Call of Duty: Ghosts

Common Sense Media says

Bloody, frenetic combat makes this shooter for adults only.

Age(i)

NOT FOR KIDS

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Positive messages

This game sensationalizes and glorifies military combat without believable consequences, making it appear as though small groups of soldiers can take on entire armies while shrugging off successive bullet wounds in a matter of seconds.

Positive role models

The primary characters are brave American heroes fighting for their country's survival, but their only means of accomplishing objectives is intense and deadly violence. Also, there are moments when they seem to enjoy it.

Ease of play

Standard first-person shooter controls should prove easy to pick up for genre veterans. Rookies can choose easier levels for the campaign and train against bots in Squads mode before hopping online to face real people, many of whom are far more skilled. 

Violence

Players shoot and kill countless human enemies using a vast arsenal of rifles, handguns, machine guns, and rocket launchers in this gritty, realistic, near-future military shooter. Blood sprays from every hit, and enemies yell out when struck. Close-quarters combat sees players using knives to stab foes in the neck -- again, with plenty of blood. Dramatic narrative sequences show characters being shot at point-blank range, then suffering and dying slowly.

Sex
Not applicable
Language

Strong language, including the words "f--k" and "s--t," is present in spoken dialogue, but it's not frequent.

Consumerism

This game is part of Activision's sprawling Call of Duty series of military shooters. Related items, including branded headphones, keyboards, and mice, are readily available and promoted alongside the game in many stores. 

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Emblems resembling marijuana leaves can be selected in the game's character-customization module.

Privacy & safety

Major privacy or safety concerns. This game includes an online mode with open voice communication. Players may encounter inappropriate language and subjects of discussion. There is also potential for players to openly share personal information.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know Call of Duty: Ghosts is a gritty, military first-person shooter with constant and intense gun battles. Characters bleed and scream when struck by bullets, leaving crimson smears on the environment. Players also can attack enemies with knives in visceral close-quarters combat. There are no navigational problems, and there's no puzzle solving. The game focuses solely on frenetic combat, wherein quick reflexes and teamwork (in online play) reign supreme. The soldiers -- Americans fighting off foreign invaders -- are clearly cast as heroes, but virtually all their actions revolve around violence, and they often seem to take pleasure in their work.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Social Studies

  • geography
  • power structures

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • strategy

Collaboration

  • cooperation
  • meeting challenges together
  • teamwork

What Kids Can Learn

Although elements of Call of Duty: Ghosts focus on teamwork and strategic reasoning, we don't recommend it for learning because of its graphic violence.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Social Studies

  • geography
  • power structures

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • strategy

Collaboration

  • cooperation
  • meeting challenges together
  • teamwork

Although elements of Call of Duty: Ghosts focus on teamwork and strategic reasoning, we don't recommend it for learning because of its graphic violence.

This Learning Rating review was written by Chad Sapieha

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

Set mostly in the near future, CALL OF DUTY: GHOSTS starts a new story line in the Call of Duty universe. America has been devastated by a flurry of kinetic missiles launched from space, and many of her greatest cities now lie in ruin. Players take on the role of a soldier working with what's left of the military to protect the now crater-pocked landscape from advanced forces encroaching from South and Central America. Action takes place in a variety of imaginative locales, ranging from the submerged wrecks of old ships to satellites floating in space. Players will also scale skyscrapers, fight through a flood, and pilot an assault helicopter.

Outside the campaign are three additional modes: the series' traditional, competitive multiplayer mode (which is where most players will spend their time), a new mode called Squads that pits players against computer-controlled opponents, and the alien-themed Extinction, a co-op mode for up to four players that involves finding and destroying alien pods scattered over a rural landscape. 

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Call of Duty: Ghosts looks amazing, especially played on Xbox One and PlayStation 4. But it's not the game's graphics that impress so much as its depth and breadth of play. The campaign may be short and feature scenarios that strain belief (like zero-gravity space gunfights wherein you can get hit by bullets without decompressing), but most players will finish it in one or two nights and then spend weeks or months playing online multiplayer, which offers plenty of substantive evolutions that range from better-balanced combat rewards that don't drastically tip the odds in one team's direction to visually spectacular events that completely alter entire maps in seconds.

If traditional multiplayer doesn't interest you, there's Squads. Squads offers several new ways to play, like Safeguard, a mission type that has players defending against waves of increasingly skilled, computer-controlled enemies. And Extermination mode, with its class-based play that forces players to rely on each other to perform specific roles -- such as healer or resupplier -- may be the best cooperative experience yet produced in a Call of Duty game. That said, it would have been nice had the developers figured out a way to make online play a bit less off-putting for new players. Rookies with little experience likely will be creamed relentlessly for weeks or even months until their reflexes are honed and they become intimately familiar with the maps, weapons, and character-upgrade systems. Newbies can enjoy themselves a little playing against the game's computer-controlled bots until they've got the skills necessary for online play.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the impact of violence in media. Is there any difference between a series like Call of Duty, which depicts humans shooting other humans using realistic weapons in familiar settings, and other violent games with more fantastic scenarios?

  • Families also can discuss the depiction of women in games. This is the first Call of Duty to allow players to create female avatars in multiplayer mode. Do you think this empowers women, or does it feel strange to think that players will now have the ability to shoot and stab female characters?

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo Wii U, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Price:$59.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Activision
Release date:November 5, 2013
Genre:First Person Shooter
ESRB rating:M for Blood, Drug Reference, Intense Violence, Strong Language (Nintendo Wii U, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox 360, Xbox One)

This review of Call of Duty: Ghosts was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 12 year old Written byTheTruthReviews November 6, 2013
AGE
11
QUALITY
 

Call Of Duty; Ghosts, The Truth

Its a game that kids think is fun, I personally have no problem with this, and should be given to kids of the appropriate age, (In my opinion 11+)
If they are mature enough, if they are not mature enough, as in always being in trouble, and a "Bad Apple" this may not be for them.

What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Parent Written byBattleVet75 November 14, 2013
AGE
15
QUALITY
 

Ghosts does not disappoint

Ghosts feels like a fresh, new game in the franchise. The multiplayer is funner than ever with dynamic maps that constantly change. The class system is fresh as well as the overall online portion. The story is very well done with the exception of a few cheesy moments. The story really makes you care about the characters. The ghosts are decent role models that are trying to save a crumbling America from a new enemy, but kill without mercy to get it done. The message is surprisingly good and is about world peace without wars. There is occasional language including f**k, s**t, etc., but it is infrequent. There is a lot of bloody violence here. The violence includes blood splatter from gun shots, with the blood staining the environment, brutal stabbings and slicing with knives, throat slittings, an enemy getting chopped twice in the face with an ax, and the implied mass murder of 27 million people from tons of nuclear type weapons hitting America. This game should only be considered for mature 15 year olds and up.

What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Parent of a 13 year old Written byAggieIsEpic November 9, 2013
AGE
14
QUALITY
 

Mehhh.

Ehhhh.. It's hard to go wrong with some good old first person shooters, and I love em. Not really for 9 year olds, though they're all over Xbox live. I love it, kids love it, not for learning but a good weekend bordom game.

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