"Call of Duty: World at War"
In the final installment to the "Call of Duty" series of reviews, "World at War" takes players to the Pacific Theatre.
Publisher: Activision, Treyarch
Game systems: PC, PlayStation 3, XBox 360
Typical gamers complained when they heard that “CoD: WaW” would take place (once again) in WWII. They whined that the setting had been overused, that they liked the newfangled light in which “Modern Warfare” was shown and that they deserved better. These same sad saps probably never played the game and abandoned “Call of Duty.” They missed out.
An avid historian, I believe that we can’t possibly run out of ideas for a WWII setting. (I’ve got several of them myself.) I was overjoyed when I heard that “WaW” would take place in the Pacific Theatre of war, as well as the home stretch of the Red Army’s campaign in Eastern Europe. It's an honest expansion on what we truly adore. I, for one, am delighted every time I hear of a new WWII game coming out. It’s a bulletproof setting, since Nazis were actually evil and what-not, and six years of war gives tremendous variety.
In past “COD” games there was an overwhelming feeling of desperation, that you really might not make it through this little charade of warfare. In “CoD: WaW,” you are in the seat of the exterminator; there’s always a never-ending line of advancing Russian or American soldiers, and there are several instances in which the protagonists quite literally defy death.
In “COD WaW,” it’s toward the end of the war when Germany and Japan were crumbling to bits and you are the ever-present mute protagonist. In essence: “COD WaW” lets you push back Tojo and Jerry, but in other titles it’s only Jerry who’s pushing you.
This is the first title in the series to feature the Japanese Theatre of war, and right off the bat you can tell that it’s brutally different. Banzai attacks occur with scary frequency, snipers in trees can really give you the willies, plus Tojo and Fritz are willing to sacrifice their lives to stop you. It’s got a substantial difficulty curve compared to other “CoD” entries.
Not that hard is bad, only frustrating at times but in the end more rewarding. This game is both, being hard every time you play it and therefore rewarding every time. As a matter of fact, I would say it’s possible that “CoD: WaW” gets harder every time I play it.
As for the multiplayer, it’s nothing extraordinarily new, but grittier than “CoD 4” and more dismal, too. To put it simply, you’d think that Treyarch and Infinity Ward would run out of ways to keep refreshing this series, but they just don’t. Sometimes I say to myself, “OK, they used that before,” but it doesn’t exactly bother me. Yet. God knows I’m looking forward to Nov. 10, though. “Modern Warfare 2” will be mine.
Matt Noyes is a TulsaPeople editorial intern. Have a video game you’d like him to review? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.