Vanguard reveal LIVE – Call of Duty latest as zombies, trailer, release date and WW2 revealed during launch event

CALL of Duty Vanguard is the blockbuster game of 2021 – and it’ll be high on Christmas lists across the world.

Better still, the official launch is TODAY.

Activision and Sledgehammer Games are revealing all the juicy details gamers have been waiting for.

This includes information on key parts of the game like the Campaign, Multiplayer and Warzone.

Rumours about Vanguard have been swirling for months, with most gamers predicting a return to World War 2.

But mysteries still remain around how exactly Warzone will tie in with the new retro title.

We’ll be covering the reveal live as it happens, so read on for the latest.

  • Milica Cosic

    'LEAKS CHANGED VANGUARD FOR THE BETTER'

    Modern Warzone, on their Twitter wrote: Notable Gaming Insider and leaker Tom Henderson’s sources say that leaks changed the course of Vanguard for the better. He claims that a report we, ModernWarzone, made on March 22 which unveiled the WWII setting and title of Call of Duty: Vanguard is what started the change."

  • Milica Cosic

    RECAP: WATCH THE TRAILER

    If you missed the launch, here's the trailer for Vanguard again:

  • Milica Cosic

    THE KEY DETAILS

    If you're looking for a quick overview, here's what you need to know.

    Vanguard is the new Call of Duty game – taking us back to World War 2.

    We follow the birth of the special forces across four theatres of war: the Western Front, Eastern Front, North Africa and the Pacific.

    Each area will have its own Operator and story.

    There are 20 Multiplayer maps, and there will be some kind of Warzone integration.

    New features in Multiplayer include player-destructible environments, slideable weapon mounting, and custom ballistics for weapons.

    The game is coming out on November 5, 2021 – and can be pre-purchased right now.

  • Milica Cosic

    MAP HAPPY

    Multiplayer looks set to be very exciting.

    There will be 20 maps at launch, 16 of which are core 6v6 maps – with a further four 2v2 maps.

    They’re set across all four fronts – Western, Eastern, North African and Pacific.

    Importantly, Sledgehammer Games says it’s focused on smaller and tighter maps with more tactical combat.

  • Milica Cosic

    DETAILS, DETAILS, DETAILS

    The pre-purchase page – which is live *before* the big reveal – offers some clues about the game.

    As expected, we'll be traversing multiple theatres of war.

    "Rise on every front: Dogfight over the Pacific, airdrop over France, defend Stalingrad with a sniper’s precision and blast through enemies in North Africa," writes Activision.

    "The Call of Duty: Vanguard campaign will immerse you in a deeply engaging and gripping character-driven narrative experience featuring combat on an unparalleled global scale.

    "While also telling the harrowing stories of those who turned the tides of war and changed history forever."

  • Milica Cosic

    CALL OF DUTY PUBLISHER ACTIVISION BLIZZARD FACES ALLEGATIONS

    At the same time Vanguard is being shown for the first time, Call of Duty publisher Activision Blizzard is facing allegations that it maintains a toxic workplace environment – particularly hostile to women.

    A lawsuit, filed by California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing in July this year, alleges the company pays women less, subjects them to sexual harassment, and that perpetrators are not meaningfully punished.

  • Milica Cosic

    EXPLAINED: WHEN IS VANGUARD COMING OUT AND WHAT CAN I PLAY IT ON?

    Call of Duty: Vanguard is set to be released on Nov. 5, with Warzone integration coming sometime around the game’s release.

    Players will be able to play it on: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC on Battle.net.   

  • Milica Cosic

    EXPLAINED: WHAT IS VANGUARD?

    the Call of Duty website have released a statement on what players can expect.

    The wrote: "This is WWII combat like never before. Witness the origins of Special Forces as you play a pivotal role and change the face of history, forming Task Force One in a gripping Campaign across four major theaters of war. Become an original Special Forces Operator in an online Multiplayer rich in innovation with 20 maps available at launch."

  • Milica Cosic

    CRYPTIC TWEET

    Call of Duty have put a cryptic Tweet on their Twitter, writing: "Incoming 👀 A new PC Anti-Cheat will officially be launching with the new #Warzone map coming later this year."

