Well, Well Well…. if it is one of my favourite Call of Duty games.
There is so much to be said about Call of Duty: World at War with its campaign and multiplayer so it will go like this: First I will review the Campaign and stuff like the Gameplay and that. Then the Multiplayer.
When you start the game, you get the best intro to a game than ever before (it is on par with Half-Life’s) with it using real world footage of the Japanese Emperor at the time Hirohito saluting and Japan invading Indochinese Civilization back in 1937 with Japan making an empire. It even has the balls to show you real world footage of Prisoners of War being shot from behind and getting buried alive (Gosh this game is great). To make it even more immersive, it is also showing you America demanding withdrawal of Japanese Troops from the Indochinese Civilizations 3 years later but since Japan refuse’s, the US signs Oil Embargo to cut supply to Japan for that matter, Japan loses 90% Oil supply due to Embargo.
But then on December 7th, 1941 Japan bomb Pearl Harbour and then a politician is saying that it was a deliberate attack. Straight after, we see production levels rising and men gearing up for war. Aside from that into, you play as Private Miller in the Pacific side of the war and then you play as Dimitri Petrenko on the Eastern Front. In the first mission, you are Private Miller in a POW and his fellow soldiers are getting tortured and the man next to him has his throat slit and that is brutal for a COD game. You then get a Gun and begin this journey through war. Now this is no game for little Timmy on his PS5 or Xbox Series X tea-bagging anyone he can in Black Ops: Cold War this good old-fashioned call of duty where it is a game that does not give a monkeys about your feelings it will portray war like it is meant to for the people who play the game. Except little Timmy on his PS5 or Xbox Series X crying because this is actual war put into a video game.
The Gameplay/Level Design
The Level Design in this game is fantastic. Yes, it does have invisible barriers but and a big BUT I never felt restricted when I moved around. The best example of this is in the first mission Semper Fi. On my first 2 playthroughs I took the path on the right at the start of the and on my third, I Went under the burning house on the left and that is when this game has amazing detail… If you go under there, a Japanese Soldiers comes out of nowhere and tries to attack you. But fails due to the floor of the burning house falls on top of him. That is good detail and level design. The Japanese soldiers fight like any other enemy type in Call of Duty. They will use guerrilla tactics: Climbing trees to snipe you. Banzai charge you. Play dead. Set traps. Kamikaze their planes and this surprises the player at every turn.
They also use ghillie suits to hide in the grass and use spider holes. It is just fantastic. And these twists and turns add uniqueness to the game. If a mission starts to feel boring or tedious, it ends so they are all just the right length. On the flip side as fighting against the Nazis is pretty much good fun gameplay but I think there is much more attention to the story the characters and the motivation of the Russians. So, when you play as the Americans and then switch the Russians, it really spices up the gameplay. So, you have one side where it focuses of more unique gameplay (USA) and the other focuses of the brutality and the horrors of war. There is one mission where you are on a plane and you must defend the sky from Japanese troops and defend the water from the Japanese PT boats. It may sound like a boring mission at first glance but, you must switch to other turrets to attack different areas of the sky and sea whilst also rescuing survivors from the American ships that have been attacked. Another great example.
There is a part in the mission Vendetta where you must snipe one of the Nazis from afar and it takes that and makes it into a game of patience and makes you be patient even if you are not and you will need that patience for the whole mission. Treyarch uses a setting where you are a survivor amongst dead Russians in Stalingrad and teaches you about stealth and sniping and you use those sniping skills when you are told to assassinate a high-ranking Nazi officer. The gameplay is exactly what you expect from a COD game with all the cliché type of levels but still surprises you. Whether that is the story or the game’s mechanics. This makes the game so fun to playthrough. The gunplay is great too it is harder to hit your targets and that is a great feature due to the weapons is WW2 being not that great. The difficulty is rather good and if you want a tip on how to play on the hardest skill (Veteran), do not play on veteran you will get grenade spammed for days boy.
The soundtrack in the singleplayer it is great I never listen to COD soundtracks outside of the game but this one stuck with me. You have real somber unnerving song that slow things down and give you the chills. Call of Duty: World at War OST – vendetta is a great example just from that 1 piece of music it tells you the gruesome acts the Third Reich has committed. Here is the link to it:
There is one mission where you are on a plane and you must defend the sky from Japanese troops and defend the water from the Japanese PT boats. You must switch to other turrets to attack different areas of the sky and sea whilst also rescuing survivors from the American ships that have been attacked, and this music represents the equal anger during the Pacific Theater. Here is the link to it:
You also have epic guitar riffs, that give you that feeling of the craziness of the war when you are running around shooting people. The music enhances the campaign and gameplay in all the right ways.
The American side is simple some of the characters and dialogue could have been written better… more unique. You do not really feel attached to Roebuck or Sullivan. But I look at it and I see the American side as more of a vessel for immersion in the Pacific theatre and for gameplay reasons, so it is passable. The Russian side of the story… OH GOSH is it brutal. The game really dives into the Russian perspective and how they view the war, and the Germans and Viktor Reznov is just a beast. This side of the story is about pushing into the heart of the Reich for the Red Army. You are just some soldier who has just been left to die in the middle of Stalingrad but you cheat death and link up with Viktor Reznov. The overarching plot and story are simplistic and gets the job done.
