The CoD:WW Beta is about 889mb, includes 3 maps and 5 playlists. XBox 360 beta keys were being handed out to early CharlieOscarDelta.com community members, as well as those who pre-ordered from Gamestop.
10/16: Level cap raised from 11 to 24. Hardcore and Search and Destroy playlists added.
Most of CoD:4’s perks have returned, some renamed and some modified, along with a number of new ones. A fourth tier of “Vehicle” perks has also been added.
Special Grenades x 3
Satchel Charge x 2 Functions like C4
M9A1 Bazooka x 2
Bomb Squad (Unlocked at lvl 16)
Bouncing Betty x 2 Land Mines (24)
Primary Grenades x 2 (44)
M2 Flamethrower (65)
Fireworks Higher explosive weapon damage.
Flak Jacket Reduces explosive damage.
Gas Mask Protects against Tabun Gas.
Camouflage Radar Jammer (12)
Sleight of Hand (28)
Double Tap (36)
Toss Back Resets fuse of picked up grenades.
Second Chance The new “Last Stand”, only this time you can be revived after being downed.
Martyrdom Yeah, it’s back. (20)
Dead Silence (52)
Iron Lungs (60)
Water Cooler Decreases turret overheat.
Greased Bearings Increases turret rotation speed.
Ordnance Training Faster main-cannon reload. (12)
Coaxial Machine Gun (40)
Castle is a small, fast paced map very reminiscent of an Unreal Tournament arena. A good blend of indoor/outdoor combat, with hotspots for every class and an ironically peaceful Japanese tea-garden aesthetic.
Makin makes you feel like you’re going to get weird mosquito-borne illnesses. It’s a good map for close range combat, but with enough open space over water and from rickshaw to rickshaw for rifles too.
Roundhouse is a large, round Gears of War looking map peppered with trains and rubble, a few high sniping points, and multiple tanks.
Kill Streak Rewards
Apparently Treyarch did their homework and determined that UAVs, Jets, and Minigun-toting helicopters weren’t in wide use during WWII. The 3, 5, and 7 kill streak rewards have been modified accordingly. The Recon Plane functions identically to the UAV. Calling in Artillery is also similar to the airstrike, although it’s a more sustained, radial target area. Finnally, the helicopter has been replaced with calling in Attack Dogs. Believe it or not, man’s best friend has the capacity to be more lethal than that helicopter ever was. The dogs (at least 4 or 5, maybe more) start running from outside the map when called and will seek out, while barking, nearby enemies. They are a small fast target, so they’re hard to kill, even with a well timed melee. Although they do give you +3XP should you choose to defend yourself and envoke the wrath of PETA, you’ll usually die after the second maul. At the very least, the pack of dogs will get the entire opposing team firing their weapons, distracted and giving away positions.
The only vehicle available in the beta is a stubby little tank on Roundhouse. It’s a noticeably slow moving and slow reloading with room for two; driver/gunner and mounted gunner.
The vehicles look like they’ll be more tactical tools rather than an exercise in brute force this time around. Vehicles have armor that can be blown off to expose weak spots. The driver has a HUD that displays damage to various areas. This tank can take quite a beating if the opposing team doesn’t focus on where they’re hitting it. The cannon takes some practice to be effective with, but the mounted turret is vicious, although it overheats quickly and exposes it’s user.
Weapons, Unlocks and Challenges
All the challenges are back in the barracks, both Marksman (kills) and Expert (headshots) for most weapons. The expert challenges, which previously unlocked camo patterns, now only grant XP.
Bolt Action Rifles aren’t what they used to be… Even with power-enhancing perks, you’ll find yourself bested by a semi-auto in many situations. Springfield, Arisaka, Mosin-Nagant (21), Kar98k (41), PTRS-41 (57).
- Sniper Scope Increases accuracy and range.
- Bayonet Increases melee attack range.
- Rifle Grenade
Rifles Fire as fast as you can pull the trigger, and my choice for most of the levels in anything but rambo situations. SVT-40, Gewehr 43, M1 Garand (17), STG-44 (37), M1A1 Carbine (65)
- Flash Hider/Suppressor/Silencer
- Aperature Sight The low-tech alternative to your red-dot reflex site.
- Telescopic Sight Think ACOG
- Rifle Grenade
Submachine Guns Always useful with or without the steady-aim perk. Thompson, MP40, Type 100 (25), PPSh-41 (53)
- Aperture Site
- Round Drum/Dual Magazines
Shotguns Have been nerfed. The range and damage on the one available is low, although it’s still a surprise one hit kill. M1897 Trench Gun, Double-Barreled Shotgun (29)
Machine Guns Both light and heavy MGs are dangerous/annoying when in the right hands. Type 99, BAR, DP-28 (13), MG42 (33), FG42 (45), Browning M1919 (61).
- Colt M1911 Too slow for comfort.
- Nambu You got Nambu’d Betch!
- Walther P38 Sean Connery would be proud.
- Tokarev TT-33 (21)
- .357 Magnum (49)
- Frag “Anti-personnel device that destroys the target with a burst of flying shrapnel.”
- N 74 ST Sticky. Looks like a coconut. “Device designed as an anti-tank grenade. Beware, very dangerous.”
- Molotov Cocktail “Incendiary device that harms the target with a radius of fire.”
- Tabun Gas Lasts for a few seconds after exploding and gives passers-by intense shell shock.
- Signal Flare (Like that bright thing in Halo 3)
Boot Camp contains many of the same novelty challenges, with a few extras including “Sticky Kill”, “Self Defense”, for shooting an attack dog, “Swan Dive” for falling into water, and “Bartender” for kills with the Molotov Cocktail.
Prestige Mode now unlocks extra custom class slots at certain intervals on top of your default 5, so you’ll have a total of 10 available after your 10th level of prestige. Meh.
Gametypes, Leaderboards, Parties!
The first 5 are available in the beta, the rest are as listed on the leaderboards.
- War New momentum system adds a multiplier to flag capturing speed.
- Capture The Flag
- Team Deathmatch
- Pick Up TDM (no parties)
- Free For All
- Search and Destroy
- Hardcore TDM
- Hardcore FFA
- Hardcore Search and Destroy
- Hardcore War
Leaderboards can now be accessed filtering just your current group of players via the “Lobby Leaderboard”. It also lists time played in each specific gametype. You can create or join an existing squad during a match. This changes the member’s nametag and radar colors HUD colors, maybe more. You can also customize how overhead nametags appear; as the full Gamertag, an abbreviation, or just an emblem.
More than anything else, World at War captures a gritty realism never before seen in a war sim. Call of Duty has always been good at doing that, but this installment blows limbs off, literally. And that’s just the relatively non-immersive multiplayer. The eastern-theatre is a refreshing backdrop for the common WWII shooter, and the new environment, along with a potentially ground-breaking flamethrower and remarkable ambient audio goodness, should add enough unique changes to skin the greatness that was CoD4 with a whole new level of depth. CoD4 nailed the hybrid arcade arena/tactical gameplay with the Modern Warfare theme, and although it appears that WWII era weapons don’t fit in quite as well as their 21st century counterparts, Treyarch has tinkered with the gameplay just subtely enough that we’re all in for a treat of refinement. I’ll take my Pullitzer now. CoD:WW releases on November 11ish in North America. Something would have to go horribly wrong for the campaign to suck, but you could still pick it up for the multiplayer alone.