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Call of Duty: Vanguard’s open-beta on PS5 and Xbox Series X/S ends on September 22, and if you haven’t jumped in already, it lets players battle it out across a number of popular game modes like Team Deathmatch and Search and Destroy.
There are some neat new additions to Call of Duty’s renowned twitch-based gameplay, too, such as the ability to blind fire behind cover, destructible environments, and the excellent Capitol Hill mode – where eight teams battle it out in a tournament-style fight to the finish.
But don't expect a revolution from Activision’s annual series. Somewhat predictably, the new World War 2-inspired setting doesn’t see Call of Duty deviate too far from its tried-and-tested approach, for better or for worse.
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One thing that does stand out, though – almost to a jarring degree – is Call of Duty: Vanguard’s new in-game announcer. The games have always had an announcer that lets you know what type of mode you’re playing, notifies you when your killstreaks are ready, and if there’s an enemy UAV in the air. But this time there’s a surprising new callout.
Call of Duty: Vanguard rips a page straight out of Halo’s multiplayer for the first time by audibly calling out when you pull off a “double kill” or “triple kill”. And for some reason, maybe in part due to the rather serious nature of the World War 2 setting, it feels incredibly weird.
Gunning down enemies across Call of Duty: Vanguard’s realistic-looking maps and hearing “double kill!” seems at odds with many aspects of the game’s more serious design. Yes, Call of Duty’s multiplayer has never been grounded in complete realism, of course, but the idea that your commanding officer or squad leader would cheerfully acknowledge when you’ve killed more than one person in a row continued to throw me during my play sessions.
It’s also strange to see this feature in Call of Duty: Vanguard, considering so many Call of Duty games have come and gone before without including it. I can’t imagine it was high on many fans’ wishlists either, but who knows? It’s a curious addition, to say the least.
Opinion: Will the new callouts really matter?
It’s not even that I dislike the new callouts per se, as being told you’ve managed to best multiple opponents in quick succession has always given me an endorphin-fueled tingle. Maybe that’s because the odds are stacked against you in Halo when it comes to taking down more than one opponent. It often takes significantly more effort to kill someone in Halo than it does in Call of Duty, and often streaks are obtained thanks to being in the right place at the right time.
But in Call of Duty: Vanguard? Enemies tend to drop faster than fruit flies after 24 hours on Earth, so it isn’t quite as satisfying. Who knows, maybe that’s why the callout was introduced in the first place.
Call of Duty: Vanguard releases on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and PC on November 5, 2021. It’ll now release ahead of EA’s Battlefield 2042, which has slipped from its initial October 22 release date to November 19, 2021. Halo Infinite, meanwhile, is set to release on December 9, 2021, and its multiplayer mode is free-to-play.
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