Treyarch's Call of Duty: World at War is the next installment of the successful first person series and sequel to last year mutli-million seller COD 4 Modern Warfare. WaW returns to the battlefields of World War 2 with two new theaters of war, the American invasion of the outlying islands of the Japanese Empire and the Soviet Union invasion and defeat of Nazi forces in Germany. As much as the publisher, Activision, leads us to believe, WaW remains to be the same 'war' with only updated visuals, an uninspired world war two atmosphere and tired gameplay.
More of the same
In WaW there are two campaigns, the American invasion of the Japanese islands and the Soviet Union march to Berlin with each portraying war as a necessary method to eradicate evil. The portrayal of the Japanese soldiers are one of the changes in WaW. In previous COD games knife and melee attacks only occurred in close combat scenarios or when the player would rush to positioned enemies' stationary positions. Now, the Japanese soldiers are trained to do suicidal 'bonzai' bayonet attacks. After a successful knock down, the player has one to two seconds to execute a counter by pressing down on the right analog stick. The 'bonzai attacks' become so frequent it play as cheap gimmick rather than innovate design.
Another new wrinkle is powered by the amazing rendered foliage as seen in Modern Warfare, however, WaW allows only the enemy A.I. to take advantage of the environmental cover. Japanese fighters will cover in trees, hide as dead soldiers, and lay in grass. Never do they flank, advance to better cover or show any other type of A.I. behavior.
The Soviet Union campaign is more of the same as previous COD games. A sniper mission. Check. Street fighting. Check. A tank mission. Check. The tank episode actually was enjoyable and captured the 'total war' atmosphere games strive to reach. There was multiple infantry, other enemy tanks, and a continuous battle, the level was a breath of freshness. Unfortunately, there are multiple levels tread the same areas tried and done from the COD franchise.
As a now veteran of five call of duties, WaW is not the best, MW is, nor the worst tour, COD3 is. World at War at its best, becomes the frankenstein monster experience, made from the best and worse gameplay pieces of previous entries searching for a soul.
Two out of Five stars.