After the stunningly good effort Infinity Ward made with Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare hearing that the franchise's fifth instalment, World at War, would be developed by Treyarch was a slight disappointment - rather like Call of Duty 3 which Treyarch developed, in fact. The more information, and screenshots, surface around Call of Duty 5, though, the less I feel the need to worry.
Okay, so that the game looks good in a screenshot (and a trailer) isn't the be all and end all but it certainly helps - and considering CoD 5 uses the same engine as CoD 4 we'd expect no less. When we hear that four-way co-operative play of the continuous drop-in drop out kind is at hand in the PC, Xbox 360 and PS3 versions our appetites are whetted further. That the Wii version will be tailored for use with the Wii Zapper (should you so wish) and have its own customised two-way co-op mode (to cope with the lower hardware specs presumably) is icing on the cake.
A scaling difficulty curve based on the skill level of you and the (up to) three friends with whom you are playing is boasted too. In theory this should mean that when you're far-too-good friend joins the fray the difficulty level will ramp up accordingly or vice versa, if you're playing alongside a Call of Duty virgin the enemies will be equally dim-witted and unable to aim. It sounds clever, but we've seen such systems fail miserably before - here's hoping this wont be one of those times.
We're willing to give Treyarch the benefit of the doubt over Call of Duty 3 in the hope that World at War can take us back to the good old nostalgic, gun-toting bliss that was CoD 2. Please don't disappoint us, guys!