December 31, 2008

Review of Call of Duty World at War

kube00 Says: The next stop in the Call of Duty franchise is none other than Call of Duty World at War, which takes gamers back to World War II. Treyarch, the developer of Call of Duty 3, takes another shot at the franchise. My first impression of the game reminded me of Call of Duty 4, except I time traveled back to the 1940’s. Feeling and playing like Call of Duty 4 is not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s nothing new and neither is World War II.
The game starts off with the Americans in the Pacific. This is a good thing as there has not been a recent attempt at a Pacific World War II game. This part of the game has a lot more variety than expected. Gamers have the opportunity to go for a plane ride and rescue downed pilots while blasting through the flames and smoke to take down Japanese Zeros. Most of the campaign here is based around island hopping and taking control of allied outposts.

The second part of the game features the Eastern European front, or as I like to call it, the Soviets- Outmanned-and-Outgunned- vs-better-equipped-Nazis-with-Tanks. Developer Treyarch does a good job of capturing the Soviet feel for this part of the game. Everything is run-and-gun against overwhelming odds set in crumbling Soviet Factories and Cities. To me, this felt like Medal of Honor, Call of Duty 2, etc.; all the WWII games have done this before and for the most part there is nothing new. There are a few spots where gamers enjoy bits of sniper action similar to the movie Enemy at the Gates. But the sniping parts are nothing like Call of Duty 4’s sneaking, sniping, and escaping mission. In addition, players have the opportunity to take a tank with a front mounted flame thrower for a joyride.

Graphically, Europe and the Pacific look really good, as Treyarch used the same engine as COD4. Although the color pallet is limited, there are lots of greens and browns; the texture detail of objects and buildings are well done. The well-detailed characters, settings and the lighting help to create a tense, warlike mood. The cut screens added to the game’s story, part newsreel, part mission briefing, and part history lesson: it all flowed together nicely. Besides the great music score, the noises of battle were overwhelming at sometimes, the pounding of artillery, the screaming men crying out for help, all of these sounds make COD WaW a more realistic war.

There are a few new editions to this World War II theme. The Soviets have Molotov cocktails, which is a feature I felt was hit and miss. But the second part of the game has a few new items that I could not get enough of. There are bayonets. Stabbing the charging enemy in the chest and watching them gurgle and gasp never gets old. But what would be a WWII game without the flamethrower? Burning the brush, trees, and the enemies is a great way to pass the time and to keep gamers interested. It has to be the most useful and underused weapon in the game.

The multiplayer is fun and feels similar, if the not the same, as COD4. As before, multiplayer is all about getting experience, utilizing different weapons and classes for different maps, unlocking perks, and working as a team. Furthermore, there is split screen, and LAN co-op, both featuring competitive campaign play. Little features like these help to give COD WaW longevity. When the game is finished, gamers unlock Nazi Zombies, a fast paced survival game, which can be played Co-op as well.

There were a few things I did not like. Europe WWII theme is overused. It has been used so many times in FPS games, how about something new and original? Your teammates AI seem a little dull at times, while the enemy AI seems a little too smart once in a while. The single player campaign on easy can be completed in less than 6 hours. But overall, Activision and Treyarch did a good job, and most reviews seem to like the game. So if you liked COD4, I'm sure you'll like this game, and with the multiplayer the game longevity is decent. I'll give it an 9.5 outta 10. It is 1000 Goozex points right now for the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3, less for the PC and Wii versions. The bad news is that there are very few gamers who are letting their copies go.

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