Call of Duty Vanguard WW2 game leaks, maybe with Zombies

The next Call of Duty game was effectively leaked this week courtesy of some Black Ops Cold War data files. In said files, pre-order data for the next Call of Duty title were discovered. Inside, the name Call of Duty: Vanguard was found, and indications are that this will be a World War II title – because we can never have enough WWII video game action, ever. Oh, and ZOMBIES.

In the leaked images we get to see a few different angles at which this new game will be release. Or, assuming the game isn’t outright cancelled after this leak, we’ll likely see: Standard, Cross-Gen, and Ultimate edition releases. It would not be unheard of for this next release’s set of bundles to mirror those of the otherwise most recent release – Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War also had very, very similar bundles at launch.

The discovery of the imagery comes courtesy of the Cheezburgerboyz. UPDATE: They’ve now had the imagery removed from Twitter.

Take a peek at the content above and see what you make of it. This might be the start of something just lovely – or it could be a rehash of the same World War 2 games we’ve been playing for the past several decades.

UPDATE: Also, there are zombies. Call of Duty Vanguard Zombies leaked. You can believe this one if you want – or not. It could just as easily be faked as it could be the real deal. It’d be absurd to release a WWII game like this without Zombies – but you never know!

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Why are there so many WW2 games?

The Second World War was the deadliest conflict in human history. In terms of lives lost, the devastation goes beyond comprehension.

What began in the late 1930s as a series of conflicts involving battle between troops on horseback, infantry with long rifles, and bi-planes, managed to escalate into a global conflict involving jet fighters, machine guns, tanks, and atomic weapons. And it all occurred in less than a decade.

At no point in human history have so many people faced the horrors of war simultaneously as between the years of 1939 and 1945.

It’s easy to understand why gamers would gravitate towards games about WW2. No matter where you’re from, we can all trace our history back to its effect on our ancestors and homelands. It’s a setting we’re all familiar with in one way or another.

But that doesn’t explain its enduring popularity. WW2 is one of the most common game settings for strategy, simulation, and first-person-shooter games. It’s also found in RPGs, collectible card games, MMOs, twin-stick shooters, and just about every other genre.

Despite the fact it’s now been more than 75 years since the war ended, we’re still seeing dozens of games based in WW2 launch every year.

I spoke with Marco Minoli, the director of marketing at Slitherine, to find out why developers and gamers keep returning to the war to end all wars over and over again. Don’t let the title fool you, Minoli’s the person you often see on camera during a lot the Slitherine/Matrix Twitch streams. He’s a passionate industry veteran who’s also very into WW2 games.

Minoli explained that WW2 lends itself to the gaming format in numerous ways:

World War two had a very fast technological advance over a very short period of time … it went from horses to nukes.

There are many different kinds of World War two games … encompassing all levels of command, that is, the operational, strategic, and tactical.

This tells me that a major part of the reason WW2 remains so popular as a game setting is because you can do so much with it. The technological progression of the war lends itself nicely to a paradigm where, as you learn the game and gain experience, you can unlock new, more powerful weapons and equipment. That’s a concept that works equally well in an FPS like Call of Duty WWII or a wargame like Steel Division 2.

If you ask me, the best thing about WW2 as a setting is the technology. Factions representing nearly every nation on Earth gathered to create weapons of destruction, medical technology, new forms of transportation, and gadgets the likes of which were little more than science fiction just a few years prior.

Modern games give me the opportunity to digitally interact with these toys in much the same way I would if I built and painted hobby model kits. Only, with a game I can play with hundreds or thousands at a time in an immersive, gamified format.

This isn’t to say video games are better than, say, tabletop analog wargames. But game devs can fit a lot more maps and units on my screen than I can in my garage.

World War 2 was fought between nations, but ultimately the participants were distilled into either Allies or Axis. That makes the conflict easy to gamify.

The two distinctly different factions represented polar-opposite ideologies in a winner-takes-all competition for Earth. The stakes were as high as they could be. The fascists were hellbent on domination and the Allied forces believed they had no choice but to beat them back. 

As Minoli told me, “the two factions, Axis and Allies, play very differently.” In one example he explained that the way the Reich invaded Poland during the early days of WW2 plays out like “the perfect tutorial” for many WW2 games.

In this way, you’ve got the over-powered Germans with their tanks, with hardly anyone to oppose them, kicking things off against an unprepared target. With the allies, on the other hand, you start the war behind but with everything you need to eventually build up to victory. 

