Friday, November 14, 2008

Call of Duty: World at War Impressions

Stop Me Before I Consume Again

I bought a copy of Call of Duty: World at War... Oddly enough I bought World at War mostly with change I harvested from my car. Parking meter money and uncollected quarters sitting in a tray underneath my stereo. About $30 worth. I only played about twenty minutes of single player, enough to get past the first to Pacific War Levels and into -- surprise, surprise for a Call of Duty game -- a Stalingrad Sniper Level.

My heart sank. The Pacific War Levels were actually way better than I expected from a TreyArch Call of Duty. Those levels were almost something I hadn't experienced to death in a World War II game before, and right when I was hooked on flamethrowers and Kiefer Sutherland TreyArch bait and switched me back to 1942 Stalingrad, Russia. Really?

The single player right now feels tired and extremely competent. Basically, Call of Duty 3.5 on a better engine and enemy spawn closets that are more effectively hidden. All in all TreyArch appears to have upgraded from being the Retarded half-child of Infinity Ward to the Differently Abled Stepchild of Infinity Ward.

I also hopped into multiplayer. Sorry, TreyArcn this is what will make you a forever stepchild to Infinity Ward. The Maps are way, way, way too big for a 12 player game. Every map I've played so far feels like "The Creek" from CoD4. Too massive and sprawled out. You can literally spend two minutes of Team Deathmatch wandering around, looking for someone to kill before finding the opposing team, and quite often you'll just find an opposing team member wandering around behind your lines. The voice acting tidbits are laughably bad with Kiefer Sutherland bellowing at you constantly and other voice actors putting on the worst German, Russian and Japanese accents you'll hear this side of a free acting class. Call in one wave of "dog attacks" and you'll wonder why they didn't go all the way, have Mister Burns yelling, "UNLEASH THE HOUNDS!" The weapon selection is beyond pedestrian -- you can't fault TreyArch for that though; well, I guess you can, there are no rules with multiplayer games so why not toss in M16s and G36Cs and those Nazi Zombies too; screw historical accuracy as long as its fun.

All in All Call of Duty: WaW feels like an overpriced World War II mod for Call of Duty 4. And the more I play it, the more I want to go back to Call of Duty 4.

Saturday Update:

I've been playing more of the multiplayer and everything I said still holds true. All in all it feels badly, badly broken and poorly laid out. But I am still playing it. I came to the realization that I am just so sick of COD4's maps even a broken change of pace is still better than none. The single player campaign however is still completely disposable.

In an ideal world, a world where Activision isn't trying to "monetize" every franchise in their library, the multiplayer parts of World at War should've been released as a $30 Expansion while the single player campaign should've been wrapped in a filthy blanket and shoved in a dumpster.

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