Call of Duty: Vanguard is a rollercoaster ride through the hills and valleys of World War II. The game is strictly linear, funneling you from one combat encounter as you relive the moments that defined the careers of each member of your squad. That on-rails structure makes it all the more confusing when Vanguard throws a wrench in the works, as the game does at the beginning of the early mission Operation Tonga.
In Operation Tonga, you play as Arthur Kingsley, during the British Sixth Airborne Division’s assault on Normandy on D-Day. While parachuting into France, Kingsley loses his equipment, save for a knife, and must proceed to kill some Nazis without his typical Nazi-killing gear. You might be expecting a simple stealth section, but the encounter that opens the level is deeply confusing. With a handful of armed Nazis and dogs that deal out one-hit kills, Operation Tonga punishes wrong moves so aggressively that you may be wondering if there is a right way forward.
Good news: there is! But, it took us a little bit of experimentation to find a route through the first section of the level that worked consistently. If you’re having the same trouble, read on below.
Where do I hide?
As this level begins, you emerge from the water into an open field with a downed tree in the middle. To your right, you should see a path that leads up into the woods. You can ignore that for now. In front of you, Nazis are beginning to arrive in jeeps. In the next minute, they will begin patrolling the area with a German Shepherd. Before they get out of their cars, move around the tree to reach the bush near the fence where the Nazis enter the field. Frame your view so that you have a little window out of the bush. A Nazi with a flashlight will approach and notice you. When the prompt appears, stab him and take his gun. Then run to the other side of the tree, taking out the dog before it can attack you.
This first bit is the trickiest and you may need to try it a few times before you get it right. The dog can be hard to spot, so turn the brightness up if you’re having trouble. But, once the dog is dead, the rest of this level is significantly easier. Get to cover and heal up. Now you can slow down a little, picking off Nazis one by one. Once you’ve dispatched the squad in the field, move up the path and kill any Nazis you see. Make sure to stop and pick up ammo as you go.
Eventually, you will reach another field with vehicles. Take out the Nazis here methodically. If they get your health down into the red, run back into the woods and wait for your health to regenerate. Once you have them taken out, highlight your objective and run across the field to reach it. This will take you down the stairs, through an open door, and into a basement. At this point, you’ll get the notification that you’ve reached a checkpoint. Be careful until you reach the basement; if you die, you’ll have to start the level over.
Once you reach the checkpoint, the level is much more straightforward: Simply follow your objective, run, and gun your way to the end of the level.
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