Most wars are won before they begin, but the outcome of WW2 remained in flux until the final days of conflict.

Perhaps the biggest reason for WW2’s enduring popularity in the gaming world is its scope. Billions of hours have been spent playing FPS games where players experience the war from the point of view of a soldier. They have to worry about aiming, running out of bullets, and avoiding enemy fire. At the individual human scale, there are innumerable stories for games to tell about WW2.

But then, if you want to zoom out to the squad, platoon, battalion, nation, or even theater level the details never end. There’s always something else to do, a bigger game to play, another perspective to gain. 

As Minoli explained to me:

Everyone’s done a World War two game, but there’s always more to do. Some games try to model only certain things … and then there’s Gary Grigsby who tries to model everything.


Call of Duty: WW2: Headquarters Guide | Everything You Need To Know

The Call of Duty franchise has slowly expanded on its multiplayer offerings over the years, adding more game types and customization options like Warzone‘s battle royale, and looping in the cooperative experience in its popular “Zombies” mode. In Call of Duty: WW2, the franchise expands on an idea from Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, creating a social space where you can do all your multiplayer business, called the Headquarters.

Located on the beaches of Normandy, the Headquarters is your hub for hanging out between multiplayer matches. Here’s a handy guide to everything available at the Headquarters, from commending other soldiers, to playing old Activision arcade games.

Further Reading

The social space

The Headquarters is supposed to be, first and foremost, a place where you can show off your accomplishments to other players while you form parties, create clans, and wait for matches to begin. You can interact with other soldiers and “commend” them for their performance.

You’ll also use the Headquarters to open Supply Drops, which are awarded as you play through Call of Duty: WW2’s multiplayer modes. Supply Drops mostly give out new social items like calling cards, weapons, and uniforms that make your character look cool. You’ll show them off in the Headquarters more than anywhere else. Check the bottom right corner of your screen for a list of any Supply Drops you currently have, from both multiplayer and Nazi Zombies. Click them on the menu, and you can then call the drop right there on the beach, where anyone around can watch to see what comes out of your box.

Finally, you can wander around the beach to scope out a few leaderboards that will populate with the names and ranks of players currently occupying the space with you. They’re a quick and easy way to see how you stack up to other players in a variety of game modes.

Mail call

Call of Duty: WW2 Headquarters guide - Mail

The place you’ll visit first and foremost when you arrive at the Headquarters is the mail drop. Items you’ve earned or have been awarded sometimes come through the mail, but more than anything, it’ll give you the Headquarters’ main currency — Armory Credits. Hit up your mail every three hours to get your “payroll” of 100 credits.


Call of Duty: WW2 Headquarters guide - Operations

In the Operations bunker just past the mail drop, you’ll find your superior officer, Howard. He offers you “Orders” that you can pick up each day and each week. Orders are small-scale challenges that you can complete to earn Supply Drops, experience points, and Armory Credits. They include things like winning a certain number of matches in a specific game type, racking up headshots, or pulling down a high number of kills in a single game.

You can take three daily orders and three weekly orders. Once you’ve selected orders, they’ll stay with you until you complete them or abandon them, but the batches at Operations refresh according to their type. As you complete orders, you can select them from the “Orders” tab on your menu and claim the reward without returning to Howard. You do need to stop by to pick up new ones, though, and it’s worth checking what’s available each day.


Call of Duty: WW2 Headquarters guide - Quartermaster

The first place you can spend those Armory Credits is the Quartermaster. She can sell you pieces of “collections,” which are groups of cosmetic items. When you get an entire collection, you’ll unlock a special rare uniform. You can get pieces of a collection randomly from loot drops, or purchase a piece of the collection with your earned credits. Bear in mind, though, that quite a few collection pieces are pretty expensive. This is probably what you’ll spend most of your premium currency on.

The Quartermaster also offers “Contracts,” which are special types of orders that you pay credits to have. Unlike orders, contracts come with a timer. They’re the same basic idea, though, asking you to complete certain tasks in a given period of time. Do it, and you’ll earn better rewards than you usually do with orders.


Call of Duty: WW2 Headquarters guide - Theater

You’ll start with the Theater when you first sign on to Call of Duty: WW2. It’s where you can get your briefings on things like Divisions, and different game types. The Theater also occasionally has fresh videos that developer Sledgehammer Games will add from time to time. It looks like you’ll potentially be able to watch professional Call of Duty: WW2 matches and tournaments from the Theater, too.

