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Forums - Gaming Discussion - Back to the past: why World at War is better than Modern Warfare

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Back in the distant prehistory of 2007, Modern Warfare was hailed for its refreshing new take on what had become a tired and stagnant genre. The next COD game, World at War, returned to WW2, a setting many gamers were well and truly tired of. The consensus at the time seemed to be that while W@W was well made, it simply lacked that fresh spark that set MW1 apart.

Now, one could argue that the opposite is true today, with modern shooters being oversaturated, thus colouring a retroactive assessment. I would maintain that even disregarding this mitigating factor, W@W is the better game.

Why? In a word, depth. MW1 adopts a very cold, clinical approach to its action. And for its setting this seems fitting; "modern warfare", after all, is more detached and mechanical than in past conflicts. It's no longer about being face to face  with your enemy and smelling their bad breath as you stab them with a bayonet, it's about scoping them from a hundred meters away or gunning down glowing pixels from the quiet safety of an AC-130. It's dehumanized.

World at War is exactly the opposite; besides sniper rifles, weapons lack scopes, and you're frequently fighting in close quarters. You see each enemy's face before you pop them at close  range with a bolt action rifle, slit their throat with a knife, or light them on fire with a flamethrower and watch them die slowly in screaming agony. Even when you shoot them, enemies often take a while to die, choking gruesomely for air. 

In other scenes, your comrades are tortured in front of you, wounded or surrendering soldiers are brutally gunned down, and the historical footage between levels shows actual executions. In many other games, this savage violence would be gratuitous, yet here it used for a better reason; W@W is not only one of the few war games to stress just how inhumane and unglamourous war can be, but also one of the few that makes you question your own actions.

This comes to a head in a scene where your squad corners some helpless German soldiers who try to surrender. Your comrades want to burn them alive with molotovs; you can either let this happen, or give them a more merciful death with your rifle. You're still executing men who have surrendered, and for me, it stung. But in such a situation, is even this the humane thing to do, at least more so than letting them burn? "This is not war, this is murder", says your squadmate Chernov. But are the lines really so clean cut?

Then, of course, there's the ending, which greets you not with a victorious fanfare, but with a solemn reminder: "60 million people lost their lives as a result of World War 2. It was the deadliest and most destructive conflict in human history." The unspoken implication is that while you may have fought to end it throughout the campaign, you nonetheless contributed to this staggering loss of life.

World at War asks you to think long and hard about what you are doing. MW1 is more straightforward; aim the pointy end at the bad guys. That's not to say MW1 is a bad game; it's a very good one. But compared to its successor, it's also a shallow one.



Bet with Liquidlaser: I say PS5 and Xbox Series will sell more than 56 million combined by the end of 2023.

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I want ww1 game.



I wish cod would go back to WWII or before, Im tired of modern shit.



daredevil.shark said:
I want ww1 game.

I'm with you, that could actually be really interesting.



Bet with Liquidlaser: I say PS5 and Xbox Series will sell more than 56 million combined by the end of 2023.

I personally preferred MW to WaW, but WaW was still really good, better than Black Ops and Ghosts for sure. I really hope the rumors are true and Treyarch are making WaW 2 for 2015 instead of Black Ops 3.



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I loved W@W. Best COD game imo, put hundreds of hours in it. Only FPS I ever played that much.



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RTDaives said:
I wish cod would go back to WWII or before, Im tired of modern shit.

That's what everyone said about WWII before CoD4 came out.

OT: I don't agree. I played through it co-op once with my friends and it was enjoyable but it lacked that touch of greatness CoD4 had



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Well, at least it's better than Super Mario 3D World.



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Here's the way I feel. We've got 3 CoD developers now, so why not do this: Treyarch: Historic games, Infinity Ward: Modern games, Sledgehammer: Futuristic games. WW2 and Vietnam still have some gaming stories left to be explored imo, not to mention WW1 and the Korean War (has there ever been a game set during either besides Valiant Hearts?).



shikamaru317 said:
Here's the way I feel. We've got 3 CoD developers now, so why not do this: Treyarch: Historic games, Infinity Ward: Modern games, Sledgehammer: Futuristic games. WW2 and Vietnam still have some gaming stories left to be explored imo, not to mention WW1 and the Korean War (has there ever been a game set during either besides Valiant Hearts?).


except all 3 shown us there only doing modern and futuristic games, ghost was modern/future, AW is full blown future and BO2 was half 80s the other half future

 

i doubt we'll ever see pre 80s settings from a COD game that setting just doesnt sell

 

my personal fave is the 80-90s settings and to date modern but in the end the MP has to be balanced  faced paced and fun regardless of time period



                                                             

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