[gameinfo title=”Game Info” game_name=”” developers=”Treyarch” publishers=”Activision” platforms=”” genres=”” release_date=”November 11, 2008″]
Let’s face it, Call of Duty: World at War has got some living up to do if it’s going to follow in the footsteps of its predecessor. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, developed by Infinity Ward, was touted as Game of the Year and as of June 3rd had sold over 10 million copies, so overshadowing such success is a daunting prospect for Treyarch. A lot of people doubt Treyarch have the skills to do it, but as ever, we remain cautiously optimistic.
Call of Duty: World at War throws you back into the World War II era yet again from a previously unseen perspective and this time with more spice. A welcome addition to the Call of Duty franchise this year, is the much needed inclusion of campaign co-op as the game features four player online co-op, with 2 supported in split-screen. Like Halo 3, the game offers different co-op modes as well, featuring both mission co-op where you play alongside your comrades, and competitive co-op where you try to out-do your comrades by killing the most enemies while dying the least.
Treyarch have listened a lot to the complaints from both Call of Duty 3, and Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, and have attempted to counteract them by introducing a number of new features, particularly to the online aspect of World at War. Firstly, the party system has been completely revamped giving you the ability to stick with your friends with ease, issue waypoints in an online game, and even have lobby leaderboards to see who’s doing the best in the current session.
The game’s online unlockables aspect has been given a major over haul as well, with it now working a lot like the system found in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare work. After each game you’ll earn experience which is directly tied to your performance, and by which challenges you unlock. The more experience you earn, the higher your level will be and the more items you’ll unlock. At level 4, you unlock the ability to create a class, at level 5 the first of your challenges, at level 11 the ability to sport a class tag, and lastly at level 65, you have the ability to enter prestige mode. Prestige mode has been reworked to reward you with more than just a new icon as well, you’ll not only be rewarded with a gamerpic to flaunt, but you’ll also have the option to have more custom weapon slots too.
Enough about that stuff though, let’s talk about the actual online gameplay. First off, expect more guns … way more guns. We now have guns, ranging from pistols and machine guns, to rocket launchers and flamethrowers with plenty of authentic origin. You’ll be able to find out which country’s guns work the best for your style of play, and add them to your custom slots.
Treyarch have also brought back vehicles in to the fray but unfortunately we only got the chance to see one up close and personal, but we’re informed there are a load more. The one we did see however was pretty fun to use. It was a two man tank; with one driving and controlling the big gun, and a shooter who controlled a machine gun mounted on the top. Although it does incredible destruction, you need to be careful while using it because the driver will be vulnerable to remote detonated explosives and RPGs, while the gunner is exposed to standard weapons.
In terms of game modes, Call of Duty: World at War features the typical free-for-alls and team deathmatch, but brings back capture the flag, and adds new games like “War”; in which you have to control five different flags at the same time, continually pushing forward, or retreating back as the next flag’s taken.
Seeing as how this is World War II, we don’t have all the luxuries of modern day war devices, so Treyarch had to bring some new perks to the table to make this an authentic game for it’s time. Gone are the streak bonuses from Call of Duty 4, no more artillery strike and helicopters. But don’t fret my friends; we have some new streak bonuses that are way more badass! Instead of an artillery strike from fighter jets above, we have mortal strikes from our allies hiding on the outskirts of the level, and who needs a helicopter when we can unleash a pack of dogs on your foes. Yes, you read that correctly, a pack of dogs!
Get yourself a kill streak of seven, and then unleash the hounds! Well, German Sheppards, but no need to nitpick, just unleash these bad boys and watch the destruction ensue. About eight or so dogs will come from behind you, and run around the level until they’re all killed. These pups are pretty brutal as well, the only way to kill them is to either shoot them, or knife them with melee. Watch out though, if you shoot them, you’ll be exposed on the map to enemies. Knifing them does make you feel a bit bad too though as the dogs yelp and whines in pain with a direct hit. I almost let them kill me just so I didn’t have to hang my head in remorse once they were gone.
After playing for a bit, I’m not sure if I can say Call of Duty: World at War will be better than Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, but I can, without a doubt in my mind say it’s a leap ahead of Treyarch’s last game in the series, Call of Duty 3. For me personally, this game’s a definite buy just for the ability to sick a pack of bloodthirsty dogs upon your enemies, but how the masses will react to another WW2 game remains to be seen. Check back in November for our World at War review.
Call of Duty: World at War will be released for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC on November 11th and November 14th in North America and Europe respectively.