Firing Range

Call of Duty: WW2 Headquarters guide - Firing Range

On the other side of the mail drop from the Theater is the Firing Range. It’s pretty self-explanatory — you can bring any gun you’ve unlocked here and test it. You can also use grenades and other equipment on the field to try it out, with an unlimited supply of ammo. Occasionally, orders will send you to the Firing Range to complete some tough, fun challenges.

Division Prestige

Call of Duty: WW2 Headquarters guide - Division Prestige

Head around the corner from the mail drop and you’ll see the Overlook. Before you can head there, though, you can drop by Division Prestige. When you fully level up a single Division (hitting what would be Level 5), you can “Prestige” it. That means you reset the Division to its base level. The trade-off for doing this is increased experience gains for your character. Prestiging a Division is also the only way to unlock its best primary weapon and its specialized Basic Training perk. So while you’ll lose your Division’s cool perks for leveling it up, you’ll earn items you can’t otherwise unlock.

The General

Call of Duty: WW2 Headquarters Guide -- The General

When you max out the level on your entire character, you can Prestige yourself, as well — resetting all your weapon unlocks, but gaining some cool social items for your calling card that show off your skills. To do that, head past the Division Prestige and you’ll finally be allowed to talk to the General while you stand at the Overlook. Make sure you’re really ready to restart all your progress before you hit that Prestige button, though. Once you do, you can’t go back. But the upshot is you’ll unlock special items you can’t otherwise get in Call of Duty: WW2 multiplayer, and you’ll receive a Prestige Token — which lets you immediately unlock any one item you might love, without having to spend all the time unlocking it again.


Call of Duty: WW2 Headquarters guide - 1v1

From the main multiplayer menu, you can pull up all of Call of Duty: WW2‘s team-based game types. But if you head down to the beach, you can engage in a different kind of fight. The 1v1 section of the Headquarters lets you challenge other players in a 1-on-1 match, as the name suggests. You can see how you stack up against other players thanks to a leaderboard near where you step into the competition.


Call of Duty: WW2 Headquarters guide - Gunsmith

In addition to your Divisions and your character, you can also level up all your guns. The more experience you earn with a weapon, the more attachments you’ll unlock for it, allowing you to customize how it handles. When your weapon reaches max level, though, you can Prestige it by bringing it to the Gunsmith on the beach. Doing so allows you to add your clan tag to the gun and keep track of how many kills you rack up with it. Plus, you’ll get experience point bonuses for your character for your efforts.

The Gunsmith will also allow you to customize the paint job on your guns.


Call of Duty: WW2 Headquarters guide - Zombies

If you’re bored of the Headquarters and you don’t want to fire up a multiplayer match, you can head down into a tunnel on the beach. It’ll take you beneath Operations, where you’ll find a guy you can interact with to access the Nazi Zombies game mode. There’s nothing much else to do here, but if you don’t feel like going to Nazi Zombies through the menu, you can do it here.


Call of Duty: WW2 Headquarters guide - R&R

The best place to stop by on the beach is the R&R tent. There, you can spend Armory Credits to play old Activision games like Pitfall II and Boxing. There are a bunch of games on offer if you’ve got the Armory Credits to purchase them, providing a nice change of pace from all the shooting.

Scorestreak Training Range

Call of Duty: WW2 Headquarters guide - Scorestreak Training Range

On the other side of the beach is what looks a bit like a lifeguard tower. This is the Scorestreak Training Range, where you can check out each of the game’s unlockable scorestreaks outside of a multiplayer match. When you climb the tower, you’ll look down on a battlefield, where computer-controlled soldiers square off against each other. You can pull up any scorestreak you want — even ones you haven’t unlocked — and use it on the battlefield to see it in action. It’s a handy place to figure out which streaks are for you, as well as get an idea of how you might avoid them when other players use them against you in matches.

Emblem Gallery

Call of Duty: WW2 Headquarters guide - Emblem Gallery

Just up the hill from the Scorestreak tower is the Emblem Gallery tent. In Call of Duty: WW2, the card that displays your player name is made up of two parts: The calling card, a large, animated image, and a smaller, square emblem. You can choose from premade emblems when you create your card, or you can make an emblem of your own with the game’s emblem editor.

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