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Imitation is the best form of flattery

I respect the men and women who fought the war so that we could enjoy the freedom that they sacrificed and died for. I am forever in debt on the actions that they did. Eventually, their experiences have been translated to various movies and other types of media. This recently included the video game industry. The "real" depiction of the war started with the Medal of Honor series. Then it was quickly capitalize and began a whole lot of games related to World War 2. This lead to an excessive amount of games, which gamers eventually got sick off. But another World War 2 game? You're kidding right? So is Call of Duty World At War a game worth going back for or is the era already burned out?

LOVED

Call of Du...Wha?

While COD4 moved to a modern era, WAW went back to its roots. It's not a bad thing, but it's not good either. There are so many WW2 games out there, but this time it's set on the pacific, a region that has not been fully explored in video games.

It's more brutal than the other games of the series. With film clippings being shown off before a mission starts to the in game cut scenes, it screams," War is Hell" and a different perspective on how the war was fought in the Pacific. This also gives the opportunity the player to see the war on a different perspective. It wasn't just the war in Europe that was being fought, but also out there in the beaches of the Pacific.

Braiiins...

Whoever came up with the Nazi Zombie mini game is a genius. It's a four player co-op that pits you against wave after wave of the Nazi Undead. Sure it starts slow, but it gets harder as the level moves up. You'll be hurrying on barricading windows and fending off the Undead in no time.

At first you are handicapped to a couple of weapons that you can buy. The currency system works well without being too stiff. The "money" starts to flow quick as you kill the Undead. With cash on hand, you start to get more interesting and powerful weapons to purchase.

The Black Cat and Vendetta Levels

About half way through the game, you are tasked to fly with the Black Cat crew for an escort mission. This serves as a breaking point for the Pacific War. It shows what the Navy was going through. And more importantly, it gives the player the chance to do some on rail shooting. It's great, in a sense that it's beyond the perspective of the foot soldiers.

You could also say that this level was mirrored with COD4's C-130 level. They are almost similar in a sense that it's just in a different setting. Nonetheless it was fun.

Another great level is the very first mission for the Soviets. As usual you will be treated to a cut scene, and then quickly evolves to a stealth mission. It paces well, with a few scripted events. This level stands out because it reminded me of a movie called "Enemy at the Gates". This includes the dialog being almost identical to the movie. Well it's not bad; it could have used some originality. Nonetheless, it's a great level with a steady and at the same time, a tense pacing.

These are the levels that truly stand out in WAW. It not only changes the pacing but also manages to be captivating. It's something that the developers really paid attention too. Although its linear in nature, it definitely takes you for a ride that is quite memorable.

Multiplayer

Jumping on the multiplayer band wagon has never been so easy. WAW mirrors COD4's so expect to see the perk system in effect and the fast pace action that it delivers. In addition to this, there is a 4 player co-op of the campaign. It doesn't include every level but it's a good addition nonetheless.

HATED

Scripted Events and Path Finding

Well, COD is linear, with a few branching paths to take. The level design is...well linear. It doesn't really divert from the original path. Sure it may have a diverting path but from a strategical point of view it has no importance. This might have been meant for the 4 player co-op but it doesn't have any difference when you're playing by yourself.

What really bugs me is the amount of scripted events that WAW has. From every mission that you take, there is at least one scripted event. It really doesn't help the overall experience and would have been nice if it was kept to a minimum. However there are critical moments in the game where scripting is truly appreciated.

Banzai AI

The AI is, to put it simply, moronic. The Enemy AI would be standing near you and he will virtually do nothing. Same goes for the Friendly AI, he'll be a few feet from the enemy and he will also do nothing. This doesn't happen occasionally, but it can easily be noticed and this takes you away from the experience.

It's also amazing how they can toss the grenade at you and it magically lands on your feet. It's not cheap, but it keeps the game from becoming too easy.

Cut, Copy and Paste

It's inevitable; WAW will be compared to COD4. After all it uses the same tech as Modern Warfare. Sadly this game would be labeled as a rehash of that said game. There's nothing new that we haven't seen. The visuals and the character animations are all the same with a different coat of paint. This makes it really familiar and it can be bad.

Character Progression

You don't really get attach to your AI buddies. It's not like Brothers In Arms. There is little to do in terms of character development. Sure, you'll remember their names but it doesn't really flesh out the relationship that you have. It's just like the past COD games; everyone is just the "guy" in a sea of uniforms.

Closing Comments

I'll say it once and I'll say it again, World War 2 ended sixty years ago and it should also end in the video game industry...or at least kept to a minimal. With every new FPS game coming out as either with space marines or related to terrorists, WW2 games won't do any good in this genre anymore.

However, there are games that excel no matter what setting it depicts. It doesn't matter if its fiction or tries to emulate reality. If the gameplay is good enough then these games will usually succeed. WAW has proven this, it's not just graphically similar to COD4, but it proves that true gameplay is more than just skin deep. It may be a WW2 game, but it's definitely more intense and refreshing than any WW2 game that I've played since Brothers In Arms.

With this, I can only recommend it for players that are willing to spend time on the multiplayer section. But if you're looking for a good single player experience that would take you more than seven hours and a game that elicits emotion then this game is just a rental.

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