A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
This game is about strategic thinking and making the most of limited resources. It glamorizes war to a degree, but not graphically. There is no great moral message good or bad in the story, though there is a political and ideological conflict between the game's warring factions, one of which is led by a nasty, sociopathic man.
Positive Role Models
Players take on the role of a military commander and see the world from a first-person perspective through the eye of a camera during the game's cutscenes. Aside from a choice early on that leads players toward one faction or another, they aren't given much control over events. The commander simply follows orders, defending and attacking as his superiors require in order to meet their political and military objectives.
Ease of Play
The basic controls will be familiar to Real Time Strategy (RTS) fans, but it will take a while to grow accustomed to new features. A few quick and simple tutorial missions at the start of the game do a good job of showing players the ropes, and several difficulty settings accommodate players of all experience levels.
Violence & Scariness
Armies, including tanks, planes, and armored troopers do battle with a variety of energy and projectile weapons. Players view the action from a bird's eye perspective. There are lots of explosions and soldiers go flying through the air, but there is no blood. One live action cutscene shows a close-up of a person's face as he dies.
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A few instances of the words "bastard," "bitch," and "ass."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Command & Conquer 4 is a real-time strategy game that features frequent, futuristic violence. However, it's seen from a high perspective, there is no blood, and things never get more graphic than a flailing soldier tossed into the air from an explosion. The story, which is about a clash between political ideologies and features a sociopath who leads one side of the fray, is melodramatic and tame, with good and evil clearly distinguishable. Parents should be aware that this game facilitates open text communication between players. Common Sense Media does not recommend open online play for children under 12 years of age.
Is It Any