Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know Activision has been embroiled in a massive scandal as of late — its sister studio Blizzard has been accused of misogyny and fostering a toxic, abusive culture. Some of the accusations are so nauseating that sites have had to post a warning before describing them. CEO Bobby Kotick’s response was typically Koticky (read: tone-deaf, arrogant and avoiding the issue), prompting Activision’s employees to stage a massive walk-out. It’s in this firestorm that Activision has been forced to reveal its next Call of Duty. So, uh….how is it?
Call of Duty: Vanguard returns the CoD series to its most familiar setting: World War II. There was once a time when WWII was the only setting for a military shooter you could buy, so usually whenever they attempt it these days, they have to throw in a new twist. This time, the single-player campaign will be focused on four characters from around the world: Sgt. Arthur Kingsley of Britain’s 9th Parachute Battalion, Lt. Polina Petrova of the Soviet 138th Rifle Division, Captain Wade Jackson of the US Navy’s Scouting Squadron Six, and Second Lieutenant Lucas Riggs of Australia’s 20th Battalion. We’re told these are based on real soldiers of the war who were pivotal in decisive battles. This take on WWII will be more realistic and grounded, though that doesn’t mean there won’t be zombies.
It’s the multiplayer that has always been the star attraction of CoD, and there weren’t many details about that part yet….but they promise 20 maps on day one at launch, and a new mode called Champion Hill which is a kind of cross between battle royale and Gunfight.
“Call of Duty: Vanguard is primed to deliver a stunning range of gameplay experiences for the entire Call of Duty community,” says Johanna Faries, General Manager at Activision. “Vanguard’s breadth of content is a hallmark of the title, with more multiplayer maps on day one than ever before and the first Zombies crossover in Call of Duty history. Warzone fans will also experience a host of exciting new things to come as part of the new launch. We can’t wait to share more soon.”
It’s important to note that Vanguard wasn’t developed internally at Activision and has nothing to do with Blizzard — it was made by Sledgehammer Games, who has no issues we’re aware of. If the game sells well, though, a lot of that money will go back to Activision and they’ll probably continue acting like jerks, believing themselves to be invincible. Loss of revenue is really the only thing they’ll understand.
Call of Duty: Vanguard will be released November 5 for PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and PC via Battle.net.