Call of Duty has long since transitioned away from a model where players have to pay for season passes and DLC, and that’s not entirely a bad thing. While some might argue that the quality of past maps was much higher, it still split up the community so that you’d hardly ever get to play the new maps, especially with friends.
However, since the transition to a games-as-a-service model, we’ve had to wait until the launch of a new season so that we could enjoy a bit of a refresher. In today’s guide, we’re going to take a look at everything that’s new in COD Vanguard’s first season, as it only recently launched and players may still be a little confused about the changes.
Of course, the most anticipated change of the first season of Vanguard doesn’t even have to do with Vanguard itself, at least not directly. Instead, players have been looking forward to the launch of Caldera and Warzone Pacific, which is the next chapter in Warzone, bringing players back to World War II.
While there’s a bit more than that going on beneath the surface of Caldera, that will slowly be revealed through in-game events and points of interest around Caldera, much like the story of Black Ops Cold War in 1980s Verdansk. There have been a variety of changes to Warzone since the launch of its Pacific variation.
For example, you can now use more than 40 new weapons in Warzone thanks to the implementation of the COD Vanguard guns. Along with the addition of Caldera, Rebirth Island players don’t have to feel left out because that map has also been given a new Pacific coat of paint.
Even the Gulag isn’t safe from these changes, featuring a new layout and Pacific-inspired design that will truly make you feel like you’re fighting to the death.
There are also brand new contracts that you can chase as well as public events that you can participate in so that you can get the upper hand on your opponents.
This is rounded out by the inclusion of all-new vehicles, including some that we’ve never seen before in Warzone, such as the fighter plane. Other transportation options include the squad vehicle (AKA the Jeep) and the cargo truck.
Another development that has launched with the release of the first season of Vanguard is Ricochet anti-cheat, which is the next generation of COD Anti-Cheat. Activision discovered that their previous in-house anti-cheat wasn’t working quite well enough, so they went ahead and created this one.
Compared to the previous anti-cheat program, Ricochet is a lot more in-depth because it operates at the kernel level, much like Riot Vanguard and other modern anti-cheat systems do. Now that the general gaming community has grown inured to the privacy risk that this entails, more and more developers are hopping on the bandwagon.
Whether or not this new anti-cheat will result in as many problems for players as Riot Vanguard did remains to be seen. Thankfully, this new anti-cheat system is nowhere near as effective as Activision seems to think it is, and talented cheat creators are still able to bypass it with relative ease.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a seasonal update if it weren’t for the inclusion of new maps for the multiplayer component of the game. Matching the theme of the Warzone Pacific launch, it seems like Season 1 is going to focus on the Pacific side of the war (though, for some reason, the new weapons don’t match this theme).
This is evidenced by the addition of the Paradise map, which is meant to support 6v6, 8v8, and 12v12. Another Pacific multiplayer map added in this season is Radar, which supports 6v6, 7v7, 8v8, and 14v14. It remains to be seen whether future maps will have such a confusing array of game mode sizes available.
The Season 1 update also introduces a few new weapons to the arsenal, including the Sawtooth, which is a pretty brutal-looking melee weapon. In fact, the Sawtooth is a club that has shark teeth embedded in it. This is a good counterpart to the other melee weapon being added in Season 1: the Katana.
Every game developer knows that you can’t launch a game in this day and age without having the Katana available as a melee weapon, so it’s good that Activision saw fit to get it out of the way early.
The Cooper Carbine is the latest in a range of weapons that have oddly confusing names, especially when you consider that most World War II weapons have no copyright to worry about. In reality, this weapon is the M1944 Hyde Carbine, which was based on the Thompson and developed for the US Army in 1944.
There is also the Gorenko anti-tank rifle, which marks the return of the legendary PTRS-41 from Call of Duty World at War.
Season 1 also features a range of zombies content being added to the game, though none of the story-based easter eggs that players have been hoping for. Instead, the update features a new objective known as Purge, allowing you to add some variety to the grind.
There are also new Covenants to unlock, and we’re certain to see even more added over the course of the game’s lifespan. Other additions included new weapons, such as the ones added to multiplayer, and some new challenges that completionists can get done.
The new update has also seen the release of some new operators, most of which feature a Pacific theme to go along with the theme of the first season. These include Francis and Lewis, both of whom are available right off the bat. Fans can also expect the release of Isabella, who is slated to be released partway through the season.
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