Mixed or average reviews - based on 30 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 30
  2. Negative: 0 out of 30
  1. Nov 8, 2021
    Overall, Call of Duty: Vanguard is a very welcome addition to the Call of Duty franchise. Sledgehammer has always helped drive the franchise forward into adventurous new territories and Vanguard is no exception. If you find yourself itching for a new FPS in your life, Vanguard is ready for you to pick up and is easy enough to drop into so that you’ll never feel out of place as a new player. If you’re wary about picking this game up because you’re someone who didn’t like the change from 2019 Modern Warfare’s engine to Treyarch’s in Cold War, then you’ll be happy to learn that this runs on Modern Warfare’s engine and the gunplay and visuals remain entirely intact.
  2. Nov 12, 2021
    All told, Call Of Duty: Vanguard has exceeded my expectations, especially after a less-than-promising pre-launch Alpha and press event. Then again, the Beta was drastically improved overall so I was already feeling more optimistic by launch. I’m also very excited for post-launch content like Shipment, League and Gunfight, as well as more MP and Zombies maps. Now that maps are always free—replaced by a Battle Pass and cosmetic Item Shop—these games stay fresh and populated much longer than before, and I foresee a great deal of Vanguard in my future, though I’m sure I’ll dip back into Cold War frequently as well.
  3. Nov 4, 2021
    War never changes, and Call Of Duty is in fact still Call Of Duty. Sledgehammer Games however has happened across an intriguing formula, connecting what has worked in previous games and integrating it into their own. The campaign is stunning, and while short lived has a ton of heart, Zombies is as fun and maybe more inviting than it’s ever been, and the multiplayer hard carries this entry to a round 11 victory. This culmination of all things Call Of Duty has resulted in something the entire series can look to, a blueprint on how to build a meaty and superb first person shooter experience.
  4. Dec 2, 2021
    Call of Duty: Vanguard maintains the usual high level of production of the Call of Duty series, with an excellent cinematic narrative that allows players to have an audio-visual experience of being in the battlefield. The online content is also excellent, the new zombie mode has many good parts, but the thin content makes it difficult to retain players for a long time. Overall, it is still a popular FPS worth trying.
  5. Nov 12, 2021
    Popcorn shooter with an enormous and sophisticated multiplayer, some story deficiencies and quite a short co-op.
  6. Nov 11, 2021
    While Call of Duty: Vanguard does what it does well, it’s as I wrote at the start: the expected experience. There’s nothing overly surprising here, no major shakeups to the gameplay, nothing that rejuvenates the franchise like 2007’s Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. But that doesn’t mean it’s bad. In fact, Call of Duty: Vanguard offers a solid experience for those looking for their annual fix from the franchise. The campaign packs a punch and even manages to hit some emotional highs without dragging out longer than it has to. For Zombies fans, this will likely be a disappointing entry in the series, at least at launch. As for the multiplayer, it hits the Call of Duty gold standard of tight, fast-paced combat that players have come to expect. For those that dig the series, this one nails the Call of Duty experience.
  7. 80
    Call of Duty: Vanguard clears the bar thanks to its convincing multiplayer, rich in content and with some new features such as the Battle Rhythm and wider environmental destruction, which reinforce an already solid gameplay. There is no innovation or revolution for the franchise, and those who have played the most recent games in the series already know what awaits them, but perhaps the secret of its commercial success will be precisely this.
  8. Nov 8, 2021
    This is a good Call Of Duty game, but outside of a cracking narrative it all feels rather safe. It’s a worthy purchase if you’re into the franchise, or just want a shooter to play with your pals, and the visuals are absolutely top-notch, but it does really feel like a filler year until we get the rumoured Modern Warfare 2 in 2022.
  9. Nov 4, 2021
    Call of Duty: Vanguard brings the franchise back to the roots. Not only because of the world war 2 setting, also because of the slower gameplay in comparison with a lot of other games of the franchise. The short, action-packed campaign is fun to play and the story of the historic inspired main characters is captivating. The multiplayer has a good balance, a neat pacing and offers with sixteen 6vs6 maps a good change. The Zombies mode is unfortunately the big weakness of Vanguard. It’s fun to play, but still missing a lot of content like the story and the popular Easter eggs.
