Metascore
73

Mixed or average reviews - based on 64 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 64
  2. Negative: 0 out of 64
Buy Now
Buy on
  1. Nov 8, 2021
    95
    Call of Duty: Vanguard may be the best CoD installment to date with stunning graphics that shine on the new systems and finely tuned, balanced gun play. They bring a new and fresh approach to the WWII and D-Day scenario making the solo campaign just as enjoyable as the multiplayer.
  2. Nov 5, 2021
    95
    Call of Duty: Vanguard is a standout shooter experience. A globetrotting campaign that features some of the franchise’s best visuals features a core mystery that is over far too quickly but remains strong. I also wish the Zombies mode wasn’t impacted by a content drop that is expected a month from launch, meaning that players are given an engaging but sometimes toothless wave-based assault on the undead. Yet the multiplayer is an exceptional entry at the heart of Vanguard. It offers refinement on the standard set by Modern Warfare and gives players an incredible amount of challenges to complete to best show off their combat prowess. While a new Warzone map isn’t here yet, there’s plenty to look forward to in the months to come. Despite skipping a year, Sledgehammer Games is at its peak with Call of Duty: Vanguard, delivering a premium World War II shooter and an incredible Call of Duty game.
  3. Nov 23, 2021
    90
    This is a good installment, but the stutter in combat makes me wonder if it’s as polished as it should be. The game has crashed on me sometimes during Blitz modes in particular, with a lot of players. But overall it held up tremendously well in multiplayer as I fought my way to the first Prestige level and got through it with a 0.84 kill/death ratio. In fact, the more I played the more I enjoyed multiplayer.
  4. Nov 11, 2021
    90
    The stars have aligned for Call of Duty: Vanguard. For the first time, this truly feels like a full package without any caveats. Sure, some parts are naturally stronger than others but there isn’t a weak link in sight. After back to back triumphs, Call of Duty is now on a killstreak.
  5. Nov 4, 2021
    87
    Even failing at "showing World Wart Two like never before", Call of Duty Vanguard is a great FPS. Campaign is full of epic (and some dramatic) moments, multiplayer is fun and fast, and includes 16 maps (twice as the previous Call of Duty game) with plenty of modes and progression elements, and the new zombies mode is incredibly fun.
  6. Nov 9, 2021
    85
    Aside from breath-taking visuals, the campaign mode of Vanguard doesn’t have much to say, as it’s the standard short and sweet Call of Duty campaign that we’ve known for years, but when it comes to multiplayer Vanguard is a beast, offering the most content than any other COD game before with some top notch map design and super smooth gameplay.
  7. Nov 5, 2021
    85
    Vanguard is an incremental iteration for the Call of Duty franchise. It’s a solid entry in the series that does well what Call of Duty does well, but it doesn’t stand-out as a landmark release. If you enjoy Call of Duty, haven’t played for a few years, or are new to franchise, then by all means jump in. The water’s fine.
  8. 85
    As a complete package, from a Call of Duty developer that hasn’t yet established its own Modern Warfare or Black Ops sub-franchise, Vanguard feels like it could end up being Sledgehammer’s tentpole. Iconic characters, unique multiplayer and map design, and overall integration into the wider Call of Duty experience set the pace for not only the next year, but whatever comes next from Sledgehammer.
  9. Nov 4, 2021
    85
    Sledgehammer Games is back after 4 years and they are coming back in great shape. Of course, the different multiplayer modes are still effective, but this year the single player campaign really makes the difference. It has more depth with interesting characters and a spectacular setting. We did not expect such a graphically beautiful game either.
  10. Nov 4, 2021
    85
    Call of Duty: Vanguard brings us a great mixture of thrilling story campaign, fresh multiplayer modes and an innovative Zombie mode. It is a fantastic experience for fans of the series and the 1st person shooters as well.
  11. Nov 4, 2021
    84
    Vanguard doesn’t stray too far away from the classic Call of Duty formula we have come to expect from the franchise over the past several years. In many ways, it’s a little more of the same. That said, Call of Duty: Vanguard is an incredibly robust package offering up tons of content for the buck. Zombies mode is far more enjoyable and varied, the single-player campaign is a visual stunner, and 20 MP maps at launch is nothing to sneeze at. If you have passed over Call of Duty over the last several years, it might be time to come back.
