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Saturday, June 15, 2024

I dunno about Call of Duty: Vanguard, but those reload animations sure butter my biscuit

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At today’s Gamescom Opening Night Live stream, also known as the Keighleyganza, there was a new gameplay video for the upcoming Call of Duty: Vanguard. In development from Sledgehammer Games, the idea is going back to around the World War 2 era and looking at early special forces units. Which sounds cool!

Our own elite agent Morgan can tell you much more about how Vanguard’s shaping up (and here’s a preview of the game’s campaign) but, as something of a dabbler in the series, this trailer looked exactly how Call of Duty games have looked since (the original) Modern Warfare. Corridors, bad dudes running out and getting shot, a very clearly defined route through the levels and various spectacular stuff happening as the wallpaper. The demo also ends with a very unpersuasive climbing section in which our protagonist seems to kind of float up a building weightlessly rather than climbing the bricks, but whatevs.

What did catch my eye, to the extent I ended up scrubbing the trailer back a few times, are those reload animations. Whoa mama! I’m a sucker for a good reload and these are simply among the best I’ve ever seen, with a particularly delicious touch being the way the screen’s focus shifts as the rifle’s butt moves closer to your ‘eyes’.

The demo starts with a shotgun, which has awesome effects but is cruelly switched-out just as the character begins what I’m sure would have been an amazing full reload. Never fear though, because she moves onto a rifle that is reloaded from the top with clips, which are pushed down with urgency by a thumb you can almost feel the ache of. This is the one I love, where pulling back the rifle’s bolt comes with a swift switch to an out-of-focus view for a brief instant.

Hard to overlook the sniper rifle and the way the character reloads the bullets one-by-one into the barrel. God, it’s got me more excited than the planes crashing into things. Look Vanguard: Collapse all the buildings you want, launch a nuke, do it all. I’ll be in this corner, shooting one bullet from guns just to watch the full reload animation.

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