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Call of Duty: Vanguard Zombies release date, trailer, maps, and gameplay

The dead will rise!

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Activision finally unveiled the new Call of Duty: Vanguard Zombies mode, giving us a look at its maps, characters, and some of the new features you can expect. Based on the Vanguard Zombies reveal trailer, the mode seems to be more cinematic than ever, doubling down on story elements while calling back to previous installments. But when does the new Zombies experience launch and what can we expect from it? Here, we’ll cover everything we know about the new Vanguard Zombies experience.

When is the Call of Duty:Vanguard Zombies release date?

Vanguard Zombies launches on November 5.


The upcoming Zombies experience will be part of the Vanguard package, which launches on November 5. That means you can start playing the new Zombies mode the same day, though, you can also expect frequent free updates to roll out over the course of the game’s life cycle.

Is there a Call of Duty: Vanguard Zombies trailer?

Yes, there is a trailer, and you can watch it above. It’s a short, two-minute trailer that shows off some of the maps, villains, and features for the new experience. Though it didn’t reveal actual gameplay, a separate video (included below) showed the new mode in action, so be sure to check that out as well.

Call of Duty: Vanguard Zombies maps, gameplay, and features

Vanguard Zombies takes us back to World War II.


While the reveal trailer itself didn’t give us much information to work with, Activision later published a thorough breakdown of the new Zombies mode.

In keeping up with the narrative from Black Ops Cold War, the new Vanguard Zombies mode will throw players into a story called “Der Anfang” (The Beginning). Players will battle against Dark Aether foes, with main antagonist Oberführer Wolfram Von List leading the charge.

Returning features such as the Pack-a-Punch machine, teleporters, the Mystery Box, and perks make their return in this entry, but with a few twists. The main difference in this game is that players will have a home base in Stalingrad, where they’ll be able to upgrade weapons and abilities in between completing objectives. Though, Stalingrad isn’t safe from the opposing zombie threat.

Activision and Treyarch seem to have created a Zombies experience that will be easy for new players to jump into, while returning veterans will find things to love, as well. Most importantly, Der Anfang will be the beginning of a new Zombies story that will unfold over the course of the following year.

As part of the lore, a dimensional hole has led to the discovery of five Dark Aether artifacts, which are linked to an entity, including:

  • Kortifex The Deathless
  • Saraxis The Shadow
  • Norticus The Conqueror
  • Inviktor The Destroyer
  • Bellekar The Warlock

Throughout the game, you’ll find the artifacts that correspond to these entities and when you do, you’ll inherit some of their powers, such as Frost Blast and Ring of Fire — almost like being possessed by them.

Although Vanguard is primarily being handled by Sledgehammer Games, Treyarch will be leading development on the Zombies portion of the new game. This is fitting, as the team has worked on several fan-favorite Zombies experiences, including the one that started it all in World at War.

Speaking of which, Vanguard Zombies will feature the return of Shi No Numa, which originally came to World at War in 2008. This swampy map is iconic, consisting of a main hub area, with several branching paths that are great for baiting zombies around. The map will make use of the new mechanics introduced in later installments.

Vanguard Zombies will up the ante in the horror department, leaning into the occult, and other terrifying imagery. As you play, you’ll come across standard “grunt” zombies, as well as larger zombies that wear heavy armor. Joining them are exploding zombies that should be avoided at all costs.

You can also look forward to the new Hotel Royal map, as well as the Altar of the Covenants, which is a new randomized system that rewards you for offering a Sacrificial Heart item. And of course, as with most recent Call of Duty games, the Vanguard Zombies mode will feature a cross-progression system, allowing your XP and unlocks to carry over to multiplayer and Warzone.

Call of Duty: Vanguard launches for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC on November 5.

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