Some pretty interesting news went on in the gaming sphere today - Activision Blizzard will be postponing its 2023 Call of Duty title to a later date, according to insiders from the company. This will be the first time we see a gap in the annual release of the popular first-person shooter franchise since 2006. The delay for the upcoming title was due to the latest entry, Vanguard, failing to meet expectations.

However, if you think that you'll be starved of CoD content this year, fret not. Activision is still hard at work on this year's title (which releases in the fall) and their next free-to-play game, Warzone 2 (for next year). You'll still have plenty of CoD to play around with (like their new Attack on Titan collab).

With how many active CoD games there are on the market, some breathing room between titles could do the series a lot of good. They already have pretty long lifespans and this delay would probably get players even more hyped up for future titles. Hopefully, this also means less crunch for the developers working on the games as well.

Disclaimer: We were provided with a copy of the game and had no obligation to write a review. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are the author’s own and not influenced by Activision, and/or its affiliates, in any way.

Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to check out the latest instalment in the Call of Duty franchise, Vanguard, and after finishing the single-player campaign, here are my thoughts on the game. Firstly, I have to give credit to Sledgehammer Games for optimizing the game - on my desktop, which struggles to play CoD: Warzone at a decent frame rate, I could run Vanguard perfectly. Sure, it was on performance mode at 1080p, but it looked and ran a lot better than the CoD battle royale. I was able to finish the whole game with no issues or slowdown in performance. It was that well optimized.

Now onto the game itself - it's been a while since I last played a CoD campaign (if I'm not mistaken it was probably the 2010 Black Ops or older) so it felt refreshing to jump into a story-driven shooter again. The story kicks off right in the thick of things - hijack a train that is on its way to Hamburg to steal some files. As usual, things quickly escalate and you find yourself embroiled in a plan to put an end to the Third Reich. I won't spoil the rest of the story, but let's just say it's nothing out of the ordinary regarding World War 2 and Nazis.

Throughout the campaign, you'll get to play backstory/introductory missions as each of the characters, which eventually cumulates into the present day where you use everything you've learnt to complete the final task. As Arthur Kingsley, the British leader of the group, you get to play a typical FPS with a special ability to command your allies to attack designated hotspots. Wade Jackson, the American pilot, you get to fly a plane and a special detection mode that slows enemies down and shows their outline wherever they are. Polina Petrova, the Russian sharpshooter, is great with a sniper rifle and has the ability to move quickly while crouched. Lastly, as Lucas Riggs, the Australian demolitions expert - you get to blow up a lot of things.

I'm no history buff so I can't tell you how accurate the various battles and locations were - but seeing how Vanguard is a game and not an army simulator, it shouldn't be of much concern. With the unique gameplay elements of each character and mission, the game felt fresh from start to end without overstaying its welcome. I played the game on Regular difficulty and felt it was challenging enough - most of the game was a breeze but there were sections I had to replay quite a few times before figuring out what to do.

The worst part of the game was the plane mission. I don't know if this was intended to convey how difficult it was to fly and shoot at the same time, or me being terrible with plane controls, but it was the only mission where I felt glad when it was finally over. The rest of the campaign was typical CoD: shoot enemies, run to cover, collect ammo/weapons, rinse and repeat. The only difference is how you accomplish those tasks. Not complaining here - people expecting a CoD game won't be let down.

The final mission was a fun and short excursion which ended a bit too soon (it also wraps up in the most convenient way possible) but I guess it's a good way to introduce people to multiplayer before they can get burnt out by the game. I tried a single match of Free For All multiplayer and was quickly reminded why I stopped playing multiplayer shooters in the first place - I don't have the reflexes that I used to for these kinds of games. Overall, CoD: Vanguard was a decent way to spend six and a half hours of my weekend.

In conclusion, CoD: Vanguard's single-player campaign is nothing groundbreaking in terms of its story or mechanics, but it is an entertaining ride. Treat it like an introduction to the multiplayer component of the game - where I believe most CoD players will be spending their time. Based on the official road map, there's tons more content to come so this can be a game that you play for a whole year. Props to Sledgehammer for the graphical optimization - hopefully, we can see that tech carried over to Warzone one day.

Prepare for war in a brand-new battle royale mode, and relive the good ol' times as you return to a classic Modern Warfare 2 map.

Just as we're still reeling from the announcement of Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Professional League (MPL) MY/SG Season 5 and PUBG Mobile Season 11, Call of Duty: Mobile pulls off a 360 noscope, blasting through the noise with their latest season for the new year. What a time for mobile gamers to be alive!

Amidst its barrage of updates, the biggest update is a new battle royale mode: Warfare. A 20v20 mode that's much like the classic Team Deathmatch, it promises fast-paced warlike action on a much larger scale. A new battle royale map also seems to be in the works, but no details have been revealed thus far, other than it being possibly released soon. For multiplayer, two new maps - Modern Warfare 2's Scrapyard, and the new original Cage (which will be released later) - and a limited-time mode (Rapid Fire Mode) will be available today onwards.

That apart, Season 3 introduces Google Play, Apple's Gamecenter and Call of Duty account as new login methods. So, if you choose to log in CoD: Mobile with these options instead, you'll be rewarded with the Outrider – Arctic skin. And as icing on the cake, not only have the battle pass tiers been lowered from 100 to 50, the premium Battle Pass price has done likewise. Fear not, as the official Reddit post for Season 3 promises the content value to remain, which we'll know for sure once it launches on 20 Jan.

For more information on the new season and its changes, check out the full patch notes for Season 3.

Rocketfuel Entertainment Sdn Bhd
 (Tel: +603 9543 3838)