reviews\ Nov 30, 2009 at 7:00 pm

Call of Duty: World at War: ZOMBIES - - Review


Last year's Call of Duty: World at War stood out as a solid entry to the long-running CoD franchise on consoles, offering a pretty dark and brutal take on the WWII shooter genre. Additionally, the game had a pretty nice surprise for those that finished the single-player campaign - a special zombies mode that allowed you to hole up in a room and fight off invading undead Nazis.

Now, for iPhone and iPod Touch owners, Activision has released a new mobile version of the Zombies mode on the Apple App Store. Call of Duty: World at War: ZOMBIES is a solid shooter experience, featuring decent controls, great graphics, and online play. However, the game is definitely lacking in value, as at 10 bucks it ranks as one of the more expensive games on the platform, and you're only getting a fairly basic set of features for your money.

Call of Duty: World at War: ZOMBIES plays out very similarly to the original game mode, putting you as a lone soldier holed up in a building taking on progressively more intense streams of zombie invaders as they try to bust their way in and take you out. As you shoot zombies, you'll be given money that you can then turn around and spend on new weapons and repairs for your barricades, should the zombies break through them.

ZOMBIES retains the first-person shooter look of its predecessor, and uses the iPhone's touch-screen capabilities to good effect. While the controls could feel a little tighter, this is still a fine representation of what the system can do as far as handling an FPS. The controls are also tweakable, meaning that you can use the default touch-screen settings, or use new ones or even the accelerometer to look around. The game uses the same control features as the original Call of Duty franchise, including line of sight for precision targeting, an icon for melee hits with a knife, and so on.

ZOMBIES is a solid shooter with a great concept that is executed fairly well, but once the luster has worn off, there is definitely a dearth of content. The game doesn't really seem to grow much as you play it, and there's only one map (Der Nacht Untoten) that doesn't expand as you play, so the whole experience just ends up feeling like a pretty fun demo, and not one that's really worth the high price point. While there seems to be downloadable content on the way for the game, it remains to be seen how much extra it will cost, and 10 bucks is a lot of money to spend on a single-level game at this point.

Luckily, ZOMBIES features pretty solid online play to help it get some legs. The game supports co-op play for up to four different players over Wi-Fi or bluetooth (sorry, no play over the network, iPhone owners). The game performs surprisingly well online, and playing with others is highly recommended.

Graphically, the game looks really good for an iPhone game. The zombie models are well-rendered and look great up-close, and the environment is well done. There are a few instances of framerate hitches, but generally the game performs very solidly. The sound is also fairly good. The music is pretty limited and the action is comprised mostly of gunfire and zombie grunts, but sounds pretty good nonetheless.

Call of Duty: World at War: ZOMBIES is a solid shooter for the iPhone, benefiting from great online play, nice graphics, and workable controls. However, at this point, the lack of content doesn't do much to justify the high price point.

Review Scoring Details for Call of Duty: World at War: ZOMBIES

Gameplay: 8.0
The controls are pretty good for the most part, and the zombie shooting gameplay is fun and engaging. There is a noticable lack of content, however, as you only get one level and gameplay mode for 10 bucks.

Graphics: 8.5
Aside from the occasional slowdown bout, ZOMBIES is a great looking shooter for the iPhone, with well-rendered character models.

Sound: 8.0
The music is pretty sparse, but the zombie grunts and gunfire sound good.

Difficulty: Medium

Concept: 7.0
The game's mechanics are sound, but the lack of content is a big problem, especially at the relatively high price point.

Multiplayer: 8.0
The game's online element performs admirably, allowing for up to four players to tackle the game cooperatively.

Overall: 7.5
Call of Duty: World at War: ZOMBIES definitely has some promise and is a fun game to play with friends. However, at the moment there's just not really enough content here to justify the 10 dollar asking price.


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