Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare vs. World at War

10 12 2008

One of the first games I played on my PS3 was the highly successful Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Like many others I was instantly hooked, the game was video game crack and I consistently played the online multiplayer with some friends and still do on occasions to this day. So, obviously when Call of Duty: World at War came out I was overly excited and could not wait to play it. However after immediately indulging into the game I become more and more disappointed. Was this due to my high expectations or was the game really lacking? That is for you to figure out, however below I will explain where I believe the game excels and where it lacks.

Single Player

Since it was built on the same graphics engine as its predecessor little difference can be seen visually, despite the dramatic addition of more gore. Nevertheless, the single player story campaign was slightly more engaging than Modern Warfare, although who honestly plays these games strictly for the single player campaign? While slightly more engaging the story lacked those epic battles we remember while playing Modern Warfare and just seemed to advance from checkpoint to checkpoint. During the game it is an absolute must to keep advancing since your allies “AI” is seriously lacking. The major motivation however to completing the single player campaign along with the addition of trophies was the introduction of the Zombie Mode, which would be unlocked after completion of the game. This mode is serious fun and an absolute joy to play with friends. Your main goal in this mode is to kill wave after wave of zombies before they do the same to you. Despite the apparent major upgrades to single player which included, the ability to play local co-op, trophy integration, more gore, and of course the capability to unlock and play zombie mode, I just didn’t feel that this single player was much better than Modern Warfare.


Here is where in my eyes this game has major fatal flaws which determents the entire game. One of the first things I noticed while playing online was the lack of realistic sound and the bland color palette that was used. For instance, all of the guns sound the same and no matter how close they get have the same amplitude. If you have ever played an online FPS this is a major flaw. As far as the color, it’s nonexistent. All of the characters look strangely similar and blend so well with the lack of color in the different levels, thus making it difficult to see them or kill them. The guns lack variety and don’t appear to be balanced to the game very well, this is especially true while at low levels. But it gets worse once you die since the re-spawn points on each map are horrendous, most times re-spawning you right in front of enemy fire. Even after escaping all of these flaws I started to get better and level up which lead to even more disappointment. The game doesn’t supply an efficient reward system for level or prestiging. Also I started noticing that the more maps I played, the more they stayed the same – each maps has little to no variation and is basically catered to “camping” which does not promote fun game play. Although not everything is bad, the addition of the tanks in some of the maps was a nice change of pace despite being WAY too overpowered to kill. Also the insertion of dogs instead of a helicopter was an enjoyable change to call on enemies. The good certainly did not out weight the bad in multiplayer; I was consistently frustrated and constantly wished for the days of Modern Warfare, which is what I ultimately went back to.

Overall, like I previously stated I thought World at War was a disappointment. After everything this game adds over its predecessor the game simply lacks. As big of a success Modern Warfare was Treyarch didn’t have to do much for an improvement but somehow still managed to underwhelm. These types of games are mainly for online multiplayer and that is where this game has most of its glaring holes. While still worth playing if you don’t already own the previous installment, in my eyes is only worth a rent if you already have Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.

Think I am wrong? Or do you agree and would like to add your thoughts; either way feel free to add your comments below.

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27 responses

10 12 2008

100% agree with this review. Zombie mode to me is the highlight of the game which isn’t saying a whole lot.

10 12 2008
little lut

I didn’t even buy W@W, simply because there are SOOOO many WWII based games out there. The major thing that I love about Modern Warfare was the customization of the weapons. Which didn’t seem real enough in W@W, they didn’t have scopes or silencers on thompson sub guns back then. I honestly think that if Treyarch had known how popular Infinity Wards game was going to be, WWII would have been dead and buried on the shores of Normandy. I think that if IW had just dropped a new map pack alot of us would have been happy.

15 12 2008

I agree, the only thing that really held me was nazi zombies. But then again, I think I’d rather play Left4dead over that. The one thing I will give it though is at least half of it took place out of Germany.

What I really want to see is CoD: Nam or CoD: North Korea

New war please, we’ve been fighting Germans longer than the real war actually lasted.

I think a North Korean war one would be great, I have never seen an FPS game built on it myself, CoD would be perfect for that as you could play from both the USA and South Korean perspectives.

16 12 2008

100% agree, this game is so dissapointing after COD:MW. Treyarch should not be allowed to touch call of duty games, they always fuck them up, IW are always doing it right!

