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Call of Duty: World at War

Game review by
Brett Molina, Common Sense Media
Call of Duty: World at War Game Poster Image
Intense first-person shooter captures brutality of WWII.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 81 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 229 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

You play as a soldier during World War II combat missions.


Players use weapons like assault rifles, machine guns, grenades, and flamethrowers to kill enemies. You can also slash enemies with a knife or stab them with bayonettes. Plenty of blood is shown, some in slow-motion. With the flamethrower, you will view foes being burned alive and hear their screams. Also, when witnessing explosions, you will encounter bodies with limbs blown off.


Cussing is heard including "s--t," "f--K" and "bastard." Players may encounter more filthy language when online.


This is part of the Call of Duty franchise of video games from Activision.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this is a grisly shooter based on World War II. Players can kill enemy forces with guns, grenades, rocket launchers, and flamethrowers. Besides seeing lots of blood, players will witness enemies writhing as they are burned alive or losing limbs in explosions. Players will also see bodies strewn across the various battlefields and experience realistic sounds of agony. Profanity is also heard. The game is playable online, a feature Common Sense Media does not recommend for children under the age of 12, and colorful language will most likely be heard there as well. An unlockable zombie mode features hordes of Nazi zombies that need to be killed.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 13 year old Written bybluecanoe1221 January 14, 2011

Fun and very educational.

I'd say that this game is okay for mature kids who are 13 years old and up. There is a graphic content filter that will remove most of the blood and gore.... Continue reading
Adult Written byThegoodcop August 29, 2011

TURN OFF BLOOD AND SWEARS, parent review fine for 12+

A great game for kids 12 and up. It has blood and swearing in in it but both can be disabled in the menus. I am usually kinda strict about 15's but I let m... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byI_TellTheTruth January 7, 2011


Who are we kidding? All kids play COD. I started playing this when I was like 13. But, according to this website, it would definitely earn the NO KIDS rating be... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written bybmaya June 27, 2009

What's it about?

The Call of Duty franchise returns to familiar territory with the release of CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR, an intense first-person shooter that captures the brutality of warfare. The campaign takes place through the eyes of an American soldier fighting the Japanese and a Russian battling German forces. As U.S. Private Miller, you navigate the jungles of the Pacific led by Sgt. Roebuck, voiced by 24 actor Kiefer Sutherland. When playing the role of Private Petrenko of the Soviet Army, you'll push into the German capital Berlin to finish off the Nazis.

Players can tackle the campaign either solo or with a friend through the cooperative mode. There's also a deep multiplayer mode where players can rank-up based on skill level and acquire new weapons. When you conquer the campaign, you can unlock a Nazi zombie mode where up to four players fight wave after wave of zombies.

Is it any good?

While the last release in the franchise, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, set the bar for first-person shooters on consoles, World at War delivers a very similar experience. The campaign is chaotic and intense. The Russian missions tend to feel like typical WWII games, but action in the Pacific is more intriguing. Japanese enemies employ ambush tactics like charging with bayonettes. Because most prefer hiding in grass, your character will often use a flamethrower to flush out enemies.

World at War is also dark and brutal. Smoke and gunfire blanket the skies of Berlin as you break through Nazi defenses. You'll see enemies burned alive or missing limbs following explosions. On the default difficulty, opponents are relentless. However, they do exhibit some odd behaviors. There were a few moments where opponents were inches away and opted to sit and aim as opposed to aggressively attacking. Weapons are diverse, ranging from mountable assault rifles to grenades and sniper rifles. Multiplayer is equally impressive, with a deep ranking system and rewards for bolstering your skills. With a wealth of World War II games available, World at War stands out as one of the best.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about video games based on historical events. Is this a good way to learn the perils of war? Are there other ways video games can teach historical events like World War II?

Game details

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