Battlefield 4

 

Learning(i)

Extremely violent and mature military shooter sequel.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

This is a first-person shooter in which you play a U.S. Marine and his Special Forces unit, determined to take on enemy forces in China and Russia. It's a positive message to defend the world from worldwide threats, but the game -- especially in the online multiplayer modes -- was designed in such a way that you don't often think about why you're killing enemies. 

Positive role models

You climb into the boots of  U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Daniel Recker, a member of the elite Tombstone squad. Although you don't know much about Recker -- or even see him often, for that matter, as it's a first-person game -- he is a military man who chose to defend the free world from serious threats. This is admirable, but he and his unit use a number of weapons to destroy enemies.

Ease of play

Those comfortable with first-person shooters on consoles or a PC will immediately learn the control mechanics for this game -- the developer doesn't toy much with the popular formula. That said, there's a tutorial mode, too.

Violence

Battlefield 4 is an extremely violent first-person shooter. Players use a number of weapons, including a knife, sniper rifle, machine gun, rocket launcher, and mines, to kill enemy soldiers near and far. The battles are realistic and frenetic; large amounts of blood can be seen, and enemies often scream in pain before dying. In some cases you can sneak up on enemies from behind and kill them with a knife, while an interrogation scene sees a soldier being electrocuted as a means of torture.

Sex
Not applicable
Language

The game has strong profanity, including words like "f--k," "s--t," "a--hole," "damn," "bastard," and "bitch." It's also likely you'll hear profanity during multiplayer matches from other people. 

Consumerism

Gamers are asked to join Battlefield 4 Premium for $50, where members receive themed digital expansion packs, two-week early access to each pack, and additional content and new updates every week.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Serious privacy and safety concerns. All versions of the game can be played online, and, with no one monitoring or filtering the dialogue among human players, it's possible (nay, likely) to hear strong profanity or other inappropriate words and phrases.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know Battlefield 4 is a "Mature"-rated military simulation filled with extreme, realistic violence. Played from a first-person perspective, the single-player campaign and multiplayer modes are designed to make you feel you're right there in the middle of the action. You'll use machine guns, pistols, grenades, sniper rifles, and knives to kill enemy soldiers. There is blood (but not gore) and potentially disturbing scenes of torture.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Social Studies

  • global awareness

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • strategy
  • applying information
  • decision-making

Self-Direction

  • time management
  • effort
  • goal-setting

Collaboration

  • teamwork
  • meeting challenges together

Health & Fitness

  • fine motor skills

What Kids Can Learn

Although elements of Battlefield 4 focus on teamwork and strategic thinking, we don't recommend it for learning because of its graphic violence.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Social Studies

  • global awareness

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • strategy
  • applying information
  • decision-making

Self-Direction

  • time management
  • effort
  • goal-setting

Collaboration

  • teamwork
  • meeting challenges together

Health & Fitness

  • fine motor skills

Although elements of Battlefield 4 focus on teamwork and strategic thinking, we don't recommend it for learning because of its graphic violence.

This Learning Rating review was written by Marc Saltzman

What's it about?

As with its popular predecessor, BATTLEFIELD 4 is a first-person shooter that drops the player into modern-day battles. The single-player campaign lets you assume the role of Marine Corps Sgt. Daniel Recker, a member of the Tombstone squad, who is tapped to diffuse a spark ignited by China and Russia that could result in a global conflict. By fighting over land, sea, and air, you'll take on enemies, issue commands, and stop this global threat before it's too late. As with previous Battlefield games, much of the attention is on the multiplayer matches played in large groups over the Internet on massive maps. This game is powered by the proprietary Frostbite 3 engine from developer DICE and has realistic graphics and smooth animation. Note: Battlefield 4 plays out the same way on all versions (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Windows PC), and there are next-generation versions, for PS4 and Xbox One.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Yes, for sure. Electronic Arts/DICE has created an explosive sequel worthy of your time, money, and effort -- but take heed of the ESRB's "Mature" rating for strong and realistic violence (and strong profanity). Battlefield 4 feels great (in both close-quarter, squad-based combat and wide-open warfare), looks amazing (with huge and well-designed set pieces), and offers a ton of gameplay to sink your teeth into. This is especially true for the multiplayer modes playable with others online, including the new Obliteration mode, wherein two rival teams fight to retrieve a bomb and use it to blow up three enemy targets. Also back is the Conquest mode, which also delivers a ton of challenge, thanks to its many weapons and vehicles: helicopters, jets, ships, tanks, and jeeps. The only disappointment is the absence of the six-mission co-op mode from last year's Battlefield 3. Gamers who like this series will love this sequel, while newcomers to the franchise will ask themselves why they waited so long to jump in.

Families can talk about...

  • There's a long-time battle between the Call of Duty games and the Battlefield games. Which franchise is better, overall? Best story? Graphics? Multiplayer maps and modes? It's a heated debate, so which side are you on, and why?

  • What is the impact of media violence on kids?

Game details

Platforms:PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360
Price:$59.99
Available online?Available online
Developer:Electronic Arts
Release date:October 29, 2013
Genre:First Person Shooter
Topics:Magic and fantasy
ESRB rating:M for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language (PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360)

This review of Battlefield 4 was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

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; OK 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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Parent Written bycjw314 January 7, 2014
age 18+
 

Mature Rating from ESRB doesn't mean 'my 12 yo kid can handle it'.

MATURE Rating states - "Content is generally suitable for ages 17 and up. May contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language." Are any of the reviewers actually adult parents who have some 'skin in the game'? Not a single of these reviews addresses the fact that your '12' or 13' year old is playing a game with a majority adult audience - and language to follow that. Sure the content itself is tame, but the online-interactions are far from it. If you think the in-game supported voice-chat in Battlefield 4 (or any other online game, for that fact) is anything less than setting a new record for using the F word, you're deluded and need to sit down and play a few rounds of a modern 'real' game for education's sake alone. I guarantee you will not complete a round of play without hearing more than enough to 'make up your mind' that your 12 year old shouldn't be involved. The BF4 game itself /is/ amazing, and can be a great exercise in teamwork. However, I don't play M-rated games so I can play with unguided profane 12 year olds, regardless of how their parents are (supposedly) "raising" them.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Parent of a 13 year old Written byBiker 123 November 5, 2013
age 13+
 

Good for those who understand right and wrong

This is a good game, however I can see why it is an 18 because the main story line has quite a bit of gore in it. BUT the multiplayer is fine, but I would only recommend the game to teens who understand the dangers of guns as the game dose glorify guns a bit. Over all a good game
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Parent of a 13 year old Written byFrankAGuerrero December 17, 2013
age 13+
 

Battlefield review. my opinion for parents

I have purchased this game for my son. Growing up lots of my family members were drafted into the military. I think it is good for my son to have some knowledge about wars, just incase anything were to happen. You can turn off any blood and swearing to ensure your child has the safest experience. If you are contemplating this game for your child, i would recommend it!

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