences, maps, etc. In saying that, this print piece is for the beta of Vanguard, and my initial take on multiplayer.
Right off the bat, Vanguard feels familiar… maybe a little too much. In case you didn’t know, the game runs on the same engine as Modern Warfare 2019, and it’s pretty noticeable. From how the characters are heavier compared to previous Call of Duty games, to the way the weapons behave. If you weren’t a fan of MW2019, chances are you weren’t digging into Vanguard given the similarities.
My opinion ? I finally warmed up to Modern Warfare 2019, although it was far from my favorite Call of Duty multiplayer experience. Having said that, the issues I encountered in MW 2019 are present in Vanguard. Firing with unremoved weapons will not display that player’s location on the minimap unless you use the Radar perk. While you can run more often in Vanguard than in Modern Warfare, it still feels like you’re penalized for playing aggressively rather than just sitting and peeking out windows and ledges. to eliminate people who try to run. ‘n’ gun.
Another thing that is making a comeback are doors and windows. If you hated them in Modern Warfare, well, there’s a slight improvement that some parts of the environment (and windows) can be broken. But the doors themselves, however? No, they still present the same issues as in MW 2019. They are still death traps that have another player waiting for you when you walk in, and no way to “turn them off”.
Since this is not the final version of the game, there are some issues that it would be strange not to mention. First of all, the sound design is weird, as you can never tell where the shots are coming from. I have had instances where the enemy would shoot my teammate down and I couldn’t hear their footsteps or even unmuffled weapons. I guess the enemies felt the same.
Visibility is another major issue with the beta. Not only are enemies difficult to discern from environments, but Sledgehammer Games has even included a haze and warp effect when players aim down (ADS).
Thankfully, Sledgehammer has publicly stated that he is aware of the audio and visibility issues and will fix them.
One thing that might not be fixed, however, is the in-game visuals. Simply put: Vanguard isn’t a pretty game. It’s not the WWII aesthetic, but rather how good it looks. everything looks dull and washed out (on the PS5 version). This makes the visibility problem much worse, and I have no idea if this is something Sledgehammer Games can refine at launch.
In the beta, Sledgehammer revealed that he tagged the way each mode is played. There are Tactics, Blitz and Standard. He’s supposed to let the players choose how they want their matches. Blitz throws as many players as possible on a map (10-14 on each side by my tally), and it’s real chaos, as explosions, gunfire and more fill the battlefield. Tactical is more or less a slower version of Blitz, while Standard is your typical 6v6 match.
Honestly, I didn’t feel any difference. Of course, there are more enemies in Blitz, but that’s about it. The map sizes appear to be the same meaning that in 6v6 it looks a bit empty.
There is also a new mode introduced in Vanguard called Patrol, which is played like Hardpoint but with a movable zone. It’s pretty cool in theory, but in actual gameplay? It’s missing the target, as most players won’t cap as it doesn’t add anything to your streak and just tells enemies where you are.
Other than that, you have your usual Domination, Team Deathmatch, Kill Confirmed modes. Of course, given how the game uses winning streaks instead of scoring streaks, except people don’t chase goals much and just camp out to get that many wins without dying. For those who have played Modern Warfare, this isn’t something new, and it’s up to you to decide whether you agree or not.
Maybe my main problem with Vanguard’s pace right now is that it’s SLOW. Throwing a Frag Grenade is slow, running or moving is slow. It’s like doing anything in the beta right now is slow, causing players to not run, walk around while aiming, etc.
One thing Vanguard has over its predecessors is the amount of customization you can bring to your weapons. Primary weapons can be customized in 10 categories which is the most in Call of Duty history if I remember correctly. The gunsmith is ripped straight from Modern Warfare, but with Sledgehammer’s own take on a few gun props and perks. If you’ve always wanted to customize your weapon to the end, this game is for you. You don’t need to use Wild Cards, Drop Perks, etc. just to fully equip your gear.
While weapon customization might be a step in the right direction, the shooter is hit or miss. it’s not as satisfying as Modern Warfare’s, nor as sharp as Black Ops Cold War‘s. Maybe it’s the audio issue that’s causing it to fall out this way? We’ll find out for sure at launch.
So far, my main gripe with Vanguard is how familiar it is and how it looks like Modern Warfare. I know, I know, complaining about all too familiar things in a Call of Duty game is laughable, but for franchise fans, each studio had its own identity. As soon as you play a Call of Duty multiplayer game developed by Treyarch, you will know it instantly. For Vanguard, some parts look like a Modern Warfare 2019 WW2 mod.
You’ve got your basic killstreaks, perks and so on, and most of them look like a Modern Warfare 2019 retread. While that can be said for almost every COD game every year, there are still some subtle differences that make it stand out. the multiplayer component of each title. At the moment, outside of the WW2 theme, I don’t see this in Vanguard.
War never changes
We have over a month until Vanguard’s release, and it’s not like Sledgehammer will stop tweaking the game once it’s released. This is the right thing since developers can continually tweak the game until it hits that sweet spot. Having said that, based solely on the beta, I wasn’t blown away by Vanguard, and to be frank, this is the oldest “old” new Call of Duty game I’ve ever played so far.
Will Sledgehammer be able to tweak this in a way that everyone will enjoy? Probably not. If you didn’t like Modern Warfare 2019, then chances are you don’t like Vanguard’s multiplayer so much. As for me, while I have learned to accept the quirks of Modern Warfare 2019 in multiplayer, I cannot say if I will feel the same with Vanguard. For now, Sledgehammer Games has its work cut out for it, although I hope the beta feedback is something the developers take to heart.
Jimmy Lara’s point of view:
You know, it blows my mind with all the resources and all the money made on the Call of Duty franchise, that the studios that work on it still can’t find a good spawn system.
I don’t expect a perfect system because that will never happen, but why does Call of Duty always seem to get worse over the generations.
The beta of Vanguard proved to me that it would be another COD game with a poor spawning system, as countless times I would spawn directly in front of an enemy and die before I even made my first few. not. It’s frustrating beyond all reason, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was like that on purpose.
Again, I don’t expect a perfect system because I’ve played a lot of other multiplayer games where I’ve had these instances, but they’re usually so far in between and not all of the other deaths. . I just don’t get it, this is a multibillion dollar franchise, give players some sort of fighting chance, even if it’s a few seconds of immunity after spawning, all will help at this point.
Then there’s the biggest issue the latest Call of Duty games have suffered from, visibility. Listen, when someone says visibility in Call of Duty needs to be improved, that doesn’t mean to make it super obvious by making the characters glow like nightsticks or something, it just means making the environments more diversified.
Just look at this and try to count how many different shades of brown (I know there are grays, but come on) there are in this picture. The answer? Too much.
Other than that, I will say that unlike Alex, I really like the overall feeling of Vanguard. It has this similar weight to that brought by MW2019, but more suited to racing and shooting, which is the style of play that I like to lean into for Call of Duty. I think that sounds fair, but there are some aspects that are slow that Alex addressed like throwing grenades and the like.
Overall, I wasn’t too impressed with this year’s beta-based Call of Duty. Maybe I will when it comes out, but for me the WWII setting is boring and boring, but Sledgehammer has the opportunity to breathe new life into it. It will all depend on how much they take his community’s feedback to heart, or if he comes out in a state that is no better than it is now. A lot of work is ahead of the studio.
Call of Duty: Vanguard is slated for release this November 5 on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X | S, and PC.