Call Of Duty: World at War PS3 Review

Whilst Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare was a run of the mill FPS, its modern setting was a breath of fresh air for the series, one that granted, developer Infinity Ward, liberating freedom compared to the constraints that come with basing your game off a real war. In what some will see as a mighty step backwards however, Treyarch’s (developer of the underrated Call of Duty 3) follow up, Call of Duty: World at War, goes back in time, reverting back to World War II.

World War II games have been done to death these past few years and people have become tired of landing on beaches, blowing tanks up with panzershreks and all that. It’s a fair complaint and I have to admit that I’ve got minor WWII fatigue myself, though the sheer spectacle of the set pieces and some genuine freshness in Call of Duty: World at War fails to not draw me in, though will no doubt do the opposite to those who have grown to detest the setting.

The Pacific Theatre, a previously uncovered battle for the series makes for a refreshing setting, with plenty of jungles and caves to traipse through. The Japanese enemies also behave more aggressively than the soldiers of the German army and will often rush you with their bayonets (of which you can counter with a well timed click of the right stick) and will hide in grass, waiting to ambush you.

A few levels in, the game switches to the Russians and to a setting that is much more familiar to series fans, as well as players of WWII games in general. These Germany stages may very well give the feeling of seen it all before, but it’s hard not to be impressed with the detail and the spectacle of it all.

The fighting in World at War may be bloodier than its ever been (after a well placed grenade it’s not uncommon to see enemies lacking a limb or two) but is still essentially the same type of linear staged battles the series has always had. Enemies are as dim as a used light bulb, but come at you thick and fast, whilst there’s a reliance on scripted events to wow both player and onlookers alike. With its ruined battlefields, yelling voices and chattering gunfire, it’s also very intense, making it easy to become immersed in its vicious combat.

The missions hold few real surprises and are generally of the kill and blow up type. There’s an entertaining tank level, as well as an explosive plane section. One stage also requires you to clear out enemies by burning them with the all new and oh, so very satisfying flamethrower. So overall its more of the same, but when all factors come together so well, it hardly matters.

As excellent as the single player campaign is it’s hardly going to last one forever (veteran difficulty will have all but the most godlike players crying in frustration for months though, whilst the odd inclusion of Zombie Nazi’s, which unlocks upon completion of the game is good fun) and this is where the equally proficient multiplayer comes into play.

All of the modes from Call of Duty 4 are back, as are the compulsive and rewarding perks, challenges and just general pats on the back. It’s all very familiar and it’s debatable whether the larger maps, new perks, attack dogs and whatnot will be enough to make Call of Duty 4 players migrate to the newer game.

But if that’s not enough, perhaps the new co-op mode will be. This allows for four players to work in tandem with each other through the same stages of the single player campaign. If you desire, it can even be played in points based competitive, which is fantastic, chaotic fun.

Call of Duty: World at War is a convincing package from Treyarch. Boasting a strong single player campaign, as well as a fantastic multiplayer component, the game is equal to Call of Duty 4 in most areas, if not even better than it, which is hardly light praise.