August 24, 1942
Dearest Mary Louise,
I am writing to you from the jungle island of Peleliu. The scenery is really quite beautiful and would be a great place to start our family, if not for the horrors of war that have followed us here. We've been wading through waist-deep rivers for hours, and the leeches are huge!
We lost Sergeant Sullivan this past Monday. Some of the men are in bad shape about it, but shedding tears isn't an option for us until next week. Right now, we're just trying to clear the island and stay alive. Roebuck is the new Sarge; he got a hold of an entire case of requisitioned Browning Automatic Rifles (BARs), which fires the Springfield bullets that I use in my hunting rifle. It's quite a gun, and loud! I might be allowed to bring one back with me.
By the time you receive this letter, I'll be petitioning to come home, but I have little hope that my requests will be granted. Fred Warrens overheard some Marines from another unit talking about an incident at the Berlin Asylum...says a couple of squads are headed that way -- volunteer only -- and aren't coming back out. The stories I've heard are like nightmares...really good for late evenings around the fire. Roebuck wants to take a few of us; I'm torn between my sense of duty and my wish to come home.
I love you and can't wait to see you again. Give my regards to your mother. Tell Benny to make sure to change my car's oil every three weeks if he uses it.
Call of Duty: World at War gets more than its fair share of attention here at Co-Optimus. Some would contend that the number of news posts and features for World at War borders on bias, and although it's an issue we're well aware of, the simple fact is that the game can be enjoyed in many different ways, and each holds its own against more straightforward games. Beyond the questionable four-player online co-op campaign (or two-player local splitscreen) are the four-player splitscreen customs multiplayer modes, the wildly successful online multiplayer modes -- of which there are over a dozen -- and the two Nazi Zombies co-op survival maps.
You'll notice that I've spent a lot of my game time striving toward that ever-enticing 65th level, which can only be attained by playing online multiplayer matches; I'm not usually a completist, but I am very adamant about customization, and when there are character options to unlock, I obsess until I am sure that I've exhausted every configuration for my character/loadout. If World at War's co-op yielded XP points toward my global rank, I would avoid deathmatches altogether...this is how I earn my EXP in Rainbow Six Vegas 2 and H.A.W.X. (both future Battlefield Report candidates, by the way). Alas, XP is only gained by playing online multiplayer matches, and Treyarch loves reinforcing this perpetual brutish conflict by offering Double XP weekends. I cherish these events, if only to cut my competitive multiplayer exposure in half.
This past weekend was one such Double XP event, and was further extended through Monday. I was only able to log on twice, but in that short period gained two high ranks (50 and 51). I'm excrutiatingly close to 52, wherein I earn the M1919 Browning Machine Gun, an automatic cannon that literally blows limbs off (providing progress toward the "Gib Factory" challenge usually dominated by bazookas, artillery strikes, and grenades).