Call of Duty: Vanguard launch LIVE: New World War 2 epic arrives, plus Forza Horizon 5, PS5, Xbox and Fortnite latest

THE release of Call of Duty Vanguard is here, with fans of the popular shoot 'em up series eager to get their hands on the brand new game.

The new COD game was released today (Friday November 5, 2021) at 1am GMT and sees the series returning to its World War 2 roots – bringing new maps, modes and features to the beloved franchise.

The much awaited blockbuster game is available to buy on Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4 PS5 and PC.

Pre-loads started on October 28 for console players, so if you've pre-ordered digitally, you can pre-load right now.

There are three different editions of the new Call of Duty game: Standard Edition, Cross-Gen Bundle, and the Ultimate Edition.

Read our Call of Duty live blog below for the latest news…

  • Joseph Gamp

    Multiplayer mode features new Combat Pacing system

    A new Combat Pacing system switches up the multiplayer experience even more.

    You can opt for Quick Play to get a taste of everything, or pick the one that suits you best:

    • Tactical: Tactical Combat Pacing always has a 12-player maximum in matches for traditional 6v6 play
    • Assault: A middle ground between Tactical and Blitz featuring matches with 14 to 36 players (7v7 to 18v18) depending on the size of the map
    • Blitz: Matches here range from 16 to 48 players (8v8 to 24v24) depending on the size of the map

    Tactical offers the usual pacing CoD fans will be familiar with. Assault is "balanced" and gives players "room to breathe and a lot of targets to kill."

    Blitz is described as "high-action" at "frenetic levels" so feel free to dabble in all three to find your favourite.

    16 new multiplayer maps in COD: Vanguard – with more on the way

    There'll be 16 multiplayer maps at launch which support these modes, with three more maps post-launch on December 2.

    These are the confirmed maps so far:

    • Battle of Berlin
    • Bocage
    • Castle
    • Das Haus
    • Decoy
    • Demyansk
    • Desert Siege
    • Dome
    • Eagle’s Nest
    • Gavutu
    • Hotel Royal
    • Numa Numa
    • Oasis
    • Red Star
    • Sub Pens
    • Tuscan

    Fans react to Call of Duty: Vanguard

    COD: Vanguard was release early this morning – and its being roadtested by gamers far and wide.

    One enthusiastic gamer said: "I just wanted everyone to know that vanguard is about as lit as a Call of Duty can get.."

    Another fan gave the new release a thumbs up, tweeting: "Been playing three hours and fifteen minutes between zombies and mp. Quite solid so far!"

    But not everyone is impressed, with one disappointed player lamenting: "OK I bought @CallofDuty Vanguard. Still not impressed! Wasted $60 bucks? Yes!

    "VanGarbage got my money! Dont do it! Fix your damn game before you release it! Make it better, because it is not!"

    • Joseph Gamp

      Vanguard Zombies launching with fan favourite features MISSING

      The popular Call of Duty Zombies mode is going to look a bit different to franchise fans.

      Call of Duty developer Treyarch is handling Zombies this year and has told GameSpot that Vanguard is going to be missing a couple of things.

      Series veterans familiar with round-based Zombies will be in for disappointment as the new map – Der Anfang – is scrapping it altogether. Instead, progress will be objective-driven, like Outbreak, but the devs say you should still give it a chance.

      "I think we stripped down the round-based experience," says associate director of design, Gavin Locke.

      "The ever increasing challenge and choosing how you want to play and unlocking the map, we wanted to incorporate those elements, and then we used the objectives to be the gate. To expand the hub, you complete an objective as opposed to surviving zombies, earning Essence [points], and then opening a door. 

      "So, we put a spin on some of the mechanics they've always really liked. And then the world and zombies definitely grow in intensity and difficulty as they're used to. So, there's still that endgame."

      Read more here.

    • G. P. Rodriguez

      COD Vanguard: How many missions are there?

