Mac and Cheese for the FPS genre
Call of Duty: World at War Review
Call of duty World at War, finds itself in an interesting position. This is the game that immediately follows the critically acclaimed and multiplatinum selling Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. World at War also makes the critically unpopular decision by going back to the World War II era. All of these things present themselves as huge mountains to climb for the Treyarch team, so is our trip back to WWII a sweet one or another bleak spot in the genre?
Call of Duty: World at War provides the user with, what has come to be the usual Call of Duty’esq story. You play as two separate characters in two separate storylines, one taking place in Russia and the other in Japan (the pacific theater). Each story line takes predictable paths resulting in a strangely comfort food like feel to the entire game. One may classify this type of storytelling as a bad thing however, it is strangely endearing in a Mac and cheese sort of way.
The gameplay might as well have been surgically transplanted from the 2007 hit game Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Every gun feels real and comes with a sense that every bullet that leaves your weapon of choice is shot with purpose. The general feel of the game provides for a uniquely visceral experience. The ultra realistic feel of the gameplay is occasionally hindered by some obviously endless enemy spawn points sprawled throughout the game. These points used correctly gives the game a hectic and frantic pacing however once the player comes across the spawn point it actually serves to draw the user out of the experience.
Multiplayer is an equal joy, jumping back into WWII feels a little like a re-skinned version of the COD:IV. In this case however repetition has proven to be a good thing, the combat feels great and the leveling system is as addictive as ever. The helicopter has been replaced from COD: IV and has transitioned into a pack of dogs seeking out the opposing team. This change of pace is relatively satisfying and provides for some exciting moments during play.
In this iteration of COD Treyarch has decided to add the mighty flamethrower in an effort to give the player a new and unique combat experience. This is one weapon that has transcended the “back of the box stigma, translating into an enjoyable combat weapon, felling every bit as visceral as any other rifle or pistol offered within the game.
Based on the Call of Duty 4 engine this game shines on both the Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3. Textures are well mapped as the lighting is some if the best in its class, especially considering that World at War had to be developed for two separate platforms. Jungles are lush and the Japanese landscape is convincing, and the eastern European landscape is equally dramatic. In engine cut scenes are well done, aiding in the immersion of the player. If there was one noticeable drawback graphically it can be seen in some of the particle effects used in some areas to aid lighting. On many occasions I stumbles across areas where particles looked as if they were drawn is Microsoft paint and suspended in mid air. This was again a element of the game that makes it feel downright gamey as opposing the realistic feel given by the remainder of World at War.
The audio in COD: WAW is equally as impressive as the graphics, suspenseful and grandiose music is used well to draw the player into the game and get the blood pumping in many places within the story. The guns also sound as good as they feel, each bullet feeling like it is piercing through the screen heading straight past the players ears.
Call of Duty: World at war began fighting an uphill battle against its modern cousin, however is actually holds up surprisingly well. There is no question that Call of Duty 4 is the superior experience, however World at War provides a fun, comfort food like run through some great battles, set pieces and enjoyable multiplayer. If you are a fan of Call of Duty 4 or simply first person shooters, you owe it to yourself to pick up World at War.
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