Call of Duty: Vanguard reveals big multiplayer changes, future of Warzone

If you’ve been waiting for an in-depth look at the multiplayer side of Call of Duty: Vanguard, the day has finally arrived. Activision hosted a big livestream blowout, detailing the maps, modes, and new features players can expect.

If you’re short on time and mostly interested in seeing multiplayer in action, here’s a quick, flashy trailer for you.

If you’re more interested in all the juicy details, however, you’ll want to check out the full 30-minute presentation at the bottom of this article.

In terms of the biggest news, Activision is promising Vanguard will be the biggest multiplayer offering in the series’ history at launch. Players will have access to a total of 20 maps on day one. Of these, 16 will support the standard game modes, including the new addition Patrol. The other four are specifically designed for Champion Hill, another new mode that plays out as a tournament of sorts across multiple rounds.

Like the past few Call of Duty games, Vanguard multiplayer will feature a lineup of playable operators, some of which are crossing over from the campaign. At launch, there will be 12 operators, but the bigger news is that you’ll now be able to level up these operators individually. Doing so will unlock charms and finishing moves based on their backstories, which should give them a bit more personality.

In terms of gameplay, the biggest addition is no doubt the addition of destruction to maps. The stream showcased a few examples of this, and while the feature doesn’t look as extensive as it does in, say, Battlefield or Rainbow Six Siege, it does look like it will make a big difference.

In one segment, the stream showed a portion of a map before and after a match. Doors were all but shredded, and walls that were once mostly intact now had gaping holes. Beyond that, there was a substantial amount of cosmetic damage.

Tactical sprint—in which you can run even faster for a short burst—will return in Vanguard. You’ll even be able to use it to burst through partially damaged walls, in case you want to feel like the Kool-Aid Man. Also returning is the ability to mount your gun on corners and ledges, though with one big addition once you’re mounted: blind fire. Yep, you’ll be able to spray and pray from around corners, though you’ll have to contend with a wider, hipfire-style weapon spread if you do so.

Vanguard‘s customization also appears robust. You’ll be able to not just add up to 10 attachments to your guns, but also adjust their caliber. That could be a game changer in terms of your loadout strategy, since higher-caliber bullets will do more damage and increase environmental destruction.

Perks also seem a bit different in previous games. One will even let you spot enemies through walls if they’re suppressed—another new mechanic that lets you slow opponents down when you’re firing at them.

For even more info, be sure to check out the full multiplayer reveal stream below.

The release of Vanguard will also bring big changes to Warzone, Call of Duty’s free-to-play battle royale experience. Sometime “shortly after” the launch of the game, Warzone will ditch Verdansk for a brand new map set in the Pacific Front of World War II. Based on the early look we saw today, it’s a vibrant tropical island with both settlements and natural features like waterfalls. This map will also launch with a new anti-cheat system, as previously announced.

If you want to get in on the action early, there’s a beta starting this weekend. From September 10th through September 13th, PlayStation players who pre-order the game can hop in. Next week, from September 16th and 17th, the beta expands to include Xbox and PC ( pre-orders, and switches to an open beta on PlayStation. For the last three days, September 18th through 20th, it’ll be open to everyone on all platforms.

Call of Duty: Vanguard launches in full November 5th on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PC.

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