VIDEO GAMES: Call of Duty: World At War, Beta Impressions

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I’ve been playing the new Call of Duty World At War Private beta for the last few days and I’ve come away pretty impressed. Many who read Eclipse know of my love of Call of Duty 2 and 4. I liked the single player campaign in COD 3 but thought Treyarch broke the multiplayer. So I had concerns knowing these guys were making the new version and taking it back to WWII.  This latest installment doesn’t look as pretty as COD 4 but the game play is rock solid.  This isn’t a gimped beta, it includes 3 multiplayer maps and six different core modes including: War, Capture The Flag, Team Deathmatch, something called “Pick Up TDM” which is a Team Deathmatch mode that doesn’t allow parties, Free For All, Search and Destroy. And two modes for the hardcore players Team DM and S&D.  You have several classes to choose from at the start including Rifleman, Gunner and Assault. The RPG elements that made COD 4 a hugely addictive experience has returned. You can unlock different classes like Sniper and modes as you progress.

The maps feel both huge and intimate at the same time. Unfortunately two of them look and feel the same. The problem is they are too dark and pixilated to tell apart.  You get the standard small village that has lakes you can hide in, a bland looking abandoned train depot and a beautiful Chinese Japanese Castle. I don’t like the look of World at War, at all. Graphically the game seems dated. The game play feels rock solid and nothing has changed. You still use your bumpers for your grenades, the blue button still reloads. Even though they have two different developers on the series and jump around in time it still feels the same and that’s a good thing. But there’s no denying that Infinity Ward makes the better, more gorgeous looking game.  I don’t like that they went back to the traditional Capture the Flag game play, where you have to once again carry the enemy flag all the way back to your base. I loved the way it was done in COD 4. They also changed the Search and Destroy mode to a “survival mode” so if you die you have to wait until the end of the match before you can play again – not cool.  Gone is the ability to call in helicopter strikes, it’s been replaced by calling in attack dogs. Somehow not a worthy replacement, but it’s hysterical watching the dogs maul your enemies – not so much when it happens to you. Also new, is your ability to use tanks and other vehicles. I’m on the fence as to whether this unbalances the game.

I wish game developers would figure out how to include an age filter in online play. My sessions were ruined by a bunch of kids cussing and acting like little hellions. Kids are one of the many reasons I really can’t stand Halo. This hasn’t been a problem with COD 4, hopefully it won’t be when this is officially released. You can mute players. Beyond the kid factor, I would say World at War is on par with COD 3 and not a leap forward like COD 4. It’s not the step back that many feared, but it’s not a radical step forward. This is a maintenance release. Keep in mind this is a beta and won’t be able to have a verdict until I see the final retail copy and get my hands on the single player campaign. The game will hit the streets Nov. 11.

3 thoughts on “VIDEO GAMES: Call of Duty: World At War, Beta Impressions”

  1. Terrible article. I get the impression that you hardly played or are one of those IW fanboys. First, you said the maps look “pixelated” which doesn’t make any sense at all (I’m not sure you know what pixelated means). You also said that two of the maps look the same. What game are you playing? These 3 maps are as different as can be. None of them look anything like each other. Roundhouse looks bland? Again, what game are you playing??? Roundhouse looks amazing!

    You have also destroyed your credibility by comparing the CTF mode with the one in CoD4. Anyone who plays CoD4 knows exactly why.

    Not sure how you can say this is on par with CoD3 and not a leap forward, and in the same article, say it’s the same as CoD4. Your credibility as a writer has gone down the tubes, not to mention that anyone who has played the beta can tell that you either haven’t actually played it yourself or weren’t sober when you did.

    CoD:WW is amazing and a great contender for game of the year!

  2. I have to disagree with you, I know people like the traditional capture the flag mode that is in WW and COD 3, but I liked how COD 4 went outside the mode and made the flag stationary. I know a lot of folks thought it made the mode too easy, especially when it came to the number of points you get playing that mode. But I thought it was a great way to force teams to certain locations for fierce battles. When you play Team deathmatch in COD 4, the only thing people do is hide and try and snipe you. The same thing happens in traditional capture the flag. As far as looks go, I stand by my statement that I don’t think the “city” or the train yard map (I don’t know there names) look good – at all. They are too dark and when you go into a building it is a blurry mess. I think the Chinese Castle level look fantastic.

  3. It’s Japanese, NOT Chinese. We didn’t fight China in WWII. And yes there is a difference between Chinese and Japanese.

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