Review: Call of Duty World at War (Xbox 360)

cod-5-coverLooking to pick up the new Call of Duty game for the holidays, but not 100% sure you want it? Want to know our thoughts on whether to get this or Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare? We’ll try to answer these and other questions you may have in this review, so keep reading!

We’ll do this review a little differently than in the past, breaking down main points instead of going feature by feature.

The Gameplay

What is probably most important in a game is how it plays- are the controls easy to learn, hard? Do things run smoothly or are they slow and confusing? Are the graphics good? Well, with Call of Duty World at War (aka Call of Duty 5), we are pleased to report that the gameplay here is excellent. The graphics are amazing, with everything looking extremely clear (sometimes a little too clear- but we’ll get to that later), and to fans of the Call of Duty series (and even those who are new to the series), you’ll be able to pick up the controls right away as they are that simple.

The Return to World War 2

As those who played Call of Duty 4 can remember, that game went in a different direction than previous games, as it took place in the 21st century rather then in World War 2. I personally liked that much better than the World War 2 games (better weapons, etc.), but even I was blown away from how well this game plays in World War 2. Weapons for example, while not anywhere near as advanced as those in Call of Duty 4, are not terrible, and the flamethrower is absolutely AWESOME– by far my favorite weapon in either of the games, I mean who doesn’t want to burn up Nazis and the other AXIS (they’re the evil guys in World War 2 for those who don’t know 😉 ) nations?

The story line here is also great, with clips from World War 2 as well as narration and voice of a main character from Keifer Sutherland (who plays “super agent” Jack Bauer on the hit TV show “24”), making even the loading times enjoyable as they provide a  solid back story to the upcoming action. I also love that you have the option for a 2 Player Campaign mode in addition to just 1 Player (much more fun killing with a friend 😉 ). You can even up the ante to a 4 player campaign mode online. I also got to say, this game is very intense, so much so that you won’t put it down!


Flamethrower in Call of Duty 5

Before we move on, I just want to mention that I didn’t have enough time to get to the “zombie level” (yes, it exists), and therefore have no info on that, though from everything on YouTube and the rest of the internet, it looks to be pretty sweet.


Extremely graphic and a lot of language– This may not be a problem to some, and it wasn’t really a major factor to me, but when the first scene is a hostage situation with the cutting of a guys throat with several “curse words”, you know you shouldn’t be playing this in front of a lot of family.

The return to World War 2– Don’t get me wrong, the way Activision (makers of the franchise) delivered this game was superb. I just am more of a fan of the modern style game, and was pretty disappointed that they didn’t continue that with this version.

Random cases of not loading games– I’ve had this game for about a week, and have had a few cases  of where I tried loading the game and being told an error message that it can’t load that part and that I should restart the entire level. This is a more serious problem than any of the ones listed above, and probably the most annoying.

Same-screen multiplayer not great– This is the only thing I saw degraded in the new version; it is much harder and more annoying playing split screen on one TV with friends.


Another great game in the Call of Duty series, and should definitely be an addicting, worthwhile game to those who get it. I would definitely recommend this game, though one note of caution: the game is rated M for Mature for intense blood, violence and language; and, after playing it, I couldn’t agree with that rating more, so it may not be for everyone–especially your younger siblings. Also check that you’re old enough to purchase it in store (I’m not 100% sure exactly what that age is; I didn’t get my copy from a store).

Using our new ratings system, I would rate this game a very good 4 out of 5, as it is still probably one of the best shooting games out there today. Now when it comes to picking between this version and the previous Call of Duty 4 — which is still being sold — I would personally go with Call of Duty 4,  as I like the more modern type of game (hence the name Modern Warfare 🙂 ), but with either one, you should be happy as they are both great games.

For all the info on what’s new in Call of Duty 5, see our previous post here.


We give this game a Very Good 4 out of 5

What are your thoughts- you going with Call of Duty 4 or with this new one Call of Duty 5? Want to add your own opinion about the game? Speak out in the comments.

Posted on December 21, 2008, in First Look/Reviews, Video Games and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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