After the incredibly successful launch of Call of Duty: Warzone and Modern Warfare, the first-person shooter franchise has been on the rise again. And, while it has still not reached the highs of yore, that might just be about to change. The next game in the series, called Call of Duty: Vanguard, was officially revealed yesterday. However, the way in which Vanguard was revealed was truly awe-inspiring.
The biggest reason for Call of Duty’s meteoric ascent into relevance has been its free-to-play battle royale mode, Warzone. Although it has only been out for a year and a half, the game mode has undergone some massive changes. This consistent flow of content, and some bloody good gameplay design, has sent Warzone to the top of the pile for Battle Royale shooters. So, it was natural that Activision would do something spectacular to reveal the next big entry.
Called the Battle of Verdansk, the reveal event for Call of Duty: Vanguard was directly injected into Warzone. Players dropped into Verdansk with preset loadouts of old-timey weapons in order to stop and destroy a massive German armored train with turrets. Since Vanguard is set during WW2, all of this setup made perfect sense. There were a plethora of rewards like emblems and blueprints as the fighters broke down the train piece by piece. And, once it was all done and dusted, oblivion fell from the skies as bombers swooped in. This breathtaking display then finally transitioned into what was the first reveal trailer for Call of Duty: Vanguard.
Call of Duty: Vanguard will rejuvenate the Warzone
As evident from the reveal event, despite being a brand new game, Call of Duty: Vanguard is fully set to enhance the Warzone experience. Over the past year, we have seen a shift of priority from Activision. As Warzone has grown into this behemoth, the publisher has also put more resources into it. In fact, Activision actually merged some of its other studios into the Call of Duty team just for that reason.
Now, some would say that Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War wasn’t the emphatic punch that Warzone needed. While the game itself was great, the content that it brought with it was rather underwhelming. The new map, Rebirth Island, was smaller and much less preferred by the players. In addition to that, the updated Verdansk was also not a lot of people’s cup of tea. With Vanguard though, it seems like Sledgehammer has been at work to prioritize integration with Warzone. Even the reveal event focused heavily on the future of Warzone, which is a newer thing for Call of Duty game reveals.
What’s new for Call of Duty: Warzone?
So, what exactly does Activision plan to bring to the Warzone when Call of Duty: Vanguard launches later this year? Let’s start off with the big news. Yes, there is a brand-new map in the works for Warzone that will launch not in 2022, but later this year! Our guess is that the map will be ready to go a few weeks after the launch of Vanguard. This announcement has made a lot of players happy as the previous smaller updates to Verdanks weren’t the best and Rebirth Island was also underwhelming. According to the announcement, the map will be a full-sized map and will be replacing Verdanks for all players.
Other than that, Call of Duty: Warzone players will also be happy to hear that the weapon integration will be as smooth as it gets. During the reveal event, it was announced that Call of Duty: Warzone will receive the full array of weapons from Vanguard. This means that all of the multiplayer weapons from the WW2 era will be available for use in the Warzone as well. Not only that but the players will be able to seamlessly integrate those weapons into their current loadouts as well. So, one could potentially have weapons from 3 different eras in a single loadout, which sounds pretty awesome.
A new anti-cheat system will eradicate the hackers
Much like many other first-person shooters on the market, cheating has been a real endemic for Call of Duty: Warzone as well. And, while many others like Counter-Strike, Apex Legends, and Valorant have somewhat addressed those issues by taking different measures, Warzone is still lingering behind. According to a report, Raven software has banned over 650,000 accounts already, with the tally increasing by tens of thousands every single day. However, this is clearly not the solution as the hackers seem to just create new accounts and jump straight back in.
So, to finally put an end to this massive problem, Activision has stated that they’re finally going to put a more robust anti-cheat system in place. While the specifics of this anti-cheat system are not quite clear yet, but our guess is that it will be a more standard anti-cheat like the one in Fortnite rather than Valorant’s system-level Vanguard. With that said, the chances of it eradicating the hackers are still quite low as most have already learned to navigate past these cookie-cutter anti-cheat systems. Nevertheless, we hope that Raven has a strong solution to this problem for a better and more fun experience in the Warzone.
Let’s not forget the Blizzard Activision lawsuit though
The games industry was shaken to its core when the state of California filed a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard, for promoting a ‘frat boy’ culture within the company, resulting in some heinous sexual harassment and discriminatory behavior. And, while a lot of the top-level staff for the massive publisher has already departed the company, a lot remains unaddressed. So, naturally, you’d expect something from the company during the reveal event. However, not only did Activision try to slip the hearing under the rug by holding the event on the same day, but it also didn’t put its name on the trailers or anything.
This seemed like a carefully planned event that would help with distracting people from the fact that Call of Duty: Vanguard is still made and published by Activision, and avoid potential boycotts.
Statement from Studio Head
However, the studio head at Sledgehammer games did make a statement at a press event yesterday. Here’s what he said:
“Before we begin, I would like to address some recent events. The stories in the pain that people have shared are simply devastating. You know, we love making games. It’s what we do. It’s our life’s work, and we’d love it. But more importantly than that, we’re all humans, we’re here for each other, working side by side, and looking out for one another in good times and in bad times.”
So on behalf of Sledgehammer Games, and all of the teams supporting Call of Duty: Vanguard, harassment of any kind goes against everything we stand for as a studio. Everyone, regardless of title, role, gender, orientation, ethnicity, are [sic] to be treated always with dignity, respect, and equality.”
While we cannot comment on the lawsuit, what I can say is that as a team, we are committed to making sure all team members feel safe, welcome, and respected. So please know as we start our presentation, that these thoughts and actions are at the top of our minds, and will be going forward. They speak to the core values of who we are, and who we wish to be. On behalf of everyone on the team, thank you.”
The statement is not enough as the workers’ demands haven’t been met
While this statement was much-needed, the fact that this was presented at a press event rather than the actual reveal means that this is not enough. We need a lot more answers, and accountability from those working at Activision Blizzard, and the only way to do that is by continuing to raise our voices and speaking with our wallets. If you’re unaware of what’s happening over there, you can check out a concise summary of events right here.
Nevertheless, the launch of Call of Duty: Vanguard is an exciting prospect for Warzone players and the new slew of content coming to the game looks very promising.
Call of Duty: Vanguard comes out on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S. An Open Beta for the game will also be making an appearance very soon and you can get early access to it by pre-ordering the game.