Call of Duty: Vanguard Campaign and Multiplayer Details Revealed

Disclosure: Miranda Sanchez has a personal friendship with a Call of Duty: Vanguard narrative designer, but has not discussed the game.

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Sledgehammer is back up to bat for the next iteration of Call of Duty, and it’s taking us once again to World War II. This time, though, they’re trying not only a more global approach but also spinning the story with a bit of historical fiction. Here’s what Sledgehammer revealed about Call of Duty: Vanguard’s campaign along with a few scant details about multiplayer — we’ll have to wait for another event for a full multiplayer reveal.

If you’re looking for details about other Call of Duty modes, be sure to read the news about how Treyarch will be leading Vanguard’s Zombies mode and how Vanguard impacts Warzone.

Call of Duty: Vanguard Campaign Details

Vanguard wants to be both true to history by taking heavy inspirations from real people and events, but also wants to ask “what if?” It does so through Project Phoenix, a fictional operation schemed up by the remaining members of the Nazi party trying to find a successor to Hitler after the fall of Berlin. A special forces group of four individuals from the Allied powers is put together to combat the plot.

From what we’ve seen of Vanguard, it’s looking like the story will primarily follow Sgt. Arthur Kingsley, the leader of the squad, or at least kick off with him in some way. We’ll also get time with each of the other three members on their corresponding war fronts (Eastern Front, Western Front, Pacific, and North Africa) where they each prove their bravery and capabilities before being tapped for this special unit.

Call of Duty: Vanguard – First Screenshots

Here’s what we know about the four protagonists:

  • Sgt. Arthur Kingsley (Western Front) is a member of the 9th Parachute Battalion in the British army. His character is based on Sidney Cornell, a paratrooper who played a part in Operation Tonga. For Kingsley, Campaign Creative Director David Swenson explained he has to take charge and successfully help complete the operation in order to make a particular beach safe for D-Day the next morning. Kingsley is voiced by Chike Okonkwo and written by Tochi Onyebuchi.
  • Lt. Polina Petrova (Eastern Front) is a member of the Soviet Union’s 138th Rifle Division inspired by Lyudmila Pavlichenko, a sniper nicknamed Lady Death. Petrova’s story starts in her home of Stalingrad where she worked as a nurse and is eventually becomes an ace sniper when her home is invaded by the Germans.
  • Cpt. Wade Jackson (Pacific Front) is a pilot of Scouting Squadron Six of the United States Navy. Inspired by the actions of Vernon “Mike” Micheel, Jackson fights in the Pacific Battle of Midway before being shot down over the Solomon Islands and must adapt to fighting on the ground with a team.
  • 2nd lt. Lucas Riggs (North Africa) is an Australian infantryman in the 20th Battalion. He’s inspired by Charles Upham and the Rats of Tobruk. Riggs’ fights as one of these Rats of Tobruk in North Africa to take out opposing forces there.

In the gameplay shown of Sgt. Arthur Kingsley’s campaign mission Operation Tonga, the “blockbuster” look Game Director Josh Bridge said they’re going for is especially apparent. Kingsley starts this mission by falling from the sky and has to navigate the dark warzone unarmed. Airborne fights rage on as Kinglsey sneaks around enemy territory, has to dig through ammo piles for just the right bullets, and eliminates enemies in tense, close-quarter combat.

Call of Duty: Vanguard Multiplayer Announcements

Sledgehammer revealed light but important multiplayer details. Call of Duty: Vanguard will have 20 multiplayer maps at launch that are set across the Western, Eastern, Pacific, and North African fronts. 16 are 6v6 maps and four are 2v2. Multiplayer Creative Director Greg Reisdorf described the maps as “smaller, tighter maps.”

As far as customization goes, Sledgehammer is bringing back Gunsmith and adding custom ballistics and ammo types. Mounted weapons can also be moved across surfaces and blind fiver over cover and other elements in the maps. Multiplayer will also have “reactive gameplay environments,” or breakable elements in the map like boards and other weak structures to open new paths and vantage points.

Vanguard is also introducing a search option that works across all maps and modes and can make your multiplayer more or less hectic called Combat Pacing. This tool changes the player count through these three options:

  • Tactical – Fewer players for slower gameplay
  • Standard – 6v6 traditional player count
  • Blitz – More players for chaotic, fast gameplay

Then, finally, we learned a little bit about a new mode called Champion Hill. Reisdorf described Champion Hill mode as “a mix of battle royale plus gunfight with progression happening between each of the rounds.” Champion Hill is played across four maps. Players can enter Champion Hill solo, in a duo, or in a trio squad.

More information on multiplayer is going to be revealed at a later time. Until then, be sure to check out our rewind of the Call of Duty: Vanguard reveal trailer. Call of Duty: Vanguard will be out on November 5, 2021 for PC, Xbox consoles, and PlayStation consoles.

Miranda Sanchez is the executive editor of guides at IGN.

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