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(some multiplayer maps and work)
Director(s) Margaret Tang
Producer(s) Marwan A. Abderrazzaq
Designer(s) Margaret Tang
Artist(s) Brian Anderson
Writer(s) Patrick Doody
Composer(s) Sean Murray
Series Call of Duty
Engine IW engine 3.0
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows
* NA November 11, 2008
* EU November 14, 2008
* AUS November 12, 2008
Genre(s) First-person shooter
Mode(s) Single-player, Multiplayer
* BBFC: 15
* ESRB: M
* OFLC: MA 15+
* PEGI: 18+
* USK: 18 (Edited)
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 C. Miller, US Navy Petty Officer Locke 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. The game also contains downloadable content called "map packs", which can be purchased online. A new feature to the series was the addition of a cooperative mode, which supports up to two players locally and four players online.
World at War is a game in the Call of Duty series, and features a more mature theme than its previous installments. The game is also open-ended, giving the player multiple ways to complete objectives. The gameplay of World at War shares several features with previous iterations of the franchise. Players fight alongside AI-controlled teammates. They help during the game's missions by providing cover fire, shooting down enemies, and clearing rooms for entry.
When playing the Wii version of the game, instead of using a normal controller,such as the ones used by the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3, an optional gun-like expansion controller known as the Wii Zapper can be used. The Zapper, or Wii Remote and Nunchuk, can be used to aim at targets to fire at them and simulate marksmanship.
The game's return to World War II-era warfare reintroduces weapons and technology that have been seen in other games in the Call of Duty franchise, including the Thompson submachine gun, the Mosin-Nagant rifle, and the Panzerschreck anti-tank rocket launcher. The player gains access to these over the course of the game, but may only carry up to two weapons in addition to hand grenades. Weapons amd ammo from fallen foes or friendlies can be picked up to replace weapons in a player's arsenal. Players can also find weapons with additional attachments, including guns equipped with rifle grenades, telescopic sights, and bayonets.
A character can be positioned in one of three stances: standing, crouching, or prone; each affecting the character's rate of movement, accuracy, and stealth. Using cover helps the player avoid enemy fire or recover health after taking significant damage, as there are no armor or health powerups. When the character has taken damage, the edges of the screen glow red and the character's heartbeat increases. If the character stays out of fire, the character can recover. When the character is within the blast radius of a live grenade, a marker indicates the direction of the grenade, helping the player in deciding whether to flee or throw it back at the enemy.
The single player campaign includes thirteen hidden "death cards", denoted by playing cards attached to makeshift war graves. There is one in each level (barring those that take place in vehicles); collecting them unlocks cheats for Co-op mode, such as reduced enemy endurance and "paintball mode".
World at War includes a similar multiplayer experience to that which was established in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. All versions of the game use a similar perk and ranking system and feature six different multiplayer modes, including team deathmatch and capture-the-flag.
The game also features a cooperative gameplay mode with up to two players via split screen on consoles, or four players online, for the first time in the franchise. The Wii version of the game does not include online co-op, but two players can play through a "squadmate co-op" mode which allows both players to experience the game through the same screen and point of view.
All versions ( except the Wii )feature the minigame Nazi Zombies consists of 1-4 players fighting an unlimited number of waves of Nazi zombies. Players can work together with other people to assassinate the zombies known as "co-op" (cooperative) mode either offline with two players or online with 2-4 players. The players gain points by injuring or killing the zombies or repairing boarded-up windows, which are used to remove blockages inside the bunker and to gain access to more useful weapons than the starting M1911 pistol and unlock more rooms. Zombies continually break the windows to gain entrance and to find and beat the players; when all players run out of ammo, the game is over.
During the single-player campaign, the player controls three different characters from a first-person perspective. The player first assumes the role of Private C. Miller of the United States Marine Corps' 1st Division in the Pacific campaign. He is captured by the Japanese, but is rescued by Corporal Roebuck (voiced by Kiefer Sutherland) and his men from the Marine Raiders squad, during the Makin Island raid. Other notable non-playable characters of the Marine Raiders unit include Sergeant Tom Sullivan (voiced by Chris Fries) and Private Polonsky (voiced by Aaron Stanford). Sullivan dies during the campaign and either Roebuck or Polonsky die depending on the player's actions. Private Dimitri Petrenko, the second playable character, fights on the Eastern Front with Sergeant Viktor Reznov (voiced by Gary Oldman). Reznov appeared again in Call of Duty: Black Ops with Dimitri Petrenko, who later dies in a Nova 6 chamber. A war hero of sorts, Petrenko is responsible for the assassination of General Heinrich Amsel (a fictional character, responsible for massacres all over the Soviet Union according to Reznov), as well as eventually putting the Red Army banner over the Reichstag at the Battle of Berlin , despite being shot by a German, who Viktor Reznov brutally slaughters with a machete. Three years later, they are joined by a third character, Private Chernov, Reznov's subordinate, who serves as a voice of reason throughout the campaign and regularly voices shock and disapproval at the brutal slaughter he regularly witnesses. Chernov is severely burned by a German flamethrower in the campaign mission "Heart of The Reich." It is unknown whether or not he survives. They are all soldiers in the 3rd Shock Army under the command of Commissar Markhov. The third playable character in the campaign is Petty Officer Locke, a weapons operator on a PBY Catalina flying boat, who is only playable in the mission "Black Cats" during a solo campaign.
