Der Anfang Review: Do Not Buy This Game (for zombies)

Regardless of the subject, online communities
tend to have a few things in common; they’re
loud, passionate about the subject, and in
most cases never unanimously agree on anything.
That describes the CoD Zombies community perfectly,
especially that last point.
Even the maps and games most would say are
universally hated are really more mixed than
anything else, which is why it’s so amazing
how on November 5th, 2021, the entire Zombies
community from YouTube to Twitter to Reddit
and everywhere in between actually unanimously
agreed on something.
Unfortunately for Treyarch, Sludgehammer,
and Activision, the community unanimously
agreed that Vanguard Zombies sucks.
I haven’t seen a video game community come
together to dunk on their own game since Cyberpunk
2077, since the completely broken launch of
MCC, since the Star Wars Battlefront II reboot.
Vanguard Zombies isn’t going to get the
coverage of those games since it’s the least
important part of the game, but if it were
at the level of CoD’s multiplayer in terms
of popularity this game would be getting the
Infinite Warfare treatment right now.
But is it worthy of all the hate?
And here’s why.
For those of you who’ve been living under
a rock, Vanguard Zombies does not have a traditional

based map like we’ve seen in every
other game.
Instead, the developers made a hybrid of Outbreak
and Onslaught and called it Der Anfang.
A lot of people online are calling Der Anfang
a poor man’s Outbreak, but the Outbreak
comparisons are getting out of hand.
The two modes are incredibly different.
Outbreak is an open world game, whereas Der
Anfang is not.
The gamemode has far more in common with Onslaught
than Outbreak, they just added objectives
to the Onslaught mode.
Onslaught, for those who don’t remember,
was a gamemode in Cold War that was exclusive
to Playstation last year.
In Onslaught, you follow an orb around a multiplayer
map, kill zombies near it like a soul-chest,
and that’s it.
Continue following the orb until you die.
Der Anfang is just that but with three different
So how does it work?
You spawn into a reused multiplayer map that
acts as a central hub world.
This is where all of the perks, Pack-a-Punch,
mystery box, and covenants are located.
To open areas of the map, you have to complete
There are only three objective types in Der
Anfang, two of which are the holdout and escort
missions recycled from Outbreak and the other
is Fracture from Black Ops 3’s multiplayer.
These objectives are incredibly simple, shallow,
and get boring after a few times.
They also all take place on either a multiplayer
map or a remade part of Shi no Numa.
There are no areas in the game that were made
to be used in Zombies.
It’s all recycled.
As you keep opening up the map you can buy
perks and Pack-a-Punch to get stronger, and
you can either continue doing objectives until
you die or exfil to end the game.
Before continuing on with Der Anfang, one
of the biggest criticisms isn’t what’s
in the game, but what isn’t.
So let’s take a few minutes to go over everything
that isn’t in the game.
Number one: no round based maps.
If you liked the simple fun of Kino der Toten,
Origins, Der Eisendrache, Die Maschine, or
anything the franchise has done other than
Outbreak and Onslaught, then there’s nothing
for you here.
Also the developers haven’t committed to
making a round based map for Vanguard, so
you can get the fuck out.
Number two: no Easter Eggs.
If you had fun completing the main quest within
each map or searching for side quests within
each map, then there’s nothing for you here.
Number three: no wonder weapons.
If your favorite part of playing zombies was
using the overpowered weapons to slaughter
endless zombies, then there’s nothing for
you here.
They didn’t even add the goddamn Ray Gun.
It’s been in every single map since World
at War.
Number four: no wallbuys.
If you heard there’s no wonder weapon and
thought it would remove any incentive to use
the mystery box, the developers are already
well ahead of you.
No, they didn’t make the box more powerful
or commit to adding a wonder weapon with a
day-one patch, they just removed all of the
wallbuys so you’re forced to use the box.
Number five: no new perks or field upgrades.
All the perks and field upgrades are returning
from previous games.
The only exception is Diabolical Damage, which
just increases critical hit damage and has
been an aspect of several other perks in the
There’s not even many perks to use.
It’s just Diabolical damage, Jug, Quick
Revive, Speed Cola, and Stamina-up, and the
field upgrades are everything that launched
with Cold War except for Healing Aura.
If you liked playing medic in your Zombies
games, or if you liked trying out the new
features in every new game, there’s nothing
for you here.
Number six: no killstreaks.
Killstreaks were a great addition to Cold
War, and they’re not here for the launch
of Vanguard.
They’ll be added into the game, and they’re
in the game’s multiplayer, but they’re
just not here for the Zombies launch.
Enjoy the sad menu with nothing but a self-revive
that costs ten times as much for the next
few months.
Can it get much lazier than that right?
Number seven: no Pack-a-Punch camo.
…Are you serious?
Fucking Der Riese had Pack-a-Punch camos in
a game that never had weapon camos for anything.
