Ho hum, yet another World War II first person shooter. Call of Duty rules this particular roost these days, so Vanguard has got to be something pretty special to get our pulses racing.
We’re surprised by how little has been said about this game. When a big name like this hits a new console and doesn’t create an immediate buzz, our internal alarm bells start to ring.
But Vanguard is an EA game, it’s an established series and a genre the gaming world seems to universally love. So let’s ignore those alarm bells for now, prime a grenade, and see if this war is good for something.
Medal of Honor veterans, we’ve got bad news for you. This latest in the series doesn’t do a single thing new. This is first person shooting by the book – one that’s ended up in a bargain bin in a pound shop circa-1998.
This time around you play the part of Frank Keegan, a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne division. Don’t worry, you won’t spend all your time in the skies and miss out on the warfare down below. A cutscene soon drops you into the action and it’s pretty, well, dull to be honest.
Things are just like always. You wander around fulfilling a few simple mission objectives while slaughtering a few thousand Nazis along the way.
We could handle that, but every mission is ridiculously easy. From clearing bunkers, to stealing secret documents and even shooting a hefty number of the opposition, it’s all the kind of thing Call of Duty 3 did much, much better.
Speaking of Call of Duty 3, that WWII shooter makes Vanguard look like it was made back in the 40s. Everything’s obscenely grey, brown and dull and looks no better than the cheaper PS2 version. That’s just not good enough when there’s so much competition out there.
Vanguard on the Wii has one trick up its sleeve though – the innovative controls. Surely they can’t let us down too?
Let’s just say we’re disappointed. You use the Nunchuk to move around and point the Remote at screen as if your hand was clasped around a real weapon. It’s works OK, but if you’ve already played Red Steel on the Wii, you’ll have seen all this before.
You’ll face control problems at every turn. Try reloading during a hectic firefight by prodding the correct button and your aim starts drifting towards the bottom of the screen. You’ll take a few shots in the abdomen just because of the awkward controls.
Not that there’s much point getting your aim right. Bullets fly around wherever they feel, so you’ll lose half a clip before your target even registers a hit.
It’s not like you’ll be struggling for enemies to aim at either. These Nazis are dumb folk it seems and they’ll happily stand still at let you take pot shots at them in the open.
In short, Vanguard is a pretty shocking game. If you’re truly desperate to play it, rent it. Everyone else run for cover.