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Call of Duty: World at War review

£39 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Activision

Our Rating: We rate this 4.5 out of 5

Despite our initial reservations about Call of Duty: World at War, this is a great game for the PC.

Despite our initial reservations about Call of Duty: World at War, this is a great game for the PC.

I'm a massive Call of Duty fan; I played the first two games religiously and every now and again, I'll reinstall one or the other and play through it from beginning to end.

I didn't appreciate the third installment very much, mostly because they didn't bother releasing it on the PC (what was Activision thinking?) but the Call of Duty franchise redeemed itself with the sublime Modern Warfare. I loved that game-the single-player was awesome (AC130 missiosn FTW!), the modern setting was fantastic and, woh, was the multiplayer good!

I was initially skeptical when Call of Duty: World at War was announced - why go back to World War II when the modern setting hadn't yet been fully explored - but my doubts quickly disappeared when I finally got my hands on a copy.

Call of Duty: World at War - shoot to kill

Call of Duty: World at War's single-player campaign is fairly short and even though some of the settings are new, it does suffer a little from "been there, done that" syndrome. However, it's still compelling enough to keep me going.

Here's a tip for you: don't play the first time through on anything higher than the normal difficulty. I bumped it up to Hardened and found the game to be exceedingly brutall. Call of Duty: World at War felt unbalanced as I would die repeatedly from an overwhelming number of enemies who were apparently all firing magic bullets that could find me even behind cover.

Oh, and grenades are extremely deadly in Call of Duty: World at War - I'd be well entrenched only to find one dropped right into my lap and it's almost an instant kill unless you're lucky enough to run away from it.

Of course, to do that, you have to pop out of cover and that's when those magic bullets find you.

Still, Call of Duty: World at War's single-player campaign offered enough action and variety to keep me going. You don't get to do anything as cool as the AC130 missions in Modern Warfare but there is a really neat segment where you're a gunner in a plane and have to shuffle between multiple gun points to keep the enemy at bay.

Call of Duty: World at War - One Man Army?

But single-player aside the multiplayer truly is Call of Duty: World at War's strength. The servers weren't live when I was reviewing the game but we did get to hop on with members of the Dev team for a little Nazi Zombies action and it looks awesome.

You're basically stuck in a bombed out building that's under assualt by waves of zombies; you get cash for shooting and killing the undead and you use it to buy new weapons and repair the barricades that keep them out. It makes for an intensely good time and I can see it sucking up a lot of my hours here in the office.

I haven't had a chance to test out the online multiplayer of Call of Duty: World at War much outside of the PC beta but it looks to replicate the addictiveness of Modern Warfare; create-a-class is back as are the perks.

You can still kit out your weapons with scopes and bayonets and they've tweaked the kill-streak perks-instead of UAV drones, you get recon planes and instead of helicopters, you get a pack of dogs. I'm positive it's going to be awesome and there are plenty of modes and maps to keep you busy.

Call of Duty: World at War - this is my rifle, this is my gun

Honestly, regardless of what version you play, you're in for a good time with Call of Duty: World at War. Personally, I'll be sticking to the PC version. I prefer the keyboard and mouse over a controller and it's far easier to jump online and get a match going (I don't Xbox Live). You'll need a fairly decent computer to get the game running with high details and a good resolution but it won't break the system the way Crysis can.

I thought I'd gotten sick of World War II games a long time ago but Treyarch did a great job of injecting new life into the genre. The single-player isn't as compelling as Modern Warfare but it's still worth playing nonetheless; the best part though is that there's a deep and satisfying multiplayer component waiting for you when you're done.

Related articles:

PlayStation 3 review

Xbox 360 review

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Gamepro.com

Call of Duty: World at War Expert Verdict »
Windows PC: AMD Athlon 64, Intel Pentium 4
Microsoft Windows Vista, Microsoft Windows XP
1GB RAM
8GB hard disk space
256MB video memory. Sony PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2
Microsoft Xbox 360
Nintentdo Wii, Nintendo DS
  • Overall: We give this item 9 of 10 overall

To call it Call of Duty 4 with a World War II skin is insulting to Treyarch because Call of Duty: World at War is so much more than that. It's a great follow up to Modern Warfare and proves that World War II is still a viscerally charged conflict to live through. The single-player campaign is a tad short and it isn't as polished as Modern Warfare's but the action is intense, there are plenty of thrills and the multiplayer looks like it will be just as awesome. I'm especially looking forward to the Nazi Zombies mode.

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