Call of Duty is one of the most iconic first-person shooters in recent years, spanning multiple mainline sequels and a Modern Warfare spin-off that has branched into a franchise of its own. After that modern diversion, developers Sledgehammer Games and Treyarch are going back to the original WWII setting of the game with Call of Duty: Vanguard. While the launch date is still a few months away, PlayStation gamers will be treated to an alpha version of the game, which will include CoD’s new multiplayer mode, Champion Hill.
As an alpha slice, the alpha version that players will be taking for a test drive will naturally be a small one. That said, it might almost feel huge because of the multiplayer element that’s being added to the game. Most players, in fact, might be stuck on that mode, which is probably what Activision wants in order to stress test the system.
Champion Hill is a multi-arena survival mode that pits eight squads in a round-robin tournament. For the alpha test, squads are limited to 2v2 or 3v3 configurations, but the mechanics remain the same. Each squad gets a set number of lives, and your goal is to reduce the other squad’s life to zero before the timer runs out.
Making the multiplayer mode more strategic is the Buy Rounds system that lets winners upgrade their equipment using the cash they pick from players and drops scattered throughout the map. That map actually combines Airstrip, Trainyard, Market, and Courtyard arenas into one, with the Buy Station Area smack in the middle. Eliminated players get a chance to watch the rest of the tournament in that central area, or alternatively, get a bird’s eye view of the skirmish. They can even opt to see the battle through one of the competing players’ eyes.
The PlayStation-exclusive Call of Duty: Vanguard Alpha starts on August 27, but preloading begins on Monday, August 23. The alpha is open to all PS4 and PS5 owners and doesn’t require a PlayStation Plus subscription except in Germany. Alpha testers are expected to give some feedback and are likely to encounter a few bugs along the way.