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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
This game entertains through gritty, glamorized military violence. Players are rewarded for being skilled and efficient killers. But it also encourages cooperation, communication, and teamwork as players come together in squads serving a single purpose.
Positive Role Models
Avatar soldiers are mostly without personality, save for their uniformly serious, battle-focused disposition, eagerness to kill, and occasional scripted line to communicate with squad members.
Ease of Play
There's no option to adjust difficulty, and the level of challenge depends directly on each player's skill and experience with first-person shooters and battle royale games. But tutorial and practice modes provide players the necessary information and tips to be able to jump into a live match without feeling lost, and the controls should be fairly intuitive to anyone who's played this sort of game in the past.
Violence & Scariness
Players take on the role of soldiers to fight each other using guns, rockets, grenades, mines, and other military weapons from a first-person perspective. Action is frenetic and fast-paced, with blood spattering from hits and characters grunting in pain. A secondary mode puts players in close contact, hitting each other with fists and pelting one another with rocks until it's their turn to fight one-on-one with another player in an arena.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Unlockable stickers and emblems show scantily clad women.
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Occasional profanity, including the word "s--t."
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Products & Purchases
This is a free-to-play game, but players are encouraged to spend money on a Battle Pass to unlock quicker progression and gain access to original cosmetic items (these do not affect play). Additional cosmetic packs are also available to purchase. This is also an extension of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Some characters can be seen smoking.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Call of Duty: Warzone is a free-to-play, standalone expansion for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019). Like the base game, action is focused on fast and frenetic first-person military combat with guns, rockets, grenades, and other modern weapons that wound, kill, and cause characters to bleed and grunt. Players work in squads, cooperating with each other to achieve objectives, including eliminating other players and searching for money. Players need not own the base game, and they don't need to spend money on the expansion. But the game frequently encourages players to purchase a Battle Pass in order to progress more quickly and unlock cosmetic upgrades that do not affect a character's strength or abilities. "S--t" can be heard during some matches, and some players can be seen smoking. You can also unlock stickers of scantily clad women.
Is It Any Good?
Players looking for a polished and distinctive alternative to current battle royale heavyweights like Fortnite and Player Unknown's Battlegrounds may find it in this gritty standalone expansion. Call of Duty: Warzone has the advantage of being based on a popular game with which many are already familiar -- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019) -- and which has some of the tightest and most refined first-person shooter mechanics around. In many ways, Warzone plays very similarly to the game it expands upon, allowing players to do things like mount weapons for increased stability and create easily accessible gear loadouts. Many players will find it both familiar and empowering. But it also welcomes new players -- not just because it's standalone and free, but also through features such as the ability to purchase killstreak bonuses such as drones and heavy weapon strikes normally earned through skilled play. This keeps Call of Duty rookies from getting unfairly clobbered by more experienced players.
Warzone also has some fun quirks that help keep players in the action, most notably contracts that provide secondary objectives that to keep players on the move and help discourage camping, and the Gulag into which defeated players are dropped. If you're itching for just one more chance to join the battle, you'll get a chance -- assuming you can defeat another player in the same boat as you while others watch. It's a clever way to keep more people involved in a battle royale event for a longer period of time. That said, newbies should be ready to face a steep challenge. Call of Duty has generated legions of extremely skilled players who have mastered strategies such as long-distance sniping and luring enemies into bottlenecks. Plus, playing with voice communication is bound to result in some unpleasant encounters with the franchise's famously intolerant and profane community. But there's no denying Call of Duty: Warzone is a strong contender in the battle royale arena. From its beautifully rendered and detailed map to its proven combat mechanics and practical innovations, it's definitely worth a look for genre fans.
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.