Reviewed: November 22, 2008
Released: November 11, 2008
You might be thinking “Not another World War II first person shooter!”, but Treyarch has really done a great job and gone a bit further with this rendition of Call of Duty: World at War for the Wii. World at War on the Wii console is not your everyday run of the mill first person shooter but has in-depth gameplay and an in your face story that is great.
The first person shooter is an under achieved genre on the Wii console as the Wii remote and Nunchuk do not really lend themselves well to this area but a few games have done well with it. Call of Duty: World at War can now count themselves in the small but growing group of games that not only work well for the first person shooter in single player but in online multiplayer gameplay as well.
The story is familiar but the execution is anything but, World War II on the Pacific and Russian fronts with plenty of action and mud churning action in a fast paced first person shooter that will have you racing for more. The single player story is the same for the Wii console as the other consoles and even the PC version, so if you have played the others this is no different from that point.
But the controls and execution of that is the whole difference and can be a fun challenge once you have yourself comfortable with the controls. I found that the game is quite different when you’re in the gun totting Wii console version that gives a more personal touch to the game. While it will take you at least a level or two to get used to the controls the game is very fun to play and the great storyline of either an American Marine or Russian private is engrossing. You fight through varying levels as a Marine and Russian soldier and with one level in a tank but this version leaves out the PBY fighting that the other versions contain.
This small shortcoming is not felt at all and the Wii version has a perk the others do not in the additional co-op mode you get. The single player version is great and will have you working for several hours to complete it to unlock the zombie level that is also as a bonus here as well.
In the single player you will jump back and forth from the Japanese front to the Russian and work through simple objectives usually based on reaching a point of the level. The Wii version is pretty much like the others with you being able to pick up any weapon lying around and having your choice of three while fighting along with your always present knife.
You can have one small arm and a larger rifle or machine gun as well as one special weapon like a rocket launcher or flame thrower. The weapons all handle well on the Wii console with a very good adjustment set for control and sensitivity in the options menu. If you do opt for the Wii Zapper or other weapons based guns for your controller you will have a bit of an advantage over those just using the Wii Remote and Nunchuk in my opinion. Using a gun or Zapper does make things a bit easier and especially more fun but control is so well done for all three different schemes I tried that I would have to say they all work well.
I used the Wii Remote and Nunchuk for some and switched to the Zapper that also worked well but just a little better than the remote and Nunchuk alone. I also have a Nyko gun and that worked just as well as the Zapper so you have a good base for controls for World at War.
The story is the usual World War II fare but the addition of such realistic fighting and really good AI makes for a great game overall. The story has you running through various typical missions like fighting from one point in a beach landing to taking over the Japanese front lines. Others have a bit more loose objectives like the first Russian mission of just racing along after a comrade who is helping you learn to not only survive but use a sniper rifle. The sniping is probably the hardest weapon to use and control but it is learnable and even fun as well and can be mastered for a really rounded out game of war.
Online play on the Wii is a bit different than the other versions only in the slightly limited modes and the lower players available but the same fast action and great game play is still there. The Wii makes things a bit different in that you actually have to turn the screen at times so there is more of a feeling of being in the action like your having to turn yourself to see what is going on in various directions.
You also have the fact that you have to get yourself up and move around much more while playing so the Wii version to me feels more in the action than the other console versions or the PC. The fast paced action adds to your excitement and the World War II scenes have never been done this realistically, especially for the Pacific campaign parts.
The Russian front looks great but the Pacific portions have been really well done with a real feeling of being in the heat and action both in the real sense of temperature as well as war. The graphics on the Wii are a bit lower toned than the consoles but they still look great on the Wii with almost realistic looking effects such as great looking flames from the flame thrower.
While the blood and many of the body parts flying off at various explosions and from wounds may be a bit over the top at times it adds very much to the sense of being in the thick of battle. The Wii graphics are well done with no loss of frame rate during both single player and online play for almost all the gaming.
The audio is equally well done with plenty of realistic sounding audio and effects but not the surround sound that is slightly more enjoyable on the console or PC versions when available. The theme music and voice acting is just as good here as in the other versions which means fantastic with actors such as Keifer Sutherland and Gary Oldman.
The graphics and sound are just great and are very well done but about what you would expect from the Wii version of a great video game so there was no disappointments. With online play there was about the same graphics and audio quality with no problems due to frame rates or slowing down in the game.
The online play is a bit limited for modes with team and individual deathmatch as well as an individual free for all in a variety of maps. The maps are really well made with a great variety of locations for just about all the various specialties like sniper, close combat and explosives expert.
The experience system works well in the Wii version of World at War and you get the useable unlocks of better weapons and being able to create your own specialty classes. You also have the great co-op mode of one player being the main controller with the second player having a second gun in the game to pick off various enemies.
The co-op mode adds the second player as a second crosshair without being able to control the screen or anything else, just an extra gun. You really add a great amount of additional bullets and chaos onscreen through the regular single player campaign maps with the co-op mode for a bit of extra fun.
The Wii version of Call of Duty: World at War is almost the same with a few changes from the other console versions but is also a great game in its own right. The action and realistic story of World War II with the additional control scheme of the Wii is here for a great game that may not be best on the Wii but certainly no slouch itself.
If you’re a Wii fan of first person shooters, Call of Duty: World at War is a great game and one very worthy of owning with its great story and very well done online multiplayer gaming.