The story begins in Makin Island at night on August 17, 1942. Marine Private C. Miller watches the torture and execution of Private K. Pyle, a fellow Marine, by the Japanese. Milliseonds before Miller's execution, he is rescued by a squad of Marines, led by Corporal Roebuck and Sergeant Sullivan as they assault the island, replicating the Makin Island raid. The following mission then starts two years later at the beginning of the Battle of Peleliu. After breaking through the Japanese lines on the Peleliu beach, Miller destroys two Type 97 Chi-Ha tanks with rocket strikes, allowing the American tanks to advance. At the end of the mission, Sergeant Sullivan is killed by a Japanese officer with a katana. Roebuck, now promoted to Sergeant, and his squad make their way through the Peleliu swamps to launch an assault on a Japanese-held airfield to disable anti-aircraft guns. During the assault, Miller acquires a flamethrower to destroy a bunker and a bazooka to blow up Japanese tanks.
The story then shifts to the Eastern Front on September 17, 1942 during the Battle of Stalingrad. Private Dimitri Petrenko regains consciousness in a fountain, just as German troops kill his surviving injured comrades. When they leave, Dimitri meets Sergeant Viktor Reznov, another survivor, who tells him of his intention: a secret mission to kill a German general named Heinrich Amsel who is responsible for the massacres. After killing some German soldiers in their way, Dimitri follows Reznov through buildings and streets and they meet up with the remainder of Dimitri's unit, who are about to assault the General's communication post. During the assault, Dimitri manages to kill Amsel. Dimitri and Reznov jump into the Volga River and escape. The following mission takes place three years later, during the Battle of the Seelow Heights, near Berlin. Dimitri has been captured by German soldiers in an abandoned house. He is saved when the Red Army attacks the house and he is re-united with Sgt. Reznov. Reznov's right-hand-man Pvt. Chernov is also introduced. The Soviet troops advance through German lines and Dimitri aids them with a Panzerschreck until they reach a German camp. The story then returns to the Pacific Theater. On Peleliu, the Americans are pushing further inland. Miller and his unit take out enemy mortar crews, so their tanks can go inland. They then proceed through the Japanese underground tunnels to attack the Point, one of the major Japanese strongholds, allowing American ships to advance, and the island of Peleliu finally falls into American hands.
The following mission campaign returns to Eastern Europe, where Dimitri and Reznov pilot T-34 tanks, pushing through German lines. The Soviet troops then board a train to Berlin. Upon arrival, they engage German soldiers on the outskirts of Berlin, commencing the Battle of Berlin. They then advance through the streets, killing any soldiers who stand in their way, taking no prisoners and eventually, the Soviet soldiers reach the entrance to the Berlin U-Bahn, where three German soldiers are attempting to surrender. Reznov is unwilling to deny his men their revenge and gives Dimitri the choice of determining their method of death: he and Chernov can shoot them, or burn them alive with Molotov cocktails. They head into the U-Bahn and start fighting German soldiers around the platforms, until a surge of water fills the tunnel and Dimitri, unable to avoid the oncoming tidal wave, almost drowns.
The story then shifts back to the Pacific during the Battle of Okinawa, where the player becomes Petty Officer Locke in a PBY Catalina flying boat, which takes part in a raid on three merchant ships. On their way back to base, another Catalina is destroyed by Japanese Zeroes, leaving Locke and his crew alone. the US fleet is assaulted, replicating Operation Ten-Go. Locke's PBY, which is the only PBY near enough to come to immediate aid, arrives. They are able to rescue American sailors in the sea, but if the player takes too long to respond, the sailors are killed by enemy machine gun fire. Locke also has to shoot at Japanese PT boats and kamikaze planes. With the PBY almost completely destroyed, more US aircraft arrive. In the following mission, Miller's squad makes a ground assault on Okinawa. They clear out the Japanese from machine gun bunkers, allowing American tanks to progress. With the battle almost won, the Americans storm Shuri Castle. Having cleared the entrance, they reach the center of the castle. Once there, they encounter Japanese soldiers surrendering. However, when Roebuck and Polonsky go to search them, they reveal concealed grenades under their clothes, at which point the player is presented with a grim choice of saving either Roebuck or Polonsky. The remaining American troops arrive to assist the squad and engage the remaining Japanese soldiers in a battle in the castle center. After Miller calls in air strikes on two buildings, the Americans take Shuri Castle, crushing the last bastion of Japanese resistance in the Pacific War.
