Review by dwashbur
Another Great Call Of Duty Game
I'm a bit of a nut for WWII games. The sheer scope of that war, the variety of settings, the massive loss of life, and the dedication and sacrifice of the young men who fought against the arrogance and tyranny of the Nazis and the Japanese, gets to me when I think about it. A good game that puts me there and gives me an idea what those guys went through is something very special to me. I enjoyed all the Call Of Duty games except number 2, and having already done Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and seeing what the graphics, the game play, and the intensity of it, I was excited to pick up the other COD4 game, which takes us back to World War II. I wasn't disappointed.
The visuals are fantastic, some of the most realistic ever. The settings are so authentic it's hard to imagine how much work it took to get it all so detailed. The sound is what you'd expect from a top-notch war game, and the play is almost overwhelming at times. The final level, which takes place inside the German Reichstag building, feels as though you're pitted against every German soldier in the known world. I love it.
One thing I really like about this game is that it includes a LOT of play in the Pacific theater. The vast majority of WWII games focus on Europe, and I've been wanting some that put me in the other part of the War. In the Pacific campaigns, part of MacArthur's famous island-hopping strategy, you play as Private Miller, a Marine on the front lines of the fight to take several islands back from the Japanese. The behavior of the enemy is unbelievably real, from popping up out of "spider holes" to banzai suicide attacks and beyond. At times, just as it really was, it takes several shots to put one of these guys down, they're so pumped up on adrenaline. Even on the lowest difficulty, expect to die several times. These guys don't go down easily.
The other half of the game has you as a Russian soldier, Private Petrenko. You take part in the defense of Stalingrad, then pursue the retreating Germans all the way to Berlin. Along the way you spend most of your time with a sergeant who has helped you survive several times. The Germans fight tooth and nail for every inch of ground, and as you go along your friend the sergeant gets more and more brutal and cruel. By the time you reach the Reichstag, you come to realize that he's not just cruel, he's bat-bleep crazy. He wants you to go around shooting the wounded Germans, slaughter unarmed surrendering soldiers, basically he's got the blood-lust so badly he's an embarrassment to his men. It gives you a really clear picture of what a war like this does to some people, and it's a lot more thought-provoking than some people want. I like it.
The game is a comfortable length and well worth the price. I finished it on the lowest difficulty setting and it unlocked a goofy little game called Nazi Zombies. This bit of silliness is more or less an arcade-style game where you are in a building trying to keep the zombies out as long as you can. It was fun and totally ludicrous. I spent as much time laughing as I did shooting at zombies.
My one gripe with the game is minor: in the Pacific campaigns, quite often a Japanese soldier will do a Banzai charge at you with his bayonet. You're supposed to click the right stick to stab him before he stabs you. 98% of the time it didn't work. I would mash the stick before, during and after the prompt to do so came up, and still the guy gutted me like a fish. I don't know if that's a glitch in the game, a timing problem in the program, or what's going on. But it sure got annoying.
With all that, it's a keeper. There are at least two more difficulty levels, and I'll probably give them all a try. This one is going to be on my shelf for a long, long time.
Rating: 4.0 - Great
Product Release: Call of Duty: World at War (US, 11/10/08)
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