  • Milica Cosic

    HAMMER TIME

    Vanguard is notable for being developed by Sledgehammer Games.

    It’s a wholly-owned subsidiary of Activision that was founded back in 2009.

    And it’s worked on a grand total of six Call of Duty games.

    They include:

    • Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 – 2011
    • Call of Duty Advanced Warfare – 2014
    • Call of Duty WWII – 2017
    • Call of Duty Modern Warfare – 2019
    • Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War – 2020

    And, of course, this year’s Call of Duty Vanguard.

    TUNING IN

    To watch the Call of Duty Vanguard reveal, you’ll need to load up Warzone.

    That’s the free part of Call of Duty – the Battle Royale bit – that anyone can play, even if you don’t own a COD game.

    The grand reveal is taking place on Thursaday, August 19 at:

    • 10.30am LA time
    • 1.30pm New York time
    • 6.30pm London time
    • 7.30pm Berlin time

    And remember that you’ll need to be in Warzone to get the full experience.

    CHEATERS, BEGONE!

    Possibly one of the best bits of news out of the Vanguard announcement is…about cheating.

    There's a new anti-cheat system that will debut across Warzone.

    It's designed to deal with Warzone's admittedly significant cheater problem.

    And should hopefully root out cheaters before they get a chance to ruin your game.

    NEW MODE!

    There's a brand new mode called Champion Hill.

    Details are vague, but Activision describes it as a "series of tournament style head-to-head matches".

    You play either in solo (1v1), or as duos or trios (2v2/3v3).

    And you battle it out in an arena consisting of four maps.

    The ultimate goal is to be the last squad standing.

    There's also a Gun-game element, and clear Battle Royale ties. Sounds very cool.

    PLATFORMING…

    So where can you play Call of Duty Vanguard? Almost everywhere!

    These are the supported platforms:

    • PlayStation 5
    • PlayStation 4
    • Xbox Series X
    • Xbox Series S
    • Xbox One
    • PC (via Battlenet)

    Sadly, Nintendo Switch isn't on the list – not even the swanky new OLED version of the console.

    BRAINS!!!

    Zombies IS back for Vanguard.

    Treyarch is managing a franchise-first crossover that connects Vanguard to the Black Ops Cold War Zombies storyline.

    You'll face a "relentless onslaught of the undead" in a brand new Zombies experience.

    And Treyarch has promised lore continuity, but with some changes to the core gameplay.

    • Sean Keach

      THE KEY DETAILS

      If you're looking for a quick overview, here's what you need to know.

      Vanguard is the new Call of Duty game – taking us back to World War 2.

      We follow the birth of the special forces across four theatres of war: the Western Front, Eastern Front, North Africa and the Pacific.

      Each area will have its own Operator and story.

      There are 20 Multiplayer maps, and there will be some kind of Warzone integration.

      New features in Multiplayer include player-destructible environments, slideable weapon mounting, and custom ballistics for weapons.

      The game is coming out on November 5, 2021 – and can be pre-purchased right now.

    • Sean Keach

      WAR GAMES

      Right, back to mulling over Warzone's future.

      It might be difficult to reconcile adding WW2 weapons while keeping Modern Warfare armaments – but that risks upsetting long-time Warzone players.

      And the new Gunsmith system with custom ballistics and ammo types in Multiplayer might not work in Warzone without a serious overhaul of weapons systems.

      Forgetting balance issues, it might be thematically strange to have WW2 gear and Operators dropping into a relatively modern Warzone – so potentially expect a trip back in time.

      We’d also definitely like to see the reactive environments come to Warzone.

      After all, rival Battle Royale game Fortnite changes significantly all the time – so it would be good to see Warzone take bigger risks.

      We’ll update you as we know more about Warzone.

    • Sean Keach

      OVER AND OUT

      Right, so the Battle of Verdansk event is over for everyone who joined straight away.

      After the trailer, you're taken straight to a pre-purchase page for Vanguard.

