A few months back I got the chance to play one of my now-favorite FPSs, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. I loved this game so much, the game’s intense story, well-constructed connection with your fellow squadmates, and beautiful graphics had me stuck to my seat for days. The company to thank for that was Infinity Ward, who was handed the Call of Duty license for an iteration. Now the company took one game off to hand it back to Treyarch for the 5th game, with Infinity Ward set to pick the series back up with a sequel to Modern Warfare next year. When I first heard this I was pretty upset, thinking there’s no way Treyarch can beat the great standard set by Modern Warfare. I was partly correct. They didn’t beat the game that is Modern Warfare, but they sure did come up with a great game that’s just what the doctor ordered until Modern Warfare 2. I appreciate that Treyarch didn’t try to replicate the modern storyline, but instead went back to WW2, and put some new, fresh ideas into play. The game works on the same engine as COD4, which makes all veterans feel right at home, and the game follows the same beloved in-game cutscene system and cinematics that attaches the player so well to the action. Like other COD games, this one follows two separate stories. You have Pvt. Miller being led by Sgt. Roebuck on the Japanese Island Peleliu, where the player is constantly on the alert and just trying to survive in almost a horror, and then there’s the storyline of Pvt. Petrenksky, a member of a Russian brigade invading Germany and avenging their lost ones in a revenge-soaked, horrific blood bath. Both are totally different in tone, although I preferred the Russian missions most of the time thanks to the emotion and tone set in by the horrific actions you and your team are committing to the German lines.
Which reminds me, this game is not for kids. It is rated M for mature for a reason. DO NOT BUY YOUR CHILD THIS GAME. IT IS NOT FOR CHILDREN. These two storylines are constantly delving into very mature themes of death, retribution, honor, and revenge. The violence in the game is gratuitous, banzai attackers that come at you will stab you through the stomach unless you stab them in the neck first in a disturbing cutscene. The language in the game alone is not for kids. The F word is shouted several times, along with other obscenities in the midst of battle. These mature elements feel real and are great for the older gamers, and definitely add a sense of realism and hopelessness, but are not for kids.
The game does a wonderful job of providing the cinematic feel of a big budget movie, you’re constantly dodging bullets, investigating dead corpses and downed ships, dragging others to safety or being dragged, and running for your life and trying to defend it. I could recommend the game solely on the theatrics alone. Whether it’s the Japanese environment of hopelessness and panic, looking around every turn, praying you make it out, or if it’s the constant fight, pushing Nazis back under an insane commander who’s lost his sight under the cloud of vengeance. The game is also great b/c it has some excellent voice work. Gary Oldman and Keifer Sutherland supply their voice talents as your commanding officers, and both do a fantastic job. The weapons in this game are also really great, and easy to build preferences on. I usually favored the rapid fires like MP40s and Type 100s, while trying to avoid the Masuri Bayonets. Then there’s the flamethrower, which is just indescribably great. Overall, the game is a lot like COD4, just a different story. The only times I had some trouble with the game was when the objectives kind of got frustrating, and sometimes my squad wasn’t the brightest (WHY ARE YOU SHOOTING A WALL THAT’S NOT EVEN FACING THEM!!!) Overall, Call of Duty: World at War is not only a great addition to the series and a great hold-over until Modern Warfare 2, but it’s one of the best, most theatrical WW2 games out there today, one that every one should try.
4 1/2 out of 5