Latest VS Greatest

7 Nov

Now that it’s open to everyone on the 360, I’ve been playing the Call of Duty: World at War beta. I was late to the party on Call of Duty 4, not playing anything more than a casual match here and there until a few months ago. My roommate and I got addicted to the game then and it looks like World at War could be our next fix.

There are lots of changes in World at War, but I think the most significant are the sixty-year downgrades to the weapons.

I’m no expert on modern guns, so the trip back in time left me even more clueless. There are giant banana and disc clips, skinny pistols, door knob-eqsue grenades, side handles, and more. Aside from apperance, there are several changes in gameplay because of the technological downgrade.

Several weapons seem to have significantly smaller clips than I was used to. Weapon-types in general are somewhat different as well. Gone are assault rifles. Now, there are machine and submachine-guns, rifles and bolt-action rifles, as well as shotguns. There are different gun attachments as well.

Some of the larger machine guns can equip bipods which allow you to mount for greater accuracy and control while prone or on a ledge. I’ve also seen (though haven’t unlocked) bayonettes, rifle grenades, and extended clips. Suppressors are still around, some referred to as flash hiders.

Other changes to the gameplay are the streak bonuses. A 3-kill streak still reveals enemy locations, but now a recon plane relays the information to you. Getting a 5-kill streak now activates an artillery strike which lasts longer than the air strike of CoD4, but hits smaller areas. The biggest change is the 7-kill streak which unleases a pack of attack dogs. I’m not sure how many are released, but they can easily overrun your enemies as they take out half of their health in one strike. They don’t appear on radar, take a few shots or a careful knife to kill, hunt down enemies regardless of where they’re hiding, and will usually give away posistions as your enemies defend themselves.

I haven’t used many of the newer perks yet. Some of the original perks have changes, though some only in name. Instead of UAV Jammer, you have Camoflauge which serves the same purpose, just makes more sense given the WWII context. Second Chance is a longer Last Stand which also allows you to revive other allies in taking their last stand. Downed allies will show up on the radar with a cross and on the screen with a tab that says “Revive”, but the process takes a good while and only offers 2 points. There’s also a whole new category of perks: vehicle perks.

Of the three levels in the beta’s rotation, only one contains vehicles. Roundhouse, a circular field of debris with a big room in the middle, houses two respawning tanks. They control as you’d expect and allow room for a gunner, but I find it more fun to take the tanks out. Having played Bad Company for quite a while now, static levels (ie, non-destructible environments) make hopping in a tank a pretty cumbersome experience as you’re still confined by the same obstacles. I’ve never really taken the time to see the vehicle perks take effect.

There are lot of aesthetic changes too. The game is lot more graphic with several weapons now removing limbs or exposing nasty wounds. Streaks of blood occasionally fly when you stab an enemy. The characters also shout stage-specific lines like “They’re in the round hut!” or “They’re in the dojo!”

The Japenese environments are pretty cool, but the Japanese themselves aren’t very well done. The accent of the Japanese commander is pretty bad and the soldiers’ faces don’t look all that Japanese to me. On the otherhand, the Americans seem to shout borderline racist remarks at them. Maybe I’m looking too deep into it (and I suppose it’s somewhat accurate that WWII marines wouldn’t have held the Japanese in the highest regard), but shouting stuff like “Kill the little bastards!” (emphasis mine) seem kinda’ iffy. The Japanese are also portrayed as kind of crude and hyopcritical.

When you unleash a pack of dogs on the Japanese side, the commander will same something along the lines of “Our dogs hunger for the flesh of our enemies” while, when the enemy does the same, he shouts “Our enemies are letting their dogs do their work.” Maybe I’m looking into this too much.

Anyway, the game is fun, even with three levels. I’m sure we’ll be playing it for a while when the full game comes out later this month.

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One Response to “Latest VS Greatest”

  1. cod4source November 8, 2008 at 7:42 PM #

    I’m sure gonna miss my weapons, but we’ll see how it measures up

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