It’s true, the breach is once again: PETER HOSIN reviews Call of Duty Vanguard and Football manager 22

FOOTBALL MANAGER 22 (PC, Xbox, Switch, £39.99)

Verdict: Nerdball


CALL OF DUTY: VANGUARD (PlayStation, Xbox, PC, £59.99)

Verdict: Shoot with meaning


Uh-oh, duty’s calling again. It has been in nearly every year since 2003.

Sometimes, it asks you to join covert operations during the Cold War. Sometimes, it will send you to futuristic battlefronts.

But each time the experience is fundamentally the same: shoot — and keep on shooting until all the bad guys are dead.

Vanguard is the latest Call of Duty title. Its setting is World War II, a nod to the original Call of Duty games.

The latest Call of Duty game, subtitled Vanguard, is a harkening back to the first games in the series, with its setting in World War II

Vanguard is the latest Call of Duty title and a nod to the original games. It takes place in World War II.

In telling the stories of a group of Allied special agents at the tail end of the war, Vanguard takes you from the frostbitten ruins of Stalingrad to the battleship-strewn waters of the Pacific, from Normandy to El Alamein

Vanguard tells stories about a team of Allied special agents during the final stages of WWII. They take you from Stalingrad, through the glacial ruins, to the Pacific Battleship-Strewn Waters, and from Normandy, to El Alamein.

During its roughly six-hour campaign mode, you end up shooting a lot of Nazis

It takes about six hours to complete the campaign mode. You will end up photographing a lot more Nazis in that time.

It takes about six hours to complete the campaign mode. You will end up shooting quite a few Nazis.

Still, there’s enough big-budget spectacle to keep things engaging.

Vanguard tells the story of a small group of Allied Special Agents at the end of World War II. It takes us from the gloomy ruins of Stalingrad, to the battleship-strewn waters in the Pacific. From Normandy to El Alamein.

Modern consoles can’t compare to the sights and sounds they produce.

Vanguard, like other Call of Duty games is very thin in substance. It’s not just the constant shooting, it’s also the usual cack-handed moralising: this game wants to tell you that war is terrible . . . you will be given a flamethrower so that your enemy bunkers can be destroyed quickly. Bravo! Hooray!

Some might prefer Vanguard’s two other modes, Multiplayer and Zombies, in which you take on unknown people from around the world and the undead respectively.

But my trigger finger isn’t quick enough to compete. Next time, I think I’ll just put duty on hold.

The new Football Manager game, where most of the gameplay is done off the pitch

New Football Manager, in which most of the game is played on the pitch

On the surface, Football Manager is just a glorified spreadsheet of ginormous proportions

The interface of Football Manager looks like a spreadsheet with giddy proportions.

Here’s another longstanding series that doesn’t change much each year — but it has so much more heart than Call of Duty.

This is a strange thing because Football Manager appears to be a glorified spreadsheet with gigantic proportions.

It presents you with reams of information about teams, players, agents, finances — and you have to make decisions accordingly. So where’s the heart? It’s in the care that is put into both compiling all the stats and then making them play out — compellingly— on match days.

What was once accounting ends up being storytelling.