Why can’t you?
Number eight: no pausing.
Imagine not having a feature that’s been
in video games since the fucking ‘70s.
Oh but don’t worry they’re adding the
ability to pause AFTER SEASON ONE ARE YOU
So now that we’ve gone through a few key
missing features, let’s get into the problems
Der Anfang itself has.
The biggest issue with the game right now
is the progression.
Games like zombies live and die on their progression.
The challenge and fun comes from trying to
keep up with the challenge the zombies provide.
As the zombies get stronger and tougher to
take down, you need to get stronger by getting
perks, better weapons, and upgrading those
To do that you need to open doors around the
map, turn on the power and unlock Pack-a-Punch
to get the resources you need, and develop
a strategy to maximize your strengths based
on what resources you have.
If any part of this breaks, the entire gamemode
Der Anfang checks none of these boxes.
The progression in Vanguard is the worst I’ve
ever seen.
The most glaring issue is the perks.
The new upgradable perk system is nice in
theory, the problem is they’re wildly underpowered.
Tier IV Jug, the best version of Jug in the
game, costs 15,000 points and is less powerful
than the Jug from any other version, which
costs a measly 2,500 points.
The same goes for all five perks in the game.
They’re all either just on par or worse
than their base counterparts from prior games.
It’s not just perks either.
Tier I Pack-a-Punch is also 50% more expensive.
I guess they had to charge extra to remove
the camo.
It’s also worth noting that the point system
is not like how it was in previous games either.
In Cold War’s kill-based point system, you
got 115 points for a critical kill against
your standard zombie.
In Vanguard, that same critical kill gets
you 30 points.
You are making 25% of what you made in the
last game for doing the same thing.
So to recap; you make a quarter of what you
made previously, Pack-a-Punch is 50% more
expensive and perks are 600% more expensive
and also not as good.
Please tell me exactly how you think this
is balanced?
Well in a way it actually is, but it only
makes everything worse.
Yes it takes forever to get anything, but
to compensate the developers made the zombies
significantly weaker than previous games.
To compare it to Outbreak, here’s what zombies
on round five look like on Outbreak, and here’s
what they look like on Der Anfang.
Quite the difference.
The game isn’t difficult in the slightest
until about round ten, and once you do reach
round ten the difficulty skyrockets.
The difference in difficulty once you hit
the double digits is like going from Recruit
to Hardened in the campaign, and once you
hit round 15 or 20 you’re on Veteran.
One of the most important parts of the Zombies
formula is the difficult scales extremely
If you progress at the correct rate, you should
be neck and neck with the zombies in terms
of strength throughout the entire game.
That doesn’t happen here.
You start wildly overpowered, and then on
a dime become wildly underpowered.
I can’t think of a single map where the
game is stupidly easy until a specific, defined
round where it turns stupidly difficult on
a dime.
Origins on round eight with the Panzer if
you’re not prepared?
Maybe once super-sprinters start spawning
in Verruckt?
That’s all I can think of, and even then
they’re not to this extreme.
Origins is still a hard map before round eight,
and once you defeat the Panzer it doesn’t
get any harder than it would on any other
There’s another huge problem Der Anfang
has, and that’s replayability.
Because there’s so little going on in terms
of objectives to complete, because the progression
isn’t fun, and because there’s so little
to see and do, the game gets old after 15
If you’ve made it to round 5 or 6 in this
game, you have seen it all.
By that point you should have opened all of
the areas on the map, gotten all of the perks,
maybe Pack-a-Punched one of your weapons,
and the map’s boss will start spawning in
a short time.
You can see everything this mode has to offer
faster than you can complete an Easter Egg
on some maps.
I can’t emphasize how little else there
is to do once you reach that point.
There’s no Easter Egg or side quests you
can complete to shake things up, and if you’ve
played Cold War you’ve already used all
of the Field Upgrades in the game.
I suppose you could replay the game to level
up weapons, but you can do that in multiplayer
without having to hear the same 12 voice-lines
over and over again.
And why even bother ranking up weapons in
this game?
If you’re here just for the Zombies mode,
you’re not going to come back to this often
enough to enjoy what you’ve worked for.
And in a live-service game like Vanguard,
that’s a huge problem for Activision.
How are they going to get you to buy the Battle
Pass and the $20 operator skins in the shop
if you stopped playing the game this early?
I’m going to attempt to answer that question,
because I do believe this is fixable.
But first, I want to mention a few positive
aspects of Der Anfang.
This review and all of the content about it
online has been extremely negative, but that
doesn’t mean there aren’t things within
the game that I like.
So for the five of you out there who love
Vanguard Zombies, this one’s for you.
Like I said earlier, this is a huge improvement
when compared to Onslaught.
Onslaught was the worst Zombies mode I’ve
ever played when I first tried it a year ago,
and that hasn’t changed.