26 01 2009

Wish I had read this review before buying the game as I would have rented it first to be shore it was any good…..Completely agree all that was needeed for Modern Warfare was NEW MAPS. W@W IS NOWARE NERE AS GOOD PLEASE NO MORE WW2 GAMES!!!!!

2 02 2009
cod4 hacks

Great blog, thanks for the info!

10 02 2009
Tony Huynh

Like you, I thought the single player portion of W@W was pretty good. It is definately worth playing if you want a decent single player experience.

18 02 2009

W@W is only good for one thing, that’s achievements

23 03 2009
Chris H

dear activision,
stop giving treyarch every other cod game. they suck. infinity ward does it right. if we have to wait longer so they can put it in their schedule, fine…..

by the way, this comparison hits the nail on the head. i constantly play cod4, even though i have 5, but i do play the occasional zombie game. thats the one part treyarch got right.

25 03 2009

Heh! Thanks Chris. Glad you enjoyed the review.

5 04 2009
m16 guy

i got my waw broken so when i went to the store i got waw and 4.
4 is way better on the pultiplayer i always use m16a4 or the r700 or one of the shotguns. waw guns suck . i dont have xbox live yet but when i get it im definitely 4 more than waw. i love the nazi zombies tho

15 04 2009

The only thing that W@W is good for is Nazi Zombies. I do like its story mode a little bit more than MW’s but I mainly play online. Treyarch murdered online play for us CoD fans. I couldn’t agree more with this article.

25 04 2009

Oh boy where too begin, as far as single player campaigns are concerned both were extremely fun and enjoyable. MW was like a suspense thriller, something out of a Tom Clancy book (Great author BTW), its story refreshing and compelling. WaW campaign was great but for different reasons, while playing WaW you see the gritty cruel nature of war and that one in particular, Hell the first scene is a guy getting a cigarette put out in his eye and his throat cut. While we know how this one ends, there is no end to the ways you can show it, and in this one we see the brutality of war in a very fun and frenetic way.

I won’t go in to detail in MP but here are some things that I believe weren’t necessarily true, but again just my opinion as was yours.

You said “all of the guns sound the same and no matter how close they get have the same amplitude”….

What in the hell are you talking about? none of them sound the same, in fact every weapon had a very distinct and historically accurate noise that could be easily determined from even accross the map.

“each maps has little to no variation and is basically catered to “camping”

Again are you playing the same game? WaW had a very good balance between Large medium to small maps and had a greater variation in size to MW, as far as camping is concerned, um HELLO almost every map on Modern Warfare has plenty of camping spots and some maps are as “catered” to camping as some of WaW maps could be, so I’m not sure where you get that from.

“Re-spawn points on each map are horrendous, most times re-spawning you right in front of enemy fire”

Again is that the best you have, I’ve lost count on the number of times I’ve been spawn killed in MW and alot of it has to do with A. size of game B. map size and C. game type, so to say across the board that the spawn points were bad is ridiculous, and I know for a fact it’s not “most times” (sense a little bias here)

“doesn’t supply an efficient reward system for level or prestiging”

While I as well was hoping for a more detailed reward system it definatly isn’t any worse than MW and in fact in WaW there is at least is a reason to prestige by adding more custom slots…instead of just changing the stupid symbol.

And to all the guys saying OMG no more WW2 games omg, dude there have been as many or more games about modern combat as there has WW2 so please shut up about it. WWII was the single largest war in human history, it included rapid fire weapons, naval battles, tank battles, submarine battles across 5 continents with innumerable countries, so please don’t tell me its been over done.

Take a harder look at WaW in reality if you liked MW, WaW shouldn’t be a dissapoinment.

3 08 2010

spot on.

27 04 2009

Hey Cody i think that you bring up some very valid points, but the fact of the the matter is that w@w multiplayer sucks. The maps do cater to camping and it ruins game play. A few of the maps are very large and it takes forever to run anywhere. nothing sucks more than getting killed by someone hiding in a ramdom spot after running for what feels like forever. example while playing domination it seems that more people are worries about thier kill : death than capturing flages. Also the whole WWII thing has been milked its boring we all know how it ends. Plus last time i checked COD is a first player shooter and you dont participate in navel battles or drive submarines so I think the point the you were trying to make is irrelevant. It would have been nice to see a game based on the Koeren war. Or anything a little more modern. The gun in W@W suck the color in multiplayer sucks it too bland and the maps are terrible they are too big and have to many gaps. The same reason that everyone skips the creek in COD 4.

