Following the release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019) and the introduction of Warzone in the spring of 2020, post-launch support for Call of Duty has looked different than what many people may remember. No longer does the franchise release DLC map packs as they did during the Xbox 360 and early days of the Xbox One. Instead, Activision and the developers behind the FPS have adopted a seasonal battle pass system and introduced microtransactions for Operator bundles and customization items as a revenue stream while additional weapons and maps are touted as free content drops.
Players who picked up Modern Warfare (2019) and Black Ops Cold War (2020) saw both games supported for an entire year post launch, with Black Ops Cold War receiving six seasons of content and even some additional maps and Zombies support beyond that. However, it appears Call of Duty: Vanguard — which has suffered from poor sales and general disinterest by the player base — will not enjoy that longevity as Season 5: Last Stand will serve as the final content drop ahead of the launch of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 in October.
Call of Duty Season 5: Last Stand — Release date
Call of Duty: Vanguard players will be able to download the update for Season 5: Last Stand beginning at 9 a.m. PT on Aug. 23. Call of Duty: Warzone players will be able to download the update at 9 a.m. PT on Aug. 24. Following the roll out of the updates to their respective platforms, Season 5: Last Stand content for both platforms will go live on Aug. 24.
Call of Duty Season 5: Last Stand — Vanguard multiplayer
As with previous seasons, Season 5 will add two new maps to Call of Duty: Vanguard’s multiplayer rotation. The first map, Beheaded, will pit players against one another in a small section of a war-torn Times Square. This small map, built around fast paced and close-quarters combat, has players battling it out in the glow of neon lights surrounded by recognizable establishments from New York including the fallen head of the Statue of Liberty.
As part of the mid-season update expected at a later date, a second map titled Fortress will make its way to Vanguard. Fortress is a medium-sized map with close-quarters-focused interior zones and rooftop access alongside a maritime graveyard. The fortress incorporates an old ship into its own design, opening the battlefield up to a variety of playstyles and combat scenarios.
Five new weapons will be making their way to the gunsmith over the course of Season 5 beginning with the EX1 and RA 225 at launch. The EX1 is a prototype of an energy rifle because it appears that Sledgehammer, themselves, have forgotten that Vanguard is set during World War II. The EX1 eschews traditional bullets for a battery system that is extremely customizable and effective at long range. While the EX1 does not run out of ammo in the traditional sense, the player can exhaust its battery and kick off a cool down period and battery reload sequence that can be time consuming and dangerous in the heat of battle. Gunsmith customization like the Heat Muzzle, Burst Barrel, or Charge Sniper Barrel give players control over charge capacity and playstyle.
The RA 225 will also be joining the armory at the launch of Season 5. A small, lightweight SMG with a high rate of fire and even higher recoil, the RA 225 offers quick handling and is guaranteed to overpower an enemy in close or midrange battles. Like all other weapons there are customizable attachments available in Gunsmith to adjust the SMG’s power, handling, and accuracy.
Players will be able to get their hands on a third weapon during the launch window, as well, though it will not be immediately available. The Valois Revolver is a combination knife and revolver, giving players the opportunity to take out a combatant with a single hit melee while also having six rounds in the chamber with which they can finish off a previously wounded enemy with ease. Players will need to complete one of two challenges to unlock the Valois Revolver or purchase a bundle that includes it from the franchise store. In multiplayer, the challenge is to simply acquire 15 melee eliminations. Zombies players will need to work a little harder for that unlock, however, by getting 1,000 eliminations using a pistol that has been pack-a-punched.
The BP50 and the Lienna 57 assault rifles will round out the new weapon lineup for Season 5 with both being launched later as part of the midseason update.
Fans of Ranked Play will also be receiving a new season which will feature 4v4 matches that use the same settings, map limitations, and modes as the 2022 Call of Duty League. Exclusive camos, charms, emblems, and weapon blueprints can be unlocked by players who best their foes and secure top placements and wins during the new season. All players’ skill ratings and divisions will refresh for Last Stand. A new Top 250 Skill Division and Leadboard will also be launching on Aug. 31.
Call of Duty Season 5: Last Stand — New Operator bundles
Call of Duty has a long history of infamously cruel antagonists, and now players can jump into Call of Duty: Vanguard or Warzone as four of the franchise’s big bads. Special Operations Task Force Tyrants consists of Raul Menendez, Khaled Al-Asad, Gabriel T. Rorke, and He “Seraph” Zhen-Zhen.
Fans of Call of Duty: Black Ops II will remember Nicaraguan-born Raul Menendez as the leader of the Menendez Cartel, which he took control of following the assassination of his father by the CIA. A charismatic but hostile political activist, Menendez became the leader of a social movement, Cordis Die, which he then drove to terrorism following the death of his sister. During the events of Black Ops II, Menendez orchestrated a terror attack on major cities across the U.S. and China using automated drones.
Reigning terror on the battlefield along Raul Menendez at launch will be Khaled Al-Asad, a native of Urzikstan and part of the Al-Qatala terrorist group. Following the death of Al-Qatala’s leader during the events of Modern Warfare (2019), Al-Asad took control of the organization and turned militants into an army with which he invaded Verdansk while launching a gas attack. Al-Asad is the second of Modern Warfare’s “Four Horsemen,” paling only in comparison to Vladimir Makarov, whom players are anticipating will be in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 this fall.
