A train crosses Germany, on board a group of men from different parts of the world tries not to attract attention, but is alert, the muscles are tense, ready to spring like springs. The images return a scenario that cinema has made familiar: the atmosphere is that of April 1945, the tension is that of the last days of the war.
But despite the incredible realism, it’s not a movie. It is a video game. On the contrary, the shooter par excellence: the new chapter of that immersive saga that is Call of Duty. And that after a few forays into contemporaneity – and in some cases even into a hypothetical future conflict – has returned to the great classic, the one from which it all originated (in the world of CoD): the Second World War.
It’s called ‘Call of Duty: Vanguard’ and comes a year after Black Ops Cold War. Developed by Sledgehammer for Activision it is available on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X | S and PC (via Battle.net): in single player, multiplayer and zombie modes. In Vanguard, Sergeant Arthur Kingsley is in command of Task Force One, a team made up of elite soldiers from various parts of the world, created to infiltrate enemy lines, uncover the truth about the mysterious Phoenix Project and end the war.
The group travels on a train near Hamburg, without having a clear idea of how to continue the mission.
Call of Duty wants to be a real theater of war. Or at least these are his ambitions. To the point that the production has collaborated to bring out its realism. True war photojournalists were able to “step foot” into the Call of Duty: Vanguard graphics engine to take in-game photos. Their working and creative process was the same as when they found themselves in a war zone.
In particular, war photojournalists Alex Potter and Sebastiano Tomada Piccolomini ventured into the game engine for an exclusive photo shoot held at the motion capture studios of publisher Activision. The travels of Potter and Piccolomini were then included in a trailer, allowing fans to see with their own eyes the experiences and reactions in real time of these photographers.
The main characters of the game are presented in flashbacks set in Normandy, Stalingrad, the Midway Islands and the island of Bougainville, Libya and Egypt. In addition to Richard Webb, among the protagonists is Lucas Riggs, an impetuous and rebellious explosives expert. There is Arthur Kingsley, who joined the British Army and earned degrees carrying out extremely risky missions, in which he highlighted his leadership skills and rare courage. Polina Petrova is also a character inspired by the Russian sniper Lyudmila Pavlichenko. Then there is Wade Jackson from New York: a soldier who fought in the 93rd Infantry Division, the first to be formed by African Americans, stationed on the island of Bougainville. They are all part of Task Force One.
Call of Duty: Vanguard has a strongly cinematic approach, mixing fiction and reality, and is made up of nine chapters. The first mission takes place aboard a train to Hamburg.
The multiplayer dimension
The multiplayer dimension at launch offered 20 maps, 12 operators, over 35 weapons and the new Zombie mode. Vanguard supports cross-play between last generation and next-gen consoles.
Anti-cheater measures against the most unfair players
Vanguard also introduced RICOCHET Anti-Cheat, an approach designed for fight cheating by using new tools, server-side, which monitor analytics to identify who cheats, and an improved investigation process (aimed at exclusion) of updates to strengthen account security.
Produced by Activision, Call of Duty was launched in 2003. To date, the series has 19 official chapters and 11 spin-offs, with 520 million players and revenues of 15 billion dollars. In 2007 Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare offered players the chance to immerse themselves in a future conflict between the United States, the United Kingdom and Russia. Modern Warfare was the best-selling game of 2007 and helped the series maintain its place at the top of the war game genre. Its sequel, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, during its first five days of release (November 2009), grossed over $ 550 million in sales worldwide. Call of Duty: Black Ops, the next chapter, surpassed $ 360 million in sales on the first day of release (November 2010).