Reviews: Call of Duty: World at War Video Review

Call of Duty: World at War Video Review

John Funk reviews Call of Duty: World at War.

Watch Video

I know it sounds a little callous, but I can't wait until we get a WW2 game with a depressing, soul shattering Concentration Camp level. Sort of like the brillaint Band of Brothers episode where they first find an abandoned one.

It'd sort of be the WW2 equivalent of the Nuke Sequence from COD4.

However I'm really not sure gaming, or the world, is ready for the horror and fallout of an interactive holocaust.

i dunno, every review i read says the same thing, and every person that's played it tells me the same thing. "If you liked COD4, you'll love WaW". Yet, here I am, still a fanatic of COD4, and absolutely despise this new entry into the franchise. Just like the previous Treyarch addition, it seems to have fairly bland and repetitive (even for the COD series) missions, if not gimmicky attempts at changing things up. The hit detection is absolutely horrible, and I'm not a huge fan of the level design. All in all, this game was great when it was COD2, but I feel like we should have moved past this by now. And really, seriously people, please stop saying if you loved COD4 you'll love this one, just because it uses the same game engine. It worked well for the modern weapons and combat, just doesn't do it for this one.

uppitycracker:
i dunno, every review i read says the same thing, and every person that's played it tells me the same thing. "If you liked COD4, you'll love WaW". Yet, here I am, still a fanatic of COD4, and absolutely despise this new entry into the franchise. Just like the previous Treyarch addition, it seems to have fairly bland and repetitive (even for the COD series) missions, if not gimmicky attempts at changing things up. The hit detection is absolutely horrible, and I'm not a huge fan of the level design. All in all, this game was great when it was COD2, but I feel like we should have moved past this by now. And really, seriously people, please stop saying if you loved COD4 you'll love this one, just because it uses the same game engine. It worked well for the modern weapons and combat, just doesn't do it for this one.

Hence the "probably."

I felt that the American campaign was decent if nothing special, but I absolutely adored the Russian one. If the American missions had been on par with the Russian ones, I think the game would have been superb.

PedroSteckecilo:
I know it sounds a little callous, but I can't wait until we get a WW2 game with a depressing, soul shattering Concentration Camp level. Sort of like the brillaint Band of Brothers episode where they first find an abandoned one.

It'd sort of be the WW2 equivalent of the Nuke Sequence from COD4.

However I'm really not sure gaming, or the world, is ready for the horror and fallout of an interactive holocaust.

I'm not sure if they'll be ready for a long time to come. It's too controversial, and will have too many people raising hell about it, so to speak.

CantFaketheFunk:

uppitycracker:
i dunno, every review i read says the same thing, and every person that's played it tells me the same thing. "If you liked COD4, you'll love WaW". Yet, here I am, still a fanatic of COD4, and absolutely despise this new entry into the franchise. Just like the previous Treyarch addition, it seems to have fairly bland and repetitive (even for the COD series) missions, if not gimmicky attempts at changing things up. The hit detection is absolutely horrible, and I'm not a huge fan of the level design. All in all, this game was great when it was COD2, but I feel like we should have moved past this by now. And really, seriously people, please stop saying if you loved COD4 you'll love this one, just because it uses the same game engine. It worked well for the modern weapons and combat, just doesn't do it for this one.

Hence the "probably."

I felt that the American campaign was decent if nothing special, but I absolutely adored the Russian one. If the American missions had been on par with the Russian ones, I think the game would have been superb.

I see your point with the probably. I just haven't found a single person that was a huge COD4 fan, that actually likes COD5. Granted, most of it is in response to multiplayer for them, and I know that you didn't touch that for this review. And the Russian missions were alright, but I remember the big angle to distract people from the fact that this was another WW2 shooter was the fact whole pacific battle, and when that entire aspect of the game is just such a disappointment in terms of quality gameplay (to me anyway), I fail to see where this isn't just another recycled COD2 with vehicles. I know its all really a matter of personal preference in games, but I guess it just didn't do it for me.

kapzer:

PedroSteckecilo:
I know it sounds a little callous, but I can't wait until we get a WW2 game with a depressing, soul shattering Concentration Camp level. Sort of like the brillaint Band of Brothers episode where they first find an abandoned one.

It'd sort of be the WW2 equivalent of the Nuke Sequence from COD4.

However I'm really not sure gaming, or the world, is ready for the horror and fallout of an interactive holocaust.

I'm not sure if they'll be ready for a long time to come. It's too controversial, and will have too many people raising hell about it, so to speak.

