Call of Duty: Vanguard review round-up

After 4 years, Sledgehammer Games is finally back to making Call of Duty games and it appears that the studio has made believers out of its doubters.


Call of Duty: Vanguard was finally released on November 5, but if you didn't notice until now, we wouldn't blame you. With Call of Duty: Warzone still receiving updates, along with Black Ops - Cold War, it can be easy to forget that Sledgehammer Games is back in the driver's seat once again as it takes the lead in another WWII-themed Call of Duty title after four years.

Many critics see Sledgehammer Games' latest Call of Duty title as a better effort compared to last year's Call of Duty.

If you're hesitant to splurge for another Call of Duty title but you want to know if it's worth buying, don't worry, we've got you covered.

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What's new in Call of Duty: Vanguard?

Vanguard's campaign alone isn't enough to make it worth buying. Thankfully, the zombies and multiplayer experience make up for its shortcoming.

Four years after Activision relegated Sledgehammer Games to support duty following the lackluster performance of 2017's Call of Duty: WWII, Sledgehammer returns to the same period. The only difference is a significantly revamped single-player campaign that spans four frontlines during the Second World War, across the Pacific, North Africa, as well as the Eastern and Western Fronts.

It appears that the goal this time around isn't to tell the story of a single squadron, but of several untold stories that happened during WWII from different perspectives. Naturally, the multiplayer experience is back in and will tie into Warzone. Vanguard also marks the first non-Treyarch game to have a zombies mode.

What are the critics saying about Vanguard?

PCGamesN

"Opting for pulp fantasy over Spielbergian reverence for the era, Vanguard reinvigorates the World War II setting and charts a new path forward." - PCGamesN

Game Informer

"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." - Daniel Tack

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GameSpot

"The thing about Call of Duty games is that, with each yearly iteration, you pretty much know what you're getting--and that's largely the case here. It's both a blessing and a curse for Vanguard, however. Elements of Vanguard feel like good additions to the franchise, but its ideas also don't always mix well with the series' framework. That framework is still strong, and the solid gunplay, exciting multiplayer, and inventive moments of the campaign are worth seeking out. But forcing those two parts together exposes the seams in Call of Duty: Vanguard at times, weakening both parts of the game rather than pushing either one to the forefront." - Phil Hornshaw

IGN

"The individual missions can play it fairly safe, but when the team comes together during both the opening and closing salvos of the story, it all starts to sing. It’s just quite underwhelming that this happens rarely in Vanguard, with the stars of the show being kept apart from each other for the vast majority. There’s a lot to like here, and the ending is as satisfyingly explosive as its beginning. It just feels a few more risks could’ve been taken along the way." - Simon Cardy

Conclusion

Regardless of whether you're a fan of the campaign, the rest of Vanguard are up to snuff.

Vanguard's campaign appears to be a hit-or-miss depending on who you ask. While many agree that it's a valiant effort, some feel like Sledgehammer was playing it too safe. Although this made for a memorable experience, some critics wanted to see more with the setting, especially since the set-up was already there. The good news is that the multiplayer and zombies experience are both top-notch, or are they?

Having said that, if you're looking to play Vanguard just for the single-player campaign alone, it might not be good enough to be worth your time and money.

Ray Ampoloquio
Ray is based in the Philippines. He is a lifelong gamer and a PC hardware enthusiast. He builds and repairs laptops and computers for friends and family in his spare time. You can find Ray on Twitter.