Players: 1+ Player Game | Release Date: 11/10/08 | Genre: FPS
The Call of Duty franchise has been synonymous with next-generation gaming. Since Call of Duty 2 was released alongside the Xbox 360, the franchise has been a hit with console owners. The popularity of the franchise has only continued to soar with the release of last years’ hit Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare. Activision, along with Developer Treyarch, look to continue the magic of the CoD franchise with Call of Duty World at War—a title that utilizes the same engine that powered CoD4. But is another World War II First Person Shooter something that can earn recommendation?
World at War is the second Call of Duty title Developer Treyarch has worked on. They chose to tackle the challenge of matching the excellent Call of Duty 4 by building the game with the same engine, utilizing the incredible visuals of CoD4 in the process, and also provides a very deep multiplayer system--complete with the experience system first pioneered by Call of Duty 4.
The setting for Call of Duty World at War is once again set in the World War II time frame. Although we have seen numerous World War II shooters since the 90’s, would you believe that there are still stories that haven’t been told? While this may seem impossible, Call of Duty World at War splits the storyline with the familiar settings and locations of past WWII shooters and adds a completely new campaign featured in the Pacific. This was a gruesome and dark part of World War II that no Developer has attempted to tell before.
Visually, you will see nothing short of amazing graphics. World at War features the same engine that powered Call of Duty 4 and Treyarch has taken full advantage of the engine and have added their own personal touches. The biggest change to the visuals is the fire effects. Treyarch has added a flamethrower to the weapons available to the player. This allows for some intense moments as you light up grassy areas and other places where Japanese soldiers lay waiting to ambush you.
Another change to World at War is the inclusion of a two player split screen co-op experience and four player, via Xbox Live, co-op experience. The story and gameplay will mirror the single player campaign—but nothing makes the game more enjoyable than playing with some other buddies over Xbox Live. I would personally avoid playing the split screen mode as the framerate drops and the experience is just never as much fun. The fun is a bit interrupted even if you use Xbox Live co-op though. After each level, players will be taken out to a lobby before they can begin the next level. Why you can’t continue on in a seamless manner is a bit beyond me. Perhaps this issue can be resolved in a future patch?
Call of Duty World at War continues the excellent multiplayer features found in Call of Duty 4. Players gain experience points by winning matches, completing tasks, and allow you to rank up, earn new weapons and abilities, and other bonuses that make the game more fun and enjoyable. The downside to this system is that players who are just starting out may feel a bit overwhelmed that others have better skills than they do. However, this is a minor gripe and can be overcome by playing and gaining enough experience to unlock the best abilities for your character.
Another awesome addition to Call of Duty World is the Nazi Zombies co-op game that becomes available once you defeat the primary single player campaign. As the name implies, players will be fighting off Zombies dressed up in Nazi uniforms as you, and your friends, hide in a house shooting them off. Each wave of Zombies bring harder, faster, and smarter Nazi Zombies. While this has nothing to do with Call of Duty, World War II, or anything else, I must say it is a very fun campaign and seems to fit more in the Left 4 Dead title than World at War. However, it is a welcome addition and adds some reason to get through the single player campaign. I must add, nothing would be more fun than a WWII shooter based around Nazi Zombies taking over the world.
Call of Duty World at War is a title that I have had a lot of fun with. However, the game feels very similar to titles in the franchise and players may be beginning to suffer from “Call of Duty fatigue” with yearly updates to the franchise. The single player campaign has a lot of fun and value in it—if you are playing with others. And if you enjoy a good multiplayer shooter, World at War will provide many hours of intense action. But you may already be able to experience all of this with Call of Duty 4. I recommend this title as a buy but some players who are getting bored with the franchise might want to consider a rental first.
Real Life Ratings
Call of Duty World at War is an intense First Person Shooter that contains many adult elements. Use of language, brutal killing of other players, and reliving a very dark time in our world’s history will cause this title to earn its Mature rating. Younger players should probably not view this content and I suggest that parents/guardians take caution before allowing a younger play to view or play Call of Duty World at War.