In this week’s Totally Rated, we discuss the long-awaited reveal of Call of Duty: Vanguard, which was revealed within the Call of Duty: Warzone battle royale spin-off game.
The TechRadar team went on an insane virtual reality experience with Far Cry VR, which really showcased what the technology can achieve given enough space and resources.
Finally, we check in on the troubled Cyberpunk 2077, which is still receiving free content updates and post-launch patches. This week, patch 1.3 was accompanied by a handful of free cosmetic DLCs.
We’re going back to WW2 with Call of Duty: Vanguard
After months and months of speculation, rumors and leaks, gaming’s worst kept secret was finally revealed in the form of Call of Duty: Vanguard. A teaser trailer released earlier in August, 2021 was followed up with an official reveal within Call of Duty: Warzone, accompanied by a longer trailer and some gameplay events.
Call of Duty: Vanguard returns the series to World War II, placing you in the shoes of four separate playable characters loosely based on real war heroes. Vanguard’s campaign will be set across multiple theaters of conflict, which could make this arguably CoD’s most ambitious single-player outing to date.
Finally, Vanguard will naturally be integrated into the Warzone ‘metaverse,’ and a new WW2-themed map is on the way for the game. Additionally, the Zombies multiplayer horde mode is returning, and it’s in good hands with its original creator, Treyarch, who first introduced the mode in 2008’s Call of Duty: World at War.
Far Cry VR has the team going insane
There’s a brand new Far Cry game out ahead of the release of Far Cry 6 in October, but it’s not necessarily the most accessible. Indeed, Far Cry VR is a wholly different beast than its console and PC counterparts, so much so that it needs its own warehouse to be playable.
TechRadar’s Gerald Lynch broke down the Far Cry VR experience as he, alongside members of the team, got a hands-on look at the game: “Far Cry VR: Dive Into Insanity itself is very straightforward.
“However, the interlocking emergent systems of the Far Cry series are gone – there are no stealthy kills, no animal taming, no crafting and no open world.
“Dive Into Insanity is very much a points-based, on-rails shooter. There’s more in common here with arcade staples like Time Crisis or House of the Dead than the free-roaming we’ve come to expect from Far Cry. And yet in the context of a multiplayer shooter, that’s fine. Chasing the highest score is far more of a novelty when side-by-side physically (read: virtually) with your pals.
“Dive Into Insanity does a good job of recreating the visual feel of Far Cry’s third instalment – all lush tropical jungles, bandana-wearing pirates, rusty container sheds and exploding barrels. There’s even a hallucinogenic shootout in a mysterious cavern through which sea creatures float and pirates take potshots at you from the ceiling – a high point of the experience.
“Zero Latency VR’s weapon peripheral is responsive and accurate too (provided you’ve correctly entered your height, that is), letting you switch on the fly between a bullet-spewing, Rambo-aping machine gun and a more refined and accurate one-hit-kill crossbow.
“Where the six TechRadar players would have liked to have seen it be a little more ambitious however was in its environmental level design – for the most part, you’re funnelled from one arena-like shooting zone to another, with distant enemies to be picked off from afar, while you’re stood shooting from a cave ledge or moving cable car.
“It’d have been great to have been able to take the inherent three-dimensionality of virtual reality to have been able to have sprung some pincer-style surprise team attacks. Also, the final battle against Vaas and his cronies was a bit drawn out too, overly reliant on waves of enemies rather than the show stopping spectacle a VR game’s scale could be capable of.
“Despite these grumbles, we had a lot of fun – and, despite the relative lack of interesting level layouts to navigate, quite the workout too. Without going into too much gory detail, we were dripping with sweat by the end of the game’s 30-ish minute run time. Though the game can accommodate up to eight players, six is probably the sweet spot – you’d run the risk of running into your mates too often otherwise.”
Cyberpunk 2077 is still trucking along… now with free DLC!
Finally, Cyberpunk 2077 saw a fresh injection of interest with the patch 1.3, which as usual addresses a litany of issues from game-breaking bugs to quest-halting glitches and other uncanny oddities.
This time, though, CD Projekt Red has bundled some free DLC with the update in the form of some cosmetics. These include some stylish new jackets for V (your player character) as well as a new vehicle skin.
But that’s not all, as arguably the biggest cosmetic addition is the alternative look for Johnny Silverhand, V’s best frenemy who is portrayed by Keanu Reeves. His new look can be activated in the ‘additional content’ tab from the main menu and gives Johnny a freshly chopped haircut and an unbuttoned black jacket.
While there have been some concerns over CD Projekt Red’s continued commitment to Cyberpunk 2077, the steady trickle of patches has kept interest modestly high for the game. Here’s hoping that more patches and content drops can help build the game to something greater down the line.
Totally Rated features reviews and opinions of what’s hot and what’s not in the tech and gaming world.
Bringing together leading titles from across the industry, we hear first hand from those who have reviewed – and rated – the very latest games and products on the market.
New episodes of Totally Rated will roll out every week.