Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Call of Duty: World at War - Treyarchs attempt at WWII, AGAIN….

This is not COD5, this is COD: WAW.
Taking this into account, I consider WAW to be an EXPANSION PACK rather than a stand alone game. There are a few improvements, but in all honesty, it’s COD4 in a new skin.

The multiplayer is the same as before, albeit with a few additional perks and game modes. The best addition in regards to the multiplayer is the availability to choose the regions in which you search for a game, Default, Local or Locale only (thank fuck, not so many laggy transatlantic games!).

The main new additions to the game are the Co-op missions. Now in my opinion, all next gen games should have Co-op catered for from the get-go. A large contingent of console/pc gamers are online now and it is worthless making a game without a full online mode incorporating Co-op, because lets face it, competitive multiplayer games are getting tiresome with all the cheats out there (but that’s another article for another time). The Co-op in WAW is not complete, as there are a few campaign missions that cannot be completed in Co-op, a small problem to be honest. For a lot of gamerscore whores who want to get a few of achievements with a group of friends, it’s annoying (see Halo 3 Co-op*) as you can complete the Co-op on veteran but not get the game completion achievement!!

The graphics, as expected are good; it is using the COD4 engine after all. The maps look the part, large, filled with foliage or corresponding debris. Penetrable cover makes a return (if this disappears I will definitely have a shit fit, one of the series saving graces) and it does feel good, and amazingly realistic again, aiming your Tommy-Gun at a beach hut and taking the enemy troops out from behind their cover.

The new addition of the flame thrower is a fun weapon with all the flammable environments, but its not anything compared to the fire propagation in Far Cry 2 or even Alone in the Dark. The vehicles (more like 1 type of Tank) are ok, the look and controls of them are reasonable, but could have been so much better. I was looking forward to some large maps with people carriers not only the odd Tank, like in COD3.

The worst parts of this game for me are the lack of a British Allied campaign in a reasonably good story and a huge lack of originality. The campaign missions are well scripted, even though there is no British perspective (same old American version of world history), and amazingly acted by the vocal talents of Kiefer Sutherland and Gary Oldman.
In regards to the originality of the game, it’s a tough one for people to get their chops around:
First of all, the WWII shooter market is completely saturated after possibly 13 odd years of different FPS franchises.
Secondly, the lack of new innovations in this iteration of COD simply confirms the fact that this is merely an EXPANSION PACK, it is just COD4 in a new skin.
And finally, the blandness of the campaign. Playing through WAW, I felt no adrenaline rush or real interest for the characters as I had in COD4.

I did enjoy my play through of COD: WAW. I haven’t really had many games with the Co-op mode, the few I did play were enjoyable, especially with the ‘Death Cards’ activated (these are collectables you can find in the campaign game that activate cheats in Co-op). Also the Zombie mode, which is unlocked upon completion of the campaign, is a very enjoyable mode, think GOW2 Horde, with the continuing levels getting harder.

The Zombie Nazi mode is probably the best part of WAW for me, as they have used the classic foot dragging Zombie, instead of the sprinting-like-fuck Zombies of certain games/films. You use a grenade on these Zombies, body parts fly off. If they lose their legs, they will still drag themselves to bite your ankles! This mode is something that seems to have been really concentrated on by Treyarch and I’m impressed. I still think it should have some more options, e.g. more maps, weapons etc. but it’s a really solid part to an above average shooter.

It’s a good game, but not the game it could have been.
But really, Infinity Ward spoiled us with COD4.

If you look at WAW as a stand alone game, it’s a slight fail, but as an expansion pack it’s a reasonable game.


*I wish I didn’t have to use Halo as a reference, but the Co-op was one of the few positives.

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