I finished the solo campaign of Call of Duty: World at War (PC version), which I picked up from Steam for half price last weekend. It’s another excellent Call of Duty production, but gameplay-wise there was nothing innovative about it. It’s just new stories and new locations.
Perhaps it was the juxtaposition of finishing the game on Memorial Day weekend, but I found the theatrics of this edition more powerful than any previous CoD title. I actually got a little choked up at the end. The music was especially good. Normally I turn off the music in games but in this case it added nicely to the ambience.
Unfortunately, as always with the Call of Duty series, you are paying a lot of money for a very, very short solo game. I don’t spend a lot of time gaming any more and I finished this thing over a span of 8 days. Pretty sad that game developers think so little of consumers, and that consumers let game developers get away with it.
As for other drawbacks, I’ve talked about the scripted nature of Call of Duty before so I won’t harp on it again. Suffice it to say it’s the same in World at War: Get used to repeating the same action (and hearing the same voiceovers) over and over again.
The only significant new engine feature in World at War is “audio occlusion.” I had no idea what it did until I finished the game and read the World at War Wikipedia page. Somewhere along the way I turned that option off, hoping it would improve my frame rate. It didn’t, and I also couldn’t detect the slightest bit of difference in the sound. It’s not really something you’d notice in the thick of a firefight anyway.
In the positive category, I found the solo campaign a little easier than Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. I played it through on the Hardened setting, which I found challenging but not frustratingly impossible like Modern Warfare, where practically every enemy would kill you instantly with a head shot.
Overall I give the solo campaign a 3.5… out of 5. (Extra half point given for honoring the sacrifices made by all World War II veterans.)
I’m not sure if I’m going to look at Multiplayer yet. I found Modern Warfare multiplayer enjoyable but I don’t really want to go through dealing with all the dorks in public games again. It’s almost mandatory that you play multiplayer, though, if you want to get your money’s worth out of this game.