Call of Duty: Vanguard has a free open beta this weekend
Activision-Blizzard has launched a slightly confusing series of Call of Duty: Vanguard multiplayer betas, the first of which were exclusive to Playstation, and some of which are limited to players who have already pre-ordered the game. One of these is in the works. running right now.
But it all opens up this weekend, with the rest of Vanguard’s beta period open to everyone from 6 a.m. BST / 1 p.m. EST / 10 p.m. PT on Saturday, September 18 until 6 p.m. / 1 p.m. EST / 10 a.m. PT BST on Monday. September 20. You’ll need a battle.net account – you think Bobby Kotick runs a charity – and the beta will feature cross-play as well as tracking your progress for the full version.
The opening period will also see a bunch of new additions. Currently, the beta features Champion Hill mode, to which Patrol will be added. “Based on Hardpoint, this goal-based mode features an almost constantly moving scoring area,” the press release read. All the usual suspects are of course there too: Team Deathmatch, Kill Confirmed, Domination and Search & Destroy among them.
Vanguard is also introducing what it calls a “battle rhythm system”, which essentially allows players to select what lobby types and number of players they prefer. Tactics will still serve 6vs6 battles; The assault will vary between 20 and 28 players in total; Blitz is hell for leather and oscillates between 24 and 48 players. You can ignore this setting and leave it to “all” if you prefer to be surprised.
Six Operators will be available in the beta, and there are also various small links to unlock full-game weapons and other Call of Duty titles. You can read the full beta release notes here. It also contains the minimum and recommended specifications: for the first one, you are looking at a GTX 960 / AMD R9 380 with 8 GB of RAM; to achieve the recommended performance you will need a GTX 1070 or an AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 and 16BG RAM. The beta download is 45GB, which for Call of Duty these days is surprisingly small.
Morgan from PCG recently spent some time with the game and thinks it looks a bit like Modern Warfare, but with more wimper weapons. Now you can make up your own mind: the only thing I’ll say is that the in-game reload animations butter my cookie.