Review: Call of Duty: World at War – Final Fronts (Playstation 2)

In this review, we continue to push forward in the Playstation 2 game Call of Duty: World at War – Final Fronts. We find out how well this FPS game plays.

This game was released in 2008. This game finishes off the Playstation 2 console series.

We first tried Call of Duty: Finest Hour. That game got a fairly mediocre score here. Next up, we tried Call of Duty 2: Big Red One. That game got a passable score, but ended up being a less than impressive experience. Finally, we tried Call of Duty 3. That third console game just didn’t make the grade. Nervous about the downward trend, we decided to finish off the series to see if this console series at least ended on a high note.

There are missions spread across four chapters. Some missions take place in German occupied territories, however, a bulk of them take place on the many islands in the Pacific. You also take on a couple different characters from a few different divisions – largely American and British forces. A majority of the missions revolve around taking islands from the Japanese as you gradually approach the mainland.

Like previous games, you get a very small arsenal of weapons. The weapons you get is largely split between rifle weapons and machine guns. Interestingly, a shotgun is also introduced in this game (as far as the console series is concerned, the shotgun is a novel new weapon).

Additionally, players can use two different types of grenades: regular grenades and smoke grenades. Regular grenades can be useful for clearing out a cluster of enemies in a confined space. The smoke grenades, however, are useful in open areas to provide cover. You get a maximum of four each.

Also in the mix is the health system, or lack thereof, from the previous game. This dumbed down health system largely consists of constant auto-healing. As such, the goal is to make sure you don’t get hit too many times at once. You get closer to death as the red ring around your vision expands, so you just need to find cover and wait a moment for your health to recover again.

Vehicles are also present in this game, but they aren’t anything new. Some missions allow you to aim the turret of a tank (not actually drive it unlike previous games) and ride in a truck as a gunner (again, no real driving, just firing your weapon). There are no new vehicles for you to try.

You’ll also get to try your hand at using machine gun nests every so often. There’s nothing new here as well, but instead of using anything new (or even using an Anti-Aircraft weapon or the mortar like previous games), it’s just the standard machine gun nests to repel an attack or help advance on an enemy position.

There’s a few winter settings thanks to the small number of European missions, but most of your missions involve stalking jungle settings, some caves, and even a small handful of buildings.

Throughout the mission, you’ll have a sergeant barking orders and relaying information. This ultimately propels the storyline throughout the game. Unfortunately, a lot of the plot seems more improvised than anything else as it is just a series of linear events.

Believe it or not, that is pretty much the entire game. This game ultimately winds up being an abbreviated variation of previous Call of Duty console games. The missions are short and total a mere 13. In fact, a single episode of Duke Nukem 3D has more gameplay both on quantity and quality than this entire game. The game is so short, you could probably start it first thing in the morning and have it completed by that evening if you push things a bit. It is seriously a short game.

The difficulty on default settings is pretty reasonable. There really isn’t much that causes you to severely struggle until maybe the last level or two. You might end up getting killed the odd time here and there, but with the tightly packed checkpoint system, you won’t really lose a whole lot of progress in the end.

Considering the time this game was released, one would expect this game to offer something impressive. After all, this is getting late into the life cycle of this system and the Playstation 3 is already into year 3 of releasing game. Unfortunately, it seems like this game was just an afterthought in the grand scheme of things. It’s also unfortunate that the last Call of Duty game on the Playstation 2 ends its series with such a whimper.

Generally speaking, this game carries over a lot of the pitfalls from the previous games and abbreviates the overall gameplay. As such, there really isn’t anything overly exciting on offer here.

The one good thing about the graphics is that they do at least try to break away from the various shades of grey that has plagued previous games. Unfortunately, the textures and modelling ends up being quite dated with special effects almost taking a bit of a hit since the previous game. So, there is nothing special here.

Audio also offers nothing impressive. The music does give players a bit of atmosphere from time to time, but it ends up being relegated to the background. The voice acting does initially break up the monotony, but after a while, it is just repetitive sergeant barking orders and you more or less following them. This is mixed with calls for reloading and medics mashed into a series of shouts and screams from enemies.

Overall, if you are looking for this game to end the Playstation 2 series with a bang, you’ll be sorely disappointed. Not only does it repeat a lot of the design mistakes that plagued previous games, but it also shortens the game and abbreviates some of the other features that at least provided some semblance of interesting gameplay from the previous games. The addition of the shotgun is probably the best addition to the series, but such a weapon has become such a staple for FPS games for the better part of a decade, it isn’t all that impressive of an addition to the game. The graphics wind up being dated and the audio simply doesn’t measure up. So, a barely passable gaming experience if you ask me.

Furthest point in game: Beat the game.

General gameplay: 13/25
Replay value: 5/10
Graphics: 5/10
Audio: 2/5

Overall rating: 50%

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Facebook.

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