Generally favorable reviews - based on 84 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 76 out of 84
  2. Negative: 0 out of 84
  1. 92
    This is a solid, confident shooter with plenty to offer the casual and hardcore alike.
  2. There is a nice mix of action and intense moments that will leave you grabbing the controller so hard you will think it will break. Even using the various vehicles in multiplayer is a breeze.
  3. Treyarch did a remarkable job of breathing new life into the WWII shooter. They followed the conventions outlined by Infinity Ward to a tee and, as a result, created a shooter that is every bit as good as last year's entry. Of course, there isn't a whole lot of innovation this time around, but the increased Multiplayer options, new settings, and great enemy A.I. should more than satisfy all but the most jaded Infinity Ward fanboys.
  4. World at War finally gives us a reason to visit the Pacific Theater with its fun cooperative and multiplayer modes. But the “been there, done that” single-player missions and overall derivative tone keep this very good game from achieving the greatness of its predecessor.
  5. 90
    Although the campaign storyline isn't nearly as engaging as the one seen in "CoD4," there should be enough memorable set pieces and intense sequences to keep you riveted throughout. The addition of a co-op mode brings a great deal of replay value to the proceedings, especially once you start throwing the death cards into the mix. Ultimately, it's the multiplayer and co-op action that will keep us coming back for more.
  6. 90
    Developer Treyarch did a fantastic job of not reinventing the wheel with World at War. Rather, they took the best elements of Modern Warfare and expanded upon them. The end product is a thrilling experience that injects some of the visceral punch back into World War II.
  7. If you don't care what era your action takes place in, then Call of Duty: World at War manages to be an exciting addition to the series.
  8. While Call of Duty: World at War definitely borrows heavily from it's predecessor, it still remains a damn good follow up to Modern Warfare, and well worth taking the time to check out.
  9. Intense, brutal and utterly brilliant: World at War delivers the goods in every way. [Christmas 2008, p.66]
  10. Treyarch has taken all their expertise with the COD engine and borrowed all of the fantastic multiplayer tech from Modern Warfare to create the ultimate military shooter, a shooter so satisfying and complete you won't care what war it is you're fighting.
  11. Perhaps the guys at Treyarch haven't surpassed its predecessor's bar, but it really was too high. Nevertheless, this does not mean Call of Duty: World at War is not a very good game, it is indeed one of the best of its genre, and no shooter fan should miss it.
  12. 93
    I cannot emphasize enough how great this game truly is and how much respect I have for the team to make a game that not only impresses on a technical level, but somehow manages to make playing in this overdone war fun again.
  13. We wanted to apologise, to run, to leave the horror of it all far behind, and there can be no more appropriate response to war than that. [Christmas 2008, p.90]
  14. 100
    Its fairly brief but dramatic and adrenaline-fuelled campaign has been greatly enhanced by the excellent co-op mode and XP incentives, while its multiplayer is every bit as good as CoD 4, making this arguably the definitive Call of Duty experience thus far.
  15. World at War is a great new entry in the epic saga. The new Call of Duty just misses the inspiration that Infinity Ward brings to every project, and which Treyarch still aspires to. This new game offers everything we were waiting for, and has better value in its co-op campaign.
  16. A stunning game that doesn't miss a beat from start to finish and includes one of the most feature packed multiplayer components of any game released this year.
  17. Call of Duty: World at War is a fantastic title.
  18. Call of Duty: World at War is clearly one of the top games of this year, and a must have for any action gamer.
  19. The multiplayer mode is very motivating: Using the splitscreen functionality, you can play the whole story together with up to three friends. Very exciting and funny, but WWII is already a little bit old-fashioned!
  20. Call of Duty: World at War I believe will surprise gamers with how complete of an experience it is.
  21. Call of Duty: World at War is a great game that feels all too familiar, yet it's undoubtedly the best shooter based on the conflict. Comparisons between it and Call of Duty 4 are inevitable, but even on its own merits, it's a paint-by-numbers affair. The single-player campaign is intense and the cooperative play is engaging, but the competitive multiplayer, despite some added perks and tweaks, is subdued by the era it so accurately replicates.
  22. Those worried that World War II has been done to death, fear not. Treyarch's willingness to push the boundaries has uncovered a side to the war few developers even knew existed, and we'll be damned if it doesn't make for one hell of a game to boot.
  23. Call of Duty: World at War was a surprisingly satisfying experience all around. Developer Treyarch really showed that they could be trusted with the keys to Dad’s car, and made a game that could be compared favorably to anything Infinity Ward has done.
  24. World at War also sees the implementation of four-player co-operative gameplay online, and two-player split-screen, with options for a meta-game or just regular co-op. Despite its smooth running, the co-op isn't the most effective we've seen - getting further in the game on co-op won't unlock those missions on Solo - which seems a bit backward compared to other titles.
  25. Even though Call of Duty 4 took the series out of World War II, developer Infinity Ward raised the bar significantly, and that has left stand-in Treyarch with a lot of work to do. In the end World at War hasn’t topped that effort, but it has at least benefited from the attempt, with the result being another really good, very comprehensive WW2 shooter.
