Call of Duty: World at War
Activision goes back to war with a new Call of Duty game for the Nintendo DS.
When Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare came out for the Nintendo DS last year, it failed to have the same kind of impact as the console versions. That said, it's still a suitable first-person shooter for the Nintendo DS, and probably the best one to come along since Nintendo's Metroid Prime Hunters. Developer N-Space is back at the drawing board to give another Call of Duty game a go, this time prepping World At War for a November 11th release.
The campaign reverts back to World War II, but this time follows the action in the Pacific campaign, as well as a few side missions in Russia. Your job is to work alongside your team and take out enemy soldiers by any means necessary. Most of the time, you'll have to use whatever weapon you have on hand to finish them off, be it a simple army-issue rifle or something more powerful, such as a bazooka. Occasionally, you'll have to use the Nintendo DS touch screen to complete more physical tasks, such as sending Morse code to your comrades or physically turning the gears on a mortar.
Gameplay consists of both the d-pad for movement and the touch screen for aiming, just like the previous Call of Duty game. There's nothing wrong with that, as it's perfectly functional. However, you'll have to stay on your toes, as the enemy artificial intelligence is far more aggressive in World At War. Soldiers charge at you from out of nowhere, running at you like they have nothing to lose. Battles on the sea and in the air are just as intense. If you don't react in the proper amount of time, you're dead meat.
Graphically, Call of Duty: World At War cannot compete with the console versions, but that's expected. It is, however, on a similar level with last year's Call of Duty DS game. The sprites are nicely animated, the touch-screen devices are easily readable and the levels are huge. Sound also has slight improvement, with use of voice samples, huge explosions and plenty of gunfire. One noticeable difference, however, is that the weapons no longer resemble cheap 2-D models. They're implemented directly into the game, which adds to the realism. The compass is a little easier to read as well, with objectives and enemies clearly marked.
Probably the most noteworthy addition, however, is multiplayer. That's right, Call of Duty: World At War for the Nintendo DS has competitive multiplayer with up to four players, both locally and through the Wi-Fi Connection. It takes some time to find a player to match up with, at least from the time we spent with an early build. However, it runs smoothly once a match takes place, as we had no problem smoking some poor fool trying to get the jump on us.
Various modes are available, including Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag and Hunter Vs. Prey, where one player takes on all the others. Furthermore, perks will also be introduced in this game, as you have advantages with each new match. There are also classes available, allowing you experience things with different equipment.
If you're a fan of the Call of Duty series, or just first person shooters in general, Call of Duty: World At War is bound to knock your socks off and maybe your pants as well. We'll be back with the final verdict once the game ships next month. In the meantime, prepare for war.