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Call of Duty: World at War review

Because everyone loves a nice war when it can be experienced from the comfort of the sofa


  • Gritty warzones brought to life
  • Great controls
  • satisfying shooting
  • Diverse missions


  • Campaign mode is linear
  • Plot a little disjointed
  • WWII retread a bit stale

During an assault on an enemy stronghold, one of your comrades urges you to %26ldquo;keep moving, keep killing%26rdquo;. It%26rsquo;s a brutally succinct war cry that encapsulates World at War%26rsquo;s relentlessly vicious pace. Even before you%26rsquo;re dumped unceremoniously into the action, Treyarch wastes no time in setting the bleak tone. The short intros that precede each level are disturbing montages of graphic video footage and anti-war imagery.It%26rsquo;s unflinchingly dark %26ndash; a mood that%26rsquo;s exploited expertly throughout the entire game, right up until the end credits.

You%26rsquo;ll witness torture and point-blank executions. One grisly scenario sees you crawling through the crow-pecked bodies of the dead and dying simply to avoid detection. War really is hell. Thankfully, the controls are not. Our only real gripes are the jittery sniping and the secondary grenade %26ndash; a molotov cocktail %26ndash; which can only be thrown by turning the remote and pressing %26lsquo;+%26rsquo;. It%26rsquo;s not the most practical command to pull off, especially when a Japanese soldier is bearing down on you with his bayonet. But the guns are excellent and shooting is satisfying. When your bullets connect, enemies immediately slump to the floor. It%26rsquo;s spookily empowering.

Calling in air strikes is another tactile delight thanks to the remote. Pressing left on the D-pad activates a glowing circle. Point this at your desired target and press B to rain down fiery death. From the visceral intimacy of its close-quarter combat to the cinematic assaults on enemy strongholds, WAW delivers an enjoyably meaty experience at a smooth frame rate. It%26rsquo;s a little short though %26ndash; clocking in at around the seven-hour mark %26ndash; and the monotonously muddy palette of brown, green and grey is tiresome. But for our money this is the best war FPS on Wii.

Dec 1, 2008

More Info

DescriptionTreyarch ditches the number subtitle and expectedly returns to WWII and the Pacific theatre of war. World at War has extremely brutal gunplay and amazing online multiplayer and co-op modes, but don't expect much new and improved beyond CoD4.
Franchise nameCall of Duty
UK franchise nameCall Of Duty
PlatformXbox 360, PC, Wii, DS, PS3
US censor ratingMature
UK censor rating16+
Release date11 November 2008 (US), 14 November 2008 (UK)