We know it's hard to believe, but there are other consoles out there other than the Wii, and sometimes - shock horror! - they get great games that the Wii doesn't. One such game was Call Of Duty 4, a first-person shooter which has generally been regarded as one of the best recent games due to its gripping single-player mode and its unbeatable online multiplayer. We were greatly disappointed that it never ended up on the Wii but now it seems Activision is making amends because Call Of Duty: World At War, the fifth game in the series, is here. And it's fantastic.
It's not an official statistic, but we're fairly certain that there have been more videogames based on World War II than there have been individual bullets manufactured since the turn of the 19th century. As a result there was a collective sigh when it was announced that World At War would also be set during WWII. Impressively though the game manages to feel refreshing and original: partly due to the fact it's based on less well-used campaigns, and partly due to its shocking realism.
Hard Corps Gamer
The former makes a pleasant change (well, as pleasant as war can be) from the usual "play as an American or a Brit and shoot the Nazis" stuff that features in most WWII games.
Instead, the game has two main storylines: one which follows a private in the United States Marine Corps (voiced by Keifer Sutherland) as he helps fight the Japanese Army in the Pacific, and another in which you play as a private of the Soviet Red Army who teams up with a sergeant and attempts to get revenge on the Germans who executed the rest of his unit at Stalingrad. These stories are extremely well-told throughout each level, with some truly memorable (and shocking) set-pieces at certain points. Watching one of your teammates get a bullet in his head as he's talking to you is deeply unsettling.
War Is Hell
Indeed, it's safe to say that this really isn't suitable for younger gamers. The deaths are gory, the mood is grim and the language is so bad that at times there are more F-bombs being dropped than those of the explosive variety. The game's got a BBFC 15 rating for a reason.
Grittiness and harsh realism will only get a game so far of course, so it's a good job that it's also great fun to play. Not only is the enemy AI realistic, but your CPU-controlled squadmates also behave as you'd expect. They stay back when it's a dodgy situation, advance when it's all clear and split up when there are several tasks to complete: all while communicating with you and each other. It's the most involving war game we've played. This makes it all the more upsetting when a partner is shot, but on the upside it makes it more satisfying when you approach an enemy bunker and use the new flamethrower weapon to cook the enemy soldiers inside. Yes, it's a tad violent, but that's war. As we said above, it's not really designed for younger, impressionable gamers.
War Of The Buttons
The control system is also absolutely spot on: everything's where it should be and there are loads of sensitivity options so you can make the aiming as loose or tight as you want. We'd also say that World At War makes better use of the Wii Zapper than any other Wii game. While other war games like Medal of Honor: Heroes 2 turn the game into a sort of on-rails arcade lightgun shooter when you use the Zapper, World At War retains the full experience and still allows you to freely move around as if you were just using the Remote and Nunchuk. If you've got a Zapper, this is definitely the way we'd recommend playing.