Today, Activision gave us the latest look at Call of Duty Vanguard which included a full breakdown of the upcoming beta, the multiplayer suite at launch, and the new Warzone map/features. Let’s dive in.
Weekend 1: PlayStation® Early Access
Available to those who preordered Call of Duty: Vanguard for PlayStation®5 or PlayStation®4, this first weekend will take place from Friday, September 10 at 10 AM PT to Monday, September 13 at 10 AM PT.
Digital preorders will be automatically registered for Early Access — those who preorder a physical version may find their Early Access code on the retail receipt or sent via e-mail.** Early Access codes — given through physical preorders or through special promotions — can be redeemed at callofduty.com/betaredeem while logged into an Activision Account.
This Beta weekend will introduce the following samples of the full MP content:
· Three brand-new Vanguard maps: Hotel Royal, Red Star, and Gavutu.
· Three traditional game modes to try — Team Deathmatch, Domination, and Kill Confirmed — and a new one called Patrol, available during Weekend 1.
· A return to Champion Hill, now with a new weapon set.
Those who participate in the Beta and reach level 20 will receive a Weapon Blueprint for Call of Duty: Vanguard and Warzone (available in Vanguard following the game’s launch on November 5 and in Warzone when the new main map launches later this year). Also, those playing Call of Duty®: Mobile will receive an Arthur Kingsley Operator, available shortly after the end of the Beta.
Further intel about these rewards, and a deep dive into exact contents of the Beta, will be available here at the Call of Duty Blog later this week.
Weekend 2: Crossplay Beta
Depending on the platform, the start of Vanguard’s second Beta weekend — from Thursday, September 16 at 10 AM PT to Saturday, September 18 at 10 AM PT — is either an Open or Early Access Beta. More information to come next week.
Everything You Need to Know — The Most Ways to Play
Sixteen maps for traditional core play, four maps for 2v2 Gunfights, and one Champion Hill experience — this is what players can expect on day one at launch for Vanguard’s Multiplayer. These maps take place across a wide variety of different global environments and are ready to host an abundance of game modes.
More Modes to Play
Outside of Champion Hill — a fast and frenetic tournament for Solo, Duos, and Trios — Vanguard will introduce another new game mode: Patrol. Based on Hardpoint, this objective-based mode features a scoring zone in near-constant motion; if Operators want to rack up points for their team, they should keep up and move around the map within this Patrol point.
These modes are in addition to the classic offerings one would expect in Call of Duty. Modes like Team Deathmatch, Kill Confirmed, Domination, and Search & Destroy are just some of the ones returning with Vanguard. These are also the exact modes you can play alongside Patrol during the Beta period (Search & Destroy to be available later in the Beta).
Combat Pacing: More Ways to Play
Although these returning modes will be familiar, a new Combat Pacing system offers a new dynamic in the name of player choice. When queuing up for Multiplayer, the following Combat Pacing options are available to you:
· Tactical: These are the lobbies that franchise veterans know well. This is the experience that you’re used to with classic Call of Duty combat timing. Tactical Comat Pacing is always 6v6.
· Assault: This option provides balanced Combat Pacing that gives you enough room to breathe and a lot of targets to kill. Assault is a middle ground between Tactical and Blitz. In Beta Weekend 1, player counts will vary between 20 and 28 players.
· Blitz: High-action lobbies see the intensity cranked up to frenetic levels. Prepare for plenty of combat when choosing to join a Blitz. In Beta Weekend 1, player counts will vary between 28 and 48 players.
Those who want to hop into a game can also set the Combat Pacing to “All” and get a variety of Combat Paces between each match, in a similar fashion to how Quick Play allows you to hop between an assortment of modes you select.
More Ways to Squad Up: Clans and Group Rewards
No matter what map or mode or how big or small the lobby is through Combat Pacing, expect more innovations when you play as a squad with an all-new Clan system. The Clan system will feature elements from the Modern Warfare (2019) Regiments system, which will be carried forward and renamed “Groups.” Clans will feature bespoke progression, emblems, and even Battle Pass–related rewards unlocked for your entire group, giving you and your squadmates something to aim for outside of victories during play sessions.
Everything You Need to Know — Tactical Gameplay
Given all those maps, modes, pacing, and the Clan system, what can you expect after getting the squad together and loading into a match?
Sledgehammer Games is building Multiplayer on a pillar of tactical second-to-second gameplay and giving players tons of customization along with a reactive environment for new and improved movement features.
Create-a-Class and Gunsmith
When choosing a loadout for Multiplayer, players will be gearing up at the Gunsmith within Create-a-Class. An evolution of a system first introduced in Modern Warfare (2019), the Gunsmith will now feature up to 10 attachment slots on certain weapons, allowing for thousands of additional possibilities to help with nearly every combat scenario and playstyle.
For example, Shotguns can now be outfitted with a “Buck Slug,” which is a shell filled with short-range buckshot and a slug round for longer range. This combination is just one way that ammo can change for weaponry — expect other attachments that adjust a weapon’s caliber up or down to affect bullet penetration, fire rate, and more.
Those who would rather bring a knife to a gunfight should know that Riot Shields are returning in addition to two melee options: a standard-issue knife at launch and a bayonet charge for weapons that can equip this underbarrel blade. And to counter those hand-to-hand combat fiends, Akimbo will return for select weapons, making for a high-powered, yet less accurate, close-quarters option.
