Game Reviews

Call of Duty: Vanguard

Shooting the same target

₹ 3,999

Rally up the folks, it’s Groundhog Day. World War stories can’t catch a break and with every military FPS game ripping pages from the war catalogue, how long before Call of Duty falls into a pit of repetition? 


It’s not all bad, to be honest, but it’s missing the wow factor for long-standing Call of Duty fans. There are plenty of game modes, guns, story mode and even a zombie mode. It’s all here, it’s all ramped up to next-gen graphical taste buds but is it the next best Call of Duty game?


So far Battlefield 2042 has scratched the wrong itch by delivering a half-baked game at best. Thankfully, Vanguard is not riddled with missing features or bugs. It’s presentable, to say the least. You also get a campaign mode with Vanguard and this time there’s a ragtag team of soldiers from different nationalities. The game gets a bit imaginative with its plot and it still tries really hard to sell us same-y war stories under the context of meaningful storytelling.


The cutscenes are done really well though. By taking notes and inspirations from war movies, it puts deep emphasis on cinematography. However, these cutscenes don’t really focus on one character’s story. You get to experience different locations and different combat scenarios by reliving the past of each soldier in the team. It adds diversity to the gameplay but doesn’t really make you connect to each of these characters. The campaign got boring very quickly and it didn’t take us long to jump into the meat of the game — multiplayer.

As is with all Call of Duty franchises, the game is filled with plenty of modes, weapons and a bunch of other stuff that you’d have fun customising if you spend all your waking hours switching from one game mode to another. There are 20 maps, 12 Operators and over three dozen weapons. However, if you’ve played Call of Duty before, then game modes will feel very similar. In typical CoD fashion, you run around shooting anything that moves and looks suspicious. Kill enough enemies to call in drop support and bonuses. It’s a tried and tested method and one that is honed and polished over the course of the game’s history. Is it any good? Sure if you like Call of Duty. Will it engage your brain cells into playing multiplayer for years to come? Maybe not. With a limited health bar and zero punishment for running and gunning, the multiplayer feels the same no matter what mode you play. Even the supposedly ‘tactical’ modes don’t feel interesting or compelling enough to stick around for more than an hour.


Zombie mode is rather half-baked at best. It’s the least bit imaginative for zombie mode. You level up your weapons and items at the base as you progress through the zombie mode. Each combat section takes you through a portal of sorts to where you either escort a floating magical skull and fend off zombies, or gun down hordes of zombies that spawn from the same spot till the time runs out.

Call of Duty also added destructible environments this time and when the bombs hit, they hit hard. It’s not as destructible as the old Battlefield games where you can literally change landscapes with firepower. It’s in enough proportions to remind you of said Battlefield games. Graphics, however, are on par with the best of the best. The cutscenes are in a league of their own. The campaign graphics and character models are barely distinguishable from the cutscenes at times. If you have a beefy PC with an Nvidia 3080 or similar, the Ray Tracing chops and DLSS performance is phenomenal. In one instance where the campaign puts you in the shoes of Polina Petrova before the Nazi attack, the environment and structural details in Polina’s apartment is mindblowing. The level of detail while playing the campaign is up there with the best.


The opening sequences of the train mission in particular are filled with graphical punch. Rainwater washes through the speeding trains while the carriage lights dance around lathering the wet surfaces with reflective Ray Tracing. It’s all very pretty to play and watch.


For the hardcore Call of Duty fans the game still delivers the same rinse and repeat of all the game modes loved and much more. The content is plenty and you won’t be bored if you’re a veteran of the franchise. However, the lack of innovative modes and proper distinguishable modes means that it's a numbers game rather than quality. Campaign too is done well but falls short of a meaningful story. Except for Polina Petrova’s (the sniper) tale, the campaign feels like a showcase of graphical and cinematic cash power. With Battlefield 2042 not doing its best and Vanguard feeling like a rinse and repeat of all things CoD, Warzone’s new Pacific map and Halo multiplayer could be the best multiplayer shooter to indulge.

Stuff Says

An average showcase of World War II that could’ve been the best with a bit more love and attention
Good stuff
Bad stuff
  1. Graphics, oof!

  1. Shooting feels tight and snappy

  1. Fast-paced as ever

  1. Plenty of multiplayer modes

  1. The campaign gets cookie points for trying

  1. Multiplayer modes are indistinguishable from each other

  1. No seriousness to gunplay

  1. Zombie mode is half-baked