More importantly it serves to imagine and experience war themselves and think about the decisions soldiers had to make themselves. World at War does not romanticise each conflict. The game is not so much worried about whether you are rooting for the Americans or not. Its only goal is to depict these battles in the most grounded, yet brutal wat possible, it has balls. When you awake amongst the piles of the dead, and you see Germans shoot the survivors, you are like “Well gosh, that’s messed up.” When you are creeping through the jungle and on of your fellow soldiers gets hung in the air and explodes you get the same reaction. All these moments are scattered through the campaign. From the Russian side of the story, you start off with the goal of just surviving, but over the course of time, Reznov and the other Russians get more and more bloodthirsty, merciless, there’s in-fighting. Some soldiers wonder if it is worth it to be as merciless as the Germans.
Reznov thinks it is the right thing to do. You as a player understand you got to end the Nazi regime, but that does not excuse what the Russians are doing to achieve that. Killing men who surrender in cold blood, lighting them on fire it is just messed up. The player who likes Attention to detail will notice these moments are shown more the farther you get into the campaign and they are not always in your face, my advice is to look at your surroundings and you might see something captivating. So, the story carries a certain weight, a feeling of how War changes people…. Reznov is proof of that. If you are going to add Explicit content into a game or movie, you need to have a solid reason why and if it there for gratuitous sake, it adds nothing. World at War does it correctly… when you shoot a guys leg off and see him writhe in pain, it gives you the shivers. That is war, it is messed up. The level of gore, blood, and violence if perfectly in line with World at War’s dark atmosphere and really enhances the experience; it unsettles the player.
The finale is great as it can ever be! You are just a private in the Red Army, one amongst million… rises above death, destruction, and carnage. And you are the one who carries the Russian flag atop the Reichstag. Being able to play an experience what is depicted in a famous photograph, is just a chilling experience that leaves an imprint on you That is something you will never forget doing in a Videogame. And at the end of it all, after the dark, depressing, and depraved experience you have just been through. World at War reminds you what this was all about. It tells you that 60 Million lives were lost because of World War II at that is far more impactful at the end of a Movie/Game than at the start. And as you see the credits roll, you reflect on what you have just been through, the fun you have had, and the atrocities you have seen. You remove your hands off the Keyboard and Mouse, and you are glad that it is finished.
Revealing an entire new mode after beating the campaign just – just wow! Brilliant! And it is Nazi Zombies, just bravo… bravo. But how does the mode hold up after the game being almost 13 years old? Pretty well! To be honest, Nacht Der untoten (One of the zombie’s maps) is pretty dated compared to the other zombie maps. But from some research that I have done, when this came out everyone wanted to see how far they could get. And it was not just for the high score, it was because it was fun. World at War Nazi Zombies was the talk of the internet back in 2008. And the map was a great entry point for what was about to become a staple of many Call of Duty games down the line. To be honest, most of my time on World at War was on zombies and the campaign. I am level 50 in multiplayer, but if Zombies counted, I would be over level 100. It is also addicting when or who you play with. The character’s you get to play as, are Well-written and just plain old silly. It is funny to think how Nazi Zombies has influenced the franchise since World at War.
Multiplayer/Why COD is popular
The game is balanced and fun. Shotguns and snipers are a bit harder to use correctly. Class customization is fantastic! You have got so many options. It does not feel overwhelming but there is enough here to really mix and match and experiment with a bunch of different builds. Where World at War really shines is in its maps. You have got a pretty much perfect variety in terms of design, size, layout, and visual aesthetic. Dome is one of my favourites because it is just a great map. Then you have Cliffside which is just a perfect map for long ranged encounters. The game is simplistic at its core. There is no unnecessarily complicated customization. It is good simple Call of Duty greatness. Maps in other games are 3 lanes or a variation of that. But heres’ what you must remember, the most. There is a difference between having a 3-lane map, and a map that forces you down those 3 lanes. What do I mean by that? Well sure World at Wat has plenty of maps were the action goes down 3 paths or lanes. However, you have so many options to move around. Vertically, side to side, underneath (Like I said near the start of my review). So many directions to take that you do not feel confined to 3 lanes.
The map Makin… sure you have 3 general lanes to go down, although, you have this area below the docks, and you can run down that instead. Then we have Dome, very small map, yet gives the player plenty of options. It has elevation, bit if low ground, and no matter where you are, you can always cut through the middle. And no matter what map I played, I always felt like I had freedom. From 2007 to 2010, Call of Duty had its most positive reception ever to date (Call of Duty: Modern Warfare came out in 2007, World at War came out in 2008, Modern Warfare 2 came out in 2009, and Black Ops 1 came out in 2010) and I think I know why. Because you had Call of Duty providing both to old and new fans of the series. You had Modern Warfare, a more modern take on Call of Duty, you had World at War, then Modern Warfare 2, then there was Black Ops, set during the Cold War. You see the pattern? At this point in COD’s life, even though they were creating a new Call of Duty every year, there was something for everyone. If you did not enjoy the more modern games, you had World at War and Black Ops. World at Wars multiplayer is fantastic on its own terms, and it also holds this secret to Call of Duty’s constant success year after year. Pacing and variety is great in World at War multiplayer. It has a nice community of players and it is just pure fun.
All in all, Call of Duty World at War is one of the best COD games out there. It is truly fun in all modes of play which is not something that can be said for the rest of the series. The campaign holds no reservations, it has the strength to depict World War 2 In the most brutally honest way it can.
While the overall story and characters aside from Reznov could have been written better and in a way that makes us care, I see that was not Treyarch’s goal with this game. It is not so much character driven. They wanted you to think about this war, that wanted to show you what it was like. Nazi Zombies spawned from this game, so much lore, fun and creativity that has blessed the COD series for better or worse.
Having the last profoundly good WWII multiplayer in the series, and the way it took the best elements of Call of Duty 4 and replicated them, turned into a multiplayer that pretty much every fan could enjoy. I want to play more of this great game than talk about it that is how good it is.