  26. In all its blazing glory, Call of Duty: World at War powers up with the Call of Duty 4 engine to push the boundaries of the franchise.
  27. Sticking with the premise of previous titles, the meat of this title is in the online mode. If this isn't your cup of tea the longevity of this title is limited to say the least. Treyarch were handed the best console fps-controls and online mode and all they've really done with it is to set it in a new era. If you're up for a great fps experience set in the WWII-era, this is a great title to buy.
  28. The single-player campaign involves a riveting and emotional story, and the inclusion of co-op is fantastic. The game itself however is heavily weighted towards multiplayer, as was its predecessor.
  29. 90
    Call of Duty: World at War is an excellent shooter.
  30. World at War is actually Call of Duty 4 in disguise. Not every change is an improvement, but fans of Modern Warfare will probably enjoy its follow-up just as much, given that they aren’t tired of World War 2 by now. The multiplayer remains addictive, and the online co-op mode is an awesome addition, and together they make this one of the surprises of 2008.
  31. With Call of Duty: World at War Treyarch successfully did two things: they made World War II shooters relevant again and brilliantly followed up one of the best games of this generation.
  32. 87
    CoD 5 is a very solid FPS that can sit proudly enough on the shelf next to it's predecessors. If you are not turned off by the idea of returning to WWII, you'll have five or six hours of enjoyable shooting in solo mode, and probably many more in the team deathmatch and war modes online.
  33. If you’re looking for a huge change in the World War 2 genre that Modern Warfare did for the Modern era, you’re looking in the wrong place, but if you’re looking for one of the most intense and well designed World War 2 First-Person Shooters then look no further comrade, World at War has landed.
  34. Any fan of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, is probably going to want to add Call of Duty: World at War to their collection.
  35. But this one is a blast to play, and so I give it a hearty recommendation despite having been skeptical all along about the quality of another Treyarch WW2 game.
  36. Also, after two weeks of Gears of War, it’s truly refreshing to see a multiplayer experience so streamlined.
  37. Perfectly staged WWII shooter with impressive audio-visual quality. Nevertheless, we want a new, refreshing scenario for the sequel!
  38. World at War is just as solid as Modern Warfare, with interesting missions, fabulous immersion and the competent (but mostly familiar) multiplayer options. And zombies are fun!
  39. If you enjoyed Modern Warfare or FPSs in general, this is one of the higher quality shooters you'll find this year. If you're not a fan of grit and prefer your war games more sanitized, such as in Halo, then you'd do well to steer clear.
  40. 87
    The WWII setting compounds the wearying feeling of over-familiarity, but the solid engine that powers the game ensures that it’s often the most spectacular take on the conflict yet, and one that’s certainly the most exhilarating.
  41. 88
    Its repetitive and lazy single player sins vanish beneath the screams of your mates’ laughter across your Xbox Live headset. The multiplayer might be a totally unoriginal rip-off of everything that CoD 4’s online game did so well, but why wouldn’t it when the original is so brilliant?
  42. Call of Duty: World at War has had a lot of time spent on it, it takes full advantage of (and in some places improves upon) one of the best FPS engines there is, and its unflinching approach to the mature subject matter gives the immersion-factor a kick up the guts. Does all of this make Codwaw worthy of a purchase? Hell yes.
  43. 90
    It's nothing revolutionary, but you can't fail to enjoy World at War and it ticks every box rather convincingly.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 518 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 84 out of 130
  2. Negative: 26 out of 130
  1. Apr 20, 2011
    By far my favorite Call of Duty game. The maps are wonderfully set up, the variety of weapons is great and kill streaks are set at greatBy far my favorite Call of Duty game. The maps are wonderfully set up, the variety of weapons is great and kill streaks are set at great increments. MW2 and BO get me extremely aggravated due to camping and not having near as good of maps. The story isn't anything fantastic, but no one gets these for the story. I get the new Call of Duty every year and World at War is the only one I end up keeping and going back to time and time again. Full Review »
  2. Nov 8, 2011
    "Call of Duty: World at War" has everything wrong. The textures are muddy and dirty as well as the sneaky, invincible AI. The story is good,"Call of Duty: World at War" has everything wrong. The textures are muddy and dirty as well as the sneaky, invincible AI. The story is good, but TOO linear. Especially after playing this game on Xbox for a brief period, I realized this game isn't for the Xbox; it's not meant to be. In my opinion the PC version was better with plenty of swag, so if you really want to play this piece of junk, at least buy it on PC or Playstation. Full Review »
  3. Mar 31, 2012
    Takes the same great formula for gameplay from cod4, and uses the same great multiplayer. The campaign is also great following two fronts ofTakes the same great formula for gameplay from cod4, and uses the same great multiplayer. The campaign is also great following two fronts of the war that were not focused on by other ww2 games. It creates and gore filled horror of war that is not seen in any other cod, and creates a visual of a hellish experience. It took the modern eleiments from cod4 and put it into a ww2 game with little troubles. It is taking from another formula, but the formula is still almost perfect for this style of game so I don't criticize Treyarch much for this. A great experience all around Full Review »