Release Date: 11/10/2008
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The Good: Amazing cinematic graphics, great sound and voice acting, new weapons, JAPAN!!!, great multiplayer still intact
The Bad: It ends, everything else is still too familiar
Call of Duty is probably THE best WWII FPS series ever made and there are many reasons why. If you rewind back about six years Call of Duty was released on the PC and console gamers envied this exclusivity. CoD offered cinematic game play, great characters, and amazing visuals. At the time Medal of Honor reigned supreme, but not for very long. With Medal of Honor, Brothers in Arms, and Wolfenstein being the top competitive WWII FPS games CoD always remained on top. With each new sequel, CoD added better graphics, a more realistic, cinematic experience, and overall great multiplayer. Throughout CoD’s six-year life cycle Activision has used many developers to keep the series going strong, and it was also the first WWII series to stray away from WWII and lean towards modern warfare (no pun intended really!). Now that CoD is back on the WWII front line is finally hit the nail on the head and this is what CoD should have been years ago…World at War.
I thank the WWII Gods that listened because we finally for the FIRST FREAKING TIME get to go through the trials and campaign of Japan and not just the bombing of Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. The game starts out in the jungles of Japan with banzais rushing after you with bayonets, strange rifles never seen before in a WWII game, amazing visuals (slightly updated Modern Warfare engine to be exact), great enemy AI, and just absolute mayhem. The first thing I noticed was the new weapons. Yes, you have the Kar98, MP40, Thompson, BAR, MG42, Springfield, Enfield etc. What I picked up was an Arisaka, a variation of the Kar98, a flamethrower?!, a bayonet?!, the ability to toss motor heads like grenades, molotovs?…insane. I couldn’t believe this. Someone actually added something NEW. Not only are the graphics amazing and extremely cinematic, but the level design is awesome. There are cool sniping missions (think of the one in MW), tank missions (they drive great for once by the way), and missions where you run through Japanese mortar pits and just torch the hell out of EVERYONE. How fun is that? Well, let’s just say it’s so fun you won’t want to use another weapon during those levels.
You don’t just fight in Japan though you also fight on the European front as the Russians over taking the Reichstag all the way to planting the flag yourself. If this isn’t enough to sell you try out the air mission where you’re shooting down Japanese boats and pulling in survivors of the Pearl Harbor bombing on your way back home from Japan. If that’s not exciting enough…oh boy I don’t know what is.
What makes the return to WWII so great isn’t just the new content or the cinematic game play. It’s the detail put into the level design, the characters, the ambiance, the dialog, the voice acting it is all top notch and not even the first CoD had this much detail put into it. After playing WaW you will WANT more WWII games and this is the revival we’ve all been dying for (sorry MoH Airborne was TERRIBLE). If the single player isn’t enough to sell you how about multi player?
While I didn’t get to try it I was involved in the beta multi player and it was pretty amazing. It’s just like Modern Warfare but set in WWII instead. There’s plenty of incentive to go back and play the game again thanks to its fair difficulty and amazing visual experience. World at War has so much detail put into it I wouldn’t be surprised to see another MoH, BiA, or Wolfenstein copy any of it. Thank you Treyarch and Activision for reviving this great series…now everyone shut up.