Later, with the mid-season update, two more memorable villains will join Task Force Tyrants. Gabriel Rorke, a Marine captain, famously killed the leader of the Federation in Call of Duty: Ghosts before being left behind by his squad during extraction. After being captured by the remains of the Federation and brainwashed, he betrayed the team of Ghosts that he once led and paved the way for the Federation to occupy the United States. Task Force Tyrants will be wrapped up with the release of Seraph, the daughter of a high-ranking officer for the 54 Immortals who was raised in the Singapore Quarantine Zone and first appeared in Call of Duty: Black Ops III. Seraph is a brutal enforcer for the 54 Immortals, quieting dissent within the ranks. Her dedication is so deeply ingrained in her that she voluntarily had one of her arms removed to receive a cybernetic limb in its place.
All Operators from Special Operations Task Force Tyrants will be playable in both Call of Duty: Vanguard and Call of Duty: Warzone.
Call of Duty Season 5: Last Stand — Warzone
The legendary villains of Special Operations Task Force Tyrants want to see Caldera come to an end, and it is up to the players to decide whether they will help the antagonists or try to save the Pacific Island from certain destruction. Thanks to support from Beenox, the giant volcano point of interest at the heart of Caldera has seen high volcanic activity, and players can expect a major geological event to occur at Peak when Season 5 launches. Following this event Peak will be dramatically changed, and lava will begin running down the mountainside in all modes. The storm that has been haunting the island has come to pass, but the sun will struggle to shine through the smoke and volcanic ash. The gulag will also undergo changes as it gets a new volcano-inspired theme.
New items will also be available as loot across the island. A new Doomsday Station can be found in the primary Battle Royale mode on Caldera that will call in enemy helicopters to deploy enemy AI that will attack your position. Defend the station and yourself to receive powerful loot as well as a unique Watch cosmetic. Only one station will be available on the map per match, and players must pay $10,000 to activate it.
If looting with less effort is more your forte, the new Supply Box UAV killstreak may come in handy for you. Activating the Supply Box UAV killstreak assists players in finding more items by marking unopened supply boxes on the tac map for 15 seconds. It will be available in buy stations and as loot from supply boxes. On extremely rare occasions, players may be able to track down the Personal Supply Box, which will include their favorite loadout weapons and a huge XP boost for the player’s squad.
Lastly, a new field upgrade known as Rage Serum has found its way to the island thanks to Raul Menendez’s forces discovering a new mineral on Caldera. Rage Serum will allow players to become violently unstable which leads to enhanced melee damage, increased lunge distance, and enhanced stun power while fighting with melee weapons or fists. Operators who have ingested rage serum can be countered with stuns or flashes, and they are much louder than their counterparts. Small crates of Rage Serum can be found around the island, and the upgrade was developed with support from Toys for Bob.
Warzone fans will get to try out all of these new mechanics in a limited-time mode that will be available at launch called Operation: Last Call. Inspired by Search and Destroy, players will have the option to choose where they want to defend Caldera by defusing bombs or detonate said bombs in order to sabotage the pacific island. There are two different outcomes for players to witness at the end of a match, depending upon their efforts, performance, and how much chaos they create during the fight. During Operation: Last Call players will need to be mindful of the lava rocks spewing from Peak. A volcano meter will be added to the HUD to track current volcanic activity and increasing smoke in the atmosphere helps set the scene.
In addition to the new mode, a limited-time Heroes vs. Villains community event will be coming to Warzone, as well. Players will be tasked with choosing their side and then collecting Villain or Hero tokens in all game modes by eliminating opponents and scavenging supply boxes. As a reward the tokens provide a discount for Faction Bundles at the buy stations. Purchasing a faction bundle then provides further discounts on one item across all other stations. Following the event, the winning team’s weapon blueprint will be distributed to all players. Additional exclusive rewards like animated calling cards, weapon charms, melee weapon blueprints, and custom watches can also be unlocked during the event. The midseason update for Season 5 will bring additional modes and challenges to Caldera and Rebirth Island at a later date.
Call of Duty Season 5: Last Stand — Zombies
Season 5 will bring with it the thrilling conclusion for Call of Duty: Vanguard’s Zombies mode in “The Archon.” Developed by Treyarch Studios, Vanguard’s Zombies mode has had a tumultuous development cycle with players lamenting the loss of round-based gameplay when the game initially launched. Treyarch Studios hunkered down and went radio silent for a spell, even going so far as to skip releasing any new Zombies content during previous seasons. With Season 4, however, a fully rebuilt round-based Zombies experience set on a remastered Shi No Numa from World at War finally made its way into the wild.
Treyarch’s efforts to right the wrongs for Vanguard’s Zombies continues with Season 5, as they take the feedback received following the launch of Terra Maledicta to return players to the sands of Egypt but with new round-based gameplay in mind. Following the completion and release of the remastered Shi No Numa experience, Treyarch’s teams were head down reworking Terra Maledicta as part of “The Archon” conclusion, complete with a new visual style, new Dark Aether intel, and new secrets. A new Main Quest will go live on Aug. 24 at 9 a.m. PT, and players can expect to be tasked with completing new challenges including the Trials of Sacrifice, Resilience, and Mindfulness before they can complete the mission to stop Von List.
Players will also find themselves able to wield three different Wonder Weapons in Call of Duty: Vanguard’s Zombies mode all on the same map for the first time. The Ray Gun, Wunderwaffe DG-2, and Decimator Shield will all be available as part of Season 5: Last Stand. Twenty new season challenges will also be available to help players earn bonus XP and unlock calling card rewards, as well as new camo challenges for Season 5’s newest weapons.
With The Archon serving as the end to Vanguard’s Zombies storyline, the team at Treyarch are expected to go radio silent once more as they retreat to work on upcoming Call of Duty content for future titles.
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Cole is the resident Call of Duty know-it-all and indie game enthusiast for Windows Central. She's a lifelong artist with two decades of experience in digital painting, and she will happily talk your ear off about budget pen displays.
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