Call Of Duty: Vanguard Rumor Roundup -- All The Leaks And Early Info

It looks like 2021's game is a new WWII title with deep Warzone integration.

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Activision is pressing ahead with Call of Duty and its next game, reportedly called Call of Duty: Vanguard, amidst the sexual misconduct and harassment lawsuit against the giant publisher, and that game is apparently coming later this year. Ahead of its expected reveal in just a few days, plenty has already leaked for the new Sledgehammer Games title based on sources and data files that supposedly emerged from Call of Duty code. We're rounding up all the big rumors for this year's game and will continue to update this story as we learn more.

The Title -- Call Of Duty: Vanguard

The first thing to know is that this year's Call of Duty game is rumored to be called Call of Duty: Vanguard, and that might not be just a placeholder. Modern Warzone, which was among the first sites to report on the new Call of Duty game, said Vanguard might be a placeholder title, but Eurogamer followed up with a story of its own that said Vanguard may be the final title. That being said, Eurogamer acknowledged that plans are subject to change.

Release Date, Open Beta

Modern Warzone has revealed some key dates for Vanguard, including the reveal on August 19 and the game's launch on November 5. There will apparently be an alpha taking place August 27-29 and then a beta on PlayStation from September 10-12 before everyone gets in from September 16. Season 1 of Vanguard is apparently going to begin on November 23.

The Setting And Story

Multiple reports have suggested that Call of Duty: Vanguard takes place in World War II, which is familiar territory for Sledgehammer Games, as it made 2017's Call of Duty: WWII. After many years pushing into the future which each new installment, the series seems to now be heading backwards in time. Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, the newest entry in the series, took place in the year 1984. The multiplayer battle royale spin-off Warzone also ran back the clock with its big Verdansk '84 update. But Vanguard looks to rewind time even further and return to World War II.

Eurogamer's report said Vanguard will take place in a "traditional WWII setting," contrasting the report from Modern Warzone that said the game takes place--at least in part--in an "alternate timeline" where WWII did not end in 1945.

According to VGC, Vanguard's campaign will take place across the European and Pacific theatres of World War II, with its plot focusing on the beginning of the modern allied Special Forces.

Back To The IW8 Engine

VGC's report said Vanguard will run on the IW8 engine, which was previously used for Modern Warfare and Warzone. In theory, this might allow for any potential integration between Vanguard and Warzone to be more seamless (for the developers and the players alike). 2020's Black Ops Cold War ran on Treyarch's own engine, and there were many issues when Black Ops content came to Warzone. Not only that, but it can feel jarring to move between Warzone and Black Ops Cold War multiplayer given their different engines and capabilities.

Warzone's Biggest Change Yet

Along with the release of Vanguard as a premium game for purchase, Activision is going to update Warzone with a new World War II map, according to VGC. The site said there will be an entirely new map instead of the same map with new locations like was the case with Verdansk '84. Dedicated Warzone players have been calling for a more radical change, and this would seemingly fit the bill. According to the report, the new map would be the "series' largest and most ambitious to date." And critically, the new map is expected to launch alongside the release of Vanguard, according to the report, instead of coming months later as was the case with Verdansk '84.

The new Warzone map is set in the Pacific theatre of WWII, according to the report, and it's apparently "significantly larger" than the existing Verdansk '84. To help players get across the map more easily and quickly, new vehicles will be added, according to the report, while there will be "technology updates" applied to Warzone to help improve the experience overall.

Speaking Of Warzone

Players have discovered that in the existing version of Warzone, there is a new victory royale cutscene that seems to reference the next Call of Duty game. Check it out:

A New Anti-Cheat System

Warzone players have suffered through cheating and other bad behavior in Warzone for some time. Given the size and scale of Warzone, it would be impossible to eradicate cheaters completely, but some believe Activision has not done enough to weed out the bad actors. According to noted insider Tom Henderson, a new anti-cheat system for both Warzone and Vanguard has been in development for over a year and it will finally be implemented with the Vanguard launch.

Activision has been banning Warzone cheaters at a steady clip, and fans will surely be hoping this new anti-cheat system--if it is indeed real--will go even further toward improving the integrity of the battlefield.

Open Beta And Premium Editions

With Black Ops Cold War and Warzone's Season 5 update out now, people have discovered files that seem to suggest an open beta will be available for Vanguard ahead of launch. Activision has yet to comment on this, but it wouldn't be surprising given open betas are par for the course for the Call of Duty series.

The same datamining effort led to the discovery of three different editions of Vanguard, including a standard edition, an Ultimate edition (featuring early access to the beta, battle pass bonuses, and double XP), and a cross-gen bundle that gives you access to Vanguard on the PS4/Xbox One and PS5/Xbox Series X|S editions of the game for a premium price.

The Reveal Date

Leaks have suggested that Activision will formally announce Call of Duty: Vanguard on August 19, so fans might not have to wait much longer to find out what's coming. More recently, the PlayStation Store revealed that the announcement of Vanguard will happen through Warzone on August 19 at 10:30 AM PT.

Video Teasers

Activision has already released teasers for the game, revealing that the game will take place in settings like the Western Front, the Eastern Front, the Pacific Front, and North Africa.

Activision's Response

In a change of form for the publisher, Activision is leaning into the leaks and having some fun with them (while also handing out DMCAs for people posting leaked content). The official Call of Duty Twitter account joked about the leaks in a video of its own, while developer Sledgehammer Games used the "fixing the leak with flex tape" meme format for a joke of its own.

In any event, we're expecting to hear lots more about the new Call of Duty very soon, so keep checking back with GameSpot for the latest on leaks, rumors, and official news whenever it comes.

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