Call of Duty: World at War Beta Impressions

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If you haven’t heard, the Xbox 360 closed multiplayer beta for the new Call of Duty installment, titled World at War, is in progress. Quite a few codes were given out, and several of us here at Media Whore Network got some. We’ve played it together, killed Japanese, Germans, Russians, and Americans, and we’re here to let you know how it holds up. Each of the 4 of us that are in the beta it will be giving our no-bullshit impressions. It’s pretty hefty, so if you want to know our thoughts hit the jump.


As soon as I started playing CoD:Waw, I felt a sense of deja vu. The reason behind this is that World at War does not stray from CoD4‘s formula much at all. From the menus to the perks, to the challenges, to the button layout, you are essentially playing Call of Duty 4 with a World War 2 mod. That sounds harsh, but is it actually a bad thing? In my opinion, no. I loved everything about Call of Duty 4, the perks system, leveling up, the challenges, and it is easily still my favorite multiplayer experience this generation. Treyarch knew that they had big shoes to fill, and seeing as their last Call of Duty, CoD3, didn’t do so hot, it is a very wise thing of them to do this.

So if so much is the same, what’s different? A few things. The guns are obviously changed to reflect the era, though the categories of guns stay the same. Instead of an air strike, there is now an artillery strike, which works much like the air strike, except it hits a smaller area and lasts longer, and makes a god-frighteningly scary noise. The helicopter has been replaced, thank god, fuck the helicopter in it’s stupid asshole. Now, when you get a 7 kill streak, you unleash a pack of angry dogs on the enemy. These dogs will home in on the enemy and kill mercilessly unless they are killed immediately. Finally, there’s something I’m worried about. There’s vehicles now, namely a tank in the level Roundhouse. The problem is, in my opinion these tanks are way too powerful, and take up to 4 rocket launcher direct hits to take out. Hopefully Treyarch will do something so certain levels won’t forever be “race to the tank” levels.


So Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare was a huge success and has successfully dethroned Halo 3 as the king of Xbox Live multiplayer.  That’s something that we, as gamers, all know right?  CoD4 was such an improvement over the previous installment that it’s not even worth comparing the two.  And of course the bread and butter for MW was it’s multiplayer.

Now here we are, one year later, and Call of Duty 5: World at War has released their multiplayer beta.  I was lucky enough to get a key, just like Coon.  So what are my thoughts on this game?   To put it bluntly, World at War is Modern Warfare but set in WWII.  That’s not to say it’s a bad game though.  But let’s be realistic here, this game isn’t doing anything new for the series (the 4th game set in WWII) or for the genre that Modern Warfare didn’t already do.  The Perks system is back, the class system is back.  The kill streak abilities are back except instead of airstrikes and helicopters you have artillery strikes and attack dogs.

Graphics are pretty standard for the 360 now.  One nice addition is the tanks you can drive in the Roundtable map.  Weapons only really changed shape from Modern Warfare.  I also noticed that you burn through ammunition much faster, especially with the submachine guns and there isn’t much ammo laying around.  That’s not really a problem though since you will be dying….a lot.

Overall I had fun with it but I’m not convinced that it’s worth putting down another $60 of my money for basically Modern Warfare set in WWII.  For those CoD fanboys you will love it since it doesn’t challenge you or really give you anything new, just more of what you love.  The sad part is I’m sure with the release of this game it will be harder to find games for Modern Warfare. Guess I’ll have to play with those French fuckers.  Viva la France!!


Call of Duty: World at War is exactly what I expected. No more, no less. It is Call of Duty 4 set in WW2. Is that a bad thing? Not necessarily. I’m personally not a huge fan of the Call of Duty series, but I did play Call of Duty 4 a lot. I’ll admit, the multiplayer system is wonderful. I love games that include some kind of persistent upgrade and stats system. World at War is a carbon copy of that system, and I can’t fault Treyarch for that.

However, I have one major gripe about the game. Not one of the guns has recoil, and it pisses me off to no end. For instance, you can take a Thompson submachine gun and spray a whole clip without the crosshair moving. This makes the game way easier than it should be. It reduces the gameplay to simple “Spray n’ Pray”.

That being said, if Treyarch decides to fix the recoil, the game will turn out to be a great game, albeit a carbon copy of Call of Duty 4. I personally won’t be picking it up, but if you were a huge fan of Call of Duty 4, then World at War is definitely right up your alley.


For starters, I’m not that much of a COD fan, after all I don’t own any and have only borrowed COD2 and COD4 in the past, but a free beta is free so I thought why not get in this beta. My first impressions were that COD:WaW is similar to COD4 but different at the same time. Of course it’s running on the same engine and you can tell by the way it plays. If you’ve played COD4, you’ll be instantly familiar with the controls and gameplay. But of course then there’s the difference?  This isn’t a modern day fictional war, this is World War 2. It might not make the game sound that different on paper but the weapons make the difference a reality. In COD4, most of the weapons you could pick from would have some kind of scope, but not here, or at least in the beta. There are only a few weapons that do have scopes as an upgrade but even so, only depending on the ridge of your weapons makes for a more tactical and challenging firefight when faced with an enemy.

The beta contains 3 maps and 5 gametypes. The maps consist of Makin, a map set at night time in what looks like a small Japanese village, Castle, which is set around traditional Japanese buildings, partly demolished by the effects of war and finally Roundhouse, set in an abandoned train depot somewhere in Germany. Roundhouse is arguably the worst of the 3 maps, as it has a confusing layout and hiding under trains makes for an easy killing spot, however this could just be me nitpicking. My favourite of the 3 would be Castle, since I enjoyed it’s multiple levels and general layout. Perks make a return and while most of them are familiar in someway to the perks of COD4, there are some new ones in there, as well as the vehicle perks. For example, there is the second chance perk, which allows you to heal a dying ally back to health. This brings back the idea of the medic from COD3 and is one perk I’m sure I will use if I buy the full game. The vehicle perks are as you’d imagine, perks for vehicles and in the beta’s case, tanks. Other new additions are the anti-tank grenades, which do what their name suggests, tabun gas, which is a gas that will blur your vision and cause you to move slower (unless you have the gas mask perk) and the flares, which are similar to the flash grenades of COD4 but without the flash.

Complaints would be that weapons are a bit unbalanced in this beta and that the game seems to have a steep learning curve. As for the gametypes, as well as the standard FFA and Team Deathmatch, Domination is back ableit slightly different, there’s Capture the Flag which while it’s fun to play, it doesn’t offer much in the way of tactics as the flag carrier has no limitations and can shoot normally. And there’s one more, but I haven’t played on it. So there you have it. If I’d have to sum up the COD:WaW beta in one sentence it’d be this: If you enjoyed COD4 and don’t mind going back to WWII, then at least the multiplayer should measure up.

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