Call of Duty: Vanguard - Zombies Review

We love Call of Duty: Vanguard's multiplayer, and we love its campaign. But we don't love the Zombies mode. At all. And here's why.

Call of Duty Vanguard zombies a scaled
It feels unfinished. | © Activision Blizzard

Call of Duty: Vanguard received a far more positive reception than anyone could have predicted a few months ago. The vast majority of fans were downbeat about the thought of another WWII offering, but by the release, most were in agreement that, actually, this is a really strong Call of Duty game. The maps in particularly are absolutely to be praised, as is the combat pacing system. But there is one area of the game that we'll admit upfront just isn't as strong as the rest: the Zombies.

Here's our review of the Zombies mode as it appeared on launch.

How Much Zombies Content Do You Get?

Unfortunately very little, and this is really the crux of the issue with Zombies in Vanguard - it feels unfinished. There's no mode selection, there's no difficulty selection, there's no map selection, and you can't even play the Zombies in splitscreen. So what is there? One map, one mode, just "Zombies".

The only Vanguard Zombies map is set on the multiplayer map Red Star (yep, even the first map is effectively recycled content). From this starting map, you have 4 teleports. To complete a round, you go through one of the portals to a smaller map. In this new area, you do a single objective - collect X resources, survive for X seconds, etc. - and then you return to Red Star. By the 5th round, you can then evac out of the mission, and you've "completed" Zombies. It took us almost exactly 30 minutes to complete.

How Good Are The Maps?

Well, there's really only one map, and it's very small. But through the portals, you can go to 4 new areas. These areas are either sections of remastered Zombies maps from previous games, or cordoned off parts of Vanguard multiplayer maps. To be exact, you get:

  • The central building from Shi No Numa (a remastered Zombies map from Call of Duty: World at War).
  • The lobby of Kino Der Toten (a remastered Zombies map from Call of Duty: Black Ops).
  • A barn from Bocage (A Vanguard multiplayer map).
  • The church from Demyansk (A Vanguard multiplayer map).

You only get a single room from each of these maps, so they aren't particularly exciting. The objectives that you do in these areas are okay, but not great either. The most enjoyable is probably the one that asks you to simply survive for 50 seconds.

Final Verdict? 3/10

As you can probably guess, we're disappointed with the Zombies. What you get is basically a leveling tool for people who don't want to play multiplayer. It isn't wholly unenjoyable the first time, but there's very little replayability, or sense of adventure, and the map is just a jumbled together collage of recycled content. There's no easter eggs to hunt, there's no new perks, you can't even buy wall weapons, you just get in, do the same four tasks and leave.

We will end by saying this much, though: Zombies fans can expect new content for the mode with every season (which last for two months in CoD). Before long, there's likely to be enough new maps and modes in Vanguard to "fix" the current iteration of Zombies. But for now, don't buy Call of Duty: Vanguard for the Zombies.