World at War Review
While it does little to stray from the Call of Duty formula established with Modern Warfare, World at War is still a solid and enjoyable shooter.
Treyarch, the developers of the console exclusive Call of Duties and the expansion to the PC exclusive original Call of Duty, have been inconsistent in releasing games that live up to the Call of Duty name which Infinity Ward has made so famous, or infamous, depending on who you are asking. With World at War, Treyarch for the first time since the expansion for the original Call of Duty returns to the PC, and they do a pretty decent job. World at War has all the stuff a pc fan has come to expect from a good PC game, and while the World War II setting is very tired indeed, the fact that half the game occurs on the Pacific front serves to make things more interesting.
Treyarch borrows heavily from the more brutal, mature tone adopted with Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, although the strong plot is disappointingly absent. While the animated loading screens remain, they serve to provide historical information on the current mission, but there is no plot to speak of in the 6-8 hour campaign, which while a bit longer than that of Modern Warfare, is still relatively short. The campaign is divided into two completely disconnected sets of missions, one half occurs in the over-used eastern front where you are part of the Russian army making your way to Berlin. The other, much more enjoyable half occurs in the pacific front, which is used much less in World War II games.
The quality of the missions that occur in the pacific is much higher than those which occur in Eastern Europe; the missions in the pacific are thrilling, gorgeous, well paced, varied, and are undoubtedly the strength of the campaign. All of the more interesting missions occur here, which include beach landings, night time stealth operations, the defence of an air plane, and many more unique and highly enjoyable scenarios.
The missions which occur in Russia and Eastern Germany feel like they were developed by a totally different team, because for the most part they are ugly, repetitive, and often frustrating. Once again you start out as a Russian sniper in Stalingrad, something we have seen in pretty much every single Call of Duty since the original, and you gradually make your way to Berlin. The levels in both the Pacific and East Germany are fairly open and allow for some tactical freedom, which is a nice change of pace from the super linearity of Modern Warfare, although many of the levels are forgettable and you probably won’t feel the need to play through the campaign more than once.
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