Call of Duty: World at War Review

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Call of Duty: World at War

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One of the best shooters this year, Call of Duty: World At War is an explosive and powerful cinematic experience.

We like

  • Cinematic visuals and soundtrack
  • Great A.I makes it a rewarding challenge
  • Brilliant co-op and multiplayer modes

We dislike

  • Extremely tough in places.

See PSU's review on Metacritic & GameRankings

The explosive opening sequence in Call of Duty World At War signals the beginning of an emotional and thrilling ride through some of World War II’s Pacific and Eastern Europe campaigns. We’ve taken a different approach than usual to writing this review, splitting it into two parts to try and give you a taster of what to expect from this unpredictable, energetic and immensely enjoyable first person shooter. In the first part, we relay an account of the opening first half-an-hour or so of the campaign, whilst the second section concentrates on our gameplay impressions.

Spoiler alert!

Mission 1: Semper Fi

The campaign begins in true Call of Duty style by thrusting you straight into the action as you wake up in a hut on the Pacific Ocean island of Makin Atoll having been captured by Japanese soldiers. You’re greeted with the disturbing sight of your comrade interrogated by the enemy and then cruelly tortured, with a nasty cigar burn to his face, for his unwillingness to co-operate. In foolish defiance he spits in the face of his aggressor who then unshields his knife and brutally slits his throat. He then takes a few paces towards you brandishing his weapon menacingly. Just as you think you’re about to suffer the same fate, a group of soldiers storm the hut and wrestle him to the ground just in time. It’s the rescue squad! Hooray!

An ally thrusts a pistol into your hand and then it’s a mad and chaotic dash through the village as Japanese soldiers, now alerted to your presence, take up positions outside of their wooden huts dotted on the beach and along the glistening waterfront. Under the canvas of the moon, explosions light up the sky and muzzles flash as you and your team fight an intense and bloody battle. A grenade is thrown and one of the wooden huts catches alight. The door bursts open and an Imperial Japanese soldier spills out, his body in flames. He clutches onto one of your comrades hoping to take him to hell as well, but an accurately placed bullet from your pistol manages to hit him right between the eyes. You’ve saved Private Ryan! Trophy unlocked.

After clearing the village of all hostiles you head into the undergrowth, wading through deep water with your gun close to your chest. As you approach a clearing the silence is deafening and you suspect something is afoot. Suddenly a flash-bang goes off blinding you temporarily. It’s an ambush! Japanese soldiers, who had been lying in the water amongst the reeds, spring up from all around you. A shrieking suicidal soldier runs at you, leaps onto your chest and attempts to bury his bayonet into your skull. A quick press of the right thumb-stick sees you counteracting his move, affording you time to plunge your knife deep into his neck.

Following a feverish gunfight, you approach a Japanese village on the shores of the Pacific where a friendly boat is moored ready to whisk you to safety. Firstly though, you’ve got more enemies to contend with. You shoot a hole in a petrol can that’s sat in the back of a truck, release the brakes and then send the vehicle careering into the heart of the village where it explodes sending enemies scattering for cover.

Your teammates lead the charge, running into the village all guns blazing as they pick off enemies along the way. Finally, you reach the objective point where you set up explosives in preparation for blowing up the village. Thinking the coast is clear you head to the extraction point on the beach, but ‘out of the blue,’ an enemy soldier launches himself off the balcony of a nearby hut and swipes at you with his sword. Luckily, an ally manages to shoot him just as he’s about to thrust his weapon through your heart. You’re dragged to safety, hurt but still alive. Finally you have the first chance to pause for breath in this adrenaline-fuelled opening sequence as you board the rescue boat and speed across the water to safety before embarking on your next exhilarating mission.

Gameplay Impressions

Developer, Treyarch (missing in action since ... (continued on next page) ----

A gamer since the days of the ZX Spectrum, Steven Williamson now works as General Manager for PSU. He's supposed to be managing, but if you're reading this, it means he's dipped into editorial again. Follow @steven_gamer
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