Call of Duty: World at War is the 2008 World War II FPS game by Activision, published as the fifth sequel in the Call of Duty series, tied plot-wise to the first Black Ops from the series. It was developed by Treyarch and released for Windows, PlayStation3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii and a series of mobile devices. While returning to the World War II setting, the First Person Shooter has picked up and further developed the massively popular and praised Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare game engine. Building on its predecessor success, the game provides a truthful and gorey insight into the World War II warfare in the Russian fronts and the drive to Berlin as well as the battles for the Pacific islands and the Japanese resistance.
As already said, World at War indeed takes a lot from its predecessor. The game is a fast-paced single player shooter, with a more open-ended and slightly more mature approach. With improvements to its graphics and more importantly sound, World at War reintroduces the weapons and technology in a new WWII experience. The player fights with AI-controlled teammates and is able to complete most of the objectives in more than one way, gaining access to different weapons and ammo throughout the game.
While you can carry only two weapons, these can be replaced at any time by replacing them with the weapons from dead teammates and enemies. There are no power-ups and the health will recover within a short period of time if the player takes cover and is not shot to death. The player can take three different stances, including the stand, crouch, and prone positions which, just as before, affect speed and weapon accuracy.
There are helpful customizable and non-customizable indicators to help the players, including the red screen when severely wounded, grenade marker, weapon indicators and more. With the very tense gunfights and gore details, the game has successfully portrayed the cold and violent slaughter on all sides of the conflict where you definitely don’t get the time to feel sorry for anyone.
It’s important to mention the Wii Zapper, used instead of the normal controller with Wii console, to aim and shoot at the targets and further simulate the feeling of taking part in the battlefield.
Graphics and Audio
The graphics of Call of Duty: World at War are also largely built on the Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare foundations, with the improved texture and high-detailed characters. The technology that was widely praised the year before, with amazing shadowing, lighting, and depth of field, was greatly utilized to provide a new look to the World War II warfare. The game definitely brings more graphic violence and gore than all of its predecessors, bringing a close-up view to the bloodsheds with the stinging realism; limbs and heads can be blown off, and the effect of flamethrowers on humans is realistically portrayed in its full horrific nature.
More serious improvements were made to the sound aspects of the game, where innovative Flux and Occlusion technologies were employed. The developers used the actual environment to record the frequencies of the sound and the echoes made, as well as the levels of the sound based on the distance, direction, and different blocking objects. This largely improves the overall feeling for the players and the orientation in the field based on the shots fired for example.
PC System Requirements
The supported operating systems include Windows XP, Vista, and 7 with a minimum RAM Memory of 512 MB (but 1 GB for Win Vista). We found the Hard Drive minimum remarkably low at 8GB and the graphics card required are the 256 nVidia GeForce 6600, ATI Radeon X1600 or better. The minimum processor requirement is the Pentium 4 @ 3 GHz or AMD 64 3200+.
The game was also released for Windows mobile, as well as the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad with some success.
Call of Duty: World at War Multiplayer
The World of War has not moved far away from the rest of the Call of Duty series and provides an established fast-paced and exciting gameplay with six different modes such as Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, and Nazi Zombies co-op.
The class-based multiplayer action showed no real improvements to its predecessor, though as if it was felt it was successful and should not be changed, so the overall opinion it represents a WWII copy of the Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare multiplayer gameplay seem about fair. The main difference is a slower pace to the conflicts, as for the less automatic weapons in use resulting with a more strategic approach.
The most notable innovation is the Nazi Zombies mode where you can play with up to four teammates to fight the waves of the undead Nazis, protect the fort gaining points for kills and repairs and survive for as long as possible. This later became one of the trademarks of the Black Ops series.
The games for PS3, Wii and the Xbox 360 also feature the split-screen co-op which is an innovation for Call of Duty. The Nintendo Wii, unfortunately, doesn’t provide online gameplay or the Nazi Zombies mode, which was a big minus as it provides top of the line, tense and addicting experience.
Call of Duty: World at War is a very decent game and while it was largely built on the Modern Warfare engine, it has marked a great start to the Black Ops series. The game did not provide the players with anything we haven’t seen before in the Call of Duty graphics or the multiplayer but the sounds were noticeably enhanced providing a better and more useful tool than before.
The multiplayer is very fun but there are not many servers you can play them on nowadays, with other titles for the series taking the spotlight. There are some issues with the game tracking but the available servers are a lot more oriented to the tactics and the realistic experience, where many servers disable running, shooting while standing up and much more, so if that’s what you’re looking for World at War will not disappoint.