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CoD: World at War DLC - hands-on

Starting today, March 19, you can download four new maps for Call of Duty: World at War. For 800 Microsoft funbucks (360) or $9.99 tangible dollars (PS3), you can continue the multiplayer mayhem through three rather different maps and one addition to the Nazi Zombie mode. We recently played through each for more details. Note: no new modes were added nor were there changes to the leveling system.


The first map we played was located within a destroyed underground subway station. Located in the middle of the map are a few trains, with what appeared to be a skylight. On closer inspection it was the roof that had been blown out, creating a small hill of debris for players to run up on top of a train for a better vantage point. However, like all multiplayer games, you don’t want to stay in the open for too long.

Luckily, you’re able to travel through the twisty corridors on either side of the map. We learned quickly that Station is not a map to camp on. You need to always be moving or sneaking up behind enemies. Because the map is essentially a number of bottlenecks leading to a large outdoor area, we never felt safe or like we could exploit a section of the level.


Taking place in a bombed-out section of Berlin’s city streets, Nightfire felt more “vertical” than the other maps. We say that because besides the alleyways and streets we could duck down, there were a number of buildings to hide in or climb to find a perch.

Nightfire is definitely a map to be a methodical killer in. Being in the streets can mean instant death and it’s incredibly easy to walk into a building and not notice an enemy huddled in the corner that easily picks you off. And of course, we’re speaking from experience. Snipers will feel at home here.

Knee Deep

Definitely the most chaotic of the new maps, Knee Deep is a large island map featuring Japanese huts, industrialized buildings, flooded trenches and tall grass. Just by design, there are numerous tactics to employ including a combination of camping and keeping in motion. We’d try to come in from the trenches all Apocalypse Now-style or even take cover in a patch of farmland, while our enemies fortified themselves in the huts. Clearly this map favors all kinds of play styles.

Knee Deep is probably the prettiest of the new maps because for one, the map is set during the day and isn’t oppressively grey like the other maps. The variety in level design alone makes Knee Deep aesthetically pleasing. We’re sure we’ll be playing this one repeatedly.

Zombie Verruckt

The last map we played was based on World at War’s Asylum level and adds small changes to the popular Zombie Nazi mode. In the original Zombie level, you earned money killing the undead, which you used to buy new weapons, repair windows or remove obstructions to move upstairs. All of those apply, but now there’s an added goal to this level.

Players start out on opposite ends of the building and must earn cash to reunite in the middle of the building. It’s a short term goal, considering you spend the entire match fighting endless waves of zombies until you die, but it opens up new strategies each time. You’re also fighting to activate a generator, dubbed the “electroshock defense system”. Wait until a group of zombies get near this and you can let out a charge, killing them instantly like some kind of giant bug zapper.

There is a tradeoff though: you won’t earn money by killing zombies this way. But on the other hand, you will save ammo and you will survive that much longer. And when your goal is to stay alive, you probably won’t be mourning the loss of money too much.

The other cool thing about this new map is the option to restore power to various vending machines spread throughout the asylum. Spending your money will get a soda that nets you a handy perk, like Sleight of Hand, Juggernaut or Double Tap. These perks only last until you’re taken down by a horde of the undead, which is inevitable.

What are you doing still reading this? The maps are out now.

Mar 19, 2009