Activision’s latest entrant in the Call of Duty series has proven nothing in controversial thanks to its inclusion of actual execution footage from the war and images of torture, but we PC gamers are made of pretty stern stuff it seems.
World at War is, it has to be said, not as strong an entry in the series as last year's Modern Warfare and the shift from Infinity Ward back to Treyarch has caused some problems for the franchise. The move to modern times was very well received, so taking things back to World War II was always going to be a risky move.
With these issues pushed aside though, World at War is still a great little game, stringing together the most iconic moments of the war by taking inspiration from the likes of Enemy at the Gates. Couple that with some awesome voice work from high profile celebrities like Kiefer Sutherland and World at War plays more like a Hollywood war movie than any other Call of Duty in a long time.
World at War has some definite weak points and the shock tactics it uses are in slightly poor taste if you ask us, but the strength of the gameplay manages to pull through just about, especially in the multiplayer.
World at War tries to make things in the tired World War II genre a bit more exciting and dynamic, building in lots of quick-cuts and explosions, giving players huge flamethrowers and the chance to play co-op. The combination of questionable presentation and classic gameplay doesn’t work as well as it once did, but nor does it fall totally flat – World at War is still a very enjoyable game.
Audiosurf was one of the highlights of our gaming year and it’s very gratifying to see that the same is true for our readers. Having burst onto the gaming scene quite unexpectedly earlier this year, Audiosurf is the creation of indie developer Dylan Fitterer who ushered this arcade gem onto Steam in early 2008.
Along similar lines to Guitar Hero, Audiosurf is a reflex-based game where players have to collect coloured bricks in a grid, matching similar colours to free up spaces and win points. It sounds complex, but it really isn’t.
What makes Audiosurf stand apart though is the fact that it doesn’t rely wholly on a fairly limited and preset tracklist, like the Guitar Hero games do. Instead, it lets players upload their own music into the game, reading each track and creating a level based on the tempo and melody of that song.
Slow climaxes are represented as dawdling uphill stretches with occasional blobs of colour while pounding finales appear as downhill sprints through huge tunnels, colours flashing before your eyes like the life of a stuntman. As the tunes wax and wane the levels fall and rise, twist, turn and pulse to whatever beat you’ve chosen.
Naturally then a large part of the appeal for Audiosurf comes from trying to find faster tracks and more impossible songs. You’ll start by running through your favourite songs, but soon enough you’ll be pushed onto more eclectic tastes as you search for the most challenging song you can. Our recommendations? Well, the Duelling Banjos from the movie Deliverance is a great test track, but seasoned players may favour Meatloaf’s Bat Out of Hell as a ten minute endurance session.