  12. Nov 10, 2021
    83
    Call of Duty: Vanguard is another strong entry for the franchise. It offers a lackluster campaign, but makes up for it with a frenetic and fun multiplayer experience. It doesn't bring anything new to the table in the FPS genre, but many of its elements definitely feel like an evolution for the franchise.
  13. Nov 24, 2021
    80
    Once reinforcements do come for Zombies, it will be hard to argue against Vanguard as one of the best and most complete Call of Duty titles in the last decade, potentially of the franchise's entire history. This is one of the rare times Call of Duty has seriously dug into its past, learned from it, and delivered a new and improved experience. Vanguard sets a high bar for Call of Duty as the franchise moves into the next generation.
  14. Nov 12, 2021
    80
    Even with a lacklustre Zombies experience, Call of Duty: Vanguard is Sledgehammer Games’ best Call of Duty to date. The studio is finally hitting its stride in getting its vision of the series to where it should be. The campaign is a rip-roaring five hours of fascinating character stories mixed with memorable locales, while the new additions to the admittedly by-the-numbers multiplayer are more than welcome. While it may not change the formula in any meaningful way, what you’ve got here is a great Call of Duty game.
  15. Nov 10, 2021
    80
    Call of Duty: Vanguard's campaign is meaty, the Battle Pass will keep you going a while, and Zombies is wonderfully addictive.
  16. Nov 10, 2021
    80
    Whilst Call of Duty Vanguard does not innovate much to push the boundaries of the franchise further, The WWII shooter does deliver a compelling experience. The short, but action-packed single-player offers a nice introduction, although it could be a bit more coherent. The zombies' mode offers some new elements, while still feeling trusted. But by far the biggest reason to like Vanguard is multiplayer. With a nice selection of maps, plenty of modes, and some tweaks to the known formula, it truly delivers.
  17. Nov 9, 2021
    80
    Offering a trilogy of solid content offerings with campaign, multiplayer and zombies, Call of Duty: Vanguard is a valiant attempt from Sledgehammer which maybe plays it a little too safe in the end. Despite the messy, disjointed design choices for online, Vanguard still proves to be a satisfying experience. It may not lead the line of CoD entries as its name suggests, but it nestles nicely in the middle of the pack.
  18. Nov 9, 2021
    80
    Call of Duty: Vanguard is certainly a good return to World War II by Sledgehammer, especially in terms of multiplayer modes: many maps, customizable weapons with numerous options and a progression system to applause. On the other hand, the single player campaign is just enough, far from being considered epic, while the Zombies mode needs to be expanded as soon as possible.
  19. 80
    Iterating on what Call of Duty diehards know and love, Vanguard has the potential to stand up alongside some of the series' best. Whether it be a bombastic, action-flick inspired campaign, endlessly addictive multiplayer or now-staple zombies mode, the game feels like comfort food. However, I remain doubtful that the game's new and updated modes will do enough to win over anyone that wasn't convinced with earlier iterations.
  20. Nov 8, 2021
    80
    The frame rate appears anchored to 60 frames, without particular uncertainties, while the soundtrack signed by Bear McCreary boasts an excellent main theme and, in general, effectively accompanies the action.
  21. Nov 8, 2021
    80
    A solid installment for the series with a satisfying story and great multiplayer balance.
  22. Nov 8, 2021
    80
    Does Call of Duty: Vanguard advance the series in any meaningful way? Of course not, but that doesn’t stop it from being a fantastic package for Call of Duty fans, or a good entry point for those seeking a way in. The campaign here is brief but captivating, managing to make you feel for its band of heroes despite your short time with them. Zombies has some interesting twists that keep you on your toes. And multiplayer is more of the same but with tweaks that some will love and others will hate, as usual. All in all, this is one of the best Call of Duty releases to date, and we’d love to see more of Vanguard’s exploits in the future.
  23. Nov 5, 2021
    80
    Vanguard is a game with plenty of multiplayer content, far from the best ones but still enjoyable, and a campaign whose purpose seems to tick a box.
