[Games That Nobody Plays Anymore is a weekly series written by Nathan Hardisty with a little title card help from Juan Houter. It’s an on-going series about the forgotten games of yesteryear, and doesn’t totally reflect the title. Remember; nobody stops playing these games; it’s just a title. Don’t make something of it or I will come down to your house and ask you politely to stop. If you have any suggestions for future titles to ‘GTNPA’ don’t forget to leave me a comment!]
Call of Duty is one of the most successful franchises to ever be born into the entire gaming industry. Modern Warfare was an absolute evolution of the first-person shooter, and as one reviewer put it, it is the new Halo. It’s all the more bad when I consider Modern Warfare 2 absolutely terrible in comparison. It’s a stripped away multiplayer (where killstreaks are king and ‘player friendly’ mechanics are in place), it’s a Michael Bay wishwash campagin (which I actually did enjoy) and everything else that’s already been said. So let’s take a trip to the last World War 2 Call of Duty.
Speaking as someone who considers World at War better than Modern Warfare 2, it’s quite hard to argue your point against the legion of massive Warfare-humpers. So, here’s my argument, fair and through. As I’ve said in my ‘In Defense of Treyarch’ article a few months back, Treyarch really do get a lot of stick. The main argument against World at War is the unbalanced and generally ugly multiplayer, to which I would wholeheartedly agree with. You have to think though, who one Earth vetoed a more player friendly Call of Duty? Well, of course, Activision. Judging from just a few articles, it can be pretty much figured out that the multiplayer was put in only 7 months before release; due to the success of Call of Duty and they wanted to milk map packs.
I’m ranting against a billion-dollar worth absolute hog of a greedy gaming machine, its CEO has been convicted of mass murdering the very ideal of a creative industry… I don’t care. Honestly, I don’t. Let the 12-16 year olds have their Call of Duty, just don’t sacrifice anything to the Gods. So, why do I like World at War more than Modern Warfare 2? Aside from the absurd claims that the multiplayer is Treyarch’s fault, there’s the campaign. The singler-player portion is getting shorter by the year, but I honestly believe it shows its full potential in World at War. The very brutality and mixed morales of World War 2, all on display, Treyarch sure know how to pull off a morally ambiguous adventure without even resorting to ‘player choice’. It oddly reminds me of… Shadow of the Colossus?
If you don’t know how to play a Call of Duty then where have you been? Shoot, shoot, shoot. What else do you do in games today anyway? There’s a nice little co-op mode called Nazi Zombies, which I love to bits. I can team up with my friends and take down waves upon waves of the undead. Gamers say it’s pointless and stupid, but how on Earth is it? It’s a co-op mode, so it has some residence within the game. It’s not stupid either, it’s stupid-fun, I could pretty much play it for the rest of today if I had to: but I have a life.
Okay that’s a joke right there.
One thing that sticks in my mind is the final missions in World at War. Gary Oldman (Jack Bauer is also in this hood) is screaming well accented English at you (still puzzled at that) while you rush towards the Reichstag. There’s this commander who’s entrenched, waiting and tapping on his rifle. All the soldier are shaking nervously, your own characters breath is pumping. The music swells up, and boy what a soundtrack, and he lets out a definitive “CHARGE!”, which is a completely epically paced gaming moment. It’s stuck in my head for sometime and it pretty much beats up any ‘exciting’ points in Modern Warfare 2.
I completely mean it when I think the soundtrack in World at War is one of the best game soundtracks ever made. It’s up there with BioShock and Shadow of the Colossus. It’s missing out on many key ideals to make a great game, and it’s certainly a very finite experience. What I will say is that in those 40 hours of playing it, I had more supercharged adrenalin and just a better experience than Modern Warfare 2. In an essay that I’m currently writing, I’ll elaborate on this point I’m about to make. In our mass-produced, mass-media, mass-cultural extravaganza of a creative industry, there is a change happening. One that scares me to the bone, one that a certain ‘Call of Duty’ did start. In that fateful year of 2007, it started a shockwave which could possibly rip our medium apart.
You can take a guess of what it is.
Next week: An E3 special!