If there’s one thing in the gaming industry you can count on, it’s the yearly release of a new entry in the Call of Duty franchise. For over 15 years, the series has never gone a year without putting out a new entry, with multiple sub-series like Black Ops or Modern Warfare contained under the same umbrella.
Call of Duty: Vanguard, as we now know it will be titled, will be the next entry developed by Sledgehammer Games taking place in World War II. This team was originally in line to put out last year’s entry but was pushed to this year in favor of releasing Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War instead due to internal problems.
At this point, details are still scarce, but new reports have given us a bit of solid info to go off of, plus there’s plenty we can safely assume looking at the series’ past. Here’s everything we know, and suspect, about the next entry in the bestselling FPS franchise.
The release date for Call of Duty: Vanguard is the big question mark in everyone’s mind. Unfortunately, we haven’t gotten any concrete answer from either the developer or publisher — but that doesn’t mean we don’t have a general idea of when the game will come out. Call of Duty titles almost always launch in the fall, usually in November, and early reports have quoted Activision staff as stating that the game will be released in the fall. Call of Duty is the one franchise that can essentially dominate any release window they choose to hit, so competition is never a factor in when they decide to release their game, and November has proven to be incredibly profitable for them thus far.
So far the limited details on Call of Duty: Vanguard have only teased mentions of it being an experience built for the next generation; however, that is likely marketing talk. That being said, we can’t imagine a scenario where the game doesn’t come to PS5, Xbox Series X, and PC.
Looking back, it seems more than likely that Call of Duty: Vanguard will also hit the PS4 and Xbox One-generation systems in addition to current-gen hardware. It wasn’t until Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare in 2016 that the series stopped coming out on the PS3 and 360 generations, a full three years after the PS4 and Xbox One had launched. Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War was also cross-gen, and we expect at least this next entry to follow that trend, but will have to wait for the official reveal to know for sure.
We’re sorely lacking any gameplay footage of Call of Duty: Vanguard, and we won’t be getting it as soon as we’d hope, or even in the way we normally would. Activision has already confirmed that the game will not be present at this year’s E3, which is where the yearly entry is usually first revealed with a trailer or gameplay. Instead, they will leverage their persistent free to play entry, Warzone, to reveal the game. A similar marketing tactic was used to tease and reveal last year’s entry, Black Ops Cold War, as well.
We know the game will be treading all too familiar ground for the series, going back to World War II, and that the Warzone map will change to reflect the new game’s setting, just like it did when it transitioned to a 1980s style for Cold War. Rumors suggest season 4 might be where we start to get some new reveals within the battle royale leading up to a full trailer reveal in the game itself.
As mentioned, we do know the game will take place during WWII, but that’s all the details we have to go on in terms of the game’s single-player campaign. WWII is well-trodden ground for the Call of Duty games, with Call of Duty: WWII releasing just a few years prior, so it will be interesting to see which areas of the conflict are covered, as well as what perspectives we take, in this familiar time period.
The Call of Duty Formula is pretty set in stone by now. Even though we haven’t seen a single second of gameplay yet, we feel pretty confident in saying it will be yet another solid, satisfying, and exhilarating FPS that leans a bit harder on the arcade fun side of shooters rather than pure simulation. The single-player campaign will surely feature a mix of traditional, on-foot gunfights, as well as stealth-focused operations, vehicular sections, and the large set pieces the series is known for.
Each Call of Duty title does try to innovate in some way that doesn’t drastically change the gameplay formula, such as through new movement options, so we’re excited to see just how Call of Duty: Vanguard will differentiate itself, especially when choosing to return to a familiar setting.
The only thing we know for certain is that, obviously, there will be a multiplayer component to Call of Duty: Vanguard. As far as maps, guns, gadgets, and modes, nothing is confirmed. If you follow Call of Duty regularly, or even any other FPS, there are some modes you expect to be there in some form, such as free-for-all, team deathmatch, some type of capture the flag, and perhaps kill confirmed. More interesting modes like gun game and prop hunt would be great to see return as well, but for now, we would only count on the tried and true classics, plus maybe one new mode, at launch.
Zombies, the third pillar in most Call of Duty titles, also makes a return. That seems fitting considering it was in World at War where the zombies mode originated. Expect more zombie blasting fun with your friends, and a massive and overly convoluted series of puzzles if you want to complete the mode fully.
Warzone will continue on as the battle royale mode for the franchise, tied in to Call of Duty: Vanguard when it transitions to the WWII setting prior to the game launching.
Another aspect we can almost guarantee will come is paid DLC. Whether it is in the form of stand-alone cosmetics or maps, or the more popular battlepass system, there will be something for you to spend your money on in Call of Duty: Vanguard. We expect a season pass, or whatever system they will use, to be detailed either at the same time as, or very soon after the game’s official reveal.
Until we get that all-important release date, there’s no way to pre-order Call of Duty: Vanguard. For now, all we know is that the reveal will come after E3, so keep a close eye on the news and events going on in Warzone to stay up to date on when the release date could be revealed. Once it does, we will let you know all the details on the different versions that will inevitably be offered and where you can get them.