COD Vanguard has finally arrived, and players are excited to finally get their hands on the next instalment of this legendary franchise. As with every Call of Duty game, there are multiple ways to enjoy the World War II setting in Vanguard, including the game’s campaign, multiplayer, and, of course, zombies mode.
The launch of zombies in Call of Duty Vanguard has been a little delayed compared to previous games, which often launched with more than one map. Over the course of this guide, we’re going to explore what you should know about the first COD Vanguard zombies map, Der Anfang.
Following along in the trend of giving Zombies maps German names, Der Anfang means “The Beginning” in German, which is a pretty fitting name for the first zombies map in Vanguard. Die Anfang is meant to act as a prequel to the first zombies map in Black Ops Cold War, Die Maschine.
The way the map is set up is a little bit different compared to other zombies maps, in that it features a core area that is linked to other regions through teleportation. This means that there is no single setting for the map, though it can be argued that the core area of Stalingrad is just that.
Other regions that you can expect to fight zombies in include Japan and France. Your goal on this level is to fight against a Dark Aether God who is named Kortifex. You essentially have to defeat him with the help of the four Elder Gods who grant you the abilities that we will be discussing down below.
One of the major changes to COD Vanguard’s zombies compared to other zombies modes is that it adopts more of a roguelike approach, as evidenced by its covenants. Many roguelikes feature elements of randomization, including random abilities that you can gather over the course of your rounds.
Covenants are essentially roguelike abilities that come in a variety of rarities and allow you to do things like regenerate equipment that you’ve thrown. You can get Covenants from the Altar of Covenants, and you can buy them with Sacrificial Hearts that you get for completing objectives.
Just like the abilities that you unlock in roguelike games, you can’t pick and choose the exact Covenants that you want at all times. Instead, you’ll be presented with a choice of three of them, and you may sometimes have to choose between a less suitable covenant of a higher rarity or a more suitable one of a lower rarity.
As we mentioned earlier, you have the help of a few of the Elder Gods in the battle against Kortifex. Thankfully, these Elder Gods actually provide you with help instead of just being a plot device. Their help manifests itself in the four new special abilities that players have access to.
For example, the first of them is Norticus the Conqueror, and he grants you access to Frost Blast, which freezes the zombies around you so that they can easily be shattered and killed. Next, you have Inviktor the Destroyer, and he provides the Ring of Fire field upgrade that you may remember from Black Ops Cold War Zombies.
After that, there’s Bellekar the Warlock, who lets you use Aether Shroud to protect yourself from zombies that are getting dangerously close to surrounding you. Finally, you can rely on Saraxis the Shadow, who gives you the Energy Mine ability.
While killing zombies has traditionally been the main source of currency in zombie modes, the new objectives that have been added to the zombies formula are the best way to progress. There were originally three objectives to accomplish, though there are now four since the launch of Season 1.
These include tasks like surviving in a cordoned off zone until the timer elapses, allowing you to extract from the zone, known as Blitz. Harvest makes you kill zombies until they drop enough Runestones that need to be dropped into the Obelisk, before it moves three times and the process needs to be repeated.
There is also the Transmit objective, which requires you to escort a disembodied zombie head around the map so that it can call your allies to help you. More objectives will be coming over the course of the game’s lifespan, giving the developers an easy way to keep zombies feeling fresh.
One of the more notable improvements in Black Ops Cold War was that it gave players the option to decide that they were done playing without having to lose the match. This was due to the exfil feature, which allowed players to extract from the game on certain rounds.
Of course, you wouldn’t automatically win if you triggered the extract. Rather, you would have to fight off the horde of zombies within a time limit. If you succeeded, you would receive bonus rewards.
If you lost, it would be as if you were killed, so you’d still be able to get out of the match. This feature has returned in Call of Duty Vanguard, and it comes as no surprise when you consider the degree of similarity between it and COD Black Ops Cold War’s zombie progression systems.
One of the main complaints that the community has had about COD Vanguard zombies since the game’s launch is its relative lack of content compared to previous titles. Most other games have launched with more than one zombies map, and those that didn’t still had full-fledged stories and easter eggs.
In fact, Der Anfang has even launched without a meaningful boss fight in it, bringing us back to the days of Nacht Der Untoten, where players are simply stuck surviving for the sake of it. While this may not necessarily be a bad thing, it’s a little bit of an unexpected step back.
Thankfully, due to the shift to a games-as-a-service model, we’ll likely be seeing some major zombies updates throughout Vanguard’s lifespan.
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