Call of Duty: Vanguard feels tired, handing Halo Infinite an opportunity

Windows Central

WinC Bot
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Dec 17, 2013
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Laggy, dull maps, uninspired, and derivative. And that's the free CoD: Vanguard beta.
You'd think that Activision would have learned that the appetite for World War II-era shooters has waned after watching Call of Duty: WWII sink off the radar quicker than usual. Competing shooter Battlefield V didn't fare particularly well either, with updates to the game canceled earlier than previously planned. Regardless of this, Activision plowed ahead with yet another WW2 shooter, this time dubbed Call of Duty: Vanguard. If there was any evidence that Call of Duty's various teams are running out of ideas, this is surely it.
I've been playing Call of Duty: Vanguard's open beta for the past few days. I am technically the game's target audience, as an aging curmudgeon who fondly remembers the "glory days" of WW2-styled shooters. I'm also one of those rare gamers who consider Call of Duty: World at War to be their favorite Call of Duty of all time. Crazy, right?
It's with that in mind I'd hoped Call of Duty: Vanguard would bring me back into the CoD fold. There's something undeniably infectious about Call of Duty's brand of twitch shooting, after all. And regardless of what I or anyone else says, we all know it'll be among this year's best-selling games. As was the last one. And the one before that. And the one before that.
Increasingly, though, I wonder how long Activision's stable of Call of Duty-focused studios can get away with simply reskinning last year's entry over and over and over. Call of Duty: Vanguard is still in beta, several weeks away from release. There's something even duller than usual about this year's entry, though, and not something that can be simply smoothed over between now and launch. With games like Halo Infinite and Battlefield 2042 hot on Call of Duty's tail, the lack of quality in Vanguard presents competitors with a unique opportunity.

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Christina Bellot