Battlefield 3

Common Sense Media says

Gritty, violent military shooter for adults only.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

Camaraderie and a sense of brotherhood are persistent themes through the single-player campaign, and multiplayer modes push players to cooperate with one another. However, the game glamorizes and glorifies modern military combat. The story is about thwarting a terrorist and nuclear threat, but the sole means of accomplishing this goal is to fight.

Positive role models

Players take on the roles of several warriors fighting in locations around the globe, all of whom are working to eliminate terrorist threats. But while these are good men, they’re also trained killers who often take pleasure in dispatching enemies. One mission even requires players to shoot at and kill innocent French police officers who are unwittingly preventing the game’s heroes from stopping a nuclear blast in the heart of Paris.

Ease of play

The well designed interface should prove instantly familiar to veteran shooters, but this game is no cake walk. The single-player campaign is filled with tricky areas that will challenge even experienced players; and online multiplayer is loaded with skilled players -- including many crack shot snipers -- which are bound to frustrate rookies.


This is a gritty and realistic first-person shooter with constant and intense violence. Players spend virtually all of their time in unrelenting combat using not just a huge arsenal of firearms, but also powerful weapons attached to tanks, jets, jeeps, and helicopters. Enemies typically grunt and spray blood when shot. Melee scenes require players to quickly press buttons to stab enemies, bash their heads into objects, and, in one case, throw a terrorist into an oncoming train. Cut scenes depict several terrifying moments, including a first-person perspective of a nuclear blast as well as a videotaped execution.

Not applicable

Profanity is used liberally throughout the campaign, with characters frequently employing words including “f--k” and “s--t.”

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Serious privacy concerns. The heart of this game is online play, and players can freely chat with one another via headsets. This creates the potential for players to share personal information and engage in conversations with inappropriate language and subject matter. Common Sense Media does not recommend open online play for pre-teens. Parents should also take note of a new out-of-game online community called Battlelog, which tracks a player’s accomplishments and allows players to communicate with each other away from their consoles.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Battlefield 3 is a gritty and authentic first person shooter that glamorizes all forms of military violence, from melee combat and firefights to large-scale destruction with tanks and jets. Characters writhe realistically as they die, and blood sprays from bullet impacts. There are several disturbing scenes, including a nuclear blast, and terrorist execution, and a firefight with innocent police that the game’s protagonist -- controlled by the player -- reluctantly kills in an attempt to avoid a greater tragedy. Online multiplayer, meanwhile, sees players openly speaking with one another via headsets and then finding each other outside the game using a new online game community called Battlelog, which permits Facebook wall-style communication.     

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

BATTLEFIELD 3’s single-player campaign tells a story of terrorists threatening the Western world with nuclear weapons. Players take control of several soldiers fighting the menace in locations around the world, from Tehran to Paris. Some of these warriors are ground troops specialized in sniping and front line assaults, while others are masters of military hardware, including a jet gunner and a tank driver. The narrative is filled with terrifying moments, including unexpected knife battles and horrific events experienced from a first-person perspective.

Online play, meanwhile, sees players engaging in massive and frenetic fracases with up to 64 players in the PC version and 24 players in the console editions. Players work in teams to capture control points, defend or take objectives, or simply rack up the most kills. Battlefield 3 also introduces Battlelog, an online community that can be accessed outside of the game on a computer and allows players to track their progress and communicate with other players.

Is it any good?


Though visually spectacular -- imagine an urban warzone in the midst of an earthquake -- Battlefield 3’s single-player campaign is a bit of a mess. Its pulled-from-the-headlines story strives for a resonance that it never quite achieves. It’s plagued with minor glitches -- we experienced suddenly muted weapons, characters moving through walls, and even a sequence where we were swimming in the air. Most frustrating of all, enemies are at once extremely predictable and extraordinarily good shots, which equates to an unfair challenge and diminishing surprises. It’s seven hours of merely moderate fun.

Multiplayer, on the other hand, is extraordinarily satisfying. Matches populated with dozens of players covering enormous maps filled with a broad range of military hardware make for epic combat experiences. Weapons, vehicles, and soldier classes are diverse but finely balanced, allowing players to experiment with different styles of play. And expertly designed character progression means players will be enticed to continue playing for months to come. While gamers devoted to well-crafted single-player experiences may want to take a pass, Battlefield 3 is an essential play for adults with a passion for online first-person shooters.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about violence in games. How do you determine which games are too violent for your teens? How do you ensure that they don’t experience these games outside your home? Do you try to explain why some games are unsuitable for their age?

  • Families can also discuss online safety. What would you do if you ran into a bully or predator online? What sort of markers should you look for to identify them?

Game details

Platforms:Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Windows
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Electronic Arts
Release date:October 25, 2011
Genre:First Person Shooter
ESRB rating:M for Blood; Intense Violence; Strong Language (PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360)

This review of Battlefield 3 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.

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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.

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written byBullybuster November 28, 2011

Not that bad of a game

This is a good game. The swearing isn't good but if your child has seen in planes trains and automobiles the swearing at the rent a car thing they should be alright. Also the violence isn't that bad it's like battlefield bad company and battlefield 2
Parent Written bycrazzyyman85 November 1, 2011

best shooter of 2011

First off, this game hasn't ceased to amaze since I started playing it. The graphics are superb and and the online multiplayer mode is an amazing experience. In terms of, the inapropriate language is the primary issue here. Although it isn't over the top, it is easy to come by in the single player campaign (D**mn f***k and s***t). -- nothing more than the average 7th is exposed to in school everyday. violencwise, the game isn't that graphic (very little blood) but the violence is constant. anyone into the fps genre of games will love battlefield 3.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much consumerism
Adult Written byGeorge Johanson November 10, 2011

A Very Good Game

The Game is very realistic and can teach how war really is. It has very little blood and the violence is equivilent to uncharted, a teen rated game.
What other families should know
Educational value


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