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Fire is the cleanser

  • Mar 22, 2009
This is only the second game in the "Call of Duty" series I've played, the other being "Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare". I'm hard-pressed to say which I like more. "Modern Warfare" was quite good, but so is "World at War".

The plot of the solo game, such as it is, has you fighting out parts of World War II playing either a US Marine burning your way through the Pacific theatre, or a Soviet soldier fighting the Germans.

First, kudos to the game for resisting the urge to focus, as so many games in this time period do, by showing off the D-Day invasion. The only time I want to see that in a video game again is if you're playing the Germans. Might make it more interesting than watching the opening scenes of "Saving Private Ryan" played out yet again.

Second, they did a great job on the presentation. You get archival footage mixed in with modern computer graphics showing all sorts of stats and things like that. Very, very well done!

The combat is what you'd expect from a first person shooter and parts of it are slightly jarring due to the differences in tech between this game and something like "Modern Warfare". Time and again I was thrown off by single-shot weapons or magazines that didn't hold 50 bullets.

On the other hand, you get a flamethrower during parts of the game, and, oh, what a lovely beast it is. First, it looks great up on the screen. Second, it's just so darn useful! Sniper in the tree? Set the tree on fire. Machine gun nest inside a bunker? Flames through the gun port. Team member annoying you? Give them the ultimate hot-foot and laugh as they try to beat out the flames! Ah-he-he-he-ha! Fire is the cleanser! (takes some mood stabilizers) Ah, much better.

The online component of the game is about what you'd expect. At level 1 I was matched up against a group of people where the lowest level was 40. Yeah, that's good. But, hey, if you can survive your first few games and don't get overly annoyed at teenagers calling you a fag and whining because you're using the Juggernaut bonus, you'll be fine and have a good time.

All in all this is a really fun game and highly recommended for fans of the genre.

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About the reviewer
C R Swanson ()
Ranked #60
   I'm an aspiring writer and reviewer. I run a blog, I'm working on a novel and spend my free time reading and playing video games. I also spend waaaaay too much time and money on movies. … more
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About this video game


Call of Duty: World at War from Activision for the Xbox 360 completely changes the rules of engagement by redefining World War II gameplay. In this edition, players are thrust into the final, tension-filled battles against a new, ferocious enemy in the most dangerous and suspenseful action ever seen in a WWII title. Building on the Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare engine, this installment promises to immerse players in gritty, chaotic combat. You'll have to band together to survive harrowing and climactic battles that defined WWII and led to the demise of the Axis powers.

Call of Duty: World at War promises to immerse players in gritty, chaotic combat. View larger.

The potent flamethrower will set the battlefield ablaze. View larger. From the remains of Russia and the ruins of Berlin, to the beach and jungles of the deadly Pacific Theater, Call of Duty: World at War's campaign gameplay employs features that were only available in multiplayer gameplay in the previous installments. With this title you can take advantage of perks, rankings, and online stats in an up-to-four-player cooperative gameplay that is sure to revolutionize the way you play Call of Duty. And with new infantry and vehicle-based weapons, such as the potent flamethrower, you'll have the tools you need to set the battlefield ablaze and defeat the enemy.

Battle against the fearless Imperial Japanese and elite German soldiers. View larger.

Engage in epic infantry, vehicle, and airborne ...

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ESRB: M - (Mature)
Number of Players: 4
Publisher: Activision
Console: Xbox 360
Genre: First-Person Shooter
Release Date: November 10, 2008
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"Fire is the cleanser"
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