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Call of Duty: World at War: Zombies Review: Nearly Perfect

You would expect the combination of world wars and zombies to provide an unforgettable experience, and Call of Duty: World at War: Zombies doesn’t disappoint. Developer Activision sticks you in vivid settings full of atmospheric touches like burning barrels and markings on the wall, and then barrages you with wave after wave of undead nazis. Nothing gets in the way of letting this potent shooter reach its full potential, and the only thing keeping it from perfection are few elements that Activision left out.

The premise is as simple as most stories centered on zombie invasions. You are a soldier in the war, and by some turn of events you now have even more to deal with then fighting traditional nazis (which you would think were bad enough to begin with). That’s as far as the story goes. The zombies come in waves and the goal is to fend them off using any available weapons and barricades you can muster.

There are plenty of weapons/perks to be found, and this is what makes COD: Zombies as strong as it is. On its own, the story doesn’t hold any weight, so it’s up to the purchasable weapons and upgrades to give you a reason to keep moving forward. It works like this: Kill a zombie, get money. Build a barricade, get money. And so on . . . Within each different level you’ll find what look like chalk outlines on the walls, and these depict the items you can purchase when you have the funds. Because we all know that it’s not a real zombie game before you can break out the flame throwers and automatic weaponry.

Aside from weapons, the settings are the only other aspect that changes as you go. Each one is beautiful anddistinct graphically, and this helps keep it interesting from wave to wave.

COD: Zombies benefits from some of the best controls we’ve seen on any iPhone shooter. You have the option of using dual joysticks (like on a console), or using just one joystick for your walking direction and utilizing the tilt controls for your aim. The tilt control is an awesome feature that works beautifully, and really gives hope to future shooters on the platform .

As in other shooters on the iPhone, you tap the gun symbol to reload/change weapon, and you fire by tapping or holding the joystick (or symbol if using tilt controls) on the right. The zombie foundation of this game is really on the side of the gameplay when you stop to consider it. After all, shooters are fairly new on the iPhone, so it can still be a bit tricky to get the hang of using to joysticks or aiming correctly. What’s the perfect solution? Well, zombies aren’t the quickest of enemies, and that makes them perfect for this format. There is still plenty of difficulty when the waves get heavier, but the enemies slow movement gives you ample time to work the controls and get comfortable.

The only thing holding this game back from really taking off and reaching perfection is its lack of a real campaign aside from the its “wave” format. We’ve seen in other games that the iPhone is capable of supporting a game with an actual story (think N.O.V.A.). It hasn’t been done well yet, but Activision had a divine opportunity with COD: Zombie’s amazing gameplay, and yet a story-driven campaign is still absent.

But that shouldn’t stop you from downloading this game ASAP. Don’t think twice about the $9.99 price tag. We’ve all paid more than that for console games that have far less to offer than COD: Zombies. To top it all off, you can even play with up to three other people using a wi-fi connection. This results in a true zombie survival experience, as you and your friends watch each others backs and seek to repel the undead so you can get to that next wave. Activision has taken a big step forward in iPhone gaming with this release. Don’t miss out.

Rating:  4.5/5

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