Call of Duty: World at War
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
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.
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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.
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.