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Xbox 360 Game Review

Call of Duty: World at War


Format: Xbox 360
RRP: £49.99
5 030917 057014
Age Restrictions: 15+
Available 14 November 2008

Call of Duty: World at War throws out the rule book of war to transform WWII combat through a new enemy, new tactics and an uncensored experience of the climatic battles that gripped a generation. As U.S. Marines and Russian soldiers, players employ new features like cooperative game play, and weapons such as the flamethrower in the most chaotic and cinematically intense experience to date. Call of Duty: World at War introduces co-operative play, bringing fresh meaning to the "No One Fights Alone" mantra with up to four-players online...

For Call of Duty: World at War, the developers have opted to revisit the Second World War. The game uses the same engine that was employed for Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, but when compared to the previous game World at War doesn't shine quite so brightly.

The game manages to transport gamers back to the Second World War quite effectively The graphics and game play are far better than any other WWII First Person Shooter (FPS) on the market. Anyone who has played Call of Duty IV will instantly feel at home here - the controls and layout is almost identical. However, the game has been adapted to incorporate weapons from that era.

World at War takes another step forward when it comes to the perks, adding plenty of new components so that the weapons can be customised to each player's preferences. There's also another slot available just for vehicles. Some of the extra perks that are included in the first perks slot include the ability to chose the bouncing Betty. These devastation explosives are placed on the floor and when your enemy approaches they jump up and explode - sending shrapnel flying in all directions. Great fun if you're the one to set them off, not so much fun if you run into one. There is also the change of the RPG to a bazooka - which is a lot more accurate and makes for easier game play - and then there's the all new perk: the flamethrower.

Some of the new perks for the second perk list include the shades perks (which can stop the effects of flash grenades) the flak jacket perk (that decreases the effects of grenades and explosions), and the change of some of the names of old perks - for example the "UAV jammer" is now "camouflage" and the "sonic boom" perk is now called "fireworks".

For the third perk list there are a couple of new perks including the toss back perk that resets the timers on grenades when you pick them up. And there is also the fireproof perk that stops the effects of the molotov cocktail and the flamethrower.

There are a lot of elements in this game that are similar to Call of Duty IV - but have been altered to suit the timeline. Examples include the three main advantages you get from getting a high kill streak (gone is the ability to call in a UAV, air strikes or helicopters. These are replaced by recon plane, artillery strike and 'pack of dogs' - all of which pretty much do what their counterparts did in the earlier game.

The recon plane works exactly the same as the UAV; the air strike is replaced with the temperamental artillery strike (which never seems to hit where placed and takes an age to get to its target - by which time the person you aimed it at is on the other side of the map: and the helicopter is now replaced with a pack of dogs which chase after other players. The annoying thing about this is you rarely hear them being called and when you finally find out they're in play you’re normally dead - which is fine for the person which used it, but can become very frustrating when you’re in a handy hiding place or just about to start your own kill streak.

One of the main differences between World at War and Call of Duty IV is the guns. Going back to the firepower of WWII won't be a happy step for gun lovers; seeing that all of the guns feel like rusty clumps of metal which can barely do their job compared to the modern guns in Call of Duty IV.

For starters there's no semi-automatic sniper rifle. The only way to get a semi-automatic sniper is to complete the annoying rifle challenges to unlock a scope for them - which can put off most snipers to start with. Also, the scopes for snipers have been changed. The cross hairs are now much larger, making it hard to get as accurate a shot.

The assault-like rifles have now turned into semi-automatics, or extremely poor submachine guns. There's also the fact that Acog’s didn’t exist, making most guns much harder to long range with.

There’s also the light machine guns, which no longer have the massive ammo belt, making it much harder for newcomers to get to grips with the controls whilst still being able to get some easy kills in.

But it's not all bad news in the gun department. There are a lot more add-ons for guns: such as increased ammo clips for submachine guns; bipod for machine guns (to make them much more accurate); and also having bayonets on the ends of guns to make them much more flexible at close ranges.

As far as World at War goes it has made a fairly good effort at taking the Call of Duty engine back to WWII, but is a much more annoying game than Call of Duty IV - mainly because the secrecy of the dogs ruins some of the fun of the campaigns. In addition, the bouncing Betty’s are near impossible to spot. It's extremely annoying when you’re in the midst of a firefight and you accidentally back into one. And another annoying aspect is the inclusion of tanks in the game - making it an all you can kill buffet for tank user’s and if everyone on the enemy team gets in a tank its pretty much a victory for them.

So, while this is by far the best WWII FPS on the market, it's nowhere near as much fun to play online as Call of Duty IV.


Carl Simpson

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