The final mission starts as Reznov drags Dimitri out of the U-Bahn to regroup with Soviet infantry. The Red Army then advances towards the Reichstag. During the assault at the Reichstag's entrance, Chernov is badly burned by a German flamethrower. He survives, but is unable to continue fighting. Reznov, Dimitri, and the remaining Soviet soldiers then clear the Reichstag of its defenders, and reach the rooftop. Before he can replace the Nazi flag, Dimitri is shot by a dying German soldier, whom Reznov kills with a machete shortly after. Although wounded, Dimitri manages to plant the Soviet flag (in an allusion to Raising a flag over the Reichstag), signalling Soviet victory, ending the war.
Later, in a flashback revealed by Reznov in Call of Duty: Black Ops, Reznov and Dimitri are transferred to the Arctic where they are given a special assignment shortly after their participation in the Battle of Berlin. Dimitri is eventually executed at the instruction of his commanding officer, ending his role in the Call of Duty series.
World at War was announced on June 23, 2007 by Activision, who confirmed that the game was to be released in fall 2008, and that the series would revert back to its customary World War II setting. The game had an approximately two-year long development cycle, double that of Treyarch's previous entry to the series, Call of Duty 3. The game is powered by an enhanced version of the Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare engine, with several improvements made to the physics model. Environments are more destructible and can be set on fire with the flamethrower, which features propagating fire. Dismemberment, as well as realistic skin and clothes burning of the characters were added.
Not long after, Treyarch released the modding tools for Call of Duty: World at War. These tools were the same ones used to create all the other Call of Duty series games, but with slight changes version to version, which can be downloaded online. Kiefer Sutherland and Gary Oldman were cast as voice actors for the game. Sutherland voices the narrator and squad leader of the American campaign, Sergeant Roebuck, while Oldman voices that of the Soviet campaign, Sergeant Reznov. A full-sized replica PBY Catalina was constructed for motion capture use.
The music for Call of Duty: World at War was composed by Sean Murray. He was hired after Brian Tuey, Treyarch's audio director, approached Murray. Murray stated that they had worked together earlier on True Crime: New York City, the sequel to the first True Crime: Streets of LA, and that "he [Tuey] knew I would bring a fresh approach to Call of Duty: World at War". This also led to Adam Levenson, the audio director of Activision, being called in to help them. Murray also said that he wanted to make the music more fun and intense, but also "a specific musical path that follows the psyche of the gameplay".
The new technology of occlusion, which changes the sound made by nearby object depending on objects blocking its path e.g. walls, has been added to World at War. The game has various levels of "muffled" sound depending on the objects it travels though e.g. a more muffled sound through a thick wall compared to a slightly muffled sound through a thin short wall. For the first time in a Call of Duty game, the player is able to tell the difference between someone walking next to the player and someone walking above or below the player, as well as telling the difference between a shot fired in the distance and a shot fired close by, but behind a solid object.
The other technology of Flux was also developed using field recording systems. The World at War crew traveled to a desert with mountains on both side of the range to test the frequencies of sounds made by World War II weapons. Microphones were placed 60 yards (55 m) behind and 60 yards in front of the gun to test the echoes. This was later replicated and developed in the studio for the game software. It means that players will be able to pinpoint a sniper rifle shot, as it reflects off them, as well as hearing the initial 'pop' of a hand grenade blowing up and then the grenade's loud "whoosh" sound that begins where the grenade blew up, and ends behind the player. The flux system also combines with the occlusion system.
The first trailer for the game premiered on Xbox Live on June 21, 2008, and arrived on PlayStation Network five days later. A beta of the game's online multiplayer mode was released for the Xbox 360 on October 10, 2008. A PC version of the beta was later released on October 28, 2008. Those who pre-ordered the game at GameStop, GAME and EB Games in Australia or North America or who are members of the Call of Duty official website were given codes which allowed them to download both beta versions of the game. Coinciding with the release of the game, McFarlane Toys produced four action figures. Three are different varieties of US Marine Corps infantry, and the fourth is a British Special Ops soldier.
A collector's edition of World at War was released on November 11, 2008 in North America and November 14, 2008 in Europe. It includes several bonus items, among them a stainless steel canteen imprinted with the Call of Duty series logo and a metal storage tin. The collector's edition also gives the player access to an unlockable weapon and the opportunity to earn double experience points in the online multiplayer mode, as well as a specially colored clan tag to denote the player's VIP status. This edition of the game is only available for the Microsoft Windows and Xbox 360 platforms.