Call of Duty: World at War is the fifth game in the COD franchise, releasing in 2008 on PC, PS3, PS2, Wii and Xbox 360. The game was developed by Treyarch and published by Activision. This game is set in the World War II era where you play as various soldiers from United States and The Red Army. Please note that this review is purely based on the single player aspect of World at War.
The gameplay shares several features with the rest of the COD franchise up to this release. You spend the majority of the time with at least one other AI controlled squad member which guide you through levels and keeps you up to date with your current objective. You may only carry two weapons at any one time, whilst also having access to smoke grenades, Molotov’s and hand grenades. We have all of the standard FPS mechanics like crouching and prone positions. You recover health by staying out of line of fire of enemies, since there is no “health” packs throughout the game. You know when you are getting close to death as the edges of your screen glow red and your heartbeat increases. I personally think this is a nice feature rather than relying on a health bar, it adds to the immersion of the gameplay as the UI is very minimal.
Since this game was released almost eight years ago, the graphics are certainly starting to show their age, with some really low res textures, but the environments are all still really nicely designed, animations on everything is stellar too. Character models are all high quality too. The game’s sound effects are brilliant too; you really feel like you are under heavy fire from enemies when you have surround sound on with a sub. The fully voice acted characters are also very well done too.
This is one of the few COD games which I had a few moments of difficulty throughout the campaign. Usually with COD games your AI partners are able to carry you through most levels with little interaction from you needed, however this game is different. The tank missions are the ones I found to be the most difficult as you really need eyes in the back of your head in order to avoid taking damage from the hundreds of enemies that have you in their sights. I am not condemning the game for difficulty; it is really refreshing to see a COD game has the challenge in it. The more recent COD games have become a walk in the park so it was nice to see something different here.
Whilst the game is linear, there are a few collectibles to find throughout the single player campaign, there are 13 “death cards” to be found on every level which unlock cheat modes when playing in co-op. This again is a really cool feature and gives you some incentive to check every room, nook and cranny to find the collectables rather than a pointless achievement.
The only negative point about this game for me is the game’s length. I realise I only played the single player so I am only getting half of the experience, but I would have liked to have seen at least five hour single player campaign mode. I managed to complete the game on a medium difficulty in just over three hours. You could replay the game to go back and find all of the collectables and you could also ramp up the difficulty, but given the linearity of the game I don’t see myself jumping into doing that anytime soon. Looking at the Steam chart numbers, the multiplayer scene is really active still so if multiplayer is your jam you will find a match quite easily still.
Technically I only had one issue, and that is with the graphics on some levels. It almost felt like my graphics card was dying as there was spewing graphics all over my screen at some point. It is hard to explain how they looked, but they were really off putting to the game and only happened every few levels. A simple re-load resolved the issue thankfully.
Call of Duty: World at War is one of the best games in the COD franchise and one that still holds its own in the current generation of games. Due to the single player’s length, the price point on this game is quite high at £19,99. I would say that if you plan on getting into the multiplayer side of this game, you should pick it up for that price, however if you are only interested in the single player campaign mode, you would be better off waiting for it to go on sale, unfortunately reduction on COD games are very rare so you need to keep your eyes peeled for the deals!
For anyone who has just skipped a head to my rating; I will repeat, this game was reviewed purely on the single player campaign; please bear that in mind with this rating.