Granted that’s like being the tallest midget,
but it is an improvement.
If this had launched as a side-mode alongside
a round based map there wouldn’t be anywhere
near as much vile towards the game.
I like the art direction this game took.
In a way it’s like a throwback to some of
the occult themes we saw in World at War,
though it’s influence seems more inline
with the Nazi Zombie Army games Rebellion
Ironically, those games have more round-based
maps than Vanguard does.
Der Anfang doesn’t suffer from boss spam.
This is a problem the franchise has been dealing
with since Black Ops 4.
We got a little break from it in Die Maschine
and Firebase Z only for it to return with
Outbreak, Mauer, and Forsaken.
But in Vanguard, we only have one boss and
one special enemy.
I’m sure they’ll ruin this with more updates
in the future, but for now it’s not an issue.
Lastly, despite how underpowered the perks
are, I think the upgrade system has potential.
I liked the upgrades in Cold War, but once
they were upgraded that was kinda it.
Having to upgrade them in every game makes
the upgrade process much more present.
While it’s awful right now, it’s a rebalance
away from being great.
Speaking of rebalancing, let’s outline what
Treyarch and Sledgehammer need to do to fix
this map.
Number one: Add more objectives, perks, an
Easter Egg and wonder weapon, kill streaks,
maps to play on, and expand the central hub
over the course of the game’s life.
This is something I expect them to do anyway
to keep players engaged.
They did it with Outbreak, and now they need
to do it here.
They’ve already publicly committed to some
of these, which is a start.
Now they just need to add in all the content
that should have been there already.
Easier said than done, but it does need to
be said.
Number two: Significant buffs to all perks
and the Pack-a-Punch.
We shouldn’t have to spend 600% more on perks
to get the same stuff we had in every other
The upgrades should be exactly that; upgrades.
Also, bring Pack-a-Punch Tier 1 down to 5,000
points again.
There’s no reason for this.
Number three: Reduce cost of everything/rework
point system.
Please either copy and paste the point system
from Cold War or Black Ops 3 into this game,
please and thank you.
We don’t need to reinvent the wheel here.
Number four: Rebalance the difficulty.
Please make it so the game isn’t stupid
easy before round ten and stupid hard after
round ten.
Natural difficulty scaling shouldn’t be
hard, whether it resembles rounds in traditional
round based maps or Outbreak’s round scaling.
And if none of that works, just add a round
based map.
I think I’ve made my disdain for Vanguard’s
zombies mode pretty clear throughout the course
of this video, but in case it’s still somehow
unclear let me say it in bold letters; in
its current state, Vanguard Zombies is the
worst in the franchise.
There is potential for this to be fixed down
the line and made into something people might
like, but it’s never going to be something
people like more than round based content.
After this, the future of the Zombies mode
is crystal clear.
Round based maps are and always will be king.
And I think there’s room for Outbreak-style
maps too.
The ideal Zombies game for me is a game that
launches with an Outbreak-style, open world
map that is continuously updated throughout
the year, alongside one or two round-based
maps on disc with four round-based DLC maps
releasing throughout the year.
At best, modes like Onslaught and Der Anfang
are reserved for either a limited timed gamemode
or a separate gamemode like what Greif and
Turned were in Black Ops 2.
They will never be top billed, and should
never be released as the only Zombies content
like they were in Vanguard.
I also want to briefly mention that I don’t
hold the developers accountable for the state
of Vanguard Zombies.
This is entirely management’s fault.
Activision made them rush Cold War out a year
earlier because Sledgehammer and Raven couldn’t
get it together, and now they’re continuing
to pick up the slack by developing a third
mode for their game.
What they’ve been able to do is incredible,
but it shouldn’t have gone down this way.
The saddest thing about this whole thing too
is that the rest of Vanguard, the multiplayer
and campaign, are actually really damn good.
The campaign, while on the shorter side, is
genuinely excellent, and the multiplayer,
while not without its flaws, has the most
maps and weapons we’ve seen in a long time.
Granted that’s because the previous games
were extremely lacking in content, but it’s
on par with a lot of the franchise’s classic
If you clicked on this looking for advice
on whether or not to buy Vanguard, I’d say
if you can enjoy the campaign and multiplayer
it’s definitely worth a shot.
…But if you want to get Vanguard for just
Zombies and the campaign or worse even just
for the Zombies mode, then avoid this game
like the plague.
If you’re lucky you might be able to get
this one on sale in a couple years time to
try it out for yourself, hopefully after all
of the suggested changes from earlier are
added, or maybe a free weekend comes along
and you can try it then and judge for yourself,
but I cannot in good faith recommend spending
$60 to $70 on this.
But that’s just my opinion on things, of
course let me know what you think in the comments
Thanks for watching, like the video if you
made it this far, subscribe to the channel
if you want to see more, and I’ll see you
in the next video.
Take care.

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