Call of Duty: Vanguard was released yesterday. This time, the storyline campaign tells about four brave heroes who must destroy the insidious plans of the Nazis and stop the revival of the German army. Traditionally, single-player is full of explosions, epics, and wow moments – but is it fun to play? We went through the story, finished off thousands of Soldiers, and are here to share our opinion!
Note: This article is exclusively dedicated to the storyline campaign, material on multiplayer will be released soon.
What’s so special about Call of Duty: Vanguard?
For many gamers, the Call of Duty story has long ago turned into an attraction that is pleasant to devote a couple of evenings too. The campaign is not expected to have revolutionary gameplay, breathtaking history, and any innovations – however, the familiarity of what is happening does not prevent you from getting pleasure from explosions and gunfights.
Still, it’s cool to spend 6-7 hours and prove to Jon Snow that Mars is eternal, but he is not. In general, there were always enough interesting moments in the story – but what happened this time?
Vanguard was developed by Sledgehammer Games. The studio decided to return to the theme of the Second World War – in 2017, it has already released the controversial Call of Duty: WW2.
Unlike that game, the novelty has become much larger. Gamers will have to fight back Stalingrad, fight in the desert with the troops of General Rommel, smash the Japanese fleet in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, run through the jungle and night forests, and visit the very heart of Germany. In this case, the four playable characters will find both the beginning of the war and its ending.
Was this variety enough to make the Vanguard story fit? In general, yes. The campaign lacks original ideas, and there are enough gaps in the story, but it’s still fun to go through.
Call of Duty: Vanguard story
The 1945 year. The USSR is about to take Berlin and place the Victory Banner on the roof of the Reichstag building. Allied forces are also running out of the Nazis. Hitler is probably already contemplating suicide. In general, the outcome of the war, it would seem, is a foregone conclusion.
Sadly, rumors were saying important generals that there is a mysterious trump card in the sleeve of the Germans that can revive their army and make humanity suffer again. Is this true or myth? What is it all about, and where to shoot? A special squad consisting of war heroes must answer these questions.
The composition of the group is as follows: the cold-blooded Soviet sniper Polina Petrova, Australian demolitionist Lucas Riggs, American pilot Wade Jackson, and their leader, African-British Arthur Kingsley. There are other soldiers in the team, but you don’t even need to think about them – the spotlights shine only on the fantastic four.
In a string, the team goes to Hamburg to find out the insidious plans of the villains, but is captured. Now bloodthirsty Gestapo men will drag them around for interrogations, and gameplay flashbacks will tell how the heroes distinguished themselves during the war.
So gamers will have to survive the dangerous mission of Arthur Kingsley, during which the African-British inspired a handful of warriors to great deeds. Together with the American ace Wade, take part in a large-scale battle for Midway, smash Japanese aircraft carriers and fight plenty in the jungle. Help Australian Lucas foil General Rommel’s plans.
The most entertaining story fell to Polina Petrova, who was a nurse before the Germans attacked Stalingrad, and then took up a rifle and became a nightmare for enemies. Severe trials have fallen to her lot.
In our interview, the developers called themselves storytellers who intend to shed light on the still unexplored events of the Second World War, but you should not expect credibility from Vanguard.
Perhaps, after completing the campaign, one of the gamers will want to learn more about Lyudmila Pavlichenko, who became the prototype of Polina, the battle for Stalingrad, the legendary German general Rommel and much more. However, during the game, do not forget that the story in Vanguard is an alternative.
Polina is here almost single-handedly liberating Stalingrad – if not for her, the soldiers would have long lost hope and surrendered. Without Wade Jackson, the Japanese would definitely have defeated the United States. And the Australian Lucas became the hero who saved North Africa from the oppression of the Axis forces. In reality, everything was somewhat different.
In addition, the campaign often forces the brain to shut down. Why did the Germans lock the elite squad in one cage, allowing them to discuss the escape plan and conspire before interrogation? Didn’t anyone even bother to search the prisoners for knives? Who taught the Gestapo man who tortures the heroes with banal assault?
