Review by Anorexic_Sumo_X

"Call of Duty heads back to WW2. The real question is, did we take a step forward or backwards?"

After Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Treyarch faced a serious problem. How could a studio who had a reputation for never even holding a candle up to Infinityward keep Call of Duty fans satisfied until Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2? Fans were reluctant to give World at War a chance after the atrocity that was Call of Duty 3. (Ya, you know what I'm talking about. no surprise it took 11 months to develop, but that belongs in a different review.) How did they do? Well lets start with the single player.

The Call of Duty series has always had a great campaign. Not only has the game play been intense but the developers have always paid great attention to the world around you believable and realistic. This installment is no different. Explosions in the background, planes battling overhead, and tanks setting fire to everything in their path on the sideline. In WaW the Call of Duty series has gotten a lot more brutal. Japanese ripping American soldiers apart with bayonets and katana's, men being set on fire and left to die, and Russian's executing German POW's with revenge burning in their eyes. While all these things are cool, the most important part of the campaign is the game play which is where the problems start. Don't get me wrong, the game play is extremely fun, but also suffers from a lot of annoying little issues. Now I know that the Veteran difficulty is supposed to be, well, difficult, but I feel the way that Treyarch tried to make it hard was simply let the enemy throw an unlimited amount of grenades at you at a time. I also noticed a problem I've seen since the very first Call of Duty, the enemies seem to focus on me no matter how much of a threat my allies are. Before I got to the 3rd or 4th level I thought I was just imagining this but then I decided to test it. I went far behind my allies, pistol and hand, not firing at all, and watched as my allies moved forward unharmed and I was turned into Swiss cheese. My last complaint about the campaign is the checkpoints that seem to be too far apart. While the campaign is still enjoyable this issues will make you throw your controller every once in a while.

Now its time to move into Call of Duty;s most important feature, the multi-player. Treyarch has added a much needed co-op feature, which is very fun on line, but is annoying in split-screen due to a horrible camera. Treyarch has also given us a zombie mode, which is good when you need a break from the traditional Call of Duty game play, but will not thrill you forever. The on line multi-players changes seem to be mostly small ones that could have been fixed with a patch of Modern Warfare, mostly a balance of perks and weapons, including but not limited to a lack of an overpowered M16 type weapon, and grenade launchers being unlocked as the last attachment. New balancing issues have risen however, most notably SMG's dominance over every other weapons. I also with the tanks could take a lot less damage (currently about 6 bazooka shots, but each player only carries 2). The support that you receive for kill streaks has also been modified. While the recon has remained the same, the air strike now lasts a much longer time, and the helicopter has been replaced by packs of rabid dogs. The dogs are even more powerful than the helicopter because they are much harder to hide from. Some of the more positive changes include the revival of my favorite game type in Call of Duty, War, which those who played Call of Duty 3 will remember. I was also impressed with the gore in the multi-player that can stand up to other gory shooters like Gears of War. The last difference is the addition of the flamethrower which I find very powerful, as long as my enemies don't shoot back. Overall the multi-player will satisfy me for a long time, but in the end, is almost identical to Modern Warfare, which is a good thing, but many players may feel that they payed for the same game over again.

Overall I feel Call of Duty: World at War is worth suiting up to go back to the front line for another year, but I also feel that if a significant change does not occur in Modern Warfare 2, the tried, and true Call of Duty game play may start to get stale. Treyarch has proved that they can make a game as good as Modern Warfare, but unfortunately that's it because this game is no worse, but no better either. Ultimately if you are a fan of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, I cant think of a good reason not to buy this game, but if you weren't a fan of Modern Warfare, you almost definitely wont like World at War either. 8.6 out of 10.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 01/05/09

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

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