Do People Still Play Call of Duty: World at War Online

Do People Still Play Call of Duty: World at War Online
Ever since the original Modern Warfare was introduced to the world in 2007, Call of Duty became a yearly juggernaut in the realm of first-person shooters and online multiplayer. Most games in the franchise, especially during the series’ “golden age” that started with Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and arguably ended with the first Black Ops, have acquired an impressive player base that helped Call of Duty become one of the most financially successful video game series in the industry. Nowadays, Call of Duty games released in the late 2000s and early 2010s tend to be even more beloved by fans than ever.

Reasons for this can vary, but the fact that both the first Modern Warfare and Modern Warfare 2 were remastered is a testament to these games’ popularity. However, one game from that era is an outlier: Call of Duty: World at War. In discussions surrounded around the series, this particular installment is not mentioned as often as its contemporaries. This can make its popularity among modern Call-of-Duty fans more ambiguous than it needs to be, especially when it comes to how big the current online player base is if there is still such a thing.

Relieving News for World at War Fans

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Despite not being as brought up as Modern Warfare or Black Ops, World at War is still played to this day on both PC and consoles, and even more, recent Call of Duty games like Vanguard remind people of its existence by bringing back certain maps. While the player base is obviously small, there are still hundreds of people that still stick around for a game that will turn 15 in a couple of years from now. The servers are still up and World at War has yet to have gotten a remastered version that renders the original game obsolete. So it isn’t surprising that a dedicated portion of Call of Duty fans will use whatever opportunities they might have to play a game that is getting older and becoming more of a relic of its time.

The first two Modern Warfare games are often lauded for the innovations they brought to the Call of Duty franchise, and first-person shooters as a whole. However, World at War is arguably just as important, with its campaign being one of the reasons why Call of Duty games were always about war, but the older games from the PlayStation 2 and original Xbox era were specifically about actual historical events, most notably World War 2. In a way, World at War reminds Call of Duty of its roots. This return to World War II ended up influencing the game’s successors. Call of Duty: Warzone, for example, introduced a mode named after the Soviet Union’s infamous gulags.

For every time that World at War’s campaign and its influence on subsequent games are neglected in general Call of Duty-related discussions, there is always a lack of doubt regarding how equally, if not more influential its multiplayer was. Like most games in the series, World at War shined through its multiplayer to most people. Not only was World at War’s roster of maps splendid, but it introduced a now-iconic part of Call of Duty games: Nazi Zombies. In a way, it was a precursor to the Black Ops subseries, which in turn normalized the presence of Zombies modes in Call of Duty.

Bringing a Mode to Life with the Undead

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As a mode, Nazi Zombies simultaneously brought new life into Call of Duty and followed World at War’s campaign’s footsteps and added a World War 2 motif, reminding the series and its fans of how it all started. Zombies is part of the expected full package of Black Ops games to this day. Thanks to this mode, Call of Duty got new iconic characters, managed to get actors such as Steve Blum, Robert Englund, and Sarah Michelle Gellar on board, and added even more replay value. These are probably the reasons why World at War is being played to this day. Its contributions to Call of Duty were important, and to this day, these features remain appealing, even after the novelty wore off.

Another possible explanation for World at War’s impressive lifespan is how Call of Duty has changed in the past decade despite a reputation of releasing the same kind of game every year. Although titles like Cold War remind people that this series is still willing to create stories that took place during real historical events, other games, such as Advanced Warfare, Ghosts, and the Black Ops sequels, show symptoms of deviation from what Call of Duty originally was. The once relatively grounded war games became futuristic escapades. These creative decisions never made people collectively abandon the franchise, but back when Call of Duty was at its peak, the most absurd thing players could experience was slaughtering the living dead that originated from deceased Nazis.

Most importantly, people probably still play World at War to avoid feeling alienated from the series they keep supporting. Even if modern Call of Duty games like Vanguard have Zombies, that does not mean they live up to the expectations set by games made more than a decade ago. World at War’s online functionality is still alive because it is more simplistic, and thus, less overwhelming. The player base is becoming smaller every day, and Activision enjoys reminding players of modern Call of Duty games of World at War’s existence. However, with pointing out major flaws in modern Zombies, hackers, and other general lurking issues in online communities, older Call of Duty games, World at War included, are looking more appealing, no matter how insular the servers are today.

Call of Duty: World at War is available on PC, PS3, Wii, and Xbox 360.

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