I realize its 2 years old now. And I know it only supports 8 players compared to the more recent Modern Warfare Reflex & Black Ops which both support 10 players online. Now before I go any further I am not comparing World at War to either of these games as I haven’t played them. So I am judging World at War on its own merits.
But I really like it the way it is. Treyarch is undoubtedly one of Nintendo’s biggest saviors. Infinity Ward showed their lack of interest in the world’s most popular home console by not bothering with Wii versions of either of their Modern Warfare games. But Treyarch have managed to produce not only their last two games (World at War and Black Ops) but also in between this converting Call of Duty 4 to the Wii too.
Anyway. The reason I enjoy World at War so much is simple – its just so much fun to play! The maps are nicely varied with close maps like Dome and Courtyard and larger open maps like Cliffside and Asylum providing a good variety. The usual selection of weapons (ancient given their historical accuracy) provide people of all tastes a good choice. I personally prefer sniping so the Springfield is always close to my hand. But there are occasions where only a sub will do so I opt for the Type-100 with a drum magazine. Noobish I know but as I mention later its sometimes the only chance you have. And I refuse point blank to ever use the rifle grenade…
One of my few gripes with all Call of Duty console versions is the way you connect online – you choose your game type but you have no say in who’s game (or Wii in this case) you connect to. You can’t even specify your region (like Killzone 2) or ping (like PC games) so it can feel like pot luck how good your connection will be. It took me some time to realize this but there is a connection strength bar on the score menu from 1 to 4. If you have four bars you have a decent chance of being able to shoot who you’re aiming at. If you’re hosting then you should really be wiping the floor with everyone else. Three bars and it can be a bit sketchy – you can empty an entire double mag and hit nothing even with two enemies in front of you. One or two bars and its hopeless. Your character will literally jump around and fire beyond your control effectively making it unplayable.
But as long as you’re aware of this the game provides a lot of excitement even with only 8 players. For me Hardcore Team Deathmatch and Free For All are my game modes of choice. I do enjoy the [limited] team work on any team death match. I like the fact there are areas both teams will endeavor to attack/protect even if you don’t know each other (most players on World at War now are fairly experienced…) and there are areas to avoid no matter what game mode you’re playing. I like the frenetic pace of Dome on free for all. I have played larger free for all matches on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare where the sheer number of players on the map make it almost unplayable. There are numerous ways your game can be ruined – like some one is spawn camping and mowing you all down as you regenerate. That isn’t fun even when you get the idiot back… I feel on maps like Dome 8 or 10 is the ideal number. You aren’t scythed down as you spawn and you all have a decent chance of getting some kills. It does annoy me that you can only get one grenade per life but that is a minor gripe.
One of the revelations for someone like me who has also put time in on Medal of Honor: Heroes 2 and The Conduit is the “hit marker” that tells you when you’re bullets or grenades are finding their mark. This might seem “normal” for people used to playing COD games but Medal of Honor for sure didn’t give you hit feedback of any sort so working out if you’re bullets were landing was impossible – it was pray and spray most of the time. This feature is one of the best aspects in my opinion of the whole COD series as it makes life an awful lot easier.
I also prefer the control method with the Wii mote. Its miles easier than using a joypad. I read some where recently that one of the (presumably many) reasons Microsoft has never allowed Games for Windows and Xbox live players to hit the same servers (and therefore play each other) is the control method. I can’t remember how they tested the two playing against each other but the consensus was that a mediocre player with a mouse/keyboard would easily wipe the floor with some of the very best console players. I can easily believe this as I strongly feel the Wii mote (and possibly the Move and Kinect too) are suited to the quick movement required to do well in an FPS – something not always possible using a joypad. I know a lot of people have mentioned “control lag” as an issue with Killzone 2.
Summing up one of my favourite moments on any game on any console was sitting on the top of the toilet bowl on Cliffside, looking down the map on the left, looking down my Springfield’s scope to see a dude running up the hill. Aiming [in the game] about 8ft in front of the guy I pulled the trigger and got the most satisfying kill ever.