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Review

‘Call of Duty: World at War’ neglects to provide game with new experience

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November 13, 2008

Among the plethora of blockbuster video game releases in the last two months, for many gamers the question becomes, “which game is the best for my buck?” If you’re an owner of any of the next generation platforms (Wii, 360, PS3 or even PC) and a fan of the infamous Call of Duty series, then you’re in luck, because that game is “Call of Duty: World at War.”

Even though the weapons and battlefields may differ, this is the same overwhelming and bloodthirsty first person shooter as the last ten. Even though there is a surge of adrenaline coursing throughout your circulatory system, what it boils down to is that this is just another World War II video game.

Although World at War is light-years ahead of its previous installments, it still fails to provide the gamer with an experience like never seen before. Sure the environments are graphically stunning and the storyline is more accurate in terms of historical purposes, but there is just something missing.

If you have never played a World War II video game, then I suggest you stop reading immediately. Those of you familiar with first-person shooters in general, I think you’ll understand where I’m coming from. The solo campaign mode begins with a Pacific island-hopping marine ambush and ends ultimately with a truly moving event, the fall of the Berlin Wall. Put aside all the cinematic introductions about each mission and hokey pokey dramatic cut scenes, this game is Call of Duty 4.5, if that.

Don’t get me wrong, I will forever enjoy the endless amount of life that I can put into the online multiplayer component, but I was really looking forward to a campaign with substance and replay value. This game does nearly nothing to satisfy my hopes.

The game does capture the savage nature of war, as there are many instances where a swarm of Japanese troops will erupt out of nearby foliage in attempts to bayonet your ass. If you’re not quick enough, it is lights out and a bloody cut scene for you! Most of the outdoor battlefields feel like enclosed close quarter combat, except with ancient weapons that do not possess the knockdown power they should.

The action is rapid fire paced with a smooth sailing fluidity that you would come to expect. There are plenty of cochlea shattering explosions and enough machine gun riveting to make your head spin.

The one problem with World War II games is that we all know how the story ends, whereas in the previous modern installment of COD left the player with a highly suspenseful plot loaded with twists and turns. The same cannot be said for World at War.

The online multiplayer is truly where the game shines. There are about a dozen or so new perks, half of which are vehicle associated and four gigantic vehicle enabled battlefields. Yes, tanks can deal out a lot of punishment, but they’re also very vulnerable to antitank weapons and other tanks. Driving around in a tank is cool, but you’ll immediately realize just how slow World War II-era tanks were.

On a final note, nice try Treyarch, your game completely mimicked what COD4 already accomplished with a WWII makeover, but it’ll take more than vehicles in my multiplayer to shell out another 60 hard earned bucks for a Treyarch game. Mark my words, I’ll play multiplayer until I develop severe cases of arthritis in both hands, but as far as campaign goes, I’m waiting for Call of Duty 6.

Erik Wood is a student at UW-River Falls.