Call of Duty: Vanguard on PC: graphics, performance and features

Call of Duty: Vanguard on PC: graphics, performance and features

Call of Duty

Call of Duty: Vanguard expresses itself on PC to its fullest potential, as was to be expected. After the review of the console version, here we are, therefore, grappling with the client and the exclusive features of the Windows edition for the latest episode of the shooter series produced by Activision.

Episode that throws us into the final stages of the Second World War, under the command of Task Force 1: a special team composed of chosen soldiers of different nationalities, but who share the desire to bring down the Nazis and put an end to the bloody conflict. To do so, however, they will have to go into the heart of Germany, in search of documents relating to the mysterious Phoenix Project.

The game

Call of Duty: Vanguard, the protagonists aboard the train in the campaign's first mission As you've probably read in the Call of Duty: Vanguard review, the game's single player campaign is divided into nine chapters and keeps you busy for five or six hours, interspersing gameplay sections with CG footage used to introduce you to the vault. in turn the flashbacks of the four protagonists and therefore to their previous assignments.

In this way we experience the coordination skills of Arthur Kingsley, who can give orders to his companions by strategically managing the clashes; Polina Petrova's sniper skills, capable of distracting targets in order to hit them from a distance; Wade Jackson's adrenaline, which allows him to spot hostile soldiers and hit them in a sort of bullet time; and finally Lucas Riggs' experience with explosives.

Call of Duty: Vanguard, Kingsley in the company of the other members of Task Force 1 Too bad that the short duration of the campaign makes these mechanics an end in themselves, a gimmick that in the final phase of the adventure finally finds a ' choral application, but fails to hide the extreme linearity of a progression that unfortunately hasn't learned much from the interesting variations on the theme we talked about in the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare review and in the Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold review War.

What is proposed to us is therefore an episode that is all too classic and guided, but luckily in terms of multiplayer the situation changes and not a little. Featuring a cross-play approach that allows users of all platforms to play together, the online sector of Vanguard stands out for its immediacy, as well as for the amount of maps and modes available since launch.

Differences between PC and PS5

Call of Duty: Vanguard, Sergeant Richard Webb reunites with Kingsley on a campaign mission Where Black Ops Cold War used ray tracing to add visual depth and charm to otherwise un somewhat anonymous, at least on the Windows platform, Call of Duty: Vanguard unfortunately renounces this technology despite the advent of next-gen consoles could be a spur to relaunch it, trying instead to manage lights, reflections and shadows in a traditional way .

It is precisely at this juncture that one of the major differences between the PC and PS5 versions of the game is noticed, with the former managing the full resolution visual effects, clearly in presence of adequate hardware. The rain of the initial mission on the train therefore appears more defined, as does the screen space reflection in Kinglsey's flashback: just look at the puddles to realize it, even if in truth such sharpness appears unrealistic.

Call of Duty: Vanguard, windmills on fire in a campaign mission Having said that, in terms of image quality the two editions are very close, almost indistinguishable: thanks to the effectiveness of the reconstruction techniques used on the new generation consoles that exploit a truly punctual dynamic scaler, capable of maintaining 60 fps on any occasion and without ever overstretching, which unfortunately does not happen on a PC.

If in fact it is true that there are three different solutions for upscaling (dynamic resolution, DLSS and FidelityFX Super Resolution), the performances are generally inconsistent, showing the side to even important drops during the time movies real, whereas in the midst of battles the fluidity is maintained in an irreproachable way. These are inconveniences that the developers will fix with the updates, but at the moment you can only turn up your nose.

Graphics options

Call of Duty: Vanguard, the options screen graphics on PC As has become tradition for the series, Call of Duty: Vanguard boasts a large number of graphics options that allow you to scale the experience depending on the reference hardware configuration. In general, the IW 8.0 graphics engine is confirmed as light and well optimized, aiming for 60 fps in most situations even though it has to make some compromises.

Three different tables are available to adjust the graphics of the game. The first allows you to change the resolution, activate or not the vertical sync and any limit for the frame rate, turn on the HDR (therefore also supported on PC) and calibrate it, as well as set the on-demand streaming of the textures exactly as it happens. on PS5. The compilation of the shaders, a fairly long operation but which occurs only at the first start, can also be performed again.

In the second table there are the advanced graphic options, relating to the qualitative presets. In addition to the general one, it is possible to act on the resolution of the textures, the anisotropic filter, the quality and resolution of the particles, the rendering of the impact of bullets and sprays, the quality of the shaders, the visual distance of the tessellation, the level of detail and minor objects, volumetric quality, spatial shadows, shadow mapping resolution, particle lighting, ambient occlusion and screen space reflection.

Then there are the upscaling technologies mentioned above. : DLSS on three different presets (performance, balanced and quality), AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution on four presets (performance, balanced, quality and ultra quality) and the simple dynamic resolution that appears at the top of the list, but that during our tests it has not proved effective at all in order to keep the frame rate stable: there is probably some problem that will need to be solved.

Performance and conclusions

C all of Duty: Vanguard, a firefight in the early stages of the campaign We tested Call of Duty: Vanguard mainly on a Lenovo Legion 5 Pro (review here), a gaming laptop equipped with a powerful NVIDIA RTX 3070, which allowed to experience the shooter experience developed by Sledgehammer Games without compromising, setting all the settings to the maximum and obtaining a fixed 60 fps thanks to the use of DLSS or Super Resolution.

Curious to check the performance of the game even in the desktop environment and on a 4K panel, again with an RTX 3070, we found 40-45 average frames without any upscaling, at real resolution and with all effects at maximum. To get the 60 fps it was also necessary to resort to DLSS or Super Resolution: in both cases we were happy with the quality preset, while the ultra quality of AMD technology could not guarantee the same consistency.
Call of Duty: Vanguard, the sequence of the capture at the beginning of the campaign The situation turned out to be naturally different with the online modes, much less loaded from the point of view of the effects: with the same presets you easily pass to 80 -90 frames per second, and it is obviously possible to aim for 120 fps where you accept some sacrifices in terms of graphic definition or go to lighten certain adjustments, for example those relating to shadows.

In general the PC version of Call of Duty: Vanguard does not differ much from what is seen on PS5 and Xbox Series X, it can aim for full resolution but only on condition that it has high-end hardware and in any case shows the side to qu some uncertainty during the cutscenes in real time.

With these assumptions it is clearly a pity that we have given up on the idea of ​​implementing ray tracing to get that extra inspiration, but on the visual level the results obtained by the development teams are still great.

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