  24. 80
    Call of Duty Vanguard is a solid yet unremarkable entry in the long running franchise. On a technical level it’s one of the most impressive games out there right now. On a gameplay level it’s nothing you haven’t seen before.
  25. Nov 4, 2021
    80
    Call of Duty Vanguard is a very good COD, more intimate and more human than previous episodes. The characters are at the center of the experience and we appreciate this more relaxed tone that offers something very cinematic with a classic and realistic gameplay that always works very well. An episode of quality even if it lacks a bit of the spectacular.
  26. Nov 4, 2021
    80
    Sledgehammer Games clearly had high ambitions when approaching their third solo Call of Duty project. Doubling down on World War II was a smart idea to help the studio carve out its own identity separate from Infinity Ward and Treyarch. While Call of Duty: Vanguard doesn’t break the mold, it does succeed on most fronts, delivering one of the better multiplayer experiences in years for the franchise and a simplified Zombies mode that lowers the barrier of entry for those intimidated by past iterations.
  27. Nov 9, 2021
    79
    Vanguard builds on the three pillars that fans of Call of Duty have come to expect. The problem: While the multiplayer mode plays great, the campaign is visually and acoustically well staged, but overall it's only "very solid" due to the weak AI and a far too predictable and short story. The zombie mode, on the other hand, is more beginner-friendly than ever, but the bottom line is that it disappoints, especially long-time fans, with an abundance of missing features. Provided that upcoming content updates improve the situation, there is still hope that the developers will make zombie hunters happy in the long run.
  28. Nov 22, 2021
    78
    Call of Duty: Vanguard is one of the most anticipated shooters of the year, a year in which Battlefield was knocking on the door. While they do not risk in its highlights, they reinforce a game system that works this time as a complement to Warzone but an incentive to the height, with an outstanding campaign and multiplayer mode but with a forgettable zombie mode that does not detract from the fun that has given me Vanguard in all the hours I've played.
  29. Nov 17, 2021
    78
    Although a solid offering overall, one can’t help but feel that the series has taken a step backwards in terms of the content available as well as the era depicted.
  30. Nov 24, 2021
    75
    Perhaps the softest launch in Activision Blizzard's historic FPS series, Call of Duty Vanguard shows that there's much potential for this year's entry to grow. However with the weakest Zombies mode in series history, a shortage of cosmetics and upgrades for anything save your primary loadout, and a Campaign that could've offered so much more, Vanguard is a tough sell if you're looking for anything than your next TDM fix at the moment.
  31. Nov 8, 2021
    75
    Call of Duty Vanguard is a particular episode, a collage of experiences that do not all have the same inspiration and quality. There is a very effective but not very original PvP, a short and breathless campaign, a Zombie mode that is almost a reward, with the promise of progressively growing. Depending on your needs, then decide whether or not to approach this year's chapter: if you like the cooperative experience against hordes of undead, you will probably just need a little patience.
  32. Nov 8, 2021
    75
    Call of Duty: Vanguard brings a surprisingly engaging campaign and some amazing graphics. While some character flashbacks are better than others, and the length is a bit disappointing, the campaign is nevertheless a fun jot through the theatres of WWII.
  33. Nov 24, 2021
    73
    The campaign of Call of Duty: Vanguard tries to be heroic, but falls short and becomes predictable due to one-dimensional characters with poor development. Even when the multiplayer has interesting gameplay options, they are nothing to write home about. Finally, the zombie mode adds a lot of entertainment to the experience, but it's not enough for this installment to be a must-buy.
  34. Nov 22, 2021
    70
    Call of Duty: Vanguard is As Expected: The Video Game. You get the polish, the excitement, the rush the series always delivers within the stylised World War 2 setting. This year, the single-player campaign is undoubtedly the standout action blockbuster, with the Multiplayer serving chaotic fun and Zombies mode failing to try something different. Pick it up if you’re already a fan.
  35. Nov 19, 2021
    70
    Call of Duty: Vanguard brings some interesting improvements to the multiplayer mode and the gameplay is quick and deadly -a departure from last year’s Black Ops: Cold War. On the downside it makes you feel that you are playing a modern shooter and not a WWII one. The campaign looks great, although it doesn’t contain any memorable moments. Zombies mode is even more accessible to new players, but is in dire need of content.
