Thursday, April 16, 2009

World War II: When Nazi Zombies walked the Earth

There are a few constants in this world you can count on. Night and Day, love and loss, authors using this same line to open a paragraph, and video games being made about World War II. For our generation no event has captured our imaginations and awe as a conflict that is enough removed that we have no memory, but not so much that we cannot interact with heroes and victims from it. I imagine when my grandchildren grow up; media will mimic the war or terror in the same way, although in my mind it will pale in comparison to the sudden burst of violence and destruction in such a short amount of time that was WWII.

None the less, Call of Duty: World at War thrusts us into WWII for the 17th time this year it feels like, but this really is a title that is worth the purchase. Carrying over virtually every interface and game play variant from the popular CofD4: Modern Combat, WaW picks up with ease, and adds to it a fresh new story and combat elements.

First I will point out my favorite aspect, which you may suspect by his large picture overhead. Kiefer William Frederick Dempsey George Rufus Sutherland voices one of the American characters in the game and I swoon every time he speaks. I think the Russian character is famous too, I just don’t know who it is.

So what is new about the game? First off, the co-op has expanded, in CofD4 I don’t think you could play co-op missions at all, but now you can play with 3 other buddies, very cool. Multiplayer is the same game it was before, just with new maps and weapons historically accurate to WWII of course. As always, the art design is beautiful and you end up getting blasted to death just wandering around and taking in the world created.

A new raved about multiplayer variant is available to you after beating the game. Akin to the Gears of War 2 “horde mode”, “Nazi Zombies” throws you in a barn and has you defend against well, Nazi zombies as they tear down planks on the windows and try to eat your souls. It’s fun, but not ground breaking by any means. Having only 1 map to play it on, save for buying more, also kind of sucks.

For me the game really shines in the missions. CofD has a knack for piecing together a tense, challenging and rich story that flows from one mission to another. Veteran mode still makes you want to throw your controller through the window, but when you get through a mission on V, you feel like your life is complete. Yet again they let us play in an airplane for a mission, one of the cool Black Cat amphibious planes, which was a lot of fun, and the tank mission as well proved to be a joy; who knew tanks had flamethrowers?

In the end WaW is gritty, dirty, bloody violence that has all the characteristics of a CofD game; Great sound design, great attention to weapon detail, fairly smart AI, and a lot of fun. Perhaps the one thing WaW has that shines a little more than previous CofD titles, is the moral message. The story really wants you to understand the weight and value of what occurred 50 some years ago; if you can stop enjoying the Nazi zombies for a minute that is.

Score: 3 out of 5 Kiefer's gritty sexy voices


Eric said...

buy a ps3, and i will kick yo @$$ in multiplayer any day of the week.