Call of Duty: Vanguard is official, with the next entry to the annual CoD series set to arrive this November with a brand-new campaign along with multiplayer and zombies modes. And now we can confirm that the game is set in the World War II era. What’s more, it’s bringing back the next-gen engine first seen in 2019’s Modern Warfare.
Call of Duty: Vanguard will launch on November 5, going head-to-head with the DICE’s hugely anticipated Battlefield 2042. While Battlefield is going all-in on online multiplayer by ditching its single-player campaign, Vanguard has the edge with a story that follows Task Force One across “four major theatres of war.” Fans can also expect the usual online multiplayer with 20 maps at launch, along with a “universe-expanding” zombies mode.
In the lead up to its launch, we can expect a multiplayer reveal, along with an open beta and more announcements over the coming weeks. In the meantime, here’s everything you need to know about Sledgehammer Games’ Call of Duty: Vanguard.
Call of Duty: Vanguard release date
Like in virtually every modern Call of Duty entry, expect the game to be split into three different sections: Campaign, Multiplayer and Zombies. While Sledgehammers Games will handle the single-player story and multiplayer, Treyarch Studios is leading development on this year’s zombies mode. Call of Duty games are rarely delayed, so expect Vanguard’s November 5 launch to be set in stone.
Vanguard is available to pre-order today in three different editions. The standard edition is priced at $59.99 for PC, PS4 and Xbox One, or $69.99 for a cross-gen bundle that includes access to the PS5 and Xbox Series X versions of the game. The Ultimate edition will set you back $99.99, and includes a Battle Pass bundle and extra perks. All pre-order versions include early access to the open beta.
Call of Duty: Vanguard beta
Not much is known about Call of Duty: Vanguard’s beta, but we do know that those who pre-order the game on any platform will get early access. Those playing on PlayStation are in luck, as the open beta will first be available on PS4, according to the reveal trailer and pre-order page. Those who pre-order the standard version on PS5 can also play a backward-compatible version of Vanguard to access the beta.
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War released on November 13, with its open beta landing on October 15. With this in mind, expect Vanguard’s open beta to take place in early-to-mid October.
Call of Duty: Vanguard campaign
CoD Vanguard is taking us back to Call of Duty’s World War II roots, which we last saw back in 2017 with the release of Call of Duty: WWII. This time, we’re getting an interwoven story about four heroes fighting back the Axis powers in “major theatres of World War II.” As shown in the reveal trailer, this includes North Africa; the Eastern Front and the Western Front in Europe, including Stalingard and France; and the Pacific, such as the Midway Islands.
The campaign will follow four separate playable characters that come to form Task Force One, each with their own origin story on their journey to becoming one of the original “Operatives.” We already know their names and ranks.
- Private Lucas Riggs, 20th Battalion, Australian 9th Infantry Division, British Eighth Army.
- Sergeant Arthur Kingsley of the 9th Parachute Battalion, British Army.
- Lieutenant Wade Jackson, Scouting Squadron Six, United States Navy.
- Lieutenant Polina Petrova of the 138th Rifle Division, Red Army.
As spotted by PC Gamer, Vanguard’s campaign will see our heroes fight back against the game’s fictional villain, Heinrich Freisinger. As part of a plan named “Project Phoenix,” he is meant to be Hitler’s successor, and is inspired by the real-life Gestapo operative Heinrich Müller.
The campaign will take players to different war fronts where they can expect “dogfighting over the Midway Islands, defending Stalingrad with a sniper’s precision, airdropping over France, or blasting through advancing forces in North Africa.” Call of Duty campaigns can be the high point of the game, so we’re excited to see what it has to offer.
Call of Duty: Vanguard multiplayer
When it comes to gameplay, Call of Duty’s multiplayer mode doesn’t change the formula too much with each iteration, but we can expect more old-fashioned World War II weaponry and fewer jetpacks or wall running. Do expect it to keep the fast-paced combat.
