Review by Dragon_422

Reviewed: 12/04/08

Multiplayer Review- From a "Pro" Call of Duty 4 Player


Okay, let's start this off good. I went into this game with high hopes. I thought, "Man, it looks like Treyarch is finally going to show that they can make a good game." They even are using Call of Duty 4's engine and everything, so there was no way they could possibly mess it up. Now, for reference, I have about 30 days of game time played of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare in total and have a pretty in-depth knowledge about how the game plays and how it is balanced. I was looking forward to a new Call of Duty game. I even pre-ordered the game, got the Collector's Edition, and everything.

Quick Singleplayer Review

The game itself. Umm... It's decent. I will just go ahead and say that the singleplayer isn't really good, and I had to force myself to play it to unlock the Zombie Mode (which also isn't that amazing, yet is a cool bonus). I didn't mind the fact that it is in World War II in the Pacific Theatre, nor the fact it was being made by Treyarch (I think too many people trash them just because they aren't Infinity Ward). There's also an inclusion of Co-op, but it's really nothing special... I actually am thinking the inclusion of Co-op made most of the set pieces (the dramatic parts of the game) not as good as it should've been, and that the level design might've been better if it was designed for singleplayer only. The Veteran mode (the hardest difficulty setting) is also much worse compared to other installment's Veteran, such as Call of Duty 2 and Call of Duty 4. But I'm not really focusing on the singleplayer portion of the game, so I'll just jump into the multiplayer review.

(Singleplayer and Co-op 5.5/10)

Multiplayer Review

Okay, now to what the meat of the review is all about. The multiplayer, the main aspect of the game. The controls are pretty much the same as Call of Duty 4, but there are some noticeable differences. One of them being that aiming is worse. There's a few reasons for this. One, in Call of Duty 4, the gun models moved to the left and right when you turned, yet, in this game, due to the aperture sight (a piece of glass with lines drawn on it) to work, it always has to be lined up straight for you to aim correctly, so they just made it so the gun models stay almost completely still when you turn. This gives a very rigid feel, and isn't like the fluid motion of the previous game. A good point though, is that they also increased the sensitivity on snipers, so you no longer have to have a high sensitivity for your sniper to aim fast enough.

Now, the game itself though is okay, nothing special, the problem with it though, is that Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare already did everything, and better too. Everything from the map design to the weapon balance is bad. They also added Tanks, which isn't enormously a bad thing, but the fact that though game would be much better without them is nothing to miss.

There are also plenty of map glitches, with players being able to get under maps and able to kill everybody without being seen (Roundhouse, Downfall, and Castle), though, I won't deduct any points for this though, seeing as they can simply fix it with a patch (and most of them have already been fixed).

There is the small gripe of how it is too "nooby" of a game. For example, they actually kept grenade launchers in the game, even though almost everybody was hoping that they were removed because the game is based in World War II. They even included a Red Dot Sight "counter-part" from Call of Duty 4, the Aperture Sight, as I mentioned earlier. The inclusion of the Aperture Sight doesn't bother me, though. There are also an overpowered form of a Claymore called "Bouncing Betties". Even though Claymores had very good balance, they decided to remove the balance, make them explode when you get to them (instead of having a delayed explosion), and make them incredibly small and not easy to see.

One of the few problems is the balance of some things. RPGs fly straight (unlike Call of Duty 4, where they fly randomly, to prevent them from being used in long range combat), and I have even used them to snipe people across the map. Submachine guns, while taking quite a lot of skill in Call of Duty 4, have now been completely "noobied", but also completely overpowered. They have almost completely random recoil (at least the low level ones do), and instead of taking much skill, they are now about 80% luck, instead of 90% skill. So if you are a really good player, you will die often in a 1vs1 fight against someone else, even if you are the better man, just because there is such a large amount of luck. Bolt Actions are rather weak, and should probably do the same damage as their sniper counterparts, but, there isn't much I can do about that.

Now, the level and maps. They look good and everything, and each level has a different "theme", they just all have bad balance. Some of the levels are much bigger compared to Call of Duty 4, but, they aren't designed that well. They're just big open fields... Whoop-de-doo. There isn't much structural design, and the map layout really kills this game.

I mentioned earlier in the review that the weapon balance is bad, but I didn't go into detail about it. Well, in Call of Duty 4, they made the weapons so balanced, that every weapon in the game can be considered "the best gun" in the game. In Call of Duty: World at War they decided to have it so you have weak or inaccurate weapons at low levels, and accurate powerful guns at high levels... It might sound like a good idea on paper, but it really doesn't work that well. All the high level players just end up using the exact same overpowered weapons, while all the low level players just try to make ends meet by trying to do well with their weak weapons they're stuck with.

In Call of Duty 4 there were special grenades, such as stun grenades and flash grenades, these both worked well, but in this game, they basically removed any working special grenade. There is a flare (a version of a flash grenade), which does absolutely nothing, and it doesn't even blind you, it just makes a small glowing light that can be easily seen through. Then there is the Tabun gas, which doesn't work well. In Call of Duty 4 all the "Pros" use special grenades, as they are a strategic way to win, yet this game removes yet another element of skill.

There are only a few things they actually improved in the game (while everything else was pretty much unimproved), and that is a smaller grenade blast radius (random grenades no longer fetch much to any kills) and Snipers are now balanced against Juggernaut pretty well.

The graphics are okay. The gun models look pretty bad compared to the well made gun models of Call of Duty 4. There are quite a few animation glitches.

The sound though is what they really did bad compared to Call of Duty 4. They added this sound occlusion which makes all the sounds really muffled from far away. Hearing people shoot a silenced gun is almost impossible at farther than 5 feet. The audio is much worse compared to Call of Duty 4, even though technically it's more advanced.

Play Time/Replayability-
The game really isn't good when compared with Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, and in fact, is pretty much a flop. The game is no way bad though, when compared to something like Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing. Compared to Call of Duty 4 though, it isn't that good. This game isn't a must buy, but it isn't a must not buy. It's decent.

I could probably spend at least 10 days game time playing this, but I'd rather not waste my time, and just play Call of Duty 4.

The game will not last long though, and Call of Duty 4 will remain played years later (at least, until Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 blows Call of Duty 4 out of the water).

Final Recommendation-
If you have never played a Call of Duty game, get Call of Duty 4, but, if you already have Call of Duty 4 then go ahead and get this game. It may disappoint you, but it is still a somewhat fun game to play.

(Multiplayer 6/10)

Final Score

Call of Duty: World at War 6/10

The game is too lackluster, brings nothing new to the table, and requires much less skill compared to previous installments.

Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Product Release: Call of Duty: World at War (US, 11/10/08)

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