  10. Nov 4, 2021
    Opting for pulp fantasy over Spielbergian reverence for the era, Vanguard reinvigorates the World War II setting and charts a new path forward.
  11. Nov 4, 2021
    Call of Duty: Vanguard’s campaign misses the mark, but multiplayer and Zombies do the heavy lifting to get the title to a good place. If you’re most invested in the single-player experience, you can pass on this year’s entry, but if you’re into the other modes, Call of Duty remains an excellent choice for some shooting, looting, and zombie executing.
  12. Nov 9, 2021
    Despite an immense amount of content, Call of Duty: Vanguard feels a bit like a step back for the franchise: a couple of guns need to find a better balance with the upcoming updates and the campaign is fascinating but extremely short and unripe. The game is genuinely fun, of course, but it's not the best Call of Duty to date.
  13. Nov 16, 2021
    Call of Duty: Vanguard drops the ball on two fronts. The campaign is a short, disjointed, and shallow affair, and its Zombies mode is solid but too bare-bones and devoid of content to recommend at the moment. Regular multiplayer matches are where Vanguard shines the brightest, but a lot of that is due to leaning heavily into familiar territory. Vanguard struggles to make meaningful additions to the formula, and apart from new battle pacing options and a generous selection of maps, Vanguard sits comfortably on the achievements of its predecessors. That's not a bad thing, and I enjoyed the online components throughout this review, but it's also not a great look for a yearly release. If you haven't played a Call of Duty title in a few years and don't care for its single-player campaign, Vanguard is a fun and solid entry in the series.
  14. Nov 8, 2021
    Overall, Call of Duty: Vanguard is another solid entry to the CoD series. Sledgehammer has worked almost entirely by the rulebook, but has made enough improvements to deliver a template that can carry the series forward for another year. There’s a promising lineup of post launch content on the way too, leaving the future looking relatively bright for the future of Call of Duty.
  15. Nov 6, 2021
    Call of Duty Vanguard is between modern and traditional. We still find our favorite game modes and some new ones that will please players. The weapons are well thought out with a configuration that is not unpleasant after reflection. The balancing is not bad and the TTK is really satisfying. The Campaign mode and the Zombie mode are unfortunately the black spots. The Zombie mode seems unfinished and the Campaign mode could have had a few more hours to dig a little deeper into the story of Vanguard. But we're not immune to additional missions for the campaign and the secret will finally be able to enjoy its secret by the first season.
  16. Nov 17, 2021
    With every new year, we get a new Call of Duty, and while this year's entry is decent, it's not essential. There’s still some good fun to be had here, but it never goes beyond expectations. In particular, Zombies in its current state feels like a lackluster step back. If you're an avid Call of Duty fan, Vanguard may still be strong enough to hold your interest, but if you've grown skeptical over the years, it isn't likely to bring you back into the fray.
  17. Despite its impressive characters, Call of Duty Vanguard has an extremely ordinary story. Multiplayer modes are fun, but they do not feel like a new game.
  18. Nov 15, 2021
    As a huge multiplayer fan Call of Duty: Vanguard ticks all of the right boxes for me. It's chaotic and fast paced and besides some bugs that will surely be patched out, there's little to complain about. Unfortunately, the accompanying Zombies and Campaign modes are lacklustre and it is simply not worth buying the game for them alone.
  19. Nov 15, 2021
    Multiplayer is the only reason to play Call of Duty: Vanguard, thanks to substantial online content and a satisfying competitive pace. Both the zombies mode and the campaign are tiresome, clichéd, and mediocre, best left out of the history books.
  20. Nov 8, 2021
    Call of Duty Vanguard falls in the predictable traps of an annual release, but pulls through with a fun campaign and multiplayer at the cost of duller Zombies.
  21. Nov 18, 2021
    Is Call of Duty: Vanguard a good game? It depends. If it is your first Call of Duty, it will be one of the best experiences in your life. However, if Vanguard is your nineteenth Call of Duty you will find a visually impressive, yet hollow, campaign, a multiplayer that soon becomes routine, and a disappointing zombie mode.
