The Call of Duty game is something like a favorite Christmas tree toy. As the holidays draw near, it really warms the soul. That’s CoD. New year means new COD. It has become a tradition. It’s kind of weird to live without it. And even if the series has not been associated with innovation or innovation for a long time, fans are still waiting for new parts. And they swear by pro forma, but deep down they know they don’t need anything fundamentally new. They want the same thing as usual, but a little different. And in this case, Call of Duty: Vanguard will appeal to them. Everything is here.
I have long associated Call of Duty with Hollywood blockbusters. Michael Bay is hiding somewhere, and Roland Emmerich isn’t happy with the new explosive action game, but it’s not scary: in terms of technology, modern games are ready to give battles to the film. And Call of Duty: Vanguard’s story campaign does everything to please war movie fans.
Last year I ironically applauded efforts to revive “cranberries” in the best traditions of the eighties and nineties, but it would be a lie to say I didn’t enjoy the campaign: Call of Duty: Cold War Black Ops not only looked great, it was actually really great. properly experimented with the single player format, at one point even imitating Hitman and adding elements of stealth and puzzles. Vanguard, with all its undeniable advantages, which I will talk about later, has brought back the old formula in every way. In this regard, Treyarch triumphed over Sledgehammer Games: no matter how beautifully and how hard it worked, I was always “for” experimentation.
However, that doesn’t mean Call of Duty: Vanguard doesn’t have its advantages. To begin with, he skillfully (well, for such a shooter) presents his little story about the brave soldiers of the Second World War. At the same time, he doesn’t just tell – he teaches. At the center of the story is a group of the best war soldiers from around the world: the black Englishman Arthur Kingsley, the American pilot Wade Jackson, the Australian bomber Lucas Riggs and the female Soviet sniper Polina Petrova. The latter is based on Lyudmila Pavlichenko, the most successful female sniper in world history. There are also references to other half-forgotten historical facts: America’s “colorful” platoons or the way the British ignored their Australian allies.
Also read: Call Of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Review – Cranberry Ordered?
Early in the campaign, our company was captured by the Nazis, who seemed ready to surrender after Hitler’s death. Here begins a series of flashbacks, which tell about the “careers” of each of our heroes. This is a competent structure that allows you to better understand each character and see literally the whole world, taking part in the famous battles of the Second World War. We see with our own eyes how Stalingrad almost fell, how Operation Tonga or the Battle of Midway took place. Vanguard went to great lengths to tweak the settings and even, to some extent, the gameplay to keep players interested. More often than not, he succeeded: sometimes we crawled through the mud in Normandy, then we piloted a torpedo bomber, then we walked through the woods, avoiding traps and Japanese soldiers. This diversity gives the impression that we are in a James Bond movie. And the visual series just confirms this.
From a technical point of view, Call of Duty: Vanguard is practically flawless. Beautiful pictures, great sound (better not to play without a good subwoofer or headphones) and lively action literally blows you to the screen, and, apart from a few unfortunate moments (Petrova’s story is more boring than inspiring), and I want to play, and a lot of . CoD can be criticized for many things, but not for their epic story campaign. While Battlefield has largely abandoned this important aspect, there is something here for everyone. And even if the gameplay is shallow, and the plot will take you no more than five hours in total (no hidden secrets here), sometimes you just want to go back in time, when shooters were as simple as doors, and the task was one – to wet the fascists.
Also read: Crysis Remastered Trilogy Review – The iconic shooter never gets old
But I might be a very rare player who is more interested in the story than the multiplayer mode. Most of the rest of Call of Duty is associated with multiplayer. In this respect, everything is also more or less equal: in many ways, it is a direct continuation of Call of Duty: WWII. Player movement is slower and everything feels more realistic — well, to a certain extent, of course.
The cards are the most fun – both in terms of quality and quantity. I rarely praise the latter, but here we immediately get access to 20 maps (Cold War Black Ops released with nine). When is it? The maps are cool, and the developers paid special attention to damage. The trailer plays it a bit: yes, certain walls and doors can be demolished, but nothing fundamentally new or truly dynamic was added. Weapons are also more than adequate — nearly 40 weapons of any type, each with its own nozzles and features. The customization is also very deep.
The new Champion Hill mode is really interesting – it’s arena matches across four maps where only one can survive. The short and intense combat is quite interesting, but I don’t know if this mode will become popular. This is an example of moderate, but still, franchise evolution that rarely creates anything new at all. And fans still prefer compact maps, where enemies await around every corner. Well, where can we go without zombies.
Separately, I would like to note the optimization of games on the PS5 – in particular, working with the DualSense controller. We write a lot about it, but gamepads are almost always praised in the context of exclusive games developed directly for this platform. But Call of Duty: Vanguard is easily one of the best non-exclusive games to use all the DualSense bells and whistles. Every weapon feels different, every shot delivered to the hand. Wearing headphones creates an immersive effect I’ve never experienced before in a shooter game. When you refill the machine, you can feel the whole process. And when you carefully press the revolver’s trigger, the trigger resists. This makes the PS5 the best platform for this shooter in my opinion.
By the way, the PS5 also supports AMD FidelityFX Contrast Adaptive Sharpening. What’s that? In simple words, this is another way to improve image clarity. And it works, especially if you look closely at the nearby elements. For example, a campaign poster doesn’t blur into pixels as you approach it.
I’ve had a lot to say about the technical aspects of the novelty, but not all of them are as good as I’d like them to be. The game itself still looks raw to me: I didn’t find any particularly unpleasant bugs, but several times I had to endure a sound lag (in screensavers, thank God) or a second second screen freeze – maybe this is how the game subtly loads assets. But the worst part was when after the last patch Vanguard refused to turn on! I honestly admit that in one year of using the console, I have experienced such behavior for the first time, and the only solution to this problem is a complete reinstall. That’s more than 80GB of data to reload. It’s not fatal, but it’s very unpleasant. I hope this is an isolated case.
Also read: Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy review — So beautiful and surprising
In the new generation, Call of Duty: Vanguard fails to impress, but it doesn’t fall flat in the mud either. Will the new section be remembered? Almost not. This is just one of many episodes. But the episodes are very upbeat, with lots of content and not the worst story campaign. If you like this time slot, it’s worth a try.