Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare



Top-notch war sim, but T-rated series is now "M."
Parents recommendPopular with kids

What parents need to know

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.

Not applicable

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

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

One of the soldiers is partial to cigars.

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.

Families can talk 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

Platforms:Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Windows
Available online?Not available online
Release date:November 7, 2007
Genre:First Person Shooter
ESRB rating:M for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language

This review of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare was written by

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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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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't bad at all. the ESRB made this game sound over the top but it was only because it was call of duty's first M game. really if you ask me (and many others) halo in parts are worse than this. if you are not letting your child get this game because of the ratings, watch the game please and base your decesion off that. by the way there is no limb loss, decapition and no gore, gore is in halo 3, with the dead soilders in the second mission. blood is on them. but let your kid get this game. i can't believe it got rated M. probably because of the more realistic graphics make it seem more life like. and the better graphics in war games make the rating go up. thanks for reading this. :)
Parent of a 12 and 14 year old Written bythunder1 June 4, 2009

Ok for 11 and up.

This is no worse than normal tv shoes families whatch like csi. There really is no "gore" just little puffs of blood. The "torture" is more just someone looks like there gonna die and you dont see anything. Not really the worse m game. I'd rate it in the lover kid age of mature. Parents should know the don't use to much language other than the d*** h*** and crap. This is good though for kids 11 and up. Parents dont worry.
Adult Written byseen-all-movies January 1, 2011

Turn of blood, and its good entertainment if mature and past age 12

I've played COD 4 for quite a while, and even now, whit the release of Black ops, it's still entertaining and a good way to keep the younger kids satisfied. this game is less violent and realistic than Modern warfare 2 and black ops, and is therefor a good game for people not quit old enough to play the newest games in the COD franchises. Sure this game contains violence, but PEGI rated it 16, witch is a little different from the commonsense media rating. i believe that mature kids can already at the age of 11 to 13 start to play and enjoy this game, some might argue about this due to the content of in game blood, but in the options menu, you can both in single player and multiplayer turn of the blood effect, witch pretty much removes all reasons for age limit, if blood is turned of the game gets a very different feel to it, and is unlikely to frighten kids if they are mature and past age 11, if blood is on I suggest age limit 13 to 14 depending on maturity. this game is certainly no worse than the average action thriller like James Bond, so why give it any higher age limit?
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