  22. Game World Navigator Magazine
    Dec 15, 2021
    It’s hard to name a single thing about this game that’s worth your time. [Issue#257, p.54]
  23. Nov 19, 2021
    Weak story with forgettable characters is punctuated with cookie-cutter multiplayer modes. Vanguard is a sum of its mediocre parts.
  24. Nov 28, 2021
    With Vanguard, Call of Duty returns to the roots of the series: World War II. The solo campaign is entertaining but short, and the multiplayer is exactly as expected: full of action and adrenalin. However, the few novelties are not spectacular enough to lift it above mediocrity.
  25. Nov 17, 2021
    Call of Duty: Vanguard does have its moments, even if they are quite few and far between. The campaign goes back and forth between innovative and entertaining, to repetitive and bland, while the Multiplayer and Zombie modes don’t bring anything new to the table other than how impressive they look.
  26. Nov 10, 2021
    Judged on its own terms, Call of Duty: Vanguard offers a solid, albeit predictable campaign, an engaging multiplayer with deep progression systems and satisfying gunplay, and a Zombies mode that will only serve as a minor distraction in its current state.
  27. Nov 10, 2021
    Call of Duty: Vanguard is the video game equivalent of an old war film that you’ve seen many times before, but still enjoy watching with a feeling of nostalgic comfort that armed conflict perhaps should not provide. It won’t set the world alight, but gives you the opportunity to blow a lot of it up – which is, after all, what we want from this series.
  28. Nov 9, 2021
    CoD's multiplayer is as dependable as ever, but Vanguard's campaign and Zombies mode fail to capitalise on what could be interesting ideas.
  29. Nov 22, 2021
    Vanguard is more of the same when it comes to the campaign, with very few sparks of innovation. It’s inoffensive, yet bland. Zombies tries something new but goes all-in with a single map that just doesn’t work well at launch. Multiplayer moves the focus away from the brilliant gunplay, pushing chaos above all else and making fundamental errors that shouldn’t be present in the 18th iteration of Call of Duty multiplayer.
  30. In play, it is smartly dressed but simple, like a child of wealthy parents who can afford to be a bit dim.
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  1. Dec 13, 2021
    Despite a couple of the Russian levels breaking some new ground, for the most part Vanguard remains a series of narrow shooting galleries that you’ve seen and played countless times by now. Ultimately, like most Call of Duty games, you spend an awful lot of time crouched behind a waist-high wall, waiting to shoot a man in the head as he peers over his waist-high wall. That’s possibly a pointless criticism, but having just suffered through Call of Duty: Vanguard’s vacuous and derivative campaign, such a banal observation feels like the most fitting conclusion. [Campaign Score = 40]
User Score

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 677 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Nov 6, 2021
    Way better than last year's cod and obviously better shooter than battlefail2042. Would recommend to old and new cod fans!
  2. Nov 6, 2021
    And 2021's best shooter is finally here! Good job Sledgehammer Games! Better than last two cod's.
  3. Nov 11, 2021
    As typical, another Call of Duty game been butchered and removed all suspension of disbelief when it comes to historical accuracy. FromAs typical, another Call of Duty game been butchered and removed all suspension of disbelief when it comes to historical accuracy. From Germans using Sturmgewehr-44 in 1942 Stalingrad to some girl running around like she's another Assassin's creed character. German juggernaught soldier's who guard high-ranked villains, inaccurate uniform and tank model representations for their times along with a whole list I could mention. It's not worth your money unless you desperately want to support historical inaccuracies and play some power-fantasy campaign. Multiplayer doesn't feel innovated compared to the previous games and the attachments with most guns are nowhere near WW2-esque to be believable. This game had alot of potential from the trailers, but was butchered and ruined by their simple and non-existant historical sources and writing. Zombies is not even worth mentioning as it becomes boring very fast, nothing innovated other than few missions you do and then jump into some portal from multiplayer maps that got changed over to Zombie-styled theme. Activision shouldn't get away with 60 bucks for this. Hope this helps someone save their money. Full Review »