Call of Duty: World at War

Posted on Tue 13 January 2009 in geek

I am a bit of a FPS fan. Although I'm almost universally outclassed in online play by twitchy trigger fingered teenagers I do enjoy the solo story missions. As games have advanced over the years and become more cinematic I'm beginning to think the war film genre's days are numbered. The opening section from Saving Private Ryan was a jarring assault on the senses that really attempted to put the viewer in the action. The set piece battles of Call of Duty: World at War are strong contenders to replace that experience where the player is *in* the action, albeit with a quick rewind and restart when you inevitably die horribly the first few times because you weren't cowering behind the small piece of cover between you and the arrayed forces of the axis powers.

The game engine behind CoD:WaW is more or less the same as the hugely enjoyable CoD4 which took up so much of my time last year. However the graphic realism has been turned up a notch with even more blood and gore as your companions and enemies are a churned through the horrors of WWII's bloodiest battles. There also has been some tweaks to the physics although nothing much of note apart from improved fire handling. The multi-player is much like CoD4's but with different era weapons and replacement of the air strikes and helicopters with artillery and rampaging dogs. I haven't played on many of the maps yet but I have no reason to think it won't be as enjoyable as it's predecessors.

The game is not without it's flaws. The story mode appears quite short, having finished it last night after a few weeks of play. It suffers from the same re-spawning legions of soldiers that will keep coming until you push up to the next trigger point. Occasionally you do feel the challenge is to trigger the next bit of "plot" rather than destroy all the enemy soldiers. However if the on-line multi player lives up to it's promise it will make a fine addition to the series.

I'll just make a special note of the bonus mini-game you unlock at the end of the game. Nazi Zombies places you in a run down house with far too many breakable entry points and a relentless horde of Zombies attempting to eat your brains. You can upgrade weapons with points but you will eventually die. The challenge is how long you can last. It's harder than it sounds :-)