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August 15 2008
Call of Duty: World at War - PS3 Preview
Release Date Distributer Publisher Developer
12/11/2008ActivisionActivisionTreyarch
Offline Players Online players Price Anticipation
12-16$109.95
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Lighting effects are very impressive.
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Using some heavy fire on the ship.

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Night time action should be intense.
Activision's Call of Duty franchise should need no introduction to anyone gaming over the last couple of years. Call of Duty 3 has shifted an impressive 3.86 million units to date around the world on all formats. While the game was solid, it wasn't spectacular but as the first game on next-gen systems it was a good start. In November 2007 Activision released Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare which was met to much critical acclaim and the game sold in massive numbers as well, with 9.41 million units shipped on next-gen systems (there were no PS2 or XBox versions released). To this day it remains the leading online title on the Playstation 3.

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Flame on! Call of Duty style...
A year on and we now have a third next-gen title in the Call of Duty franchise. This game sees the return of Call of Duty 3 developers Treyarch, but using an upgraded version of Infinity Ward's engine which powered Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Confused. Don't be... Just know this is going to be one hardcore, kick-ass title.

While we don't have any storyline for this game yet (Treyarch are keeping this under wraps for now) what we do know is that the title is heading back to World War II. Missions take place in Europe as well as the Pacific where you play as a U.S. Marines and Russian soldiers. Certainly the Pacific Theatre of war is exciting where the lush jungles, should provide some intense, and dramatic, experiences. Naturally the weapons in the game will suit the era so don't expect any high tech sniper rifles, airstrikes, RPG's or machine guns. These will be basic weapons, with pistols, rifles and basic machine guns on offer.

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Graphically this game is impressive.
That's not saying there won't be something new to use in Call of Duty: World at War. The developers are including a weapon which, to be honest, hasn't really be used effectively in a video game before - the flamethrower. Not only does this weapon throw out a deadly flame setting enemies alight (with gorgeous lighting we might add), but be invaluable in flushing out enemies from dense grassland and forest areas. During World War II, and as will be a key component of this game, the soldiers would remain motionless in the grass or trees until enemies were right upon them and then attack with ferocity causing horrible injuries and deaths. By torching areas ahead of your troops you can ensure no one is waiting for a sneak attack.

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Night time action should be intense.
Of course multi-player was a key component of the previous game and World at War looks set to outdo the previous game, at least in one big area. That area is the inclusion of a 4-player online co-op mode or a 2-player offline split screen co-op mode. The co-op campaign allows players to rank up and unlock perks in competitive multiplayer by completing challenges and earning experience points, adding continuous re-playability and team-based gameplay. Whether playing competitively or cooperatively if players are online with Call of Duty: World at War they will always gain experience points. Based on a player's experience rank and rank of the player's friends, Call of Duty: World at War will scale dynamically to provide a deeper level of challenge. According to reports on the web vehicles will also be returning to the multi-player modes, but whether that refers to the co-op or competitive modes remains to be seen.

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Check out the detail on this soldier.
Graphically World at War looks very impressive. The game uses the engine from Infinity Ward that powered Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare however it has seen improvements in terms of lighting and physics. From the video footage which has been released the game certainly looks pretty bloody, although it remains unclear if this blood is from cut-scenes only, or in-game as well. Apparently this will be the first game to be rated Mature in America, where other games have been rated Teen.

Call of Duty: World at War still has several months of development to go, but just knowing that Treyarch have been given two years to develop this title since the release of Call of Duty 3 (which, by the way, was developed in around 8 months!) is comforting. The power of Infinity Ward's engine almost guarantees this game will look and play well, but you never know. Expect this game to be released in November 2008 with an updated preview closer to release.