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!
Back 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.
Like 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.
Finally, 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?