Bodycount

Common Sense Media says

Flawed, bloody shooter has over-the-top action.

Age(i)

NOT FOR KIDS

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

You are an operative determined to rack up as many kills as possible against a nondescript "evil" organization. The story is abandoned pretty early on, but even though you're fighting on behalf of the good guys this game focuses heavily on firefights from start to finish.

Positive role models

The player's character is an experienced gun-for-hire who must eliminate enemies using a large arsenal of weapons and air strikes.

Ease of play

Much like other first-person shooters for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, Bodycount uses the right stick for movement and left stick for camera. Trigger buttons lock onto targets and fire most weapons. It's not a difficult game, but it's worth noting the slim manual provides very little help. 

Violence

Violence is the core of this game. Using guns, knives, grenades, bombs, and airstrikes, players kill as many of The Target group as possible. Blood can be seen spraying out of fallen enemies, who scream in pain and fly through the air should they become victims of explosive attacks. Some cut-scene sequences also show violence and blood.

Sex
Not applicable
Language

The campaign doesn't contain profanity, but it's an online game with support for a headset microphone. Players may hear inappropriate words and phrases from other players while playing.

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

Some safety concerns: The online aspect of play supports open chat which isn't moderated. Players may hear inappropriate words and phrases from other players while playing.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know Bodycount is a very violent and bloody action game played from an immersive first-person perspective. Even the game's marketing materials talk up the arcade-like violence with phrases such as a "cinematic orgy of shooting and wanton destruction" and "mouth-watering arsenal of weapons, grenades, mines, and airstrikes." It also supports voice chat when played over the Internet, a feature Common Sense Media does not recommend for pre-teens.

Parents say

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Kids say

What's it about?

As you'd expect from a game called BODYCOUNT, this is a frenetic first-person shooter. You serve as a seasoned gun-for-hire at an organization called The Network, tasked with eliminating a malevolent, relentless organization only referred to as The Target. Dropped into numerous hotspots like Africa and Asia, you'll take part in a global power struggle and use a number of weapons -- primarily pistols, machine guns, sniper rifles, mines, and grenades -- to take down as many enemies as possible. Even though it feels like a non-realistic arcade shooter, cover plays a major part in this game, so you'll need to find places to hide before peeking out and shooting. Beware, though: Incoming fire can shred certain kinds of cover. This spiritual successor to 2006's Black is an over-the-top action game meant to give players an adrenaline-filled adventure full of thrills and spills.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

On one hand, this is a fun, attractive, and somewhat challenging game with a couple of interesting mechanics: deformable environments (which means you can blow open walls to create escape routes) and the ability to earn "intel bonuses" for accurate or explosive shots, which can be chained together for additional rewards. Along with the single-player game there are a few multiplayer modes, such as co-op (two Network operatives working together), Deathmatch (every player for himself) and Team Deathmatch (choose a side and the first team to reach the predetermined kill limit wins).

On the flipside, the storytelling fells like a poor excuse to kill virtual people, missions are repetitive and bland, and the artificial intelligence doesn't seem very...intelligent (computer-controlled soldiers will just stand beside a grenade that's about to blow up). It's a $60 game that feels like it ought to have been a budget title. Shooter fans who like over-the-top action might still enjoy it, but they should rent it for a day or two before buying. Note: the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of the game are the same.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether this sort of over-the-top action game is more tolerable when rooted in science fiction rather than more realistic scenarios populated by humans.

  • Families can also talk about why some players tend to gravitate toward violent games. Can you think of alternatives for older players that focus less on violence and more on tactics, problem solving, or creativity?

Game details

Platforms:Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
Price:$59.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Codemasters
Release date:August 30, 2011
Genre:First Person Shooter
ESRB rating:M for Blood, Violence (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)

This review of Bodycount 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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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.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 13 years old Written byironmaidenfan November 10, 2011
AGE
14
QUALITY
 

Mediocre game is fine for teens but not worth the $60

As far as M games go, i think that Bodycount really isn't too horrible. In fact I think the only reason its rated M is for one skippable cutscene where a man is shot at close range. Its a FPS where you shoot and can knife people but its so quick and goreless that it sounds much worse then it actually is. There is very mild cursing but nothing you wouldn't see on Terra Nova. As far as quality goes, I think its worth a rent but, little else. The campaign is short at 5-6 hours and the multiplayer is basically empty at the time. The game also is pretty generic and the story nonexistent. Your character doesn't even have a name. The game also tries to copy the skillshots from Bulletstorm but basically, they're just like normal shots like headshots and surprise attacks. Overall, I think that many teens could handle this game but I think its not worth a buy and not even a rent if your looking for multiplayer although, the single player is decent enough albeit too short.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Safety and privacy concerns
Teen, 13 years old Written bycerealkiller189 February 25, 2012
AGE
14
QUALITY
 

Well worth the 60 bucks.

This game has total,relentless,over the top action and bloody violence,But it has so much your kids will get used to it.That dosent mean they're desensitised,I have this for my Xbox and PS3 (the ps3 version is 50 bucks) and I play it everyday for as long as I like.But I'm not violent.I don't have warped thoughts.I don't kill people.Maybe your kid is like me.Then again,this game is not for everyone.Thats why there's an M rating.Lets just say I understand perfectly well why they put the rating there and I'm just saying,it depends on the maturity,not the age.Every person varies.
What other families should know
Too much violence

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