Call of Duty: World at War - multiplayer hands-on

Will the shooter maintain online dominance for another year? Sure as hell looks that way...

Capture the Flag wasn’t the only thing missing from Call of Duty 4 that gamers are finally getting rewarded with. There was the crippling lack of one mode that was so dastardly and cruel it could’ve been the plot of the Nazi’s themselves. We’re speaking of course of Online Co-op, which Call of Duty: World at War has wonderfully remedied in the franchise’s first foray into online cooperative gameplay! (And we refuse to apologize for the exclamation points!)

Not only is it about time, it plays out like a separate mode entirely. Four players may now fight the good fight (and get screamed at by Jack Bauer,) through all of WaW’s sweepingly cinematic campaign via split-screen or online. Nothing wades a newcomer into battle better than a voice-enabled friend guiding the way, plus completists and Achievement whores can rejoice at a novel new way of experiencing single player over and over.

We haven’t yet even begun to gush. Loyal readers will no doubt remember that we gave Gear of War 2 our E3 2008 Best in Show award, and that was mostly due to the survival-esque Horde multiplayer. Every game contains multiplayer nowadays, but consoles specifically are in dire need of more modes that utilize communication, teamwork and duh, cooperativeness. As fantastic as the multiplayer is, the Competitive Co-op mode, was far and away the highlight of our demo.

Separate from plain ‘ol co-op, going competitive gives players a common goal above and beyond killing each other to death. It plays out like the campaign, but now up to four players compete for points. You’re basically competing for marksmanship, speed, and efficiency, similar to what went down in CoD4’s Arcade mode.

Above: CoD4’s Arcade Mode

There are a myriad of factors that seemed to dictate how many points you get per kill, (headshots are obviously worth more,) but it appeared that factors like cover, distance and timing are also a factor. Chain those Axis deaths together and you earn score multipliers for one hell of an impressive score. We love this stuff, so it really is astounding to see how much replayability it adds to the campaign that most gamers would ignore once becoming adept at online play.


We recommend