Vanguard Release Countdown: Launch Time, New Cinematic, and More

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Vanguard is hours away now and we can't wait to start playing the next Call of Duty game from Sledgehammer Games. There's going to be a blockbuster campaign, the largest multiplayer launch in series history, and a new unmissable Zombies experience from Treyarch. Here's the latest...

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LATEST - Just a few more hours!

The embargo is over and content creators are starting to share their gameplay and footage from Call of Duty Vanguard - for everyone else, we've got a few more hours to wait.

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Call of Duty is going to be an explosive experience you won't want to miss. Keep reading below for all the latest on what's included.

POST-LAUNCH - How does the narrative continue?

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Black Ops Cold War's post-launch narrative - which is largely continued through Warzone - seemed to end on a pretty definitive note the other day. However, the fight is far from over...

At the Vanguard Launch Event in LA, which all happened last night, Call of Duty shared a brand new cinematic that shows Adler and his team meeting Butcher! It's easy to forget that Cold War is only a handful of decades after the Second World War - Butcher might be a little old but he's still kicking.

Check out how they're starting to bridge the gap between the two games below:

LAUNCH - When can you start playing?

Call of Duty Vanguard is due to launch on November 5th, but when can you start playing if you pre-ordered the game digitally?

If you're playing it on PC, you'll be able to jump in at the following times...

  • 21:00 November 4th PST
  • 00:00 November 5th EST
  • 04:00 November 5th GMT
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PC LAUNCH TIMES - It will be simultaneous globally

If you're a console player, however, things are a little different. Vanguard will be available at the following times for those in the Americas...

  • 21:00 November 4th PST
  • 00:00 November 5th EST
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Then, it will be available at midnight local time on November 5th for everyone else. This means those of us in the GMT timezone will be getting it a little earlier than expected.

CAMPAIGN - What's it all about?

It's time to delve into the last days of the Second World War, fight on all fronts, and witness the origins of Special Forces like we know them today. Special Operations Task Force (SOTF) 1 is Vanguard and this is whose story we will follow throughout the Vanguard campaign on release.

SOTF 1 is made up of the following characters:

  • Arthur Kingsley - The man in charge;
  • Richard Webb - Kingsley's second-hand man;
  • Polina Petrova - A deadly Soviet sniper;
  • Lucas Riggs - A man who knows demolitions;
  • Wade Jackson - A devil in the sky;
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VANGUARD - SOTF 1, at your service.

Of course, there's going to be a few other characters scattered throughout, but these five will be at the core of the narrative being told. SOTF 1 are going to be hunting the remnants of the Second World War's Axis powers as they scramble to establish a Fourth Reich in the wake of Hitler's suicide and Germany's defeat in central Europe. However, expect Vanguard to take us to all the major theatres of war - this is going to be the most ambitious narrative yet.

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MULTIPLAYER - The largest launch to date

Sledgehammer Games' Vanguard is going to usher in the biggest multiplayer launch in Call of Duty history - we're getting over thirty new weapons to take into battle and there's going to be 20 multiplayer maps!

Four of those will be exclusive to Champion Hill, though, but sixteen multiplayer maps is still a strong output when you consider Shipment is being introduced in a pre-season update two weeks after launch.

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RED STAR - Large-sized

Dome and Castle return from World At War's map pool and join new locations like Hotel Royal, Battle of Berlin, Bocage, and Tuscan. There's also a total of twelve Operators at launch - which is expected to expand throughout the next few months just like Black Ops Cold War's selection of Operators did.

At launch, the following playlists will be available:

  • Core Multiplayer Modes
    • Free for All
    • Team Deathmatch
    • Kill Confirmed
    • Domination
    • Search and Destroy
    • Hardpoint
    • Patrol [NEW for Vanguard]
  • Hardcore Multiplayer Modes
    • HC Free for All
    • HC Team Deathmatch
    • HC Kill Confirmed
    • HC Domination
    • HC Search and Destroy
    • HC Hardpoint
    • HC Patrol [NEW for Vanguard]
  • Champion Hill Modes
    • Champion Hill Solo
    • Champion Hill Duos
    • Champion Hill Trios
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READ MORE: Best Monitors for Call of Duty Vanguard on Xbox, PlayStation, & PC

ZOMBIES - A new undead experience

Sledgehammer Games might be the lead developer on Campaign and multiplayer, but Treyarch is back taking the helm on the next iteration of Call of Duty Zombies and there is so much to look forward to.

The first map, Der Anfang, is going to introduce a new "War of the Dead" mode that combines traditional round-based Zombies gameplay with Outbreak's open-ended experience. It's a mash-up of the two that should marry both modes and provide an exciting experience for both fans.

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THE UNDEAD - They're deadlier than ever!

In addition to this, all the core mechanics are being tweaked in the following ways:

  • Pack a Punch machine changes
    • PaP Upgrade Tiers are tied into weapon rarity, with each colour representing a new Upgrade Tier. You won't need to upgrade weapons with salvage anymore!
  • Perk changes
    • Perk-a-Cola machines are being replaced by Perk Fountains, the Base Tier is free, and then can be upgraded in-game for improved effectiveness. Base Tier "Jugg" can be upgraded to provide more additional health.
    • You automatically lose one Tier on each perk when you get downed, Perk Decay is no more!
  • Altars of the Covenants introduced
    • This is a new system where players can trade a Sacrificial Heart for a Covenant upgrade, being able to equip three at once. These can all be upgraded and tweaked, offering a total of 32 new upgrades at launch.
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Expect more content to be added in the coming months and a Main Easter Egg Quest for Der Anfang to start after Season One - which is detailed below.

SEASON ONE - More content is on the way!

If you thought Sledgehammer Games were taking a moment to breathe after Vanguard's launch, think again. Season One is set to begin on December 2nd and it should be a full season of new content - just like we'd expect in Black Ops Cold War.

This means we should see at least one new Operator, a handful of multiplayer maps, and a couple of new weapons. In addition to this, Warzone integration is set to occur at the same time.

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THREE GAMES - All the content in one place

Warzone is set to receive a new Pacific Theatre map, Caldera, and all the Operators and weapons available in Vanguard at the time. Oh, and there's a new Anti-Cheat system in play that should help keep things fair.