Call of Duty returns to World War II in a solid, but rehashed, First-Person Shooter.
The game opens with some American POWs being killed in a Japanese camp before your player character is rescued. The Americans then take the fight to the Japanese. There is another side of the story and it's the better side. You play as a Russian soldier named Dmiteri fighting the Nazis alongside a soldier named Victor Reznov. Overall, the story is not really that in-depth and most of the story is played out in the loading screens before a mission, but these are merely slides and voice overs. There are some fantastic moments in the Russian missions, but the story definitely falls flat.
The gameplay is exactly the same as in Modern Warfare. You run and gun your way through levels. You shoot people, run for one place to another, shoot people, run, shoot, run, shoot and repeat. The gameplay isn't bad, the gunplay is still responsive and fast, but there isn't anything to do other than shoot. Sometimes you'll be attacked by an enemy with a bayonet which will cause a small QTE where you click the right stick at the right time to kill that enemy, similar to the dogs in Modern Warfare. There are some different segments here, you man some stationary guns and, at one part of the game, you get to drive a tank. Again, it can get very repetitive even if it's still strong from a mechanical standpoint.
The biggest focus from Modern Warfare returns; multiplayer. Again, its exactly the same it's predecessor just with a WWII skin. It's still functional but there are no real changes other than weapons from that time period. It's still worth playing.
The audio is what you'd expect, the sound effects are great and the voice work is good. The music is, again, what you'd expect. In the American campaign, it's rousing exciting, but in the Russian campaign, it's sad and intense. The Russian's side shows through more than the American's, just like in the gameplay and story.
The visuals are slightly worse than Modern Warfare's, but they are not terrible. The American campaign is nice, green and looks great. The Russian campaign is gritty, run-down and desperate, much like it was in reality. Character models look okay, but the random models lack detail and the facial animation isn't the greatest. The game runs at 60 frames a second, however and that makes the gameplay extremely smooth. Overall, it's not a bad presentation but it isn't up to the standards set by other games either.
- Russian campaign is fantastic
- Gameplay is smooth and fast
- Music is fitting and sad
- American campaign looks great
- Some amazing moments in the Russian campaign
- Ending is satisfying
- Multiplayer focus
- Short campaign
- Same as last year
- Visuals are worse than last year
- WWII setting might be felt as a step back
- Story is poorly told
- Not much variety
Overall, Call of Duty: World at War is probably one of the best World War II shooters. It takes Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and places it back in the past. If you enjoy either World War II or Call of Duty, give it a try. The Russian campaign shouldn't disappoint.