Review by TheRedneck14

"Call of Duty 4.... With World War II Makeup."

Although a lot of people were mad that Treyarch decided to bring the sequel to the amazing Call of Duty 4 [developed by Infinity Ward, the best War game developers in the business] back to World War II, and that fact that a lot of people did not like Treyarch's previous Call of Duty game [CoD3]. World at War turned out very well, but it could not live up to how good CoD4 was. Lets light this candle.

Story: 9

I don't think that most War games tell the story of what is going on very well, because you are just going through the battles. But Call of Duty: World at War did a great job with two of the bloodiest campaigns in World War II.

You are playing as the Americans and the Soviets this time, the American campaign takes place during the war in Japan which provided the Call of Duty series with some enemies that tried different strategies for once... and the Soviet Campaign went through Germany all the way to when the Allied Forces captured the Reichstag.

There are also only 4 characters that you will really want to pay attention to, your characters for the two campaigns; Private Miller in the American Campaign, and Private Dimitri Petrenko of the Red Army. The other two main characters are your Sergeants, Sergent Roebuck and Sergent Reznov [voiced by Kiefer Sutherland from "24" and Gary Oldman]. I also think that Rezonv has a guy crush on your character in the Soviet Campaign... just listen to some of the things he says.

The two Sergent's turned out to be much better characters than the people in Call of Duty 3 who tried to get some emotion from me but failed.

The game also does a good job at capturing the emotions of both of the armies. In the beautiful cinematic's that are played before the Missions, and the dialog in the game you get a sense of how desperate the Americans were to win the war and how much they hate the Japanese, and why the Soviets want to wipe the Germans out for what they did to Russia.

The game is also darker than the previous game [Call of Duty 4], everything starts of with you playing as Private Miller being tortured by the Japanese before you are rescued, and the Soviet campaign begins with the Germans executing members of the Red Army who are barley alive after an attack.

The game makes you want to get revenge on the Germans and the Japanese, and the entire story is told very well.

Gameplay: 8

You know that Call of Duty games are very well done when they can just keep doing the same thing in every game and it is still so much fun to play.

Basically, you are in areas that are recreations of battles from World War II, and you are fighting endless waves of Nazi's and Japanese soldiers as you are trying to push your way through the linear levels until you complete the level. Basic sounding stuff, but the quality of the AI, and how fun the game is to play override that.

The enemy AI differs for the Japanese and the Germans, the Germans still play they same way they have been for the last 5 years. But the Japanese are different enough to provide a decent challenge. The Japanese hide underground, in trees, and some of them will rush at you and try to stab you with a sword or a bayonet. But the ones that try to stab you are just human versions of the dogs in Call of Duty 4, and like with the dogs you can stab them in the neck if they get close enough to kill you.

The weapons are also fun to use, you get the standard Bolt Action Rifles, Submachine Guns, and the rest of the WWII staples that have worked so well in the last 7 or 8 games. But there are some new things that I enjoyed using, like the Molotov Cocktails and the Flamethrower, which is capable of lighting some parts of the level on fire, and burning the hell out of Japanese Soldiers.

The only real problems I have had with the game was that sometimes the AI can seem like it is pretty stupid, I have seen Germans that kept jumping up and down behind cover, and the fact that you have to move to a certain point before your allies will press forward. And of course there is the cheapness of the really high difficulty levels where 10 Grenades will be thrown at the spot you are standing in.

But overall, Call of Duty: World at War plays very well. Although it does feel like you are just playing a Call of Duty 4 mod that takes everything back to World War II

Challenge: 9

This is probably the toughest game in the series.

If you are playing on the right difficulty level then things won't be too bad, but when you play on the tougher levels then you are just going to get yourself killed a lot. I already mentioned the Grenades, and to be honest in the higher difficulty levels you have to memorize how to move throughout the levels because getting shot 3 or 4 times will kill you.

The Japanese levels will also be tough if you can't stop the Banzai's from running up to you because if you don't have perfect timing with the button/remote waggle that lets you stab them in the neck once they knock you down, you're screwed.

But I just need to mention the Grenades again. No matter where you are, they are still able to lob two or three of the damn things at you, so you just have to keep running around constantly or you are going to get blown up. Unfortunately, this usually means that you are going to be out of cover, and visible to insanely accurate AI... then you are dead anyway.

But you have to keep in mind that all of the higher difficulty levels in Call of Duty games are downright sadistic.

Controls: 8

Call of Duty: World at War uses the same control setup that the previous games have used, and it still works very well. It is still easy to aim, and the precise controls have a couple of customizable settings so that everyone can find something that works.

