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Sunday, December 5, 2021

Call of Duty Vanguard review: shooter series returns to its roots for World War II greatest hits tour

Vanguard also offers the obligatory smattering of new game-types to master, including early favourite Patrol, which adds a novel spin on the ‘capture and defend the zone’ trope by having that zone continuously move around the map. Elsewhere, new team-based mode Champion Hill allows singles, duos, or trios to face off in self-contained mini-battle royales.

Amid the carnage there’s an inescapable sense of incongruity to many of the game’s multiplayer mechanics. Despite CoD’s roots lying in the conflict, returning to the World War II setting now feels like a retrograde step when compared to the flash bang wallop of modern warfare (to this soldier’s tastes at least). Similarly retconning killstreaks and ultra-granular gunsmith customisation options to the antiquated artillery feels distractingly at odds with the series’ strivings for realism.

Undead-battling co-op survival mode Zombies – an acquired taste I’ve regrettably never managed to stomach to any degree – rounds out a solid portion of CoD that can’t quite shake the notion it’s merely providing target practice until Vanguard’s Pacific-themed Warzone map enters the fray next month. Then again, perhaps that’s actually the point. 

Call of Duty Vanguard is out now on PlayStation 4 and 5 (version reviewed), Xbox X/S, and PC; Call of Duty Warzone Pacific launches on December 2 

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