1. GrenadesBack with a vengeance from Call of Duty 4, the grenades are equally as annoying in this game as they were in the last. However, unlike last year's iteration, these appear everywhere in single player. While playing through, and getting to the bunker near the end but not quite finishing the game because of time constraints, on Hardened in Call of Duty 4, I don't remember once being killed by a grenade. Maybe a grenade launcher, yes, but not a normal grenade and if I did, it can't be anywhere near as many as have killed me on Normal difficulty on World at War. It seems that Tojo has been playing a lot of CoD 4's online mode because on several occasions, I have had multiple grenade indicators appear and on a lot of those occassions, I dfinitely didn't have the time to throw them all back and/or I was pinned down by heavy fire meaning to move away would have resulted in death anyway. While I have no qualms with a game trying to be intense, when it is this cheap, I get tired of it.
2. Not even subtle racismAs the Call of Duty games specialise in switching the nationality of the player to keep the storyline flowing, i'm surprised that this is the first game where I feel like I can really can see an obvious slant on a certain group and not even surprisingly, it's the Russians. Of course, for the first 3 Call of Duty games and this one, the burden of enemy has fallen onto the Germans but as they can be placed under the Nazi banner, it's OK. Everyone can justify that the Nazis = Evil while Allies = Good and Call of Duty 4's use of Russian Generals and Arab Militants like a plot to a good series of 24 but in World at War, the Russians are obviously not the good guys.
The thing that gets me is how while Sgt. Roebuck is always monologuing about keeping his boys alive and doing what's right, Reznov never takes a break from harping on about revenge, bloodshed, humiliation and terror against the Nazis. Of course, he has a personal vendetta but it's not as if Roebuck's men haven't been killed. Maybe it's a homesoil thing, but throughout the Russians are portrayed as bloodthirsty bastards with no remorse. This is most perfectly demonstrated whenever Reznov and his men come across any surrendering soldiers. Before any kind of surrender can be made, Reznov orders that all men be killed ASAP. In fact, he kicks off on Chernov (I think that's his name) when he refuses to kill some already beaten soldiers in Berlin. Compare this to Roebuck who orders his men to put down their arms and runs over to the enemy soldiers to bargain their surrender. Granted, this is the wrong thing to do as they are suicide bombers, but none the less, Roebuck has been America's hero throughout and his portrayal, particularly in the scenes i've mentioned, compared to the Ruskies just reeks of Cold War era jingoism, particularly now the Russians are back and seen as a threat to America in the real world.
3. Disorientating lack of coloursUp until playing World at War, Call of Duty 3 has so far been the only game to consistantly give me headaches and strain my eyes. At the time, I put it down to being one of the last games I played in standard definition and thought it was hurting my eyes as it was trying to squeeze 1080i into 14'' of 480p or something equally as implausible but those headaches and that eyestrain are back with a vengeance with World at War and I can't help thinking it's because of the games colour scheme. Looking for browny green soldiers in a muddy brown and green battlefield while brown clouds of dust billow everywhere is incredibly confusing for me and a lot of times, unless i'm looking directly at the enemy so I can see a muzzle flash, I have no idea where i'm getting attacked from.
I have no idea what it is, I mean, there's plenty of other games with a drab colour scheme and even things which are super bright like Katamari Damacy and the Speed Racer movie were fine but this messes with my head. Not only that, but I was perfectly fine with Call of Duty 4. Perhaps it's because the soldiers weren't wearing the same colour as the background an in the outside levels, the deserts were always well lit and the Russian wilderness wasn't just made of mud slabs. I suppose this is where someone will point out that it's a WW2 game and so the soldiers would be in camo, compared to the militants in CoD 4, but there's a difference between camo and being the fucking Predator. And yes, I do have glasses.