Review by FeralBerserker
"After Modern Warfare comes this? They really charged me for this product?"
I won't lie, I had really high expectations for this game. Coming from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, which I consider one of the greatest FPS ever, I really was just setting myself up for disappointment. I heard about the cooperative campaign though, and simply couldn't resist the temptation. Hell, Modern Warfare was supreme, the next one couldn't possibly be THAT bad...
Gameplay - 6/10
Gameplay, while the mechanics closely adhered to the previous CoD: Modern Warfare, suffered some major faults. The two main problems were the terrible pacing, and the requirement of having an entire squad of about eight AI teamates with you. The teamates wouldn't have been so bad, but they have no regard for what you're doing, and will even push you out from behind cover so that they can occupy your position. Not so friendly.
You get standard WWII weapons, including the much-anticipated flamethrower. The flamethrower was fun for a second or two, but it gets old fast, and you rarely get to use it. Shotguns were few and far between, and sometimes you'd start a mission with a set of weapons that absolutely doesn't suit your playing style (and sometimes the mission). The army must have been low on ammo supplies, since it doesn't make much sense to send someone into combat with a weapon they lack proficiency with. Regardless, that wasn't such a big deal. You can always scavenge something better.
The knife functions excellently, just as in Modern Warfare. Click your right mouse button (or whatever you assign it to) when you're low on bullets and bury it in enemies. Just be sure you're ready to smile and laugh maniacally. I rarely like knives more than bayonets, but this is one of those games (though it doesn't have bayonets, sad me).
Combat is pretty fun (when your teamates aren't crowding you), and feels pretty furious. Taking cover is important, but much less important when playing cooperative campaign (henceforth called coop) mode. If you die in coop, your buddy can come over and stick you with some magic morphine. In about a second you'll be back on your feet and every ounce of you will be teeming with ravenous bloodlust.
There's good amounts of cover, and enemies move fast and can prove challenging to shoot at times. Other times there can be so many of them you might panic fire and expend your whole clip (thank god for knives). Sprinting is good for many applications, and will be one of your best friends if you're a true berserker. I can't remember a time when ammo was scarce though, which is a drawback in my opinion. Battle is pretty fast paced and can be a whole lot of fun. Of course, your AI teamates can always snake your kills and make you frown (especially if you're knife crazy).
There are a few instances where you'll need to man mounted MGs, and even a mission where you're forced to command a tank and combat enemy armor. These situations are reminiscent of the spectre gunship segment of Modern Warfare. I didn't mind the MG sections, but the tank mission was really out of place, and really terrible. Be forewarned, if you didn't like the spectre gunship mission you'll be in for some groaning moments in World at War.
Much like CoD's previous release, the maps in this game are spectacular. There are half blown up buildings to run through or take cover in, piles of rubble to take cover behind, and windows galore to be shot from when in urban settings. Killing in the trenches over in the Pacific Theater was quite a bit of fun as well. There was a section of killing in farming fields and trenches in what I think was southern Russia as well, which was very fun. Throw in some enemy armor to fuel the fire every now and then and you can have some really fun engagements. Sadly, most of these excellently detailed and laid out areas pass quickly, as the game is extraordinarily short.
One fun feature in multiplayer is Zombie Hunt (it's called something like that). You're holed up in a building with boarded windows and you have to fend off incoming zombies. It seems slow and terrible at first, but the developers just made the first three levels extremely boring (it'd be five times as fun if you started in phase 4). As you kill zombies you'll get points (more points for head shots) to buy weapons and unlock other areas of the building. As you progress further into the phases you'll be fighting off hundreds of zombies with your friends. I'm not one for heavy MGs, but you'll definitely get to have some fun with them (and a flamethrower) in Zombie hunt. The sad part about this is that there is only one map. :(
Gameplay was mainly docked points for the reasons I mentioned in the first paragraph of the gameplay section. While there aren't many problems, they are nonetheless huge problems, and have a heavy impact on the enjoyability of the game.
Story - 1/5
There's no real hidden story here. It's standard WWII stuff. Mostly deals with assaulting the Japanese in the Pacific Theater, and partially deals with helping the Russians reclaim lost territory.
If you played Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, be prepared for a letdown even when it comes to the story. Then again, who really expects a new story when they play a WWII game?
Graphics/Sound - Nil
The graphics were better than I'm used to (I'm eternally stuck in the SNES era), even when on the lowest settings. Skins, explosions, character movements were all good.
Sounds were good. Voice acting was pretty good, about at par. Some voice actors were better, some were worse. I didn't check the credits, but it sounded like Keifer Sutherland is your CO. If it wasn't him then it sounded like him, and whoever it was they did a good job. A couple other teamates had good voice actors, but no one talked nearly as much as your CO.
Play Time/Replayability - 1/5
I think this game took three hours to beat. Three hours. That's shorter than God of War, and I didn't think anything was shorter than that. Even for a FPS three hours is unacceptable. Beyond unacceptable. It's downright insulting.
Replayability... eh, not so great. Really, not great at all. Not even good. The game is very linear and enemies do almost the exact same thing every time you encounter them. Throw in some unbearable waiting periods (waiting for someone to open a door, or taking a boat onto the beach, or listening to your teamates chew the fat) that can sometimes exceed the amount of time you'll spend killing enemies in a mission... And you don't get very good replay value.
Final Recommendation - 4/10
Quite a disappointment, though I had high expectations. Still, it's not very great when compared against Modern Warfare. Some terrible flaws and the lack of play time force me to give this game a terrible rating. Three hours? What the Hell? Did I really pay for this?
Reviewer's Rating: 2.0 - Poor
Originally Posted: 02/04/09
Game Release: Call of Duty: World at War (US, 11/10/08)
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