      The new game features nine missions:

      • Phoenix
      • Operation Tonga
      • Stalingrad
      • The Battle of Midway
      • Numa Numa Trail
      • Lady Nightingale
      • The Rats of Tobruk
      • The Battle of El Alamein
      • The Fourth Reich

      Call of Duty: Vanguard Cross-Gen Bundle (digital)

      The cross-gen bundle is for console owners only, and offers more rewards and flexibility over the standard option:

      • Call of Duty: Vanguard (PS4, Xbox One, PS5, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S versions)
      • Early access to Call of Duty: Vanguard Open Beta
      • Night Raid Mastercraft Blueprint in Black Ops Cold War / Warzone (received for immediate use)
      • Operator Arthur Kingsley in Black Ops Cold War / Warzone (received later)
      • Frontline Weapons Pack containing two weapon blueprints (Digital exclusive)
      • Opportunity to pre-load the game before launch
      • 5 hours of Weapons 2XP for Vanguard and Warzone when the game launches

      Call Of Duty: Vanguard is live now

      What weapons are featured in new COD: Vanguard game?

      According to PCGames, the weapons featured in the new game are:

      • STG44
      • Itra Burst
      • BAR
      • NZ-41
      • Volk
      • M1928
      • STEN
      • MP-40
      • Revolving Shotgun
      • Auto-Loading Shotgun
      • MG42
      • DP27

      Call of Duty: Vanguard PS5 exclusives

      If you're playing Call of Duty: Vanguard on PS4 or PS5, there's some free, exclusive content headed your way.

      PlayStation players who purchase the Battle Pass Bundle get a bonus five Tier Skips on top of the 20 that the bundle offers as default.

      There's also seasonal combat packs, with the first one including a new Operator skin, Weapon Blueprint, and more.

      Partying up with other PlayStation players will net you even more rewards. Party members get +25% bonus weapon XP.

      Monthly double XP events running for 24 hours, and an additional two loadout slots are also being made available for players on the platform.

      • Joseph Gamp

        Where to buy Call of Duty Vanguard

        PS5

        • Amazon – £69.99 / $69.99

        Xbox Series X|S

        • Amazon – £69.99 / $69.99

        PS4

        • Amazon – £64.99 / $59.99

        Xbox One

        • Amazon – £64.99 / $59.99 

        PC

        • Battle.net – £49.99 / $59.99

        Mixed review from Gamespot

        The new Call of Duty game received a mixed review rom Gamespot.

        The outlet said: “The thing about Call of Duty games is that, with each yearly iteration, you pretty much know what you’re getting–and that’s largely the case here. It’s both a blessing and a curse for Vanguard, however.

        “Elements of Vanguard feel like good additions to the franchise, but its ideas also don’t always mix well with the series’ framework. That framework is still strong, and the solid gunplay, exciting multiplayer, and inventive moments of the campaign are worth seeking out.

        “But forcing those two parts together exposes the seams in Call of Duty: Vanguard at times, weakening both parts of the game rather than pushing either one to the forefront.”

        Explained: Who are Sledgehammer?

        The Sledgehammer studio is wholly owned by Activision, and is responsible for some of the most iconic Call of Duty games.

        Sledgehammer developed, co-developed or assisted with:

        • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
        • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
        • Call of Duty: WWII
        • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
        • Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War

        Call of Duty: Vanguard – what to expect

        This year's entry in the series is Call of Duty: Vanguard, developed by Sledgehammer.

        That name will be familiar to long-time fans of the franchise.

        The title will take players back to WWII with a solo campaign following the birth of special forces units.

        Multiplayer is introducing new features to the franchise, like destructible environments.

        It'll also be integrated with Warzone, which is getting a new Pacific map for the occasion.

        Call of Duty: Vanguard is released today so make sure you pre-order if you want to pre-load early and dive in at launch.

        COD: Vanguard ‘takes itself less seriously'

        Technology writer Ian Boudreau reviewed the game on Friday.

        “Vanguard takes itself less seriously than the last couple Calls of Duty have and I really appreciated that,” he said.

        “Instead of Saving Private Ryan, which games have been trying so hard to do for 20 years now, it’s more The Guns of Navarone or Where Eagles Dare.”

        List: Call of Duty releases in order

        Here are the Call of Duty games in release order, alongside their launch dates.

        To make things concise, we've not included the mobile games or various DLC (downloadable content) packs that have come out down the years.

