Call of Duty Vanguard Multiplayer Review – Beta Impressions

Call of Duty Vanguard Call of Duty returns to its roots… again. This game does a lot. Preorders for the first multiplayer beta were open this weekend. I spent quite a lot of time getting to know it before its release on November 5. You will feel familiar with Vanguard’s multiplayer if you have played the previous iterations. Let me clarify: it might seem like Call of Duty’s MP last year with a WW2 skin. A few new modes are what keeps me from returning to Black Ops Cold War and playing Vanguard.

As you would expect, Team Deathmatch and Kill Confirmed are back. Hardpoint was a game mode that I didn’t like, but it has now been replaced by a Patrol mode. I love this mode. Patrol is a different mode than the traditional capture-and-hold static point strategy. Instead of protecting static points, Patrol requires you to protect a narrow circle of territory along the map. This is why the name “Patrol”. It’s great fun to have a group of Internet randos working together to capture and cover this target. This is my favourite addition to the multiplayer this year, because it encourages active and passive coverage. It also discourages camping.


Long-term camping is possible. Long-range shooters should only set up camp in a sniper nest if the area in question is moving. It can move from large open spaces to within buildings and back again. This is a great idea. You will need to use all of your shooting skills, close-quarters, long-range and mid-range in just a matter of minutes.

It can be difficult to discern who is on which side.



Close-quarters combat in all modes is the area where I find Vanguard’s multiplayer most frustrating. It’s hard to know who’s which. In last year’s Cold War, NATO forces were pitted against Warsaw Pact troops. This year however (at least in beta), both teams consist of the same Allied characters. I was unable to identify who, especially in the Hotel Royal map. The indicator is difficult to see if you are close to someone. Even at distance, it often fades in the brown and muddy tones. Friendly fire, although not an issue in this beta (the Hardcore mode is absent from the beta), can be a problem because I make mistakes every second. There have been many instances where I hesitated and was smoked.

Each IGN Call of Duty Review

While I know that no one would want to be the Axis power in 2021, some kind of distinction feature other than the small red dot with the name of the team in it would help. It’s nice to be able to identify enemy players by their Activision Gamer names, rather than by their character models. I also like to know when they approach me by name and not just their Activision Gamer number.

Champion Hill adds a new twist to the battle royale format.



This is not a problem in the Champion Hill mode. It’s a new twist to battle royale where you don’t have to fight for the title of the last team, but instead, you can run around on what is basically a glorified paintingball field. It’s simple. You join a team of two or three people, then you get placed in an arena and try to defeat the others. Each team will battle another randomly 2v2 and 3v3 until there is only one remaining. You can earn money during matches to purchase upgrades such as weapons, buffs and perks. Although it’s enjoyable, matchmaking was slow. It’s unclear if this is due to the lack of interest, or because it’s still beta. I don’t think it can be blamed for it unless it continues in the final game.

The three maps that are available in beta are just OK, speaking of maps. Gavutu is a South Pacific rainy location and my favourite. It has all the things I love in an MP map of mid-size size: a corridor at the center, wide open space to one side and more densely packed buildings and obstacles on the other. It doesn’t feel quite right, despite the large-open seaside location of the map. I also didn’t get a good feel for its “flow” during beta. Hotel Royal is a tiny map that has lots of CQC. This may be due to my friend-or-foe problems. Red Star, which is based in Stalingrad, doesn’t inspire strong emotions. Red Star was a reminder of Call of Duty 2 back way in the days, which I appreciated. However, other than that it didn’t really stand out. As I become more acquainted with the maps, my opinion may shift. Week 2 will open The Eagle’s Nest which is a map that was based on Hitler’s mountain stronghold. It will feature Nazi-themed combatants.

Gavutu is my favourite map of the three. It’s a South Pacific rainy location.



The rank and loadout progressions are back and they look exactly the same last year. This was in stark contrast to what they feel in Modern Warfare 2019. Your loadout includes primary, secondary, non-lethal, and lethal weapons such as grenades, Molotov cocktails and Molotov cocktails. You also get three perks and killstreak bonus bonuses. You can unlock upgrades such as magazines and optics by using a weapon in a match. You can unlock more weapons and mods by gaining rank in your Activision account. It’s hard to be excited about this year’s game. Unlockable skins are missing in the beta. These add no value to gameplay but push me to get at least two of my favourite weapons up to the highest level. I hope they will be back in the final game.

Some weird ranking issues were evident in my profile XP as well as my weapon XP. In spite of my best efforts, sometimes I would not accumulate any XP for several matches. It would then “catch up”, and my experience from 20 matches would appear all at once. The unlocks came in a delayed, huge wave. This meant that I couldn’t use my new weapon or upgrade any of my weapons for long periods. This meant I missed out on the joy of progressing from level to level. They will hopefully fix this before they release.

These weapons are modern, not World War II-era.



They also feel almost the same, which means that weapons feel very modern. Although I know that the reflective sight predates World War 2, it is technically accurate. However, it feels strange to see them on small arms. Recon Plane, Glide Bomb and Spy Plane kill streaks are only the Cruise Missile and Spy Plane streaks of last year. Those were versions of UAV and Cruise Missile streaks that existed the previous year. While I enjoy the familiarity of year-to-year killstreaks, part of me wishes for more modern, era-appropriate ones.

Call of Duty: Vanguard Multiplayer Screenshots

Also, Vanguard’s skill-based matchmaking is back in Call of Duty. If you are an old salt you won’t like it. It was a great experience playing on PS5, something I am admittedly not very good at. Playing on PC is my preferred method of gaming. I find it difficult to adjust from keyboard and mouse play to controller-based play. If you are a less competitive player like myself, and just want to have fun playing online for hours every fall with your friends, then SBMM can be a fantastic way to win some. Because you play others of the same skill level, it’s impossible to see where you are in the vast player pool. It’s impossible to turn it off so a VPN is your best option to avoid being matched up with the same player.

Overall, my Vanguard weekend was enjoyable, especially the Patrol mode matches. But not nearly as much as I hoped. I don’t know what it is, but it feels like Black Ops Cold War, with the WW2-era skin. While it’s fun, I also know that I will put in many hours to the final Call of Duty game, just like I did at the beginning of each Call of Duty cycle. But, there is nothing new about the experience. My opinion may change over time as multiplayer changes, but I would give Call of Duty Vanguard MMP a 6. This is just a beta score, and it is not final. Make sure you check back after launch.

Publié at Tue 14 Sep 2021, 00:29.42 +0000

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