There are some disappointing moments in the story, but overall it’s fun to play through. Someone will even be glad that the Soviet troops are not portrayed here in a negative light – the authors, on the contrary, emphasize the indomitable will of the people and heroism. In the end, the plot does a pretty good job of justifying the movement of heroes around the world.
Call of Duty: Vanguard gameplay
Due to the fact that there are four heroes in the campaign, and the battles take place in different parts of the planet, the authors managed to make the levels as diverse as possible. Gamers are constantly faced with something new and unusual.
For example, Arthur Kingsley, at the beginning of his story, will find himself in a night forest. He has no weapons, allies are far away, and Germans with rifles are everywhere – all this creates a suitable atmosphere when you do not feel like a brave hero, but just try to survive. It’s even a pity that not even five minutes will pass before the developers will hand him a gun, and the gameplay will once again slide into the shooting range.
But Wade will allow you to feel like a participant in a grand air battle when the sky is overflowing with planes, explosions are thundering everywhere every now and then, and teammates one after another yell that they were knocked out. At the same time, the control of the aircraft, albeit arcade, but the weight of the transport is felt, it is not easy to aim, and the Japanese pilots constantly evade volleys.
The best levels went to Polina. At the beginning of the story, the lady serves as an ordinary nurse and, having exchanged a few words with her father, brother, and neighbors, goes to work. Just at this moment, German planes begin to bomb Stalingrad. The city’s transformation from a tranquil place to a blazing hell is impressive.
At the same time, the heroes have their own skills. Wade Jackson not only pilots cool, but also knows how to concentrate – at this moment enemies nearby are highlighted, and time slows down when aiming. Polina crawls through the narrowest cracks and climbs the walls like a monkey – plus she moves quickly even while lying down and squatting. Arthur Kinglessey is a born leader who knows how to command his teammates. Demoman Lucas carries four types of grenades and throws them accurately.
There are other innovations in the Vanguard too. For example, the soldiers have learned to shoot from an emphasis: from now on, you can sit behind a cover, lean on it and start aimed shooting. From the most difficult situations, it will be possible to get out of the blind by firing.
You often have to use this even on an average level of difficulty: after all, there are a lot of enemies and they shoot painfully. Soldiers sit on shelters, rarely throw grenades and occasionally run from place to place – you should not expect more from the AI.
If the enemies are doing something cool, then only by the script. If someone threw a smoke grenade or unexpectedly ran out of the corner and rushed into a bayonet attack, it was only at the will of the writers, and not because of high intelligence.
The shooting experience is also mixed. In some episodes, she is downright impressive. For example, when Polina goes on the warpath in Stalingrad, the Germans react sharply to hits, fly off to the walls, splatter the rooms with blood and drop utensils from the tables. But in other cases, the impact is an order of magnitude lower, and the enemies die less effectively.
But the weapon always feels different. By exchanging a light pistol for a shotgun, you can immediately feel its weight and enjoy the recoil. Overall, though, shooting hasn’t changed much since WW2.
However, the main thing is that there are enough memorable moments in the campaign. A steep dive on an airplane to smash an enemy aircraft carrier. Sniper duels with Polina. Race with a flamethrower through trenches crowded with Japanese. Attack an enemy outpost full of tanks and warehouses with cool guns. These episodes are great fun.
True, sometimes the authors are greedy for wow moments. For example, in one of the tasks, the hero bravely breaks into a hangar with an airplane in order to hijack it and break an unwanted army. You run, shooting everyone around, protecting the transport while your partners push it onto the runway, and you expect that you will now rise to heaven and show the Japanese Kuzkin’s mother.
And then the cutscene begins, in which the hero defeats everyone without your help. How is that?
There are a lot of complaints about the storyline campaign. Endless shooting, lack of ramifications like the recent Black Ops Cold War, ridiculous moments in history. But there is enough variety to entertain for seven hours. And probably no one expects more from a single player.