Review: Call of Duty: World at War

Some time ago, I asked GamerSushi user Sean to write a review for us. I’ve known Sean for a few years outside of GS, so I thought it’d be cool to have him contribute a guest feature. He was very prompt and did this right away. I, however, having been a bum, did not post it until just now. So, here’s a guest review of Call of Duty: World at War!


cod-2Back in 2003 Infinity Ward and Activision gave us the first game in a series that would become a household title: Call of Duty. Now 4 games and several spinoff titles later, we are given the next chapter in the Call of Duty series “World at War”. With a change back to World War II and a different production company (Treyarch), this game had some people on the edge of their seats with anticipation — and others wanting their Modern Warfare.

I was one of the seemingly few people who were excited to see another WWII game hitting the market, looking forward to the glory days of combat back in action. Most of what I heard were complaints of “oh no not WWII AGAIN”, but this game was a pleasant add-on that I feel contributes many features that weren’t there in the previous WWII entries. It also learned a lot from the other big successes.

The game has a very simple plot, basing itself on some of the final battles of the most deadly war in human history. You take on two character roles as you battle in the Pacific and the European theaters of the war. In the Pacific you are USMC Private Miller, fighting your way across the islands of the pacific to push back the Japanese. On the European side you are Private Dimitri Petrenko, the death defying Russian soldier battling your way from your motherland to crush what remains of the Nazi scum. The story develops on each side, taking you through famous battles such as Peleilu, Okinawa, and Berlin. The chapters play out with you fighting your way through each battle, introducing you to new combat forms along the way, such as tank fighting, aerial combat, and of course, ground warfare.

codLike Modern Warfare before it, World at War is a game that brings amazing graphics and scenery into its gameplay. I remember being shocked when seeing leaves, dust and debris blowing around in Modern Warfare. In World at War, I was stunned with the forest scenery and the beautiful use of elements such as fire (a la flamethrower). I personally love to see forest scenes in games like this, giving the environment a great backdrop for the battles. And nothing is better than hiding in the tall grass all sneaky-like.

As Eddy mentioned in the recent review of Gears of War 2, one thing I found staggeringly awesome were the cut-scenes (or load scenes if you prefer). These are done in a way I have never seen in a game before; combining real footage from WWII with animations and narration to bring out a whole new way to view the story. The animations fit in perfectly with what’s going on onscreen and in the game, making them quite enjoyable to watch, even after your load bar has shown you are ready to play.

The gameplay outside of co-op and story mode is basically a mirror of COD4. A friend of mine refers to it as “COD4 re-skinned”. Online gameplay and versus is set up to mimic the successful and quite enjoyable set up that COD4 gave us. Custom classes are available as well as perks and weapon upgrades, though they still continued the tradition of not allowing for multiple upgrades. The only real difference I would say is that this time, prestige mode comes with a benefit, if you wish to call it that — extra custom classes. You are given the option of 5 more custom classes bringing you to a grand total of 10 if you complete all 10 levels of prestige mode.

cod-3Finally, they added a little special game mode that is unlocked after beating the main story, Nazi Zombie mode. A trend in games lately is to have countless waves of enemies coming at you, increasing in difficulty as the body count grows. Treyarch did a marvelous job at bringing a new way to play into the Call of Duty series with this mode, and it couldn’t be more fun.

You are basically in a building with several entrances boarded up, which the Zombies of the Reich will promptly start to tear their way through. Your job is to buy guns in spaces on the walls and move yourself through the house by purchasing other rooms, all the while killing the zombies and repairing entrances for money. After playing both horde mode on GOW2 and World at War’s Nazi Zombie mode, I must say I am partial to the zombies.

Overall I would say that this game is definitely a good notch in the Call of Duty series. Going back to WWII was a blast for me and the story was riveting and fun. Multiplayer is the same goodness enjoyed in the last game in the series and the graphics are simply stunning, in my opinion. There is also nothing more satisfying than taking a flamethrower to your enemies, am I right?

To me, this game receives a B. While it is a great game, it in no way re-defines how you play Call of Duty and doesn’t bring anything sparkling new to the table. But if you want a good solid game, you have a safe purchase here.



Thanks for the review Sean!

How many of you guys have played this game? Thoughts?

Written by

I write about samurai girls and space marines. Writer for Smooth Few Films. Rooster Teeth Freelancer. Author of Red vs. Blue, The Ultimate Fan Guide, out NOW!

11 thoughts on “Review: Call of Duty: World at War”

  1. Well, I’d definetly have to agree with the B+. I found the campaign to be a lot more difficult than COD4s, which got pretty frustrating.. The combat felt really close and it seemed like everything was… claustrophobic?

