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    dkirschner's Call of Duty: World at War (PS3)

    [October 5, 2013 08:35:13 AM]
    Ok, my first two PS3 games ever are failing left and right. Or I'm just making poor choices. I inherited my brother's PS3 recently and have just finished getting missing accessories and buying most every PS3 exclusive I wanted to play and most every game that was supposed to be better on PS3 or that was region locked on my NTSC-J 360. Began with one of my brother's games, one that I would never have bought on my own. I'm not a Call of Duty fan, but if a friend has one I'll play through the campaign just to watch big explosions and see how disjointed the story is.

    World at War, in the 2 hours I played it, succeeded in having big explosions and a disjointed story, par for the CoD course. Unfortunately, my PS3 won't read the disc anymore. I read online that this is a not uncommon problem with World at War, which is weird. The disc is cosmetically perfect and the PS3 reads everything else I put in it. People online reported the same phenomenon. But anyway, I can only review based on the first two hours.

    I enjoyed the WWII setting. I know there are a zillion WWII games, but I don't play many of them so I don't have era burnout. I play more futuristic sci-fi games and was glad for the return of fighting with MACHINES instead of cyber-weapons. The audio was fantastic, the sounds of the guns rang in my ears. It sounded (to the best of my knowledge) really like firing old guns from that era. As you would expect, the game looked gorgeous too.

    The difference between this WWII game and most others is that this was set in the Pacific theatre. There is no D-Day level. A couple early levels had me going through an island jungle getting ambushed by tricksy Japanese soldiers who like to yell "BANZAIIII" and charge. They also liked to pretend to be dead, then get up and yell banzai, hide in the bushes and emerge yelling banzai, kill your allies and hide under them and get up and yell banzai, hide in the bed of a truck or near a crashed airplane and come out and yell banzai, hide in trees and yell banzai...It was startling at first and I would tense up and bayonet them like my life depended on it! But it quickly became an old trick.

    Therein lies the problem with World at War, and is one reason why I don't care one way or the other for CoD games. That is, the game boils down to shooting rubber ducks at a carnival. You and your squad roam around shooting anything that moves. Segments are over fast, enemies usually come from one direction, they're easy to spot, easy to kill, and there are hordes. I realize that this is often a staple of the genre in general, but coupled with the lame stories CoD games tend to have, I notice these things more. I am pretty sure that World at War actually did use infinitely spawning enemies that continue until you move forward or reach an objective. NOT A FAN of infinitely spawning enemies because there is no feedback saying "Yes, you are doing this right. Keep doing what you are doing." Infinitely spawning enemies say, "Keep killing them until they stop. Stay right there." Because the assumption is that there AREN'T infinite enemies so the player would notice if they were doing something right. But these would just run along the same trajectory as the previous one I just killed, hide behind the same cover.

    The narrative was typical. You play from the jostling perspectives of a handful of people. After two hours I'd been two characters and had jumped in time twice or thrice. I had NO IDEA what was going on outside my immediate objective. No idea how the characters related to one another, why I was in 1941 then 1944, and on and on. Unless I'm in love with the gameplay, it's hard for me to keep going when there's a story I don't care about. Lots of soldiers die and the alive ones scream about it. Lots of people yell at my character and curse and are really macho and war is hell man. Everyone's courageous and a real soldier and this is how it really was, right? I did find some of the squad commentary funny about the Japanese bonzai soldiers. Some character kept saying, after every time you would be ambushed, things like "I can't believe they booby trap our dead soldiers!" or "These Japanese are really low!" or something that conveyed the effect of naive surprise. As the player, I was like "It's war. Get over it." Why comment on that stuff? It's the reality of war that tricks are involved. The enemies (from whichever perspective) are always dubious in character. There's no time to take the moral high ground when you're wandering through the jungle being ambushed. What's weird is that naive character never died.

    There you have it. Two hours with CoD: World at War before my PS3 quit reading the disc. I hope it's the disc's fault and that none of my other games suffer a similar fate!
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    dkirschner's Call of Duty: World at War (PS3)

    Current Status: Stopped playing - Technical problems

    GameLog started on: Thursday 3 October, 2013

    GameLog closed on: Friday 4 October, 2013

    dkirschner's opinion and rating for this game

    Shooting at targets...Not impressed so far, but enjoying the WWII era throwback. Tough time telling apart Japanese from Americans. --------------- Nah. PS3 won't read disc anyway.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstar

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