      You can either follow it and buy the game, or ignore it and go back onto Warzone – but only the special event playlist is there for now.

      So if you're not a fan of destroying armoured trains, you might want to log off now…

    • Sean Keach

      THE PWN ZONE

      So what about Warzone? After all, it's now a staple of the Call of Duty universe.

      And while many players will be buying the main game for Campaign or Multiplayer action, much of the fanbase will exclusively want to spend their days in Warzone.

      Sadly, we’ve heard very little about Warzone – including how much it will change.

      We do know that Raven Studios is leading development on a brand new Warzone map, which will launch later this year.

      As Activision says that Warzone will feature the “same tech as Vanguard for seamless weapon and Operator integration”.

      It’s unclear how far this will go.

    • Sean Keach

      BLAST FROM THE PAST

      Perhaps the biggest change is Reactive Environments.

      You can shoot through opaque windows, blow holes in walls, blast books off shelves and destroy doors.

      This means the environment is very interactive, especially around Domination points or Hardpoints.

      Maps start off fresh and pristine, but are quickly destroyed by combat.

      Lighting is also reactive to environment changes.

      So if you blow a hole in the wall of a dark room, it’ll be flooded with light.

      And when lots of guns are fired in a space, a weapon fog will begin to thicken in the air.

    • Sean Keach

      SYSTEMS, GO!

      Right, we're going back into our deep-dive on Vanguard.

      In terms of systems, Gunfight is returning. Huzzah!

      And now you’ve got custom ballistics and ammo types so you can further fine-tune the experience.

      Weapon mounting is included, and can be moved on and across surfaces.

      You’ll also be able to blind fire over cover and some other elements of the map.

    • Sean Keach

      ZONING BACK IN

      Just hopping back to the Warzone event for a moment – my lobby has destroyed the train.

      Now we hear an air raid siren with bombers flying overhead.

      Bombs away and Verdansk is on the receiving end of heavy ordnance.

      I try to exfil but am swiftly dispatched by one of the dozens of bombs falling.

      So begins the Vanguard trailer, showcasing a return to World War 2 – and four theatres of war, as expected.

    • Sean Keach

      MODES FOR DAYS

      Every map and mode can be played in three ways, thanks to the new Combat Pacing system: Tactical, Standard and Blitz.

      Standard is regular 6v6 gameplay, while Blitz packs many more players into the map and mode for a target-rich, high-intensity gameplay.

      And tactical is smaller teams making their way through the map more deliberately.

      There’s also a new mode called Champion Hill that’s a mix of Battle Royale plus Gunfight, with progression between rounds – but that’s all we know so far.

    • Sean Keach

      MAP HAPPY

      Multiplayer looks set to be very exciting.

      There will be 20 maps at launch, 16 of which are core 6v6 maps – with a further four 2v2 maps.

      They’re set across all four fronts – Western, Eastern, North African and Pacific.

      Importantly, Sledgehammer Games says it’s focused on smaller and tighter maps with more tactical combat.

    • Sean Keach

      TONGA TIME

      We got a glimpse of the first mission, Operation Tonga.

      *Spoiler Warning*

      It takes place on June 5, the night before D-Day, with paratroopers dropping in behind enemy lines.

      In a possible nod to Warzone, you drop in from the air – plunging through an aerial arena of warfare and dogfighting.

      You land in water, surrounded by burning bodies and people drowning, before dashing into the woods.

      It’s a visceral and genuinely terrifying scene, that works well to get across the fear soldiers on the ground would’ve felt.

      As you creep through the woods, you can hear the ka-thum of anti-aircraft guns firing into the skies.

      The next few minutes are very stealthy, reminiscent of Modern Warfare’s beloved All Ghillied Up.

      Eventually you make your way into a settlement, and enter combat with soldiers – before finding yourself on the run again out into the fields.

      There’s lots of shooting through floorboards and windows, which is brilliant.

      It’s a great and powerful start to the Campaign, and bodes well for the rest of the missions.

      The game is also very cinematic, even during the parts where the player is in control – again, very on-brand and highly effective.

      *Spoiler Over*

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