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Review: Call of Duty: World at War
By Chris
2009-03-19

In case you didn’t notice, this isn’t a review of Call of Duty 5.  Well, I guess it is, in a way, it’s just that they have dropped the numbering system from the title of the games.  Rarely will games continue to be numbered sequentially ad naseum.  Usually you’ll end up seeing fancy roman numerals to help hide the fact that you’re playing the 13th game in a series or the games will adopt a byline in place of a number.  Call of Duty has opted to go with the latter.  If you’re Grand Theft Auto, you can switch back and forth at will.

World at War returns the Call of Duty series to the World War II era.  Call of Duty 4, as you are probably aware, fast forwarded the series into “Modern Warfare”.  We have now taken a step back to a simpler time of fascism and rabid dogs.  Oh, the dogs.  I’ll get to those later.

World of War doesn’t really add anything too new to the WWII shooter genre.  The addition of the pacific theatre of war, with it’s lush but cloaking foliage, is a nice change-up from the usual barren, brown and grey wastelands of Nazi-occupied Europe.  That’s not to say that you don’t spend some time blitzing toward Berlin, although you do spend all of your time in Europe as a Soviet soldier which is, again, just a little bit different from the standard gung-ho American Marines.

The weaponry will not seem in any way unique, either.  The same old classes of soldiers are available: Rifle bearers, machine gunners, snipers…you know the types.  Really, nothing about the single player game seemed exceptional, which I guess is okay, since the Call of Duty series is one of my favourites.

My biggest gripe with the series, however, remained a constant.  I suppose it’s by design but the monster closet element of the game drives me insane.  I should probably explain myself.  Levels are really just a series of objectives and as you move from one to another, you will obviously face some baddies along the way.  What drives me bonkers is that, when you’re held up behind cover, the enemy never stop coming.  Ever.  Unless you move up on their position, you could kill 2,000 troopers and there would still be more coming.  That kind of level design, which favours running-and-gunning, just doesn’t jive with my usual “sit back and snipe until the room is empty” style.

Where the game really makes up for its less than original elements is with multiplayer.  While it’s true that it borrows a lot of the same ideas used in Call of Duty 4, the addictiveness of getting enough XP to reach that next level and unlock that next weapon cannot be understated.  As you may have noticed, we don’t do a lot of online multiplayering over here at completionist.com but with World at War, it’s definitely added tens of hours on to the life of the game and has ensured that the game has remained near the top of the PS3 pile, despite the fact that we have completed the single player campaign.

I appreciate Chris’s use of the term “we” in this review, as I had little to nothing to do with the completion of this game.  Also, watching Chris play multiplayer has not only strengthened my resolve to avoid online gaming, but also lowered my opinion of humanity in general.  Seriously, what is wrong with people?

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