So I've had about a week with Treyarch's Call of Duty: World at War Beta or as I like to call it, Not Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Not that it's a bad game by any means, it's just not Call of Duty 4, and anyone of the 9 million plus people who have basked in it's brilliance will probably think the exact same thing. There's a reason why it's still one of the top played games on Xbox Live.
Not only does World at War use the exact same engine as Infinity Ward's masterpiece, it also carries Call of Duty in the title, so it's kind of hard to not compare the two. If we were talking about 007: Quantum of Solace, which also uses the Call of Duty 4 engine, though a completely different developer, that would be a different story since they are different games.
Back to the beta. This is an online only multiplayer beta. Anyone who has played Call of Duty 4 online will immediately be in familiar territory. The lobbies are the same, the controller layout is mapped out exactly the same, perks, leveling up, etc. The obvious difference is the setting and in my opinion, it suffers from it. You'll find yourself yearning for that M4 Carbine with red dot sight within the first pull of the trigger of any of the weapons in World at War. Granted I've only leveled up to 16, the beta is capped at 20 (Editor's Note, it's now capped at 44), but from all of the weapons I've tried none have that same kick that any of the weapons in Modern Warfare do. I also love setting up claymores in Modern Warfare, and have yet to find anything equivalent to it in this beta, again I'm only a Level 16. Were claymores even around during WWII?
There are three maps available in the beta, Makin, Castle, and RoundHouse. Makin gave me the hardest time of them all, I don't care what anyone says, an outdated 17" Widescreen monitor with 500:1 contrast ratio is not the way to play this game. The game looks washed out, fault my monitor not the game, and the repsonse time is horrendous, so button presses are not entirely 1 to 1. Yes it makes a difference to play in HD. If I wasn't busy collecting bullets between the eyes, I was getting my nuts chewed on by the dogs. Yes the dogs, see Treyarch still uses the kill streak perks of Modern Warfare however, with a twist. After a 3 Kill streak you still get the equivalent of a UAV, after a 5 kill streak you get to call in an Artillery Strike, as opposed to an Air Strike in MW, and after a 7 kill streak you get to call in a pack of wild dogs, in place of the Helicopter in MW. The dogs are somewhat easy to kill if you happen to be on the receiving side, and you still earn XP points per kill, 3 to be exact. If you happen to be the on the dog
weece-perer whisperer side of things, then you should follow where the dogs take you as that will definitely help you rack up even more kills. Don't be surprised if you find some guys have 40 to 50 kills in the after game lobby, get used to it. It's pretty neat to have some jackass shooting at you, then suddenly see them fighting off the pack of dogs which will bring his ass down in a heart beat. I have a feeling we'll be hearing plenty of greifing going on. I went off on a tangent, but Makin is a really dark map with plenty of hiding spots, however no claymores, so that brings a tear to my eye.
UPDATE: For those of you Xbox Live Gold Members with 890MB of space to kill on your hard drive, the beta is now availble for you all to enjoy with no need for a beta code. Just go to the Games section of the market place and it should show up under the New release section of the Demos tab. Enjoy.
DISCLAIMER: The following entry is my impression of the Call of Duty: World at War BETA. Things can definitely change from now to final retail code, that's what a BETA is for. Lag during online play, balancing of weapons, perks, etc are ALWAYS tweaked, I repeat THAT'S WHAT A BETA IS FOR.