World at War was an important game to me.
Call of Duty: World at War returned to World War II in 2008 after the revolutionary COD4 that released the year prior, the last time Call of Duty went back to World War II was in 2006 with Call of Duty 3, a game that wasn’t really that great or memorable for that matter. Call of Duty 4 came on the scene the following year and it one upped everything, it revolutionized the gaming industry and it transformed the way we play shooters but I didn’t really resonate with it, it didn’t click with me but when Treyarch revealed World at War in 2008 and I got hands on with it that Fall, I was ecstatic and I really resonated with it.
World at War was a brutal, gritty, and dark look at World War II a vision that we hadn’t received yet in World War era games. There was dismemberment, it was gory, and for the first time in the Call of Duty franchise the Pacific Theater was shown and there were battles there that weren’t seen before like Pelielu, the Makin Atoll Raid, Okinawa, meanwhile the European Theater showed Stalingrad, Seelow Heights a battle that hadn’t been shown before and the Battle for Berlin. One thing I liked about World at War was how brutal, gory, and interesting it was. The game became special and my all-time favorite Call of Duty because of how it took a distinct approach to at that time, the World War II approach.
Now with Call of Duty: WWII releasing in November, I’m so excited to be able to revisit those memories, because they’ll transport to a time that no longer exists. A time where I look back with fondness and nostalgia with rose-tinted glasses, a time where that particular era introduced me to gaming.
Out of all the ways that I could resonate with gaming, World War II was the only way that I could resonate with the medium and for a good amount of time, I enjoyed it until Call of Duty 4 came and revolutionized the genre. Out of all the games I played, I spent the most time with World War II era games or games based around the era like Wolfenstein.
No matter the year, WWII and the stories of those heroic men alongside the stories that my now departed grandfather told was in heavy rotation. I owe alot to the WWII era games of the 2000’s, and I credit alot of hours with Call of Duty 2 and Call of Duty: World at War for molding the type of gamer I am today.
And though I continued to play those games until they faded away with the introduction of Modern Warfare and the turn of the military genre to the modern and now to the future, I never played those games again. I started to play them again recently as some sort of looking back, a dedication to the biggest influence of my gaming career and I’m happy that Call of Duty is returning to the era that made me the gamer who I am today. WWII has a special place in my heart and I’m glad to see that the franchise that got me into gaming as returned.