Call of Duty: World at War – Final Fronts is similar to the original Call of Duty: World at War but it follows very different missions and campaigns. It was also developed by Rebellion Developments instead of Treyarch and was released for the PlayStation 2 in 2008 alongside World at War.
Despite the fact that this game wasn’t developed by Treyarch, it looks and feels like their games which was no doubt done to ensure the game mirrored World at War. Anyone new to the PS2 would find this game to be pretty entertaining but anyone experienced with Treyarch PS2 games will quickly find themselves become bored due to the lack of innovation with repetitive gameplay. There is very little new gameplay for players to be excited for; Final Fronts seems more like an expansion for the Treyarch game than an independent game.
Players have four unique campaigns to play through with two Pacific based campaigns and two set in Europe; it provides a nice range of plots, settings, characters and action as a result. However, none of the campaigns go into much detail and the story is quite lackluster. Call of Duty games aren’t known for having amazing campaign modes, most players purchase into the series for the competitive multiplayer modes and zombie modes instead.
Call of Duty: World at War – Final Fronts doesn’t actually feature a multiplayer mode and also lacks the classic zombie mode seen in the COD series. It does feature 13 missions which are spread across 4 campaigns however.
The game starts with a training mission where one of the main playable characters is introduced; Private Joe Miller is a Marine and is the main character for the Pacific Campaign. The tutorial mission teaches the basic controls before suddenly sending the player into war where they fight to complete objectives to help the allies win the Pacific Campaign. The game is split between the Pacific and European Campaigns which have different characters who are all fighting towards the same end goal.
While the settings are varied, the plot is very basic for a game that is campaign based; there’s nothing special about the story or campaigns which is disappointing considering that there is no multiplayer or zombie mode for players to spend time exploring instead.
Like with other Call of Duty games, most missions in the game have a number of friendly AI squad mates supporting the player by attacking and distracting enemies; this doesn’t always work out very well however.
The AI in the game is pretty bad for both enemies and squad mates where they both do strange and stupid things that will either get themselves killed or cause the player to die. Enemy AI can be entertaining to watch in this game as they can even turn around to face away from the player or just run straight into the line of fire; this does become frustrating after a while as the game lacks difficulty due to this. Squad mates are just as bad in the game, they can push the player out of cover and into enemy fire while automatically moving to their assigned waypoint.
There is nothing spectacular about the gameplay but there are several aspects that make the game even easier; when aiming down the sights of a gun, the aim will automatically lock onto an enemy’s head and guns in the game have a huge amount of ammo available for them. For someone new to FPS games, this works pretty nicely but experienced gamers will quickly become bored with this.
Just like with World at War, players are given a flamethrower to kill enemies with which is a nice change of pace from the typical gunplay. The weapon is given to players almost instantly in the game and have immediate access to the new weapon.
Players can carry two guns at one time and must replace their current guns to obtain a new weapon; this is nice as it limits what the player can do in situations but, there is no real need to constantly switch guns due to the large amount of ammo in the game along with how versatile most guns are. Grenades are important weapons in the game and are used by all characters including the enemies; they can also be thrown back at enemies if the player has fast reaction speed.
Away from this, Call of Duty: World at War – Final Fronts uses the classic COD gameplay seen in other PS2 titles for this series; players complete missions by killing enemies and completing objectives which using a first person perspective.
Graphics & Audio
While Final Fronts doesn’t look terrible, the graphics are nothing special and certainly don’t make up for the rest of the game. For a PlayStation 2 game, it has nice graphics and features a great atmosphere that suits the World War II setting for the game. The game includes some pre-level intros with footage from WWII which are a great addition to the game to increase immersion, they’re also interesting and worth watching.
Unfortunately, there are also some issues with the graphics. There are quite a few bugs, strange clipping issues and some bad animation during combat that are immersion breaking and completely frustrating to see. Most of these issues could have been dealt with before release but it feels almost like the game was rushed to market instead.
The audio has similar issues; sound effects in the game are considerably weak where the weapon sounds and explosions sound quite dull in comparison to previous games in the series. Players will still be able to enjoy the nice soundtrack while playing the game but gamers shouldn’t expect too much from the soundtrack either.
It’s easy to see why fans of the Call of Duty series forget about this game; not only was it released alongside one of the best Call of Duty games ever created, almost everything about the game is very weak.
There is no replay value to this game and the single player campaign is relatively short which doesn’t combine well with a lack of other content. While other COD games lack strong or long single player campaigns, they typically have an online multiplayer or a zombie mode which can provide hundreds of gameplay hours.
For players who are looking to purchase a good Call of Duty game for the PS2, there’s no point in picking this game up as there are much better COD or other FPS titles available for that platform. The only people who will enjoy this game enough to warrant purchasing it would be gamers who are new to FPS or collectors looking to obtain every COD game ever created.