Call of Duty: Vanguard’s champion mission shows an alternate side to Stalingrad

Stalingrad Summer is an influencing feature in a generally recognizable mission.

I’m about halfway through the mission in Call of Duty: Vanguard, thus far it’s been a very much made however unadventurous invasion through the different performance centers of World War II. In any case, one mission has stood apart far and away superior to the rest. Named Stalingrad Summer, it sees you play as Russian rifleman Polina Petrova in an altogether different interpretation of World War II’s bloodiest fight.

Stalingrad Summer doesn’t start with a frosty intersection of the River Volga, or a nail-gnawing attack on Pavlov’s House. All things considered, it starts off with some espresso, conceivably the most attractive mug of espresso I’ve at any point found in a videogame. Stalingrad Summer opens in the condo of Polina’s dad, where they are joined for a fast blend by Polina’s sibling before she takes off to her organization in the Red Army’s clinical corps.

The climate is warm and homegrown, as though the Wehrmacht were on the opposite side of the world instead of a couple of miles past the city’s edges. Individuals of Stalingrad are certain about the Red Army’s capacity to battle off any assault, thus life continues nearly as typical. We improve feeling of that ordinariness as Polina leaves the condo, venturing outside to see the brilliantly shaded exteriors of the city structures enlightened by the sun. Ladies hang out their washing to dry in apartment halls, while a man vainly attempts to push a brilliantly shaded couch up a stairwell.

Call of Duty: Vanguard's champion mission shows an alternate side to Stalingrad

As someone who’s only seen Stalingrad portrayed as a grey and rubble-strewn battlefield, it’s striking to see the city lent such colour, to get a glimpse of (almost) everyday civilian life before the fight that turned the tide in the war. I’ve no idea how authentic Vanguard’s portrayal of urban living in 1940s Russia is—I imagine it comes with a hefty dollop of artistic license. But the fact the game portrays the Russian people as people, given voices and distinctive personalities rather than treating them as cannon fodder for the Red Army’s war machine, is significant in and of itself.

This portrayal doesn’t feel like empty talk all things considered. For what little screen time they have, Polina’s dad and sibling are amiable, sympathetically drawn characters. And keeping in mind that it’s reasonable what the mission’s final location is from the second the espresso is poured, Stalingrad Summer doesn’t go straight for the throat as prior games in the series might have done.

Call of Duty Vanguard's champion mission shows an alternate side to Stalingrad

All things considered, Stalingrad Summer takes as much time as necessary destroying what it has fabricated. Things start looking less blushing the second Polina leaves the patio before her loft. As she scrambles across the housetops to get to her sending, the joys of regular citizen life gradually fall away, supplanted with vexing military request. We see sections of tanks growling up the streets, elaborate fortresses being worked from blockades, and lines of military tents that stretch for many yards through Stalingrad’s focal square.

It’s reasonable the commitment the Red Army is getting ready for is substantially more huge that it appeared while found a seat at the foot stool, and the truth of what’s to come starts to soak in. However when the firecrackers at last eject, it actually comes as a shock. As Polina shows up at her arrangement, Vanguard provides you with a short notice of the looming attack as two smooth outlines in the sky, and afterward poop hits the fan.

I will not carefully describe what occurs in the last piece of Stalingrad Summer, yet the minutes after the Nazi attack starts are effectively the most striking and influencing minutes in the mission up until this point, as the existence Polina has known is torn away in a small bunch of seconds. The mission that observes is a guideline Call of Duty undertaking, however the time taken to develop both Stalingrad as a spot and individuals encompassing Polina loans a direness and emotive drive to your activities that the mission’s more nonexclusive targets somewhere else don’t. It really features the expense paid by the city on the Volga better than a great deal of other imaginary depictions about the fight.

It’s been a while since Call of Duty made me care about the conflict it portrays, but Stalingrad Summer is a genuinely compelling bit of World War II drama. Indeed, part of me wishes the whole campaign focussed on Polina and her family, rather than bouncing around all over the place as is Call of Duty’s wont. In any case, I’ll be thinking about that cup of coffee for some time to come, and not just because it looked genuinely delicious.

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