Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Game Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Top-notch war sim, but T-rated series is now "M."

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 105 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 295 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Themes of camaraderie, duty, and loyalty permeate most missions, with the game's heroes aspiring to these noble traits. However, there are sequences in which the game treats the killing of enemy soldiers with alarming indifference.

Ease of Play

Challenging shooter, with excellent online multiplayer modes.


Harsh, frontline military violence, including realistic gun battles and close quarters bladed combat (both of which result in graphic bloodshed), is omnipresent. There are also disturbing sequences in which the player takes a first-person perspective of a helpless execution victim and a soldier slowly dying from a nuclear blast.


While not excessive, profanity of the kind typically uttered by real-world soldiers is present through much of the game.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

One of the soldiers is partial to cigars.

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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bynnick December 31, 2010
first off, if your kid plays halo and stuff, you should let your kid play this. blood only stains on headshots which almost never happen, launguage isn&#039... Continue reading
Adult Written byBocat32 October 14, 2020


Call of duty 4 is the best call of duty there is in my opinion. I played this game when I was 12. And by then (if you have an older brother or sister) you have... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byJamie S. June 4, 2018

Good Game Common sense exaggerates again

This is a great game! I just got this for my 14th B-day for my PC. Before I even set up the controls I turned off blood/gore and it is a very fun game! My paren... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old August 22, 2013


This game is an awesome game for first time COD players. No gore and only little blood, just tiny bit of swearing like a** and d**m. Only one guy smokes but tha... Continue reading

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?

Game details

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