The Call of Duty franchise is returning to its Second World War roots.
Much has changed in the gaming landscape in the four years since developer Sledgehammer Games last visited that theatre of war, in Call of Duty: WWII, released in 2017.
A new generation of consoles have since come out, battle royale games have cemented their dominance in the multiplayer space, and 2019’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare introduced an entirely new game engine to the franchise.
Call of Duty: Vanguard, which will be released on November 5, finds itself in the perfect position to capitalise on what has come before, while bringing its own changes to the franchise formula.
While the vast scale of the D-Day landings have provided some of the most memorable experiences in the franchise’s Second World War entries, this time the focus will be more intimate, if no less action-packed.
Vanguard’s single-player campaign will allow gamers the opportunity to relive the origins of special forces operations through the eyes of characters based on real-life Second World War heroes from different backgrounds.
Missions will take place across four major theatres of the global conflict, all of which look incredible in the trailer footage that has been released so far.
Gamers able to get their hands on the next-gen PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X and S consoles, as well as those with a powerful gaming PC, will be in for the biggest visual treat.
CoD fans who don’t care much for the single-player experience and prefer to jump straight into multiplayer should find plenty to keep them occupied.
There will be 20 maps at launch, which will include what Sledgehammer describes as “reactive gameplay environments”. Champion Hill mode will offer a series of tournament-style matches for 1v1, 2v2 and 3v3 gameplay.
The Axis powers are not the only enemies that developers have in their sights.
Integration with battle royale spin-off Call of Duty: Warzone later in the year will include a new anti-cheat system to deal with hackers and others who refuse to play fair.
This news received some of the loudest cheers at a recent top-secret reveal event for the game, a sign of just how much of a bane cheaters have become in multiplayer games in general.
With Raven Studios dealing with Warzone and the cheating scourge, developers Treyarch have worked on the first Zombies crossover in the series, continuing the story that began in last year’s Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War.
The zombies mode has taken on a life – afterlife? – of its own, with many gamers spending most of their time here, so it’s good to see that it is not being neglected as part of the new release.