It’s been another year in the cycle of Call of Duty, and Sledgehammer Games recently launched Call of Duty: Vanguard. The game has been out for a little over a week and there are plenty of issues, which isn’t that much of a surprise — this typically happens at the beginning of the new title. However, it seems like Sledgehammer wasn’t fully prepared for Vanguard’s release.
Since this list is based on my opinion of the game, not everyone will agree with some of these points. That’s ok. I’m just picking through the game based on 15 years of playing Call of Duty multiplayers, so I’ve seen a lot of terrible launches. While Call of Duty: Vanguard’s release isn’t exactly the worst–to me–the multiplayer is just all over the place.
You can check out my full list of grievances below.
1. The Spawns
This is one of those problems that really should have been addressed immediately after Vanguard was released. The Dome and Das Haus maps are the worst for spawning in front of enemies. Sledgehammer has said they “fixed” the spawns on Dome, but I promise, they are not much better.
Hardpoint, Patrol, and Domination spawns are crazy. Hardpoint and Patrol spawns in particular, are consistently made of a chaotic messes, with enemies reanimating behind your teams’ position. Even if you just spawned there ten seconds earlier.
Domination spawns are just as frustrating, because these are supposed to be more of a fixed spawn situation. Typically, enemies will spawn on the side or maybe one from the back, so they can try to push the opposing team off of B flag. This isn’t what happens in Vanguard. Enemies will simply spawn in droves at whatever home flag your team started at, flipping the team spawns entirely. This shift actually makes it hard to keep a team off of B, because there is no reliable way of cutting off an enemy team from that location.
2. The Maps
While some of Vanguard’s maps are O.K., most of them are poorly laid out. This makes it difficult to approach certain objective points, since a majority of them don’t have any lane design, leaning more towards a chaos vibe. On the other hand, some of the maps end up with players extremely concentrated in one area, with the rest of the map being mostly abandoned.
I also don’t like the overwhelming amount of verticality on a number of the maps. This leaves vulnerable spawn points for certain game modes, like Team Deathmatch, Kill confirmed, and Domination. It can also make it difficult to move off of certain spawns locations. I’ve also noticed that quite a few B flag locations for Domination favor one side over the other, by a margin that is noticeable.
3. Day And Night
Although players stand out a tad better than they did during Vanguard’s beta, there are still sections of maps where it’s still hard to make out character models. Or sometimes completely impossible. This is due to a combination of dark surroundings and clothing appropriate from the WWII era.
On the flip side of this, what is up with the thermite and Molotovs? It’s like the freaking sun is blaring straight into your eyes. Obviously, this isn’t conducive to spotting enemies. It’s worse than any flash grenade I’ve ever encountered.
4. Weapons..Just In General
Much like the rest of Vanguard, the weapons are all over the place. The system is unlike Black Ops Cold War, where the attachments set to the same level on every single gun. For example, the Agency Suppressor unlocks at level 46 for on all weapons.
This is not the case for Vanguard. The different weapon types have varying attachments that don’t even unlock at the same level as the others within the same weapon category. It’s just odd.
There is also the usually overpowered weapons, with overpowered attachments. Right now, the STG44, the MP-40, the Combat Shotgun, and the Gracey Auto are rather irritating to see consistently in the killfeed. The shotguns are super frustrating on Das Haus. It’s obvious some of these weapons need a nerf.
Also, the numerous attachments that can make bring weapons into an overpowered state, like Pinned (increased flinch dealt to enemies), Incendiary (burning rounds), and Frangible (cripple target’s movements when shot into legs).
5. 70 Levels A Weapon
Holy cow, the amount of time it can take to get certain weapons fully leveled is just mind-numbing. Even for the ones that are easier to acquire, I just think it’s too much. Most of the attachments are optics, with the important pieces stretched out between the long list of sights.
I think it would have been better if Sledgehammer had removed a number of the sights, since some of them give the same magnifying benefits. It would also help a great deal if the studio would just slightly increase the weapon XP to reach that level 70 a little bit faster.
