The Call of Duty: Vanguard release date has now arrived, and reviews for the latest instalment of the long-running FPS game series have begun rolling in, giving us an idea of what to expect – and whether it’ll be worth your hard-earned pennies. So, let’s take a look at what the critics have made of the new CoD.
Let’s kick off with this orange site right here’s Call of Duty: Vanguard review. Our own Ian Boudreau scores it a healthy eight-out-of-ten, noting that developer Sledgehammer Games has “return[ed] to World War II with a very different approach”. Ian concludes that, “opting for pulp fantasy over Spielbergian reverence for the era, Vanguard reinvigorates the World War II setting and charts a new path forward”.
Gamespot puts it a little lower on the scale, giving it a seven-out-of-ten. The highlights cited in the review include the Vanguard multiplayer mode’s destructible environments, great-feeling guns, meaningful loadouts and Gunsmith customisation, and positive changes to Zombies, which “make the mode more approachable”, among other things. Negatives mentioned include the feeling that “some campaign missions are much weaker than others, especially when pushing out of the usual pop-and-shoot approach”, characters not really feeling distinct enough, and Zombies “missing the story-focused puzzle box elements that make the mode great”.
IGN has several reviews aimed at the different aspects of the latest CoD. The single-player campaign review scores it seven-out-of-ten, concluding, “Call of Duty Vanguard’s highly polished campaign provides a healthy amount of fun, even if its brief length and lack of variety lead it to fall short of the classic pieces of war cinema it’s trying to emulate.” There are also (unscored) reviews-in-progress for its Zombies and multiplayer modes at those links.
GameInformer gives the game an eight-out-of-ten, writing that, “Call of Duty: Vanguard’s campaign misses the mark, but multiplayer and Zombies do the heavy lifting to get the title to a good place. If you’re most invested in the single-player experience, you can pass on this year’s entry, but if you’re into the other modes, Call of Duty remains an excellent choice for some shooting, looting, and zombie executing.”
Eurogamer’s unscored review, meanwhile, says that Vanguard “won’t join the pantheon of Call of Duty games, but it’s a decent stop-gap for those waiting for Modern Warfare’s return”. The write-up notes that its campaign “feels throwaway” though says that “multiplayer is better”, in that it “moves and shoots more like Modern Warfare and Warzone, which is a good thing for the upcoming osmosis with the all-encompassing battle royale”.
If you’re looking for some tips now the new CoD’s live, we’ve got you covered. You can find some handy explainers on Call of Duty: Vanguard multiplayer, Call of Duty: Vanguard career challenges and rewards, Call of Duty: Vanguard Zombies perks, and Call of Duty: Vanguard maps at those links.
Activision Blizzard is facing a lawsuit filed in July by the state of California (since expanded for QA and customer service contractors) alleging years of discrimination and harassment. Since then, CEO Bobby Kotick has called the company’s initial response “tone deaf”, employees have staged a walkout, Blizzard president J Allen Brack has left, and the ABK Workers Alliance has demanded change at the company. The lawsuit is ongoing; follow the latest developments here. In September, an agency of the US federal government opened an investigation into Activision Blizzard’s response to sexual misconduct and discrimination complaints from its employees, as part of which Kotick has reportedly been subpoenaed. The company is also facing a separate unfair labour practice suit alleging “worker intimidation and union busting” filed by a workers’ union, also in September. In another, separate development, Activision Blizzard reached an agreement with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission “to settle claims and to further strengthen policies and programs to prevent harassment and discrimination”. In a subsequent letter to employees, the company has announced an end to forced arbitration, a $250 million initiative to improve diversity, and a major pay cut for Kotick.