Call of Duty 5 Review

Call of Duty 5 (aka World at War) is Treyarch’s second foray into the Call of Duty franchise, after their reportedly dismal effort with Call of Duty 3. I’m not going to pass judgement since I’ve never played Call of Duty 3. My experiences of the Call of Duty series are primarily from the classic original and a bit of Call of Duty 2. Apparently (I also can’t confirm this completely) this game borrows the Call of Duty 4 engine except now it’s set back in a World War II setting. Yes, I know, you’re thinking, “haven’t they done WWII to death yet?” Apparently not if you hear recent news that there’s going to be a Battlefield 1943 – and speaking of which, both of these games feature a front that hasn’t been touched as frequently before: the Pacific front, where Japanese forces continuously ambush the United States, island to island, jungle to jungle.

Call of Duty 5 Single Player Campaign Gameplay Video

Sound (3/5)
The game has good sound effects, both for the weapons and ambience. Voice acting is generally very good too except a certain Russian sergeant CAN…. BE….A….NNOYING…SOME…TIMES! Kudos should be given for the use of authentic use of languages being spoken by the opposing sides (Germany and Japan) – although of course, this is nothing new.

Music (3/5)
Music is good and is what is expected from a quality production from the Call of Duty series. Has a mixture of ethnic music (e.g. Japanese flutes, Russian balalaikas, etc.), typical WWII militaristic music and even some metal. It’s the latter style that’s a hit-or-miss affair, since on one hand, it’s definitely appropriate for the adrenaline-pumping moments in the game when you’re under heavy fire, yet it also contrasts markedly against the other two musical styles.

Graphics (4/5)
The graphics are pretty good as it’s based off a revised Call of Duty 4 engine. Guns have been faithfully modelled and there’s a reasonable amount to choose from – WWII gun nuts shouldn’t be too disappointed. The game seems to have a lot more gore than the early Call of Duty games but this helps to further emphasise the brutality of war.

Rain, flame and smoke effects are pretty although it sometimes causes my system to struggle, and it’s not exactly a slow system either (E8400 with 8800GT). Like most FPSs there’s a wide selection of resolutions to pick from which is a refreshing change after playing games that didn’t support my 22” Widescreen’s native resolution :D.

Plot (5/5)
As expected, the plot is good and reasonably well thought out, since it’s based on actual history. The game gives you two campaigns to play through: one you play as a Private Miller from the United States Marine Corps, hopping from one island to the next, skirmishing with the defending Japanese. The other campaign has you playing as Private Dmitri Petrenko, a veteran from Stalingrad that fights for the Red Army in its final push into Germany proper (It even has you recreating the famous scene where the Soviet Union’s flag is raised on top of the Reichstag).

In terms of gameplay, this is pretty much a standard first person shooter and while yes, the game does have a flamethrower, this isn’t the first FPS to have one by a long shot (although it is one with the prettiest effects so far ;)). It follows the same format as previous Call of Duty games in that you follow a more-or-less linear plot as you advance through the campaigns. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing though since by doing so, you’re able to get the hallmark of the Call of Duty series in effect: spectacularly scripted sequences (how’s that for alliteration?).

Call of Duty 5 Nacht der Untoten Gameplay Video

Replayability (4/5)
The game has reasonably good replayability thanks to a swag of multiplayer options available. You’ve got the usual multiplayer options of team deathmatch and some capture-the-flag modes. Of course, one of the big additions was the inclusion of co-op, which funnily enough was introduced by two other games being released around the same time: Left 4 Dead and Red Alert 3, but you can read about those in my previous reviews.

Co-op is definitely a welcome addition, allowing you to have up to three mates joining you as you go through the single-player campaign – and let me tell you, it makes it a lot easier since (1) you can often revive downed teammates and (2) humans are often much better than AI. Challenges and Death Cards helps to keep things fresh and gives more value to the co-op mode as you can set things on to hilarious effect: exploding headshots, knives and rocks only, and paintball to name a few.

Lastly (another link to Left 4 Dead it seems), the game has a Nazi Zombies survival level! Apparently (Luke can confirm this), it seems to be based off a movie with a similar theme and it fits in with Hitler’s fascination with the supernatural (The Castle Wolfenstein series is another set of games that explores this). The level is a whole bunch of fun and is definitely a good co-op level (now if someone could only produce a budget game that incorporated a co-op FPS survival mode? That’d be kind of fun too).

Nothing truly wrong with it although it can be confusing for awhile realising that Solo/Co-op actually contains the multiplayer Co-op mode when you’d expect that when running the Multiplayer .exe. But it’s only a minor quibble.

Overall - 69%
Call of Duty 5 is a competent first-person shooter that introduces some fun new features, namely co-op and the flamethrower, however this might not be enough impetus to encourage hardcore online players of other FPSs to take notice.


  1. I agree with Mark on most of the points made.

    Call of Duty: World at War is a good game while successfully pulling off cooperative gameplay, which had been disappointingly absent from first person shooters for a long time. There are some additional points I would like to make though.

    Primarily, for the FPS lovers, who don't neccessarily love death matches, the game limits the amount of experience points you can gain, to level up your ranks.

    There are some interesting combinations you can apply with the addition of the Death Cards. Some Death Cards are useful, such as the explosive rounds when you're down, or shoot your team mates to revive, and there are many which are detrimental, such as enemy will die by headshots only, or interestingly the Sticks & Stones, where you don't have any firearms, only your knife and dud grenades that you throw like rocks.

    There is one particular Death Card I quite enjoy, which is Victory. This option limits your HUD, so that you no longer have crosshairs, and will need to use your weapons' iron sights. Additionally information about how much ammunition you have left is also removed. It gives the game a little sense of realism.

    Overall, I would award Call of Duty: World at War a rating of 75%. Pretty good, but lacked the polish to make it great.

  2. Yeah that's a good point about the Victory death card Choona - I'd actually prefer if more FPSs had that introduced since it adds some realism - so that shooting from the hip doesn't always work.


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