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Call of Duty: Vanguard

Call of Duty: Vanguard - 3 Exciting things we know so far

An astoundingly beautiful and very destructible world is only the foundation of what sounds like a very big and promising game ready to take Battlefield 2042 head-on.

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I'll never forget when Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare was unveiled back in 2007. The reveal trailer made it absolutely clear that this game was going to take the already very popular series to a whole other level with it's incredible visuals, astounding set pieces and intriguing story. My hype level wasn't exactly lowered when Infinity Ward talked about bullets being able to go through certain surfaces, the RPG-like progression system for multiplayer and all the other stuff we absolutely loved when the game launched later that year. While the Call of Duty games have had some really cool reveals since then, extremely few of them have even come close to that one, so I'm glad to say that the reveal of Call of Duty: Vanguard has given me some of the same vibes as I got fourteen years ago. Here are three reasons why.

Call of Duty: Vanguard

A graphical leap
To make this clear, certain parts of the presentation I had the pleasure of attending was the same kind of talk about heavy research, incredible audio work and top-tier shooting we get every year, but some core components give me hope that Call of Duty: Vanguard could end up being one of the biggest leaps we've gotten in the series for quite some time.

The first thing that hit me was obviously the visuals, and I wasn't the only one who almost thought the campaign sequence we saw was CG and not actual gameplay. Both the character models, animations, texture detail and lighting are jaw-dropping. Just look at that sequence with the burning wind-mill in the reveal trailer! How the flames light up the nearby area and pierce through the smoke and fog to create a picturesque scene I'm sure will make millions of us take a screenshot of. That's actual gameplay. Top that with incredible vistas thanks to the volumetric cloud lighting and rendering technology, giant environments chock-full of characters, objects and foliage and some really cool improvements of the physics and it's clear that Call of Duty: Vanguard is the visual leap we've been waiting for on the new generation of consoles. Especially because it also implements something Battlefield-fanboys have held against Call of Duty for a long time now.

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Destructible environments
Sure, the Call of Duty games have been tipping their toe into destructibility for a few years now with interactive doors and such, but Vanguard makes it predecessors look like nothing. The gameplay sequence we were shown had both our character and enemies blow floor-boards, windows, doors, book-shelves, tables and a bunch of other things that barely react in the previous games to pieces. We're not talking about fully destructible environments like Red Faction: Guerrilla or other games that basically let us level entire buildings or something here, but it seems pretty close.

This doesn't just look incredible, but obviously also affects gameplay. Being able to blow up walls will take enemies completely off guard, while having your seemingly safe cover being turned to dust keeps you on your toes. I really hope this is reflected in all levels in both the campaign, multiplayer and zombies, as it a very exciting new aspect to the Call of Duty formula.

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Multiplayer and Zombies
While I'm not allowed to say much about the game's multiplayer and Zombies (made by Treyarch) modes right now, I think it's safe to say those aspects seem like they've received more time in the oven than Black Ops Cold War's were at launch. Vanguard will launch with 20 maps, where 16 of them are regular 6vs6 maps. The other 4 are for 2vs 2 and a new mode called Champion Hill that combines two beloved modes from the franchise you'll learn more about at a later date.

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All of these will have the breath-taking visuals, reactive environments, Bear McCreary's amazing music, some tweaks to Gunsmith, custom ballistics, being able to blind-fire over cover, new modes and more I'm looking forward to sharing more about soon.

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Before I go, it's important to note that I still have a few concerns after the presentation. One of the main ones is how much the developers talked about cinematic moments in the campaign. While we're used to seeing some really cool set-piece moments in Call of Duty, the few minutes of gameplay we got to see included a large amount of quick-time events and moments where the player seemingly weren't in control of its character. Personally, I prefer to be in control at all times, so having my character being forced into a building or cover, search for ammunition in a truck and stuff like that isn't fun if it happens as often as the showcased mission indicated.

That's pretty much it, however, as the beautiful visuals, top-tier sound-design, exhilarating destructible and reactive environments, brutal physics and intriguing concept has me so hyped to go through these fictional, but inspired by real-world events and people, stories from World War 2 in Call of Duty: Vanguard on November 5.

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Call of Duty: Vanguard

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Sledgehammer Games' latest instalment into the long-running shooter series offers up some great improvements, but still feels a bit safe at its core.

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