  36. Nov 12, 2021
    70
    Call of Duty: Vanguard has a solid and fun multiplayer mode as well as a jaw-dropping technical outfit. Too bad that the single player has not enjoyed the same care and presents itself as one of the least convincing experiences in the history of the brand.
  37. Nov 11, 2021
    70
    Despite recurring flaws, Call of Duty Vanguard manages to be convincing with its interesting campaign and its rich multiplayer. The zombie mode should have been fully stuffed at launch though. Once more, perfection is not for this year, but the new Call of is still OK.
  38. Nov 11, 2021
    70
    For those looking for more of the same, Call of Duty: Vanguard does exactly that. It’s the same, great-feeling FPS with a fresh lick of WWII paint complete with all of the weapons, locales and caveats that come with it. It’s not a revolutionary entry for the series, but it’s not a particularly poor one, either.
  39. Nov 10, 2021
    70
    Its narrative is fractious and slight, compared to Sledgehammer’s previous work, but the chance for a chaotic, target-rich experience with friends exerts a stronger pull than usual.
  40. Nov 10, 2021
    70
    Call of Duty: Vanguard is built like a rollercoaster so you have your highs, your lows, and moments that flatline. There’s no question its three modes are fun to play and offer fans enough content to keep them busy for some time, but this is Call of Duty, after all. Until Activision does something completely different with the series, don’t expect it to feel too different each year.
  41. Nov 9, 2021
    70
    With a reasonable campaign, a great multiplayer mode and a good but scanty Zombies mode, Call of Duty: Vanguard is a nice new part. Whether that is enough is something you know best.
  42. Nov 9, 2021
    70
    Call of Duty: Vanguard is a brave and accomplished charge from Activision into World War II. The intelligent way the campaign was assembled escaping from documented events but honoring the different archetypes of the piece combatants, made us sorry that we are not standing in front of a game with a heavier single player component. The core of CoD really is the multiplayer experience which seems faster and with various experiences but with the same good old feel, albeit with an MP40 in hand.
  43. Nov 9, 2021
    70
    If you enjoy WWII shooters, you’ll still have a good time with Call of Duty: Vanguard. Sledgehammer Games have graced the WWII era once again with their innovative approach to multiplayer and packed it full of maps. The campaign, albeit short, gives you a unique view of WWII at the heart of one of the deadliest squads. And the Zombies mode? It exists, but the less said about it, the better.
  44. 70
    A reliable entry full of variety and worthwhile content, that simultaneously leaves an aroma of staleness that is beginning to taint the whole Call Of Duty franchise.
  45. Nov 9, 2021
    70
    It’s a great shooter game, CoD always is, but it's not the best in the series and the overly used WW2 backdrop is wearing thin. The pandemic would have played a part in this and kudos to the developers for still delivering a big game despite the lockdowns.
  46. Nov 8, 2021
    70
    Call of Duty: Vanguard is another incredibly solid but also super safe instalment in the series. Its campaign may be over in a hurry but it's still a fairly memorable one, featuring good characters and outstanding visuals. Multiplayer is another robust package, hosting a ton of content and the promise of more to come. The less said about Zombies the better, but this is a Call of Duty game doing Call of Duty things. Whether that's of any interest or not, you likely already know.
  47. Nov 5, 2021
    70
    Compared to Black Ops Cold War, Vanguard has a vastly improved multiplayer that feels like a solid foundation for Sledgehammer Games to build on throughout the seasons of post-launch content but with an underwhelming campaign and Zombies mode that seemingly needs a lot of work to win back the hardcore fans, it's not a bad Call of Duty title but it's certainly not one of the very best...Having spent several hours playing all three modes, I can safely say that it's definitely worth buying, specifically for the multiplayer which is surprisingly good for a change.
  48. Nov 5, 2021
    70
    Like every year, Call of Duty tries to satisfy all gamers, no matter what they are looking for. Solo adventure, multi-competitive, collaborative zombie, free-to-play battle royale. A turnkey offer, XXL menu style, which this year lacks care at launch. We see it through the countryside which despite its exoticism offers nothing exceptional or memorable to experience. This is also seen in Zombie Mode, which at launch is only a rough sketch of what it should be and unfortunately lacks content. In the equation, the multi comes out with its head held high, offering several well-felt new features and still lively gameplay. More and more turned towards the “live service” and the updates of season, Call of Duty signs, with Vanguard, an episode of end of cycle, which asks only to evolve to improve and which turns out to be more enjoyable overall than the overall experience of Black Ops Cold War.
