A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Call of Duty: WWII is a violent and bloody first-person shooter. Using a variety of guns, grenades, sharp objects, and even motor vehicles, players have to kill a lot of human enemies and zombies, as well as some dogs. In doing so, they spill a lot of blood, and there are graphic depictions of dismemberment. But players are also rewarded for committing such heroic acts as not killing enemy soldiers who are surrendering. The dialogue includes such curse words as "f--k" and "s--t." Characters are shown drinking alcohol, and one is shown being intoxicated. Younger gamers may also be freaked out by the decayed look of the zombies in the co-op mode. There are also plans to release paid add-ons to the game's multiplayer and co-op modes throughout the next year.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
Set in 1944 and 1945, the campaign in CALL OF DUTY: WWII casts you as an American soldier during the D-Day invasion of Normandy. From there, you move on to Merigny, Falaise, and other French cities on your way to Paris before heading into Germany. Along the way, you'll join up with the British, take out artillery, and shoot a lot of German soldiers who were only following orders. You also, on occasion, become other characters, including a French resistance fighter and a tank driver. The game also features a second campaign where you (or you and some friends) have to kill an endless army of Nazi zombies.
Is it any good?
By going back to its roots, both in its setting and its gameplay, the latest installment of this first-person shooter series is one of the best action games of the year. In Call of Duty: WWII's single-player campaign, you play as an American soldier who, starting with D-Day, goes on a series of infantry missions against the German army. Along with the historic setting, this also brings back some of the mechanics from this series' early days, such as health packs instead of regenerating health in the campaign. More importantly, this largely goes back to the kind of gritty realism of the original games, with only brief bits where it has the over-the-top action movie vibe of the Modern Warfare installments. All of this applies to the game's addiction online competitive multiplayer modes as well.
What hasn't changed -- whether you play the campaign, multiplayer, or the co-op zombie mode -- is that you still engage in a series of harrowing firefights that will test your reflexes and your trigger finger. All of which is aided by this series' always intuitive controls. That said, the campaign's interactive cut-scenes can get tedious at times, there are times when its action sequences drag on, and its ending is a bit too heavy-handed. But even with these irritations, Call of Duty: WWII is a solid and engaging shooter that's not so much a throwback as it is a return to form.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in games. Does it make a difference that you're killing people in this game's campaign, as opposed to aliens or monsters? What about the parts where you're killing zombies; does that make you feel different?
Talk about World War II. Do you know why we fought WWII? Do you know what happened?
Discuss risking your life to save someone else. In this game, you sometimes put your own safety aside to rescue another person, but would you ever do this in real life? Why or why not?
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