We fill you in on the 5 biggest things you need to know about Call of Duty: Vanguard and check out the new Microsoft Surface Go 3.
Call of Duty: Vanguard has been out for a bit over a week now and we’ve been dabbling with the game’s various modes since release. So with plenty of wins and even more losses in our pocket, we’ve broken down 5 things you should know about the game in case you’re still thinking about picking up a copy for yourself.
The campaign is worth checking out…
We’ve already talked about how the team behind Call of Duty: Vanguard wanted to produce a fast-paced yet dramatic narrative, and the good news is that it largely succeeds.
By following four different characters (Private Lucas Riggs, Lieutenant Wade Jackson, Lieutenant Polina Petrova and Sergeant Arthur Kingsley) it helps Vanguard from ever becoming too stale – each story different from the last. Plus, at around 6 – 7 hours, it also doesn’t outstay its welcome. You’ll travel various parts of the world, and although you can still expect the typical Call of Duty moments, we were quite impressed with how much we actually connected with the main chraters.
Speaking of which…
Polina Petrova is Call of Duty: Vangaurd’s best character
Played by Laura Bailey (known for roles including The Last of Us Part II and Gears of War), Polina is without question Call of Duity: Vanguard’s standout. A Russian sniper out for revenge, Polina’s missions are stealthier in nature, but also the game’s best.
The hero is both agile and nimble, allowing her to sneakily traverse environments to gain good vantage points for sniping. Her story is arguably the most emotional and her gameplay sequences by far the most intense. Trust us when we say Vanguard’s campaign is worthwhile purely for Polina.
Get the latest Gaming news, features, updates and giveaways straight to your inbox Learn more
The Zombies mode has been reworked
Developed by a whole other studio (Treyarch), Call of Duty: Vanguard’s iteration of Zombies actually plays a fair bit differenlyt than what fans of the mode might be used to. Instead of traditional round-based gameplay where you aim to gradually unlock playable sections, the confusion that approach often created has been given the boot.
Now you’re set within a central hub area where you can then teleport to different areas in order to complete a set list of objectives. This rougelike nature can be randomised and see you trying to fend off hordes of foes or classic escort-style encounters.
We enjoyed the new take and its more simplified approach, especially if you just wanted to settle in with a bunch of friends. It’s worth noting however, that although we quite enjoyed our time messing around with the Zombies mode and appreciate the new twists, it is a tad light on content. Hopefully Treyarch continues to deepen the experience to keep fellow gamers hooked.
Multiplayer is as reliable as ever
If you’ve played any Call of Duty multiplayer over the last few years, it’s safe to say you know what you’re in for with Vanguard, with a bevy of solo or team-based modes to keep you chugging along.
On the plus side, levels have destructible elements at play now, which adds a little extra strategy to matches – especially for those who like to camp their way to victory. Be too oblivious and you may have an enemy bust down a door or wall to bring you down.
We also didn’t mind the new Champion Hill mode, which focuses on shorter elimination rounds that will get the heart pumping much more than your typical team deathmatch.
But if you don’t like Call of Duty, Vanguard probably won’t convert you
That’s not to say that Call of Duty: Vanguard is a bad game. Far from it, in many cases, but we just don’t think there’s enough special sauce to convince more the most casual of players to get invested. The WWII setting lacks the more broad-market appeal the Modern Warfare series became known for, and the multiplayer suite can become a little daunting to get the hang of.
If you’re a COD veteran, on the other hand, there’s much to love here that, combined with Warzone, will likely keep you running and gunning until 2022’s inevitable release.
Hands-on with the Microsoft Surface Go 3
When it comes to versatility, the Microsoft Surface Go 3 ticks a lot of boxes. It not only functions well as a typical tablet, but throw an optional keyboard onto it and you’ve got yourself a pretty nifty mini-Microsoft-based computer.
We’ve been using the Surface Go for a number of weeks now and think the device is at its best when its thrown into a bag or backpack and used for general day-to-day web surfing, life admin or even the odd spreadsheet or ten. It’s compact, was never too heavy to carry about and touts a battery of about 11 hours – depending on the intensity of your chosen activity.
Try to boot up more complex applications or games, and thinks admittedly start to slow down a little. We tried testing the Surface Go 3 as a portable Xbox Game Pass machine, for example, and while many games did indeed run, we encountered a bit of lag depending on the graphical heft. A gaming machine this is not.
As an avenue for Windows 11, on the other hand, the Surface Go 3 is a truly wonderful machine. Snap layouts are a particular highlight for the new OS which helps utilise the pretty 10.5” display. But at the end of the day, it was just great to have a miniature unit that could easily handle tasks that would otherwise require booting up or locating the closest desktop.
Starting at around the $600 mark, the Surface Go 3 will be an enticing option for many, especially considering an iPad mini will set you back $749. The only downside is that if you want your own Type Cover, Surface Pen or mouse, the cost can start ramping up considerably. We played around with the Ocean Plastic Mouse – made with recycled ocean plastic from plastic waste that is recovered from oceans and waterways – which not only looks incredibly unique but worked a treat as well. That said, thankfully all sorts of Bluetooth devices work a treat as well in case you’re already stocked up.
If you’re after a simple 2-in-1 device that can get you off to the races with Windows 11 and don’t require a lot of processing grunt, the Microsoft Surface Go 3 is well worth a look.