Will Call Of Duty: Vanguard Be A Good Competitive Title?
With the competitive Black Ops Cold War season at an end and with the annual dose of Rostermania in full swing, many players are already looking towards Call of Duty: Vanguard’s hotly-anticipated release on November 5th.
The latest instalment in the storied first-person shooter franchise returns to World War 2 for the third time and while many players are seemingly against Sledgehammer Games’ choice of setting, there is every chance of Vanguard being a resounding success after the mixed reception Black Ops Cold War received when it released.
From a competitive perspective, there are various factors that can make a Call of Duty title great to play, ranging from well-designed maps to Perks and weapon attachments that enable plenty of different styles of play and methods to counter the opposition. As Sledgehammer continues to unveil information on Vanguard, we take a look at some of the features that will make the game a sure-fire success for competitive play.
Map Variety And Design
Throughout the Black Ops Cold War season, there were plenty of maps added to the competitive map pool, and it’s safe to say that the additions saved the game from becoming incredibly boring and repetitive to watch.
For Vanguard, a lack of competitive maps shouldn’t be a problem, with Sledgehammer Games confirming that there will be a total of 16 6v6 maps available to play as soon as the game releases. Theoretically, if eight of those maps are viable for competitive play on release, a solid pool of maps is already there rather than having to wait for post-launch content to arrive.
If the variety of maps are there, it’s extremely important for them to be well-designed. The three-lane map structure has become synonymous with the Call of Duty franchise. Some of the very best maps feature the clear structure combined with several chokepoints which often lead to plenty of fast and frenetic action, along with spawn mechanics that can be manipulated in a variety of ways in order to gain the upper hand.
A strong selection of well-designed maps combined with functioning spawns often determines whether a Call of Duty title will be a success from a competitive standpoint and with Sledgehammer Games open to feedback, there’s every chance that these features will lay a stable foundation for the competitive scene to build on throughout 2022.
As with most competitive titles, players are extremely quick to determine which are the very best weapons to use and the best attachments to equip. Black Ops Cold War saw the Krig 6 assault rifle and the AK-74u submachine gun dominate the competitive metagame throughout the season and while it may get tedious watching players using the same weapons over and over again when there’s often so much choice in the arsenal, Vanguard could well change that for the better.
Having a competitive meta with at least two viable assault rifles, three SMGs, and a sniper rifle is perfect to cater for every single in-game scenario imaginable, and with most of Vanguard’s arsenal featuring over 70 different attachments, the 2022 season could feature a huge variety of weapon and attachment combinations.
While the thought of a wide range of weaponry used in Call of Duty League (CDL) and amateur competitions sounds appealing, the notorious "Gentlemen’s Agreement" is highly likely to be enforced. With so many attachments to choose from, the agreement could be rather long.
It’s likely the pro players will gravitate towards a small selection of weaponry for competitive play, but wouldn’t it be better if there was more variety? Vanguard certainly has the potential to create that variety, and it could be one of the many deciding factors when it comes to determining whether Vanguard will be a good competitive title.
Ranked Playlist Is A Must
The competitive community often shares its thoughts when it comes to Call of Duty implementing some kind of ranked playlist to give players their competitive fix. Black Ops Cold War’s League Play completely missed the mark, much to the annoyance of players that regularly requested a playlist similar to World War 2’s hugely popular ranked system.
Complete with a simple and easy-to-understand structure and rewards for players that reach a different division, the foundations for a popular competitive playlist for Vanguard are already there.
Perhaps a fully-fledged playlist complete with a ruleset and map pool may be a stretch, but it’s certainly viable for the launch of Season One once players have had time to familiarise themselves with the game and its mechanics.
World War 2 managed to set the benchmark for competitive playlists in Call of Duty, and with Sledgehammer Games back at the helm, Vanguard is the perfect opportunity to cater for a passionate competitive community that often goes overlooked. If the players are happy and the developer provides regular support, then there are very few things preventing Vanguard from being a huge success as a competitive title.