I just think it would be a very effective piece of storytelling and history. Just having the player walk through a concentration camp and being able to bear first person witness to the shear volume of human suffering would just be so impacting. Granted it would probably seem exploitative, but it isn't seen so in movies, I don't know why it wouldn't fit into games as well.

PedroSteckecilo:

kapzer:

PedroSteckecilo:
I know it sounds a little callous, but I can't wait until we get a WW2 game with a depressing, soul shattering Concentration Camp level. Sort of like the brillaint Band of Brothers episode where they first find an abandoned one.

It'd sort of be the WW2 equivalent of the Nuke Sequence from COD4.

However I'm really not sure gaming, or the world, is ready for the horror and fallout of an interactive holocaust.

I'm not sure if they'll be ready for a long time to come. It's too controversial, and will have too many people raising hell about it, so to speak.

I just think it would be a very effective piece of storytelling and history. Just having the player walk through a concentration camp and being able to bear first person witness to the shear volume of human suffering would just be so impacting. Granted it would probably seem exploitative, but it isn't seen so in movies, I don't know why it wouldn't fit into games as well.

Read your last sentence to yourself. Forget that games are not seen at the same level as movies yet? Movies are considered art, games are only really considered art in the eyes of gamers.

kapzer:

PedroSteckecilo:

kapzer:

PedroSteckecilo:
I know it sounds a little callous, but I can't wait until we get a WW2 game with a depressing, soul shattering Concentration Camp level. Sort of like the brillaint Band of Brothers episode where they first find an abandoned one.

It'd sort of be the WW2 equivalent of the Nuke Sequence from COD4.

However I'm really not sure gaming, or the world, is ready for the horror and fallout of an interactive holocaust.

I'm not sure if they'll be ready for a long time to come. It's too controversial, and will have too many people raising hell about it, so to speak.

I just think it would be a very effective piece of storytelling and history. Just having the player walk through a concentration camp and being able to bear first person witness to the shear volume of human suffering would just be so impacting. Granted it would probably seem exploitative, but it isn't seen so in movies, I don't know why it wouldn't fit into games as well.

Read your last sentence to yourself. Forget that games are not seen at the same level as movies yet? Movies are considered art, games are only really considered art in the eyes of gamers.

That's a good point, still, it would be brilliantly effective. It'd make me cry anyway.

I'm entertained, sort of, by how much mention of storming the Reichstag gives me a feeling of "been there, done that". It's not Normandy, and it is a big moment, but it just hammers home how well-tread this time period is. Where's my dramatic re-enactment of the Battle of the Bulge?

EDIT: Repetitivity reduced.

Geoffrey42:
Where's my dramatic re-enactment of the Battle of the Bulge?

In the final mission of Medal of Honor: European Assault, of course. Yeah, there's not much unexplored territory left for World War II games to cover.

Personally, I'd be curious to play a WWII game where you're on the losing side. We're constantly the Americans, Brits or Russians - why not the Germans or Japanese? I think the moral queasiness could be pretty instructive.

Jordan Deam:
In the final mission of Medal of Honor: European Assault, of course. Yeah, there's not much unexplored territory left for World War II games to cover.

Personally, I'd be curious to play a WWII game where you're on the losing side. We're constantly the Americans, Brits or Russians - why not the Germans or Japanese? I think the moral queasiness could be pretty instructive.

Apparently my google-fu is too weak; I tried to find an example of that battle in a videogame before posting, but I failed. And I missed that particular game because I've only ever played MoH on the PC.

And yes, I would like to see the game that lets me play the losing side. Almost all Nazis were German, but not all Germans were Nazis, even those fighting in the war. I've been waiting for that game/movie/book for a long time (if anyone has suggestions that aren't related to the Hitler assassination attempt, I'm all ears). Where is my German 'Letters from Iwo Jima'?

Great game, good review. And I wholeheartedly agree, Nazi Zombies must be in every game from now on. That alone made the game worth the purchase in my opinion. I feel its better than Left 4 Dead, mostly because I enjoy defending much more than I do running from point A to point B. I just hope they add some new levels to hold off against the zombie horde.

I agree that the Russian missions were far better than their American counterparts, mostly because the Russian levels made me feel like I was that character. As soon as you start off as the Russians, you knew it was a golden campaign. The ending was also great. The American campaign had my attention because of the location, but the ending didn't give me much closure. Any reason you didn't review the multiplayer by the way? Just curious.

Jordan Deam:

Geoffrey42:
Where's my dramatic re-enactment of the Battle of the Bulge?

In the final mission of Medal of Honor: European Assault, of course. Yeah, there's not much unexplored territory left for World War II games to cover.

Personally, I'd be curious to play a WWII game where you're on the losing side. We're constantly the Americans, Brits or Russians - why not the Germans or Japanese? I think the moral queasiness could be pretty instructive.

