Call of Duty: World at War
Call of Duty: World at War is a first-person shooter video game developed by Treyarch and published by Activision for PC, PlayStation 3, Wii, and Xbox 360. It is the fifth installment in the Call of Duty series, excluding expansion packs. It returns the setting to World War II, after the previous title, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare was set in present day. The game was released in North America on November 11, 2008 and in Europe on November 14, 2008. A Windows Mobile version was also made available by Glu Mobile and different storyline versions for the Nintendo DS and PlayStation 2 were made, but remain in the World War II setting. The game is based on an enhanced version of the Call of Duty 4 game engine developed by Infinity Ward with increased development on audio and visual effects.
The narrative for the Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Wii, and Xbox 360 versions focuses on the Pacific and Eastern Front theatres of World War II, involving the United States, the Empire of Japan, the Soviet Union, and Nazi Germany. It is told from the perspectives of Marine Raider Private Miller and Red Army soldier Private Dimitri Petrenko and is based on several historical battles. The multiplayer component of the game contains various game modes and a leveling system that allows the player to unlock additional weapons and rewards as they progress, similar to Call of Duty 4. A new feature to the series is the addition of a cooperative mode, which supports up to two players locally and four players online.
The game was the second best-selling game for November 2008 in the United States, selling over 1.41 million units. In the UK, it sold twice as many units as Call of Duty 4 in its first week after release, becoming the third fastest-selling video game. It received positive reviews, with praise for its portrayal of the gritty, dark side of war and multiple game modes. However, it was criticized for not building on the success of Call of Duty 4. World at War currently holds an 85% aggregate score on Game Rankings and Metacritic.
The game starts in Makin Island at night on August 17, 1942. Private Miller watches the torture and execution of a fellow marine by Japanese soldiers. As they turn towards Miller, he is rescued by Corporal Roebuck (Kiefer Sutherland) and his crew assault the island, replicating the Makin Island raid. The following mission then starts two years later, where the Americans assault the Japanese-held island of Peleliu. Miller calls in rocket strikes to take out Japanese Ha-Gō tanks. At the end of the mission, Sergeant Sullivan is fatally impaled through the stomach by a Japanese soldier who bursts through a door wielding a katana. The next mission starts in a swamp area of Peleliu, with Corporal Roebuck (now promoted to Sergeant after the death of Sullivan), as they travel to the Japanese-held airfield. Miller acquires a flamethrower, Rifle grenade launcher, and bazooka during the mission.
The game then jumps to the Soviet campaign on September 17, 1942, during the Battle of Stalingrad. Dimitri Petrenko wakes up amongst dead bodies of his fellow soldiers in the city’s fountain, as the Germans shoot them. After they have gone, he meets Sergeant Reznov (Gary Oldman), a soldier from another unit. Reznov tells Dimitri that he wants to kill General Amsel, the man behind the Soviet casualties. After eliminating some German soldiers, Dimitri follows Reznov through buildings and streets as they kill Germans on their way, using sniper rifles and machine guns, until Dimitri kills Amsel; at which point they run away and jump into a river while being pursued by German soldiers. The following mission starts three years later at the Battle of Seelow Heights, near Berlin, where Dimitri has been captured and is in an abandoned barn with three German soldiers. He attempts to steal a fallen comrade’s rifle, only to be kicked in the face by a German soldier. At that moment, the Red Army attacks the barn. One of the men who bursts in is none other than Sergeant Reznov, along with his subordinate, Private Chernov. Reznov is elated that his old friend is still very much alive and speaks of him as a hero. Together the Soviet troops advance through German lines, showing no mercy to their enemies and Dimitri aids them with a Panzerschrek, as they reach a German camp.
The game returns back to Peleliu, where the Americans are pushing further inland through the island. Miller and his unit take out enemy mortar crews so their tanks can go inland. They capture the last Japanese stronghold, “The Point,” and the Island of Peleliu falls into the hands of the Americans.
A firefight in the streets of BerlinThe following mission campaign returns to the Battle of Seelow Heights. Dimitri is at the controls of a OT-34-85 tank as he helps the Soviet Army to reach the train station by destroying German tanks. He, along with Reznov and the Soviet troops, board a train to Berlin. Upon arrival, they engage German soldiers in buildings and around the streets, as the Germans are retreating. The following day, Dimitri watches a fellow Soviet execute a surrendering German soldier, much to the shock of Chernov. They then move through buildings and streets clearing out Germans, until they reach the entrance to the Berlin U-Bahn. At the entrance, some German soldiers are encountered trying to surrender. However, Reznov is reluctant to deny his comrades their revenge and allows Dimitri to choose their method of death – he can kill them quickly and painlessly with his gun or let the other Red Army soldiers burn them alive them with Molotov cocktails. They head into the U-Bahn and start fighting German resistance around the platforms. When the station starts to collapse, the group try to escape by prying through a side door in the tunnel. As they are doing this, a massive surge of water shoots through the tunnel and Dimitri, who was unable to avoid the oncoming surge of water, almost drowns.
After the battle of Peleliu, where the player takes control of Petty Officer Locke, in a PBY Catalina flying boat. He destroys Japanese PT Boats and merchant ships from the aircraft and then, on the way back to base, aids a U.S. fleet under attack. They rescue American sailors in the sea, while Locke shoots at Japanese PT boats and kamikaze planes, until more U.S. aircraft arrive. The game shifts back to Miller as he and his squad make a ground assault on Okinawa after the aircraft mission. They clear out Imperial soldiers from machine gun bunkers, allowing American tanks to progress. In the following mission, they are ambushed while retrieving ammunition before starting their assault on Shuri Castle. Miller kills Japanese crew around mortars and the courtyards. The Americans then storm Shuri Castle and clear most of it out. However, they then encounter some Japanese soldiers who pretend to surrender. When Polonsky and Roebuck go to disarm them, they attack them and pull out grenades. The player is given the choice of which of the two to save, with the other Marine being killed. The surviving Americans fight off a final Japanese counterattack and take Shuri Castle, capturing Okinawa. Miller is then given the dog tags of the fallen marine from his squad by the survivor.
The penultimate mission starts with Reznov pulling Dimitri safely out of the flooded U-Bahn to regroup with Soviet infantry and snaps at Chernov, giving him the Soviet flag to plant when they take the Reichstag. They clear out buildings along a street to proceed towards the plaza outside the Reichstag, where Dimitri destroys 88mm guns and they take out the remaining German infantry defending the entrance to the Reichstag. As they are advancing up the stairs, however, Chernov is badly burned by a German with a flamethrower. Reznov is devastated by the attack, blaming himself. They enter and clear the Reichstag of German soldiers. After that, they clear out remaining German infantry on the roof of the building. Dimitri then moves up to plant the Soviet flag, which has been dropped after its second bearer was killed in the gun battle. Before he can do so, a wounded German soldier rises up and shoots Dimitri with a pistol. Reznov comes to Dimitri’s aid and kills the German with his machete. He helps Dimitri up and cuts the swastika off the flagpole at the top of the Reichstag. Dimitri then plants the flag, signaling Soviet victory over Germany. A final cutscene details the end of the war in Europe, the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the peace accord signed as a result.