I love World War II. I love playing World War II videogames so naturally I've played many Call of Duty games. I played Finest Hour, Call of Duty 2, Big Red One, Call of Duty 3, Modern Warfare and of course World at War. Ever since I first watched my friend play Call of Duty 2 on a PC, and then play it on my own Xbox 360 (being the first 360 game I owned), I fell in love with the Call of Duty series. My favorite Call of Duty is Modern Warfare, but Call of Duty 2 is an very close second and I had a lot of fun playing Big Red One before Call of Duty 2. But ever since playing Call of Duty 3 I realized that there were two companies making Call of Duty games. 3 was made by Treyarch and even though they added some more elements to multiplayer than 2 had, it just felt broken and lacked any of the engrossing intensity that Infinity Ward brings with Call of Duty 2. However, I figured I'd give Treyarch another chance with World at War since they did make Big Red One and they were using the Modern Warfare engine (The engine to an excellent game).
As a standalone game, World at War does many things right. It borrows heavily from a game that is excellent. It added many weapons and had you playing in two theatres of war, that you had less experience with and does it well. The story was also interesting and as one of my friends says, it's one of the most glorious moments in videogame history to hoist the Red Flag atop the Reichstag (which is basically the capital of Germany in during the Third Reich).
While the game runs decently, I just didn't have the same feeling at all with World at War as I did with Modern Warfare. I felt as if the AI was dummer and on higher difficulties whipped grenades as if they had wheelbarrow full of them on hand. This constant spamming of grenades does nothing but frustrate the player. You have the option to throw them back, but enemies throw so many of them it's more like walking into an artillery strike that clearly labeled by grenade indicators filling your screen. THIS IS NOT GOOD GAMEPLAY! Also, World War II was fought with much newer technology and it definitely shaped the weapons of today, but the weapons of World War II are 65+ years old now. Call of Duty 4 has modern weapons that pump led faster and use more ammo. World War II is no longer modern warfare. This is why using Modern Warfare's engine doesn't work. It's not for slower guns like bolt-action and semi auto rifles which make up the majority of World at War's weapons.
The Multiplayer plays out fine. It's basically Modern Warfare with a World War II skin and different maps. But again, the engine is better with Modern Warfare than the weapons of WWII. Another thing to note about the games weapons is that they are not realisticly portrayed. This is more likely done to balance gameplay, but I find it frustrating to find that 9mm ammo in the MP40 is considered more powerful than .45 ACP in the Thompson. I know for a fact it isn't because I've researched many times. You can ask any WWII buff or any ammunition expert. They will say the same thing. This leads me to believe that Treyarch didn't care about how realistic their World War II experience was. Infinity Ward has on staff a military adviser named Hank Keirsey who has has extensive knowledge on weaponry on World War II. Infinity Ward also actually goes to gun ranges, fires and collects sound for each weapon during development.
As a sequel to Modern Warfare, World at War just doesn't cut it. It feels like it's trying to hard to be Modern Warfare, when clearly it isn't. Treyarch should've understood that when they made their game that you can't recylce what other companies had success with, change a few letters in the title and expect it to be just as good. This game was way more about making money than being a good game in the Call of Duty franchise. That's why I rate this game so low. This is a working game, but it doesn't feel right and its got corporate sell-outs written all over the box. The box art is the friggin same. All you need to change is the color from blue to green and replace the M1A1 Thompson with a Colt M4A1.