A rare gem of a first person shooter on the Wii. The savior for Wii only owners in the Holiday season of 2008 is here.
SMR-Venom wrote this review on .
Call of Duty: World at War, or CoD:WaW for short, is the fifth 'mainstream' game in the 'Call of Duty' franchise. Made by Treyarch, it has made his way on to the Wii with great results. The developers at Treyarch have greatly impressed with this game. Using a modified version of the Call of Duty 4 engine, Treyarch brings World War II to the Wii. The result is a rare gem of an FPS, which is pretty hard to find on the little white box.
CoD:WaW brings the story back to World War II with full force. There are 2 campaigns; one for the U.S. Marines in Japan trying to take control. The other is a revengeful Russian campaign in which The Red Army trying to avenge their fallen comrades. You may say that is the same old case as before CoD 4 was released, however the new setting in Japan is very nice and both campaigns are rather fun to go through. Stunning FMV cutscenes that are very historically accurate split the missions. The characters actually have great personalities and you get to really understand their position. The Marines are disheartened by the loss of their sergeant while The Red Army is bloodthirsty for German blood. If you are an 'average' player, you should be able go through the campaign in 6-7 hours.
You may be asking how this game plays, considering the Wii has some pretty intuitive hardware. The controls are typical for a Wii FPS. Wiimote is used to aim, analog stick to move. You crouch/prone with 'C' and aim down the sight with 'Z'. Shoot with 'B' and sprint with 'A'. Throw a grenade with '+' and melee with 'DOWN'. For the most part controls are fantastic. You can set the camera speed, dead zone (how much the Wiimote has to move before the camera changes), and sensitivity. In normal aiming, the controls are fluid and very responsive. Aiming down the sight makes the controls seem a little slow but it is no big problem. The biggest gripe I have is the placement of the grenade controls. Treyarch should have made '-' the grenade button. Reaching for the '+' every time you need to throw a grenade gets awkward. Overall the controls are good for a Wii FPS, much better than their dual analog counterparts in my opinion. Responsive, intuitive and fun, what more do you want?
Perhaps the most desirable part of the game is the multiplayer. Let me warn you it is limited compared to the HD versions but is an okay start. In single player campaign, there is a 'girlfriend mode' in which a second player gets his/her own crosshair as if it were a light gun game. Second player gets his/her own ammo and weapon, which can be changed any time there is opportunity. It is a fun little mode and may add some replayability if you want to go through the campaign with a buddy. It could possibly called 'Yoda mode' because it seems Yoda is on your back and helping you out. You see what I did there?
The real competitive multiplayer lies in the online mode of the game, which provides immense replayability. The online mode in the Wii version includes Team Deathmatch and Deathmatch. There are 5 modes; Boot camp, Team Deathmatch, Free For All, Hardcore TDM and Veteran TDM. There is no capture the flag or Zombie mode. The online has full-fledged rankings and leader boards. The well-known perk system is also included in which three perks can be set up to enhance your abilities. You can set up your own classes by customizing weapons and grenades. There is also a level up system as you gain experience online. Leveling up unlocks weapons and perks, not to mention bragging rights. The newest weapon introduced in this game is the elusive Flamethrower, which is actually a very nice addition and controls very well. Bayonets are also included and are nice for longer range melee. If you are familiar with CoD 4 online, you will notice you can also prestige. Prestiging resets you back to level 1 and you start leveling up all over again. For some it increases lasting appeal while some people stay at level 65 forever. Prestiging allows you to make more classes and weapon customizations. You do not need Friend Codes to play, you can play anyone much like Mario Kart Wii. However, if you want to add friends, you must add their FC and vice versa. Overall the online is a solid attempt. There is seldom lag but only if the host's or your own connection is faulty.
The less important factors in the game are actually very nice for the Wii. Graphics look very good. Character models and environments are decent while the particle affects, explosions and textures look phenomenal. Geometry is also fantastic. Perhaps the only con is the water, it looks very poor if you ask me. Music is also a great factor in the game. It sets a great mood and helps the game progress at a nice rate. Sometimes the music is stealthy in sneaking operations while in a confrontation it escalates into epic proportions. Sound effects and voice acting are both equally terrific. Sometimes it just gets over the top. An example would be when you stick an N74 grenade on a Marine, he yells out "Get this ******* thing off me." It really brings you into the feel of the moment. You will find The Red Army and Marines to be more vocal as they are the protagonists of the game.
For the individual sections of the game, here are the scores.
Lasting Appeal: 9/10
Fun Factor: 9/10
All in all, Call of Duty: World at War is a great addition to the rare collection of Wii FPS's. It is perhaps the best Wii game in Q4 2008 and should not be missed out on. Perhaps improvements in multiplayer and tweaks to the controls will make the next addition of Call of Duty on Wii even better. I dub this game a must buy or at very least a rent. However I warn you, you will be extremely tempted to purchase it after you try it out.