This also keeps players on the same weapon, because it requires a bit of investment to acquire the higher attachments. A lot of people don’t want to start over with a new weapon, while others are using far more powerful ones.
6. Certain Weapons Are Just Hard To Use
With all the fully automatic weapons in Call of Duty: Vanguard, it can be difficult to use certain guns. Sniper rifles and Marksman rifles are not the easiest weapons to use. Certain maps are better for these particular rifles, but the range of assault rifles and SMGs can be frustrating to deal with. It’s not impossible to use snipers and marksman, but it’s for sure an irritating experience when you’re trying to complete challenges.
This is a constant issue with Call of Duty titles, and Vanguard is no different. With how powerful the weapons can be, more often than not, players are racking up a crazy amount of multikills. I think the highest I’ve seen was 50, in Blitz Combat Pacing on Das Haus. This could only really happen if the time-to-kill and the spawns are out of wack. People complained about Black Ops Cold War’s TTK, but I feel Vanguard’s is slightly faster. This makes it even harder to get out of spawn traps or react to someone who is behind/to the side of you.
8. Footsteps Anyone?
Where the hell are the enemy footstep sounds?! Sledgehammer stated they adjusted the audio mix in a patch before the game released. Yeah, no they didn’t. I’m using a premium headset, with the volume adjusted accordingly, but still can’t hear enemy footfall. My, and my team’s footsteps sound like a stamped of elephants though.
I constantly have High Alert on, simply because I can’t hear when a combatant has spawned behind me or snuck up into our spawn zone. It’s quite ridiculous.
9. The Perks Are..Something
I honestly hate the Perks in Vanguard. Half of them are underwhelming, with a couple that will likely be unused for the full year.
The Perk 1 category is full of the best perks, like Ghost, Cold Blooded, Dauntless, and Fortified. It also contains Ninja, but who’s using it right now? Oh yeah, no one.
The Perk 2 section has a ton of enemy awareness perks, which is fine, but nothing stands out. However, there is one perk in this category that rubs me the wrong way. Radar is just unnecessary, as enemies should always appear on the minimap when they fire unsilenced weapons. Like every other Call of Duty multiplayer in history.
Perk 3’s list is just weak. There are only three perks in that are even worth your time in this category, but people mostly use Lightweight. I honestly never wanted to see this perk again in my life. It just makes people with SMGs so much more annoying, especially when you’re attempting to accomplish any kind of challenge goal.
For the love of everything in the universe, STOP. WITH. THE. KILLSTREAKS. They don’t push players to move towards the objective, so playing any kind of objective-based game mode is a horror show. Almost every match I see my teammates run away from the initial Domination spawn, then right past B, only to die in the middle by enemies who are also ignoring the Domination points.
Hardpoint and Patrol are even worse, as teammates just take off from the Hardpoint or Patrol zone because they are more concerned with getting those kills. I’m here to win and do well.
I was surprisingly pleased with Treyarch’s approach to this problem with last year’s Call of Duty. Yeah, you could get your streaks by simply killing opponents, but playing the objective while doing so would rack up those points so much faster. I want every Call of Duty game to adopt this type of Streak system, as it rewards objective players–but allows everyone else to get a chance at earning their streaks.
Wow, the glitches and bugs are real. Operator models are missing pieces in the menus, some Challenges are not tracking properly, weapons are “unlocking” attachments ahead of themselves–the list goes on. It’s just unfortunate that there are so many minor problems with the game, as it will just take longer for the major issues to be addressed.
Yup, cheaters are out there. Sledgehammer hasn’t implemented its Ricochet anti-cheat into Vanguard yet, and it won’t be coming until December. I’m currently playing on a PS5, so I’ve just turned off crossplay. I’ll likely keep it off even after the anti-cheat is in the works, because I want to make sure it’s leaving cheaters at the door.
If you’re playing on console, I would suggest the same to you. But it’s your choice.
Lastly, MVP. I don’t understand the reasoning for it. It’s just an added amount of time into the game, keeping players in it longer. I get the Play of the Game highlight intro, because that player had the best sequence of kills in that match, but MVP is just time-wasting.