Everything You Need to Know — Sights, Sounds, and Feel of War
Although it will be tough to stop and admire the art direction during the heat of battle, especially when the environment is being ripped into fragments, Vanguard will leave you fully immersed in World War II through a contemporary lens.
Built on the engine that powered Modern Warfare, Vanguard’s visuals are developed in part using photogrammetry, yet based in a “neo epic” style. Its tone is also a departure from the traditional WWII fare: while remaining reverent to the background and time period, Sledgehammer Games is treating Multiplayer as an expression of celebration toward heroism — even through antiheroes, but not villains — on a truly global scale.
Photorealism and Reactive Environments
Those reactive environments have life to them in the four main theaters of war thanks to new lighting techniques and photorealism. Two of the maps shown during the livestream were Hotel Royal and Eagle’s Nest, which offer a solid representation of what to expect with visuals and give a rough idea regarding the sizing of Multiplayer arenas and level of tactical destruction.
Both of these maps, in addition to Red Star and Gavutu, will be available during Vanguard’s Beta, with Eagle’s Nest to make its landing during the second week.
There will be maps coming to the full game that are love letters to those who enjoyed Call of Duty®: World at War. Returning from that era are Castle and Dome, which will receive changes through reactive environments. Castle, in its Vanguard form, will see all its iconic shoji screens become destructible. Expect similar effects across all maps, including persistent graphical details, such as grime, dirt, wear, burn marks, and other stains giving more life to every arena of combat. Such bespoke flourishes add evocative elements to specific areas; examples include dust-filled chambers, leaking pipes, and evidence of violence, such as marks from a body being dragged across the floor. Another effect is “combat fog,” realistic dust kicked up in the air during a firefight from bullet impacts hitting different surfaces.
Everything You Need to Know — Become the Original Special Forces
Heroism is built upon heroes, individuals with personalities who aren’t to be trifled with.
The Operators of Vanguard represent a global cast of countries, cultures, ethnicities, and walks of life. Through Sledgehammer’s diverse writing team and an expert World War II historian, these fictional characters are inspired by real people who fought in WWII, and they all have a story to tell.
As some have already noticed during Vanguard’s Alpha, Captain Carver Butcher is back, and he’s just one of the characters you’ll get to know in Multiplayer.
Operator Insight and Dialogue
Learn about Vanguard’s Operators through new and updated systems: the first is an extended background for each Operator, which gives insight into their upbringing and purpose in the greater cause. Another is an expansion of the Quip system. Quips existed before for individual Operators, but with Vanguard, expect more unique dialogue from these characters that bring out their personalities like never before.
Operator Leveling and Weapon Favorites
Then there is Operator leveling. By earning Operator XP — separate from regular, weapon, Battle Pass, and Clan XP — players can unlock new cosmetics, Skins, Calling Cards, Finishing Moves, and more just by playing matches with a specific Operator. Outside of their biography (which includes their nickname, citizenship, and ethnicity) and challenges, each Operator also has a Favorite Weapon.
For example: Polina Petrova’s Favorite Weapon is the 3-Line Rifle. In addition to it being a tool for her character that fits with her background, it has a purpose for gameplay as well: when using this weapon while playing as Polina, you receive additional XP.
Polina is also one of six Operators available for the Beta. Although Operator leveling will not be available until launch, you can still get to know her, Daniel Take Yatsu, Roland Zelmet, Lucas Riggs, Wade Jackson, and Arthur Kingsley during this experience.
Raven Software, in conjunction with partner studios Sledgehammer Games, Beenox, High Moon Studios, and Toys for Bob, is proud to confirm that Warzone will receive a new map based within the Pacific later this year following the launch of Call of Duty®: Vanguard. The Pacific map will feature an entirely new island play-space built from the ground up, complete with all new points of interest. Ready to traverse the lush landscapes, rocky crags, and other as-yet-unrevealed areas all contained within this expansive island?
Visually, Warzone’s Pacific map will be a change of pace from the war-torn environment of Verdansk to something that is more vibrant and alive… and something with plenty of secrets hidden within its beauty. There are also plans for continuous and fresh experiences throughout your time in the Pacific. The island is roughly the size of Verdansk and built based on learnings from the community over nearly two years. The result is a fun and incredibly compelling gameplay space with numerous points of interest to explore and an exceptional depth of combat potential.
Speaking of what the community has played thus far, your efforts through building personal loadouts and profiles will carry on. Warzone will continue to support weapons and content earned with a Battle Pass or purchased via Store Bundle from Call of Duty®: Modern Warfare® and Call of Duty®: Black Ops Cold War.
This is all built on the same tech and engine as Call of Duty: Vanguard for seamless weapon integration and play balance, and it all arrives with fully optimized cross-play, cross-progression, and cross-gen support.
There’s an awful lot of new content coming for Call of Duty fans this fall. We’re excited to see the multiplayer suite being offered by Vanguard at launch as well as the anti-cheat and new content for Warzone. We wish that the teams would spend some time talking about their networking, netcode, and details in those areas for fans who aim to be more competitive. We’ll continue to keep you updated as new info becomes available.