By SpikeDelight 10 Comments
Did you ever notice that Call of Duty: World at War isn't as great as reviewers said it is, or great at all for that matter? The second problem I want to bring up is the step down in A.I. The same thing happened in Call of Duty 3, where people complained that the excellent Call of Duty 2 had better AI, despite it being a 360 launch title. This is one of the things that really screws up the game, even if you don't notice it. This problem makes the game very easy and very anoying (not hard, mind you, but annoying). One thing the AI will do in the middle of abattlefield is get out of cover and feel perfectly content to stand there in the open shooting at your troops (and you). It's something that most people don't really complain about since you can just kill those guys really quickly and forget about it, but it brings down the challenge. The other thing the enemy AI will do it have a lapse in intelligence and stand there while your troops advance. This is really annoying because you will walk past them and assume they were an ally because "how could an enemy be stupid enough to do that?" but sure enough, it's just an enemy who froze there and then later decides to start shooting. This sounds like some kind of Japanese tactic when I describe it (I only encountered this problem in the American campaign) but when you see it happening in gameplay you can tell it's not meant to happen.
Another thing, having to do with your allies this time, is that the voice acting is inconsistent with the characters' actions. In some parts they will go from whispering to screaming without the proper amount of time between the lines. Sometimes they don't look in the direction of the guys they're talking to when the line is too quiet to be spoken in that way (meaning where the tough guy won't look at the guy he's talking to for dramatic effect). One of the things that really pissed me off about the voice acting was that the voices didn't express any exertion of energy. For example, at one part Kiefer Sutherland is pushing a table out of the way or smashing a door in or doing something that you have to put your muscle behind in order to do, but he was still talking to you in a normal voice while doing it. You would have a flare in your voice if you smashed your shoulder into a door while you were talking, no matter how tough you are. It would seem like a small thing but it happens frequently enough to be noticeable, and for me that is really a sign of weakness and a poor job by the guys who directed the actors in the recording sessions. Call of Duty 4's voice acting was consistently excellent and every single tiny detail in the character behavior was completely authentic. It's the kind of thing where you feel like you could know how to do what an SAS operative does from seeing these guys do all these formations and movements. (Obviously you couldn't but it makes you feel that way and that's something special.) It was that good.