A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that although earlier games in the Call of Duty series had "Teen" ratings, this game is rated "Mature" for portraying highly authentic modern military combat with realistic gore. There are distressing situations involving torture, execution, and the gruesome deaths of primary protagonists to whom the player will likely have grown attached. This material is more intense and disturbing than in earlier games of this series, and a diverse selection of cuss words is clearly audible. This game can be played with others online, which Common Sense Media doesn't recommend for anyone under the age of 12.
What's it about?
The bulk of the action in CALL OF DUTY 4: MODERN WARFARE takes place in the Middle East. However, developer Infinity Ward has cleverly managed to avoid stirring the political pot by never naming the countries in which the action takes place and delivering a fictional and unquestionably evil enemy in the form of radical terrorists set on global nuclear holocaust. Players step into the combat boots of two soldiers, a British S.A.S. operative and an American Marine, as they battle the terrorists. You always work with a squad of at least a few other soldiers, who, unlike artificially intelligent companions in most games, are essential allies that can be counted on when things get rough, which is most of the time.
Is it any good?
This highly polished and intelligently designed interactive entertainment is dramatic and thrilling stuff. The only downside is the campaign's brevity; at just seven hours on medium difficulty, you'll likely find yourself wanting more when the credits start to roll.
But that's why multiplayer exists. With hundreds of items, game types, ranks, and customization options slyly designed to unlock one by one the more you play, the online component has a decidedly addictive, just-need-a-few-more-points-to-level-up quality to it. Expect your sessions to be frequent and long.
Online interaction: Online play over a headset can yield very colorful conversations.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about war. What leads to war? Is war ever justified? Why or why not? How does the media typically portray war? How realistic is this game's presentation of war? Is the nuclear threat imagined by the game's designers something you think could happen in the real world?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.