Graphics: 9

Call of Duty: World at War uses the same engine as CoD4, and it is utilized very well. World at War is an incredible looking game that surpasses how good the previous game looked.

The environments are gorgeous, you get to reenact battles in Japanese forests, castles, and the typical war torn German and Russian cities. But they are all very well designed, and they make you feel like you are really fighting in World War II.

The character models also look good, and the new feature that lets you blow off part of their arms, legs, or head makes the game seem even more realistic. And even though I have seen the guts of a Japanese Soldier hanging out after I shot them with a machine gun, it never got too gratuitous. The only difference between that, and a normal death is that there is more blood spurting out, and you can see some extra chunks of meat hanging out of their body.

The special effect look great as well, Smoke Grenades create a realistic looking smoke screen, the lighting is good, rain looks good, and the fire from your Flamethrower looks real, and it is also capable of burning down some of the trees and the grass in the Japanese Levels which makes it easier to play some of them, since you can remove their cover.

Overall, everything looks very realistic in Call of Duty: World at War.

Sound: 9

Yet again, a Call of Duty game has had some of the best sound effects I have heard in a Video Game.

The voice-overs were well done, especially the ones by Gary Oldman and Kiefer Sutherland. But the Germans still have the same screams they have had since the first game... maybe it is time to hire some new people to scream in German.

The sound effects were great; there is the constant sound of bullets going by you and explosions in most parts of the game. And most of the weapons sounded similar to their real world counterparts.

The music is also great, in the areas where you hear it the music really fits. And I just have to single out the Russian choral music that played near the end of the last level, that was just an incredible song and everyone here should turn up their TV during that part.

Overall, the sound was great as well.

Atmosphere: 9

What can I say that I haven't already said? Call of Duty games always make you feel like you are a part of the War, and this one is no exception.

Multiplayer: 8

Call of Duty: World at War is pretty fun online, and it takes everything that gave Call of Duty 4 the best multiplayer set-up of this Generation, and applied it to a World War II game. But it isn't as much fun as the original was.

The matchmaking system works very well, connecting to a match happens very quickly [you could learn something from this Epic Games, fix GoW 2's multiplayer damn it!] and you usually get a random level [that you can veto].

You get to level up like you did in the previous game, and as you level up you unlock more Weapons, attachments for them [like a Silencer, or a Bayonet for the Rifles], and you unlock Perks that give you special abilities, like doing more damage, dropping a Grenade when you die, or having more health. The kill bonuses are also in the game, you can get a Recon Plane, a Bombardment, and you can release Attack Dogs when you reach a certain number of kills. Although the Dogs are more of a pain in the ass than the Helicopter was in Call of Duty 4.

There are also tanks now, and while this isn't too bad, the game would be better without them. They are easy to destroy, and I don't think that driving them helps out very much. Halo 3 had some good vehicles in the Multiplayer mode, but they just don't work very well in Call of Duty.

It is also entertaining to hear Kiefer Sutherland saying "Out-*******-Standing" when you win a match as the Americans.

Overall, the Multiplayer is good, and you still need to play strategically like you did in CoD4 because if you screw up you will die pretty quickly. But CoD4 had the better Multiplayer.

You also got to do some Co-Op and Nazi Zombies.

Co-Op lets you do the campaign with 4 friends, and you can also make it a competitive match where you compete to get the most points. You can also use "Death Cards" that you pick up during the game to activate cheats that do things like making someone explode if you get them with a head shot.

Nazi Zombies is something where you have to repel endless waves of Nazi Zombies, and you get points for each one you kill, or repairing the windows. And you use those points to buy new weapons, or opening up new areas of the building you are in. Its a fun survival mode, but it is tough.

Replayability: 8

Fun Multiplayer, Co-Op, Nazi Zombies. You have plenty to do after you beat the game.

Great campaign, great sound and graphics, well done voice-overs by Kiefer Sutherland and Gary Oldman, fun Multiplayer, Nazi Zombies, burning people with a flamethrower is entertaining.

Cheapness of AI on higher difficulty levels, vehicles aren't very useful in Multiplayer, still the same thing that we have been doing for 5 years.

Should you get it:
If you are a fan of Call of Duty games, or just someone who enjoys a good FPS, then get this game.


Although Treyarch did a great job on this game, it could not live up to how high my expectations were after CoD4: Modern Warfare. But that does not mean that it is a bad game, although, it is very similar to Call of Duty 4.


Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 01/07/09

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

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