        • Call of Duty (2003)
        • Call of Duty: Finest Hour (2004)
        • Call of Duty 2 (2005)
        • Call of Duty 2: Big Red One (2005)
        • Call of Duty 3 (2006)
        • Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (2007)
        • Call of Duty: World at War (2008)
        • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2009)
        • Call of Duty: Black Ops (2010)
        • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (2011)
        • Call of Duty: Black Ops II (2012)
        • Call of Duty: Ghosts (2013)
        • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (2014)
        • Call of Duty: Black Ops III (2015)
        • Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare (2016)
        • Call of Duty: WWII (2017)
        • Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 (2018)
        • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019)
        • Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War (2020)
        • Joseph Gamp

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          Call of Duty: Vanguard PS5 exclusives

          If you're playing Call of Duty: Vanguard on PS4 or PS5, there's some free, exclusive content headed your way.

          PlayStation players who purchase the Battle Pass Bundle get a bonus five Tier Skips on top of the 20 that the bundle offers as default.

          There's also seasonal combat packs, with the first one including a new Operator skin, Weapon Blueprint, and more.

          Partying up with other PlayStation players will net you even more rewards. Party members get +25% bonus weapon XP.

          Monthly double XP events running for 24 hours, and an additional two loadout slots are also being made available for players on the platform.

          Gamers spent 78 days playing games in the last 18 months

          Gamers have spent the equivalent of 78 DAYS playing video games over the past 18 months. 

          A study of 2,000 adults who regularly game found 39 per cent spent more time gaming during the last year and a half – playing an estimated 40 per cent more in a typical week than pre-pandemic. 

          An average of 17 hours and 48 minutes was spent by individuals on their console between Monday and Fridayduring the average week.

          While weekends accounted for another six hours and 52 minutes – a total of more than 24 hours a week.

          But despite the increase in gaming, 48 per cent like to stick to the same games, with the average gamer rotating through just three of their favourite titles.

          Read more

          Early Call of Duty Vanguard review verdict

          Call of Duty is always a tricky one to review. After all, it’s usually very similar to the last game – with a few key changes here and there.

          But it’s a tried-and-tested format that obviously works, and is both widely loved and relentlessly played. Why fix what isn’t broken?

          If you’ve liked every other Call of Duty game, you’ll like this. Don’t let the WW2 branding fool you – it’s as fact-paced as any Modern Warfare title.

          The addition of destructible environments is really welcome, and the weapons feel great – although balance will always be an issue.

          So far, the Campaign feels compelling. You become invested in the lead characters very quickly, and the settings are as glorious and cinematic as you’d hope for. It’s very easy to see how you’re getting your money’s worth here.

          Warzone remains to be seen, but it’s also a free add-on and doesn’t require Vanguard. And so while you’re sure to spend dozens of hours in Warzone this year, its quality shouldn’t really have huge bearings on whether you buy the main game.

          Only you’ll know whether Vanguard is worth the money.

          Call of Duty: Vanguard Warzone integration

          The new Caldera map drops at the beginning of Season 1 on December 3, or December 2 if you own Vanguard.

          Warzone itself is getting renamed 'Warzone Pacific' and we'll see a dedicated playlist in Vanguard Royale.

          Vanguard Plunder mode will drop soon after, and there's all sorts of vehicles to play with across both modes.

          But that doesn't mean the ones you've accumulated prior are being phased out. All of the original Warzone vehicles and skins aren't going anywhere.

          All of the Operators and Calling Cards from Black Ops Cold War and Modern Warfare will be available, as well as cross-progression and Seasonal Prestige.

          Call of Duty: Vanguard’s tactical destruction breathes life into maps

          Call of Duty: Vanguard hits shelves this week and in anticipation of its launch, we sat down with Sledgehammer Games' studio GM Greg Palstra for the lowdown on the multiplayer.

          Sledgehammer handled development on 2017's Call of Duty: WWII so it's only fitting it takes the reins for the WWII-themed Call of Duty: Vanguard.

          One of the aspects I'm most excited about it is tactical destruction.

          While Battlefield is known for its huge set pieces that come tumbling down mid-match, Call of Duty is taking a more refined, deliberate approach.

          And it's this light touch (coupled with a visual refresh) that's going to enhance the classic World at War maps that long-time fans of the series will know – and love.

          • G. P. Rodriguez

            Dark Aether entities:

            • Saraxis the Shadow
            • Norticus the Conqueror
            • Inviktor the Destroyer
            • Bellekar the Warlock
            • Kortifex the Deathless

            FOUR TASK FORCES

            The Operators are spread over four Task Forces, and each one is hugely customisable: