What We Learned From The ‘Call of Duty: Vanguard’ Beta

Call of Duty: Vanguard is the next game in the Call of Duty franchise. Set for release in November, an open beta occurred over the weekend that allowed players to get an early look at the multiplayer. This is good for developers because they’re able to stress test their game with actual players. They can receive immediate feedback about the game, make any necessary adjustments, and also make sure the game just simply works with that many people playing at once.

Problems with cheaters aside, the game is just as solid as every other Call of Duty that’s come out recently. Not that anyone expects a CoD game to flop these days, but for some, it’s good to know that the game is still a good time. Of course, when the games are always consistent there’s a desire from fans to really nail the details. Here are a few details that we noticed while we were doing our playthrough of the Call of Duty: Vanguard beta.

It Sure Feels Like a Call Of Duty Game

One of the most unfair complaints someone can have about a yearly release title is that it’s just the same game copy and pasted every year. Game development is challenging and the work that goes into making a franchise like Call of Duty yearly requires the work of multiple studios across Activision Blizzard. That said, there is a very clear base point that these games are building off of and as a result, there are a lot of similarities in how the last few iterations play. If someone has played Warzone, Modern Warfare, or Black Ops Cold War then they’re going to notice those similarities jumping into this game. For some that isn’t a problem. They enjoy that familiarity even if it’s a lot of the same feelings with a different look.

The reason it’s particularly noticeable with Vanguard though is that this game is going back to a World War II setting. While nobody is expecting hyperrealism from CoD there is a slight expectation of difference between games. These World War II-style guns don’t really feel all that different from anything the player would find in a round of Warzone. For some, that’s gonna be a plus but it makes it difficult to fight against the idea that these are largely the same guns with different skins.

New Radar! Well, Really, An Old One Back Again

Back in the day when someone played Call of Duty if someone fire an unsuppressed weapon their location would be shown on the radar. This was changed in later games to only show up on the compass at the top of the screen making player location less precise. However, Vanguard is bringing the original radar back as a perk that players can equip. So if someone wants the ability to hunt players down via radar they can equip that perk. Otherwise, the only way to see where players are shooting beyond a compass is through an intel kill streak.

This feels like a solid compromise between the two player bases who preferred the old radar and those who didn’t enjoy how revealing it was. If players are that demanding about it then obviously the can equip the perk, but that’s going to come at the cost of another ability. This will force players to decide just how much they care about that valuable intel.

Patrol Mode Is Fun

One of the new additions to the Call of Duty: Vanguard beta is a mode called Patrol. Like Hardpoint or any game with a King of the Hill feature, there is a point on the map that players will need to stand inside and take control of to gain points. However, Hardpoint and King of the Hill points typically stay stationary and then change locations after a period of time. Patrol meanwhile will place a circle on the map and then players will need to move along with the circle as it moves across the map. Other players can of course eliminate anyone inside the circle and take those points for themselves.

This mode was really fun as it forced players to adjust their strategies and decide if they wanted to all cluster in the circle together for maximum defense or spread out and try to prevent any crossfire that would eliminate whoever was in the circle. A good comparison to this would be Overwatch’s payload escort missions, but in this mode, the circle can move even if the player isn’t inside it. They just won’t get any points.