A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Shows that good can triumph over evil if we work together, but sometimes requires sacrifice.
Positive Role Models
Players sacrifice a lot to save the world from terrorists, zombies.
Ease of Play
Though controls will be familiar to first-person shooter vets, newcomers will find learning curve tough but manageable.
Violence & Scariness
You shoot, blow up, smack enemies that are human, robotic, undead. Graphic images of torture are shown, with bloody moments when enemies are stabbed, burned.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A woman straddles a man, uses handcuffs on him, is shown briefly gyrating.
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Frequent use of "s--tload," "a--holes," "motherf--ker," others.
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Products & Purchases
Players can use real-word money to buy additional maps for the competitive, cooperative multiplayer modes.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters shown drinking, smoking cigars, cigarettes, taking a drink clearly laced with a knockout drug. There are also numerous "trippy" sequences, but none is drug-induced.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Call of Duty: Black Ops III is a violent, tense, and sometimes scary shooter played from the first-person perspective. Players not only shoot enemies but can also attack them with explosives or smack them with their guns. Such killings are often shown in graphic detail, as are scenes where people are tortured and killed, sometimes brutally. Your fellow soldiers use a wide variety of curse words, including "s--t," "f--k," and various combinations; so will your online competitors, since the multiplayer modes aren't moderated. Though the main story has you fighting terrorists and robots, there are also two scary modes where you battle gross-looking zombies. There are scenes where characters smoke cigars or cigarettes, drink alcohol, and ingest a knockout drug, as well as one where a woman straddles a guy, handcuffs him to the bedpost, and gyrates briefly before stabbing him with scissors. There is an option to avoid the game's more graphic content.
Is It Any Good?
By adding cyberpunk seasonings to this series' patented mix of smooth controls, frantic firefights, cinematic action, and addictive multiplayer, this first-person shooter takes a bold new step. Though you're still shooting terrorists during missions that feel like scenes from a big-budget action movie, you also use an arsenal of futuristic weapons against autonomous robots. You also have a variety of cyberweapons that allow you to hack drones or auto-turrets, scan the environment to tag enemies, dispatch a swarm of tiny killer robots, and run along walls like a certain Persian prince used to do. And these new abilities come into play whether you're playing the story-driven campaign, its zombie version that you unlock after you've beaten the story, another co-op mode where you and three pals fight zombies, or any of the game's numerous competitive multiplayer modes. But while this makes Call of Duty: Black Ops III the most radically different Call of Duty game ever, it also makes it the least Call of Duty-esque as well. This feels more like a cross between a great Terminator game and a cool Ghost in the Shell game when you're using your cybertech to kill robots and a great Walking Dead game when you're facing zombies.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.