Call of Duty: World at War Preview

“Before we’re done with them, the Japanese language will be spoken only in Hell” – Admiral William Frederick Halsey Jr.

Call of Duty: World at War is the latest instalment in the most intense, dramatic and predominantly World War 2 franchise. Can Trayarch keep the intensity of Modern Warfare but take World at War forward as they step in to the breach once again?

If you weren’t lucky enough to get your filthy hands on a multiplayer BETA code for Call of Duty: World at War, then sit back and let me tell you why World at War succeeds, and should be given a chance by even the most die-hard Call of Duty fans.

World at War takes you 60+ years in to the past as you take on one of the most fierce and determined army in the world – The Imperial Japanese.

The multiplayer BETA will take you around the world fighting as a U.S Marine in Makin against the Imperial Japanese, to playing as part of the German Wehrmact against the Red Army in amongst the rubble of train tracks as part of an abandoned train depot.

Just as in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, by showing off your uber skills, you’ll be able to take advantage of some well needed backup. This backup comes in the form of a Scout plane, blood thirsty attack dogs and calling in a bombardment of artillery shells from over a mile away. Get 5 kills without dying and you’ll gain access to use the artillery bombardments – and they are fantastic; screaming down from the heavens above leading to unimaginable destruction. Similar to the chopper in Modern Warfare, get 7 kills without dying in World at War and you will be able to unleash the hounds. The attack dogs have been trained for one purpose and one purpose only and that is to take part in World at War. They’ll jump through glass windows, sniff out hiding spots and rip you to shreds without even a small bit of remorse. While the attack dogs are a brilliant edition to the franchise, they can sometimes be overpowering and add a huge disadvantage to their prey; but both teams can get them.

“I’ve seen things that no training can prepare you for, I look at the faces around me and I know, Nobody expected anything like this!”

Call of Duty games have never been known for their gore. World at War changes that slightly with a whole new damage system which will see arms, legs, heads and other body parts fly across the room, splattering your best friend via Microsoft’s Xbox LIVE service. (Let’s hope he wasn’t talking at the time!)

The online mechanics work the same as its older brother Modern Warfare, gaining new weapons and perks by taking out hordes of angry soldiers. You’ll be able to Create a Class as before, adding three perks and customizing your weapon to give you an advantage, which hopefully will tip the balance in your favour. Unfortunately the BETA is capped as level 11, so we have yet to experience the full array of weapons, perks and other special items including flares and sticky grenades, but they are sure to be impressive.

I will go as far to say that the visual presentation in World at War exceeds that of Modern Warfare. It really shows what a developer can do when they have had the time to work on a title. With beautifully designed attack dogs, immensely detailed explosions and fantastically designed levels, COD: WAW isn’t going to go down without a fight.

“Peace will come when the whole world is under one government. The world tends toward this at present. The ultimate conclusion of politics is the conquest of the world by one imperial power…The Japanese nation, in view of her glorious history and position, should brace herself to fill her destined role.” – Taiyo Magazine.

Japan had one clear dream for their country and that was the extermination of the Western world. And with Treyarch’s ‘Smart Game Design’ you are never a sprint away from a bunch of angry Japanese soldiers who are more than willing to do the exterminating. You’ll be able to take the fight to the enemy across a whole range of game modes, including old favourites Ground War, Domination and Team Deathmatch. Alternatively, if you’re feeling brave you can go it alone in the Free-For-All Arena.

Weapon imbalance in World at War is a mixed bag, with the BETA currently being dominated by sub-machine guns and automatic rifles, instead of the more accurate and powerful bolt action or Clip Fed rifles. This gives the multiplayer games more of a spray and pray setting rather than being outwitted by talented and skilful gamers.

The good thing is that vehicles in WAW are not as powerful as they once were in Call of Duty 3. Don’t get me wrong, they will still create a rather large hole in the side of your two bed semi detached, but the reload times will give you time to run from building to building. Also, the gun turret will over heat quite fast leaving you with your pants down until it cools down. (Rather you than me.)

Overall World at War is a real blast online and deserves to be amongst the best that Call of Duty has to offer. COD: WAW will be available to the general public on November 11th 2008 on Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Sony’s PlayStation 3.


Luke De'ath

Bristol based Luke is a keen gamer who enjoys a good FPS or Stealth title. His Favourite game is Metal Gear Solid. Luke also loves FIFA and is a season ticket holder for Bristol Rovers FC

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