  49. Nov 4, 2021
    70
    Call of Duty Vanguard is a good vintage. Far from being revolutionary, he at least has the will to offer a new perspective on World War II. We quickly become attached to this motley group. It is especially on the multiplayer side that there is much to say. The good idea is to take the gameplay of Modern Warfare to the letter, or even too literally, because this brings the flaws of the title of Infinity Ward. Activision doesn't want to jostle gamers, offering content that has been seen and reviewed for years while adding a few well-felt niceties like Champion of the Hill mode. Clearly, the multiplayer is a bit above Cold War, would be only in the sensations controller in hand and on the gunplay in a general way. Call of Duty Vanguard is not the opus of the revolution, but clearly does the job, offering agame that will hold up for the year to come.
  50. Nov 4, 2021
    70
    The thing about Call of Duty games is that, with each yearly iteration, you pretty much know what you're getting--and that's largely the case here. It's both a blessing and a curse for Vanguard, however. Elements of Vanguard feel like good additions to the franchise, but its ideas also don't always mix well with the series' framework. That framework is still strong, and the solid gunplay, exciting multiplayer, and inventive moments of the campaign are worth seeking out. But forcing those two parts together exposes the seams in Call of Duty: Vanguard at times, weakening both parts of the game rather than pushing either one to the forefront.
  51. Nov 22, 2021
    65
    It follows the formula of a Call of Duty game, but delivers each element just a bit worse than it's predecessors. Call of Duty: Vanguard is a game that will surely grow and improve over time, but what we have at launch is something that at least fails to cater to what I was hoping for in any aspect of the game. The single player campaign is ridiculous even if it does deliver some moments of high action; the multiplayer is a mess, at least for someone with my skillset; and zombies is simply unfinished. It'll get better, but what we've got right now just isn't all that good.
  52. Nov 15, 2021
    65
    After the disappointing Cold War, Vanguard was the game that many fans have put their faith in. But due to rocky start, the countless bugs the completely unbalanced multiplayer and the incomplete zombies mode, this year’s Call of Duty is just another nail in the coffin of once great franchise. Shaken by various scandals on every front, it is clear that Activision does not care about anything else just cashing in the yearly checks. It is sad that the collaboration between Sledgehammer, Treyarch, Raven Software, Beenox and Highmoon cannot produce something more than Vanguard. The first Warzone season might improve things starting with 2nd of December, but I will not hold my breath.
  53. Edge Magazine
    Dec 2, 2021
    60
    This is a treacly origin story for a crew we wouldn't be on seeing again. [Issue#366, p.104]
  54. 60
    Call of Duty: Vanguard is not the full package fans have and should expect from a franchise that consistently tops the sales charts. There are not enough positives to overcome the fact that the amount and quality of its content is sorely lacking. This is a blast from the past in the worst possible way.
  55. Nov 16, 2021
    60
    Undead-battling co-op survival mode Zombies – an acquired taste I’ve regrettably never managed to stomach to any degree – rounds out a solid portion of CoD that can’t quite shake the notion it’s merely providing target practice until Vanguard’s Pacific-themed Warzone map enters the fray next month. Then again, perhaps that’s actually the point.
  56. Nov 12, 2021
    60
    Call of Duty: Vanguard reminds us of the Call of Duty titles from over 15 years ago. And there is nothing wrong with a somewhat stripped-down reboot, but in this case, it feels like a lack of development time is the main reason for the cutbacks. The single player campaign looks terrific and plays great but has very few memorable moments. The zombie mode on the other hand lacks a lot of content at launch. Luckily, the main online mode offers plenty of content and the gameplay is as addicting as ever – even though everything feels very familiar.
  57. Nov 10, 2021
    60
    Overall, it feels like a game that doesn't want to disturb and has no soul of its own.
  58. Nov 9, 2021
    60
    Only by leaving WWII in the rear-view mirror does the game live up to the innovation promised by its subtitle.