In reality i loved COD4 and thought that the Multiplayer in W@W was shit so until November i will continue to play 4 and i dont think that im the only one

26 05 2009

I totally agree with this post. The only reason I keep COD:WaW is due to the zombie mode, other than that, the game never gets put into my PS3.

29 05 2009

This is really the best review I’ve read.

You just saved me $60! I’m now only spending $30 – $40 on a 10 times better CoD 4: Modern Warfare! I can’t wait.

Thanks for the info.

29 05 2009

I am glad the review has helped you, enjoy COD4. Thank you for the comment as well.

6 06 2009

i think cod4 modern warfare is ok except few things:
guns penetrate too much
helicopter is too overpowered
i have died 4 times in 0 second because heli has shotted me right away or i spawn on enemy’s/teammate’s fire
while you are shooting your own spawn or runs to your fire (3 times and youll get punished)
IMPORTANT: NO SERVER LIST = laggy servers/cant choose other server without very good luck
NO AUTO TEAM BALANCE = enemy wins with full point and you loose with 0, once i were playing on team where was 5 players while enemy team had 7
useless prestiges
not enough choises with perks
(sometimes) rockets disappears when killed even when already launched
knife, i would prefer hitting with gun
(this is also in many other games) you can shoot with your helmet/right hand’s elbow
sniper challange’s reward = scope that is very unaccurate = useless
cant make own servers = every server is the same =boring/annoying, cant take ff off = owns kill you/your team
if you leave server you loose it (annoying when own’s are killing you or team’s suck)
you can’t see friendlies names all the time and in long range or if two same looking teams are against you shoot possibly your own not enemy = team kill
some teams look too much the same
bullets disappears sometimes (you dont hit wall/ground/enemy/own etc even if you shoot 30 rounds and there is no bullet holes or anything, possibly because you or your enemy lag) = you get killed without any chance to kill your enemy

ok i think this is enough for a while.. i have been writing this for about 20minutes and i dont want that someone thinks that im trying to make CoD4 Modern Warfare sound like a bad game :))

15 06 2009

i wanna buy a nice fps but i dont know wich.
i always loved playing cod 1 , 2 and 3 but i dont have xbox live yet so i cant play online yet. so the sp is very short in cod what game should i buy then ? ( probably i get xbox live in like 1 month)

15 06 2009

The multiplayer in either game is expansive enough that when you get xbox live you will not be dissappointed. At this point it is all personal preference, World at War is the “newer” game and has trophies while also still receiving DLC in forms of map packs, however if you are just speaking of the single player campaign I enjoyed Modern Warfare more. Both are quality games, rent the games for a view weeks and by the time you get xbox live you will know which game to buy. Good luck on your purchase.

17 06 2009

one thing i want when COD modern warfare 2 comes to shops is a DEMO or TRIAL, because like you maybe have read i didnt really like first one and you cant return it and get your money back, so i bought and i lost my money without knowing how bad the game actully is.
and if there will be demo or trial it has to be like the game itself so you know what you are buying and you dont have to disappoint.

21 06 2009

i liked both games. although the colors in w@w worent great but the story mode was pretty good in both. w@w had the more realistic details of war but cod 4 was more in depth

24 08 2009

i thought cod4 sucked big balls because all u do is play online multiplayer and the only real blood is when u shoot a guy in the head cod5 u can blow off peoples arms legs and head and cod5 has nazi zombies and who dosent like zombies u can also play co-op online cod4 u can only play online multiplayer

25 10 2009
bobby lee

!00% correct great review. I just hope cod 6 modern warfare 2 wont be as big of a dissappointment XD

29 06 2011

Sorry dude but i disagree with you…i can play waw online for hours but when im playing mw or mw2 after 3 matches i get bored!!!the voices in waw is far mor realistic than the voices in modern warfare which are like coming from ‘dead’ or ‘bored’men….i believe treyarch is the best and the thing i always wanted to see is a ww2 cod fighting in the nazi side…;)

8 08 2011

thx 4 all the reviews. they were great. i was trying to decide which to buy my son 4 his b-day and now i know:)

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