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I dunno about Call of Duty: Vanguard, but those reload animations sure butter my biscuit

At today's Gamescom Opening Night Live stream, also known as the Keighleyganza, there was a new gameplay video for the upcoming Call of Duty: Vanguard. In development from Sledgehammer Games, the idea is going back to around the World War 2 era and looking at early special forces units. Which sounds cool!

Our own elite agent Morgan can tell you much more about how Vanguard's shaping up (and here's a preview of the game's campaign) but, as something of a dabbler in the series, this trailer looked exactly how Call of Duty games have looked since (the original) Modern Warfare. Corridors, bad dudes running out and getting shot, a very clearly defined route through the levels and various spectacular stuff happening as the wallpaper. The demo also ends with a very unpersuasive climbing section in which our protagonist seems to kind of float up a building weightlessly rather than climbing the bricks, but whatevs.

What did catch my eye, to the extent I ended up scrubbing the trailer back a few times, are those reload animations. Whoa mama! I'm a sucker for a good reload and these are simply among the best I've ever seen, with a particularly delicious touch being the way the screen's focus shifts as the rifle's butt moves closer to your 'eyes'.

The demo starts with a shotgun, which has awesome effects but is cruelly switched-out just as the character begins what I'm sure would have been an amazing full reload. Never fear though, because she moves onto a rifle that is reloaded from the top with clips, which are pushed down with urgency by a thumb you can almost feel the ache of. This is the one I love, where pulling back the rifle's bolt comes with a swift switch to an out-of-focus view for a brief instant.

Hard to overlook the sniper rifle and the way the character reloads the bullets one-by-one into the barrel. God, it's got me more excited than the planes crashing into things. Look Vanguard: Collapse all the buildings you want, launch a nuke, do it all. I'll be in this corner, shooting one bullet from guns just to watch the full reload animation.

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."