Call of Duty: World at War is finally here, after much anticipation and much debate, does World at War live up to its famous brother – Modern Warfare? We find out as we flush out some well dug in Japanese Soldiers who are anything but accommodating.
‘Yesterday, December 7, 1941 - a date which will live in infamy. The United States Of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by Naval and Air Forces of the Empire of Japan.’ – President Franklin D. Roosevelt
World at War centres around two main storylines, both with the same goal – victory in Europe and the Pacific. After America was ‘Suddenly and deliberately attacked’ by the Empire of Japan, they were plunged in to a war which they had avoided for many years. In both storylines you’ll start off in the deep end as you find yourselves cut off from reinforcements and surrounded by enemies. The stories move with great pace and deliver intense and dynamic fighting environments. Although, at most parts of the game you’ll wonder what you are fighting for as the emotional connection to the characters and their causes as found in previous Call of Duties just isn’t there. It isn’t all doom and gloom though as the fire-fights really make up for the lack of storyline, I played on Veteran difficulty and the fighting is truly intense, to the point of only being able to play one or two missions in a sitting due to the intensity and tactical thinking that you as a gamer will have to apply in order to outsmart, outnumber and outgun the opposing forces.
This instalment of Call of Duty also includes new weapons. The Flamethrower, introduced in to the war in 1943 by the US Army Chemical Warfare Service (ACWS), was used by the United States Marine Corps in the Pacific Theatre. You will be able to use this Infantry weapon for flushing out Japanese soldiers from Pillboxes, Caves or burn them out of trees. Treyarch have really captured one of mans most foul weapons as young Japanese soldiers, burn alive. I just hope they got the memo – Stop, Drop and Roll. Another cool feature is the ability to engage in close quarter battles (CQB) with the use of a Bayonet stabbing wildly into the horde (no reference to GOW2) of incoming enemy soldiers although if they beat you to the punch you’ll be able to counter their attack by grabbing your Knife and stabbing the unlucky foe in the neck.
This is where Call of Duty’s Cooperative mode kicks in, sit back and relax with up to four of your online buddies and take on the single-player campaign with some help. Although, if playing on Veteran you will find yourselves spending more time picking up each other’s body parts than actually fighting! Alternatively you can take to the war-torn streets in 2-player split-screen, either way you’ll be able to rank up in a similar fashion to Rainbow Six Vegas 2, with its A.C.E.S system.
Keeping on the multi-player front of World at War you’ll also be happy to know that all your old game-modes from Modern Warfare make a return in what I like to call, Modern Warfare v2. Right from the get go you’ll notice that Treyarch haven’t spent a whole amount of time making changes to the online feel of the game besides a whole new re-skin. You’ll still be rewarded on how many kill streaks you can get, for example; getting 3 kills will allow you the ability to use a spy plane to seek out enemy locations to give you the upper hand in the battle, or getting the maximum 7 kills (which normally unlocked an attack helicopter in CoD4) will now unleash a hound of dogs which will feast on unsuspecting and quite frankly terrified online foes.
There are also a few maps that allow you to take charge of tanks, which luckily keep the game-play fresh and equal as the tanks aren’t too dominant and have slightly longer reload speeds for the turrets, this gives you chance to run from cover to cover without having a massive chunk taken out of you. As in Modern Warfare, the more you play the more the game rewards you by unlocking new perks, weapons and of course new prestige badges to show off to your friends.
The Visuals in WAW are fantastic, using the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare engine with a few new updated features. Giving you a real sense of reality, brutality and the ultimate sacrifice that these soldiers fought for as you duck from incoming enemy fire, dodge well placed grenades or dive for cover when an MG42 gun-nest opens fire on your position. World at War also delivers in the sound department too thanks to the fantastic voice-acting of the main characters and supporting roles. Each weapon has a distinct sound, each grenade explodes with merciless conviction and the sound of incoming Banzai attacks will leave the hair on the back of your neck forever erect (careful).
If you’re looking for a huge change in the World War 2 genre that Modern Warfare did for the Modern era, you’re looking in the wrong place, but if you’re looking for one of the most intense and well designed World War 2 First-Person Shooters then look no further comrade, World at War has landed.