At launch, Vanguard will boast 20 multiplayer maps with 16 of them “built for core gameplay.” These maps are expected to revolve around the locations shown in the single-player campaign, and include forests, beachfronts, a city landscape and a deserted plain. Players will rise through the ranks to become Special Forces Operators across various modes, including one Modern Warfare fans will be familiar with. Vanguard will have a 2v2 Gunfight mode known as Champion Hill. This includes close-quarters, small-squad combat in which eight teams compete in a series of head-to-head matchups where the last team standing wins.
According to the Call of Duty blog post, Vanguard’s multiplayer will include an “advanced Gunsmith and Caliber system that brings immersive and reactive environments to a new level.” We’re interested to see how reactive or destructible these environments are, but don’t expect dynamic environments on the level Battlefield 2042 is boasting.
Call of Duty: Vanguard zombies
Zombies. It’s one of Call of Duty’s more bizarre, yet interesting sections in every entry. This year, Vanguard is bringing a “franchise-first” prequel of sorts, continuing the Dark Aether story.
Gamers can expect the same wave-based onslaught of zombies across a massive map filled with secrets. This time around, expect to face a precursor to what players experienced in Black Ops Cold War Zombies, as developers are now seemingly trying to make a Zombies universe.
Treyarch Studios, the developers leading the project, will be unveiling more details about Vanguard’s Zombies on “All Hallows Eve.” That means Halloween, so expect a gameplay reveal on Sunday, October 31 this year.
Call of Duty: Vanguard vs. Call of Duty: Warzone
Continuing its integration of Call of Duty titles, Vanguard will now be part of its overall progression system that includes Modern Warfare, Black Ops Cold War and Warzone. This means everything you do in Vanguard will be part of a universal progression system to progress your rank and Battle Pass.
As with Black Ops Cold War, Vanguard and Warzone will see plenty of integration. This includes sharing free post-launch content, new maps, seasonal events, modes and playlists. Warzone is launching a new map later this year when players can expect full integration between Warzone and Vanguard.
What’s more, Vanguard and Warzone are running on the same engine, which will make it easier for developers to add Vanguard weapons to the popular multiplayer battle royale.
Call of Duty: Vanguard PC requirements
While Sledgehammer Games has yet to officially announce the PC requirements for CoD Vanguard, we have a good idea of what gamers will need to run the game at smooth frame rates. Seeing as Vanguard is running on the same engine as the one introduced in Modern Warfare (2019) and in Warzone, players will need similar specs.
In order to play Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (and thus play Warzone), you’ll need relatively powerful hardware. It is recommended you have an Intel Core i5-2500K or AMD Ryzen R5 1600X CPU, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 graphics card, 12GB of RAM, 175GB of storage and Windows 10 OS. To enable ray tracing, you’ll need 16GB of RAM and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 GPU, along with an Intel Core i5-2500k or an AMD Ryzen R5 1600x CPU.
As for minimum requirements, you’ll need an Intel Core i3-4340 or AMD FX-6300 CPU, a Nvidia GeForce GTX 670 / GeForce GTX 1650 or Radeon HD 7950, 8GB of RAM, and 2GB of video memory.
Vanguard will be available on last-gen consoles, including the PS4 and Xbox One. With this, we don’t expect Sledgehammer Games to set a higher requirement bar on PC. That said, the blog post does state, “Vanguard is the most advanced Call of Duty experience ever.”
Call of Duty: Vanguard is taking us back to the series’ World War II roots. We may have already seen this back in 2017 with Call of Duty: WWII, but Vanguard already looks to be a better experience. Developers Sledgehammer Games will be using the impressive engine used in Modern Warfare and Warzone, and I’m excited to see the photo-realistic effect brought to a World War II setting.
Vanguard’s campaign seems to be the main focus for now, but expect a multiplayer and zombies preview in the lead up to the game’s release on November 5. If gameplay is anything like the consistently popular Warzone, Vanguard is set to be a brilliant WWII first-person shooter experience. More interested in what Battlefield 2042 has to offer? We’ve got you covered.