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 Call of Duty: W@W Professional review- Game Directors

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Posts : 52
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Join date : 2010-11-17
Age : 23

PostSubject: Call of Duty: W@W Professional review- Game Directors   Wed Nov 17, 2010 1:57 pm

We'd actually enjoy World at War less without Kiefer Sutherland. Who wouldn't go to war with Jack Bauer?

And it's probably quite fitting that the Bauer actor's in the fifth game, because like 24, Call of Duty's always been about persistent, balls-to-the-wall action that when you look back at it looks a bit Rambo-excessive and unrealistic. But you don't care because you're having such a bloody good time.

World at War starts off with a bloke getting his throat slit, and the gritty, brutal violence doesn't end there. This is the most 'real' Call of Duty yet, and as the introductory warning says, "player discretion is advised".

See the series' trademark grenade-o-meter for too long and you're legs will get blown clean off. Instead of a swift swipe with a knife and soldier collapsing to the floor, World at War will have you gruesomely bayoneting the Japanese Banzai, and then watching them clutch their wounds in pain as the fall to the floor.

Modern Warfare carried a constant theme of vulnerability (one of the player characters does die half way through, after all) and WaW makes the bullets zipping past your head feel even more dangerous, making for more intense battles than anything in the first three WWII CoDs.

Impressively, Treyarch is able to ramp up the brutal violence to limb-flinging levels while maintaining a sensible narrative, as usual backed up with proper video footage from the era - even if the mission briefing videos could do with some more explanation.

WaW focuses on the two lesser told stories of the second World War; the American invasion of Japan and the Soviets' advance to Berlin.

There's been some controversy surrounding the backtrack to the 1940s, but World at War genuinely feels like a different side to WWII, and we've got no complaints at all on the look and feel of the new game's theatre.

Both campaigns are stories of revenge, as both sides counter-attack the Axis of evil after years of bloody conflict. Nowhere is this shown more than in the Soviet campaign, where the odd scripted fire-bombing of a Nazi-occupied building is commonplace.

The American side lacks the grit and totally epic-scale of the Russian missions, but it too throws something else into the mix in the way of the Japanese and their sneaky ambush tactics.

The Banzai soldiers will hide in the trees, charge from the tall grass and generally shake you up like a contestant in Ghost Hunters. It also introduces the flame thrower, which delivers screaming, fiery death in a pack but eventually leaves you craving the satisfying accuracy of World at War's ramped-up guns.

As you'd expect coming from a game where you're using M16s and laser sights, Treyarch's taken some liberties in beefing up the Thompsons and Garands of the WWII arsenal to live up to expectations.

World at War's FPS mechanics cannot be faulted; Infinity Ward's engine is fast and fluid, and Treyarch's bolstered the bangs with some particularly beefy and satisfying sound effects.

The auto iron-sight lock-on is still there, you'll take out a Kamikaze soldier in two shots. World at War basically feels like Modern Warfare, which is exactly what we were looking for, basically.

The campaign certainly doesn't reinvent Call of Duty 4's formula (did we want it to?), and it's also a little on the short side at around six hours.

Like Modern Warfare the scripting in set-pieces is still quite blatant - like Japanese soldiers that run from their hiding place and then navigate a squad of US squaddies to come straight towards you - but the campaign's complete balls-to-the-wall Hollywood action makes it forgiveable.

That said it never lives up to the 'wow' moments from Modern Warfare, like the stupidly intense opening sequence on the cargo ship and the incredible Ghillie suit level, and therefore concludes with the feeling that something's missing.

World at War's also made us realise just how well paced and designed Modern Warfare's campaign was, as it often falls into the number trap of 'destroy three tanks', followed by 'blow up four anti-air guns', and then 'kill all these soldiers' which can grate. World at War sometimes feels like you're running down some lead designer's scrambled check list, which Modern Warfare never did.

Because of this we've started to feel that World at War succeeds not on its radical new slant on an old war theatre, but because of all of the fantastic game systems Infinity Ward has kindly lent from Modern Warfare. We could make a 9 out of 10 shooter with this engine.

The engine's still, at its core, not pushing many polygons around but the sheer amount visual effect and stuff on screen makes for a fluid, fantastic looking game.

Some areas, like the scorched beachheads of one of the opening missions, with hundreds or smoking embers dancing in the wind, look stunning. And the jungle sieges are unlike anything we saw in Modern Warfare.

Multiplayer as well is just as good, if not better than before - and is bolstered by one of Treyarch's really compelling additions, co-op, which adds even more longevity to a shooter that's already going to keep your attention well past Christmas.

The arenas are soundly designed, the perks are mostly the same and uncontroversial and the gunplay - as we mentioned - is as fantastic as ever. Vehicles, in our experience, are basically the equivalent of putting a tank-sized target on your back, but they're mostly ignored in the corner, so its not a major gripe.

The replacement for the attack chopper kill streak award, which now has you release a bunch of dogs, is still a sore point for many. But what's done is done.

Multiplayer and co-op are undoubtedly the best reason to pick up World at War, but the short-lived campaign which adds even more great CoD4-powered action warrants the money. And Bauer's always worth the cash.

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