    I played the crap out of COD4’s Online, and still prefer it to this one, because they play the same,but I prefer Modern Warfare’s Weapons, Maps, etc.

    I had mixed feelings about going back to WWII.. I wish they would have continued into the present, but, Atleast they pulled this off and it “is definitely a good notch in the Call of Duty series”

    -good review-

  2. Great review, I agree with the grade as well.

    You are right about the animations before each level. Have you ever seen the movie The Kingdom, with Jamie Fox and Jennifer Garner? There is an opening that is just like it, I promise thats where they got the idea. Very well done.

  3. being a fan of CoD, but not so much as World at War, i kind of agree with the B+… it was fun… but it was disgraceful that it basically copied everything CoD4(a la CoD4 re-skinned). I just wished my CoD:WaW would work.. .stupid punkbuster, not letting me join any servers 🙁

  4. The story was cool, and there were quite a few epic moments, but CoD4’s story was just…better written? I just connected with the characters a bit more in CoD4 than in WaW.

    The multiplayer in WaW is too similar to CoD4. Yeah, it’s nice that Treyarch is trying to do what Infinity Ward did right, but come on! WaW might as well be a mediocre WWII mod of CoD4! Barely anything has changed, except for the new (actually old) weapons and a few more perks that make noobs even more of whores. Not to mention the glitches that anyone and their mom can exploit, making multiplayer impossible unless everyone signs an oath never to be a noob bitch who can’t face you like a man. Even writing about it pisses me off!

    I tried to go back to WaW after replaying the glory days in CoD4. After two frustrating games, I returned to Modern Warfare. The maps in WaW are horrible. They’re either too small and confined, or too open for snipers. The only good maps, Upheaval, Roundhouse, Castle, are only pretty good and are still riddled with glitches. It’s bullshit when some asshole can snipe me from across the map once the round bloody starts!

    I suppose WaW isn’t so bad, but whenever I try to give it a chance to redeem itself, it slaps me in the face with Second Chance, Noob Toobs, and the tanks. Oh, and about those tanks; Treyarch said that Tanks were completely new to CoD, but what are they talking about?! They were in CoD3! I hate it when developers announce certain features that have been in the series before but they advertise it like it’s totally new.

    So, in my book, WaW gets a B or even a B-. Not enough new content, multiplayer was horribly designed, and the story was mediocre.

  5. Oh, I forgot Nazi Zombies. Yeah, that’s genuinely fun, but it could have been more epic. More maps would really improve it. Oh, and if people would stop leaving after Wave 5 I’d appreciate it.
    So Nazi Zombies brings WaW back up to a B.

  6. [quote comment=”4413″]Well, I’d definetly have to agree with the B+. I found the campaign to be a lot more difficult than COD4s, which got pretty frustrating.. The combat felt really close and it seemed like everything was… claustrophobic?[/quote]

    I agree completley. I think I called CoD W@W’s gameplay style “trial and error” more than once. If your last suicidal rush didn’t work, maybe the next one will. Really aggrivating, especially on the higher difficulty levels.

    Good review, by the way; I agree with the score as well. I’ve run into a couple of serious bugs in multiplayer (people camping beneath the map geometry, for example), but nothing a patch can’t fix.

  7. [quote comment=”4423″]
    If your last suicidal rush didn’t work, maybe the next one will. Really aggrivating, especially on the higher difficulty levels.

    Thats exactly what I meant aswell. I figured that since I had finished the campaign on COD4 on the higher levels, I might aswell start WaW on the higher levels… Deeeefinetly wasn’t a good thing…

    I usualy like difficult games.. but this isnt my idea of “difficult”. Difficult shouldnt mean frustrating, it should mean challenging.. Make me think, dont make me SCREEEAM and break glass computer desks… kkthnx!

  8. I’ll have to completely disagree. I felt that it was just too poorly built. The graphics weren’t as good as COD4’s, the online was infinitly worse and Reznov kept pushing me out of cover into the path of some german’s MP40. I know Tryarch didn’t want to do another WW2 game, but who was REALLY getting the shit deal here?

  9. It did indeed feel like a reskin of COD4, with more baddies built in. Oddly enough, I actually like the online mode more than I did COD4 – there aren’t many ‘spray & pray’ weapons, and the carbines work really well for skilled players. Now if only the tanks were taken out of the equation…

  10. I don’t think it was a reskin at all, the maps were well done with good atmosphere. The guns were very different but well selected for the era and setting. The single shot rifles and customising options really pushed this one away from cod4 for me. I’m not saying its better, but its definately not bad.

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