  59. Nov 9, 2021
    60
    Call of Duty: Vanguard offers an at times spectacular campaign and a fun multiplayer mode. Yet the authenticity of the Second World War is all but gone, with missing historical maps, teams and uniforms, leaving me wondering why the developers even chose this setting to begin with.
  60. Nov 8, 2021
    60
    A lackluster campaign, a soulless Zombies mode, and a fun but diminished multiplayer offering round out a rather weak launch for the iconic FPS series.
  61. Nov 6, 2021
    60
    Call of Duty: Vanguard contains a single-player campaign that is very promising on paper, but lacks the exciting finesse of previous Call of Duty games. On the other side, the multiplayer is fun and has a lot of good designed maps. The Zombies mode misses the mark completely with re-used assets being used from the rest of the game, simple to be filled with zombies, lacking any intriguing parts what makes zombies worthwhile. The whole game is technically a mess, but luckily the online part is fun.
  62. Nov 5, 2021
    60
    At launch, Call of Duty Vanguard feels like a solid step-up from Black Ops Cold War, but falls short of the benchmark that was Modern Warfare 2019. Together, Vanguard's three pillars make for a game that we’re frankly surprised is as cohesive and enjoyable as it is.
  63. Nov 17, 2021
    55
    Call of Duty: Vanguard is a very problematic game, that game at a very wrong time for Activision. Bad maps and uninspiring multiplayer and zombies modes are accompanied with a good story to create the game that needs to challenge both Halo Infinite and Battlefield 2042 for the throne. As a long time series fan - I wish them the best of luck - they're fighting an uphill battle here.
  64. Nov 15, 2021
    50
    While it adds some interesting new features to the Call of Duty formula, Vanguard's mixed bag of changes makes it a forgettable entry.
This publication does not provide a score for their reviews.
This publication has not posted a final review score yet.
These unscored reviews do not factor into the Metascore calculation.
  1. Nov 4, 2021
    Vanguard, I suspect, will do well - Call of Duty does well! Its in-game store will sell silly outfits for its World War 2 operators. Pricey weapon skins will keep the money rolling in. As the Call of Duty menu screen swells, adding a new front to fight on even as we head into what's sure to be a difficult winter, Vanguard will do its bit for the war effort. But unlike the source material, Vanguard won't live long in the memory.
  2. Nov 4, 2021
    With a strong cast of characters used to varying effect throughout to tell a tale that puts just about enough of a spin on the stories it's paying homage to, Call of Duty: Vanguard’s single-player campaign is an impressively cinematic depiction of World War II. That said, aside from a few standout moments sprinkled over its fleeting five hours, for the most part it plays it a little too safe in regards to mission variety to feel like a standout in the series. It may look and sound spectacular, but it could’ve used more stylish sections like Petrova’s to distinguish its gameplay from the many battles we’ve fought before. [Single-Player Campaign Review score = 70]
  3. Nov 11, 2021
    It will feel familiar to anyone who has picked up a controller and jumped into any of the past two dozen iterations of the franchise. More importantly, though, Vanguard is a Call of Duty game because of the role it proudly plays as a mythmaking vehicle.
  4. Nov 12, 2021
    Vanguard’s multiplayer offers only fleeting moments of fun right now, but its core issues can all be solved in time. Sledgehammer’s philosophy when it comes to maps and attachments means that, right now, you rarely get the optimum experience, but with dedicated spaces for competitive players it might well become the competitive Call of Duty game we’ve been waiting for. [Multiplayer Review Score = 70]
User Score
3.8

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 1008 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Nov 6, 2021
    10
    I personally didn't like cod cold war, it was buggy and boring, but Vanguard actually feels nice. Fun and long single player campaign,I personally didn't like cod cold war, it was buggy and boring, but Vanguard actually feels nice. Fun and long single player campaign, beautiful graphics, lots of stuff to do. I'm surprised. Full Review »
  2. Nov 6, 2021
    10
    And 2021's best shooter is finally here! Good job Sledgehammer Games! Better than last two cod's.
  3. Nov 6, 2021
    10
    Way better than last year's cod and obviously better shooter than battlefail2042. Would recommend to old and new cod fans!