"I imagine that it's hard to be Infinity Ward. Ever since the creation of their fantastic Call of Duty series, they've had to deal with a horrific publisher in Activision, helmed by Noah Keller, the next Hiroshi Yamauchi. Their games, which take the concepts Valve made famous with their Half-Life series and run with it, are constantly shunned by elitist snobs clamoring for games with good narrative since Call of Duty is yet ANOTHER game where guys have guns. And every year they have to give their..."
I imagine that it's hard to be Infinity Ward. Ever since the creation of their fantastic Call of Duty series, they've had to deal with a horrific publisher in Activision, helmed by Noah Keller, the next Hiroshi Yamauchi. Their games, which take the concepts Valve made famous with their Half-Life series and run with it, are constantly shunned by elitist snobs clamoring for games with good narrative since Call of Duty is yet ANOTHER game where guys have guns. And every year they have to give their beloved series to another developer who isn't even close to their league and watch them completely fuck up. I imagine it's like sending your pretty fourteen year old daughter old to go pick up some groceries in the worst part of town full of junkies, serial killers and rapists.
Call of Duty: World at War is one of those games.
Treyarch, the game's developer, aren't known for much, unless a game based off of a children's cartoon series I've never heard of is right up your alley. How they went from kiddie game developer to Activions' B-Team, I have no idea. I figure a deal with Satan figures in there somewhere. They are also the guys to blame for Call of Duty 3 and Big Red One, which sounds more like a Japanese Hentai game than an American World War II game. For World at War, however, Infinity Ward was nice enough to give them the engine used to make Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare as awesome as it is.
And the game still sucks.
Instead of the modern day setting of COD4, WaW goes back to World War II, this time focusing on the battles against the Japanese Imperial Army. The moment you select New Game at the opening menu, the first thing you will see is stock wartime footage of Japanese soldiers executing civilians. Yes, you will see real people really getting shot in the face. Yes, Treyarch, the thing I want to see after a hard days work or spending time with pretty girls or talking to my friends and right now I just want to sit down and enjoy this video game and instead I'm watching someone's brain splatter out on some grassy field. Jesus Christ. Maybe I'm too sensitive. Or maybe, unlike Treyarch or Activision, I'm actually something of a decent person. If Army of Two couldn't get away with a digital recreation of the September 11th terrorist attacks, and if Metal Gear Solid 2 had to self-edit a terrorist attack on Times Square, why should Call of Duty get away with something like this?
But I'm not here to dwell on a few seconds of footage. Not especially when there is racism to be had! And I don't mean the twelve year old idiots on the internet using the n-word, either. Every ethnic group has some sort of ridiculous accent, while the Japanese are portrayed as heartless monsters who at the same time are horrifically inept and trip over their own feet during a BANZAAAAIIIIIIII attack. Now, I understand that the Japanese did some pretty fucked up things in the war, and that America was still a very racially divided country (more so than it is now, at least), but do we really need the USA, The Good Guys, using the terms "Jap" and "Tojo" and mocking the Shinto religion? Note to Treyarch: Most Americans do not want to be reminded of their hate-filled past! There's a difference between stunning realism (which failed the moment my first Japanese enemy rolled his r's and l's in a ridiculous fashion and chose to shoot at someone twenty yards away while I stand right next to him), and this. Imagine playing Modern Warfare and having Sergeant Griggs stop every five seconds, turn to you and say something like, "Man, these fuckin' stinky towel-heads, man! They seem better at driving cabs than tanks, ha ha!" Just because someone is a racist does not necessarily mean that I want to play as them (which is reason one why I stopped playing Mass Effect). I should just be so glad there aren't any black soldiers here for once.
I'm not going to lie or pretend here: I did not finish this game. I'm not even past the third mission yet. I don't care. I'm never going to finish this game. I'm done. The mulitplayer is a copy and paste job from COD4, and if you finish the game, you unlock a mode called "Nazi Zombies," which sounds way too Go!@#$!ed ridiculous to be true, but there you go.
Call of Duty: World at War is complete travesty. It's not Daikatana bad. It's not Sonic 2006 bad. It's bad in a completely different way. The victims here are not the casualties of war. Not the fellow POW who gets murdered at the beginning of the campaign. Not anyone in the digital world. The real victims here are Infinity Ward, who are forced once again to watch as their baby lies on her back and makes her money the hard way.
Community review by hmd (May 17, 2009)
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