It's high time we saw "Stalingrad: The Game," the germans don't have to be "heroes" but a plot like that can really make them sympathetic.

PedroSteckecilo:
I know it sounds a little callous, but I can't wait until we get a WW2 game with a depressing, soul shattering Concentration Camp level. Sort of like the brillaint Band of Brothers episode where they first find an abandoned one.

Wasn't this the entire premise of Prisoner of War?

I found the video review to be a bit poor. Did you actually try to use the flame thrower on hardened or Veteran? You get shot down in a few moments while trying to burn the enemy. I also didn't find really any bugs with the PC version or maybe I am just lucky.

Geoffrey,

I do beleive Call of Duty United Offensive actually starts in the Battle of the Bulge. It is a bit old but it is still one of the best games in the series.

Also. If you play Company of Heroes: Opposing Front (the expansion pack to the original CoH) you get to play as the Germans in single player. Sure it is an RTS so not quite the same thing, but the cut scenes deal with a pair of brothers fighting towards the end of the war and I think it showed that it is perfectly feasible to have a German caimpaign in a WW2 game.

I once saw a list of all the WW2 games ever made and all the modern weapon games ever made...it is not as skewed as some might think. The problem is that there are only a few good Modern Weapon games whereas IW and Treyarch have been producing high quality WW2 games for a while now. You can say BF1942 started it all, but they have released a modern weapons game in the series with BF2. Counter Strike and Coutner Strike Source are still the most popular online games altogether.

i got soooo bored with this game, i played true the single campaign and it was joust so boring. Ok i can appreciate the point about not fixing what isn't broken but they could @ least mix it up. The game is totally unoriginal and is joust a reskin of COD4. Had they allowed me to play from the Germans side that would maybe have made me not hate the game but as it is there is absolutely no point getting this game if you have played any other COD game.
Also all the acctual ww2 pictures and clips are copied straight out of the World at War series and tell a boring one sided over patriotic one sided tale. COD:Modern Warfare 2 might be good but i think it's time for the COD series to die.

When i landed on some island with the Americans i knew exactly what to expect i did the same thing in COD2. I would have loved if for one when that door opened my sorry carcass was torn to shreds. Being one of the only survivors from one slaughter to another killing endless numbers of mean spirited traffic barriers it joust doesn't bring the hectic feeling of war alive, and also as mentioned this recharging health thing is getting old, how about an recharging health pack like in Battlefield where you @ least have to put a little effort into healing.
The only part that was a little enjoyable in this game was when you as the russian guy gets a hold of the sawed of shotgun that truly brings the close combat alive.

I'm still waiting for a realistic game on the scale of Call of Duty, in a realistic setting (as in, actual *battlegrounds*, not those linear levels. Move up, checkpoint, move up, checkpoint).

Keep dreaming, I guess.

Unless some one out there has the balls to make a video game from the viewpoint of the Nazis or the Japanese, there should be a moratorium on WW2 games. If there isn't one level in which you're a part of a banzai charge, or an SS task force, it shouldn't even be published.

If a game like that was made, it might be the boost needed to get games to be seen as art.

I think I prefer COD4 to COD5. There is nothing inherently wrong with this game, it is a good game, but it just does not really compare well with its predecessor in my opinion.

I agree that they should make games which allow you to play on the axis powers side. Generalisation can be a terrible thing. Not all Germans were Nazis and the allied view on the Japanese at that time can be shocking.
I think that it is time for a game like COD to be made from the prospective of a person on one of those sides. They do it in movies ('Letters from Iwo Jima' is a good example as pointed out earlier) so why can this not progress into games?

It's really interesting to see that so many people agree that we need a game playing from the point of view of the Axis powers - Jordan, Susan and myself had some interesting discussions about it here in the Escapist offices. We agree that it'd be a great idea, but... well, some hurdles that need to be overcome. For one, even though yes, we now know that not all the German or Japanese soldiers were evil, it'd still be a PR nightmare to get past the "you play as a Nazi!!" kneejerk reaction.

Also... you lose. How do you make a game where the end goal has you losing, when games are usually all about winning in the first place?

Ok, but what about playing as a soldier of maybe the most important nation that fought in the second World War - Poland.
We always get to play as Americans, Russians (and they were in fact the villians, just as much, if not more then the Germans), French, British...

I'd want to play as a Pole during the invasion of Poland in 1939 - this is a historical moment!

CantFaketheFunk:
It's really interesting to see that so many people agree that we need a game playing from the point of view of the Axis powers - Jordan, Susan and myself had some interesting discussions about it here in the Escapist offices. We agree that it'd be a great idea, but... well, some hurdles that need to be overcome. For one, even though yes, we now know that not all the German or Japanese soldiers were evil, it'd still be a PR nightmare to get past the "you play as a Nazi!!" kneejerk reaction.

Also... you lose. How do you make a game where the end goal has you losing, when games are usually all about winning in the first place?

I suppose you could play a Nazi deserter. Playing a mission where you decide to save a Jewish prisoner and then have to flee with them would be pretty intense. Given that Call of Duty is mostly concerned with depicting war as hell, they wouldn't have to violate their portrayal in any way.

You could play a soldier trying to escape from Berlin, the siege on Moscow, or invading Paris. You gotta admit, cruising by the French barricades in a tank would be pretty amusing.

Am I the only one who thinks the linearity is somehow even more oppressing in this game than in other COD games? Especially in the American campaign, where there is no room to move at all.

When a handful of men are outnumbered and pursued on enemy territory by a superior foe, it seems completely insane to trot along the paths in the forest. Anyone with a right mind would head straight into the woods which evens the playingfield (!) a little.

Instead, in this game, one can't set a single foot into the woods without being blocked by the invisible wall or a twig one is unable to step over. The only way is to follow the paths and run into one scripted ambush after another.
It is truly a step back from COD Modern Warfare.

I actually found this game, atleast the American campaign, incredibly dull...

it is. absolutely, but so many modern FPS games look like a railway shopters, almost all of them!
But I'm playing coop games almost exclusively, so that doesn't bother me as much, most of the timel :)

enough WWII games already this one was ok and should be THE LAST WWII GAME EVER!!!!

They should make more, but for once go to different points of view? Americans are getting old, it's nice seeing the Pacific for once, but you played as the Russians a dozen times, and the Americans as a dozen times. I was looking forward to a nice German faction version of the game, play a German campaign and Japanese campaign, get to see the war in the eyes of those you're used to fighting. Its something that Relic did with Company of Heroes with Opposing Fronts and are doing again with Tales of Valor.

CantFaketheFunk:
It's really interesting to see that so many people agree that we need a game playing from the point of view of the Axis powers - Jordan, Susan and myself had some interesting discussions about it here in the Escapist offices. We agree that it'd be a great idea, but... well, some hurdles that need to be overcome. For one, even though yes, we now know that not all the German or Japanese soldiers were evil, it'd still be a PR nightmare to get past the "you play as a Nazi!!" kneejerk reaction.

Also... you lose. How do you make a game where the end goal has you losing, when games are usually all about winning in the first place?

I would really like a game you lost almost as much as a game where you played as the 'bad guys'. It would be really interesting, no matter how well you or your squad do, no matter how many enemies you kill, there is that sense that you a very definitely losing.

You could have one of those 'defend the bridge' missions, but when you last the time limit, having held off for as long as you can, instead of reinforcements arriving to save the day, you get an order from HQ telling you to retreat, and you realise all that work you put in was ultimately useless.

If you ask me it is too similar to cod4 in it's design however story may prove worth looking at...

estro_pajo:
French, British...

I'd want to play as a Pole during the invasion of Poland in 1939 - this is a historical moment!

Which games?

Also, I don't think that would make for a very long game. I mean, they steamrollered most of the continent in a few months. The only reason the UK was saved was because there was a lot of water between us and them, and Russia had a lot of snow.

As for CoD5. That game really is a re-skin of CoD4. A couple of the levels (Flying one, or Tank one, for examples.) really are just re-skinned versions of old ones. Some even older than CoD4.

People keep saying that there isn't much ground left to tread in the WWII franchise, but I've yet to play a game set in that time period that's actually really gripping in the same way CoD4 was (Except CoH, but that's an RTS.). What about actually doing the British all the way from the start of the war, or the Chinese countries?

Personally I think WaW is a good WW2 FPS, but as far as FPS' go, it is nothing special. At all. The missions are probably the best thing about it, but there's only so much amusement that can come from killing that-guy-who-stands-there repeatedly.
The multiplayer is pretty terrible. The maps are small, or linear, so don't expect any tactics like flanking to work. Also, the level system is completely unbalanced. Better you are, better guns you get, so if your a new player, expect to be annihilated pretty quickly. Then there's the dogs. Get 7 kills in a row and set some war dogs free to do your killing. Who ever thought of that is retarded - reward the person getting the most kills with something that allows him to gain even more. What it results in is the player or team that reaches the dogs first, almost always wins. So don't expect any tense last minute "who's going to win" moments.
WaW just isn't anything groundbreaking, and doesn't do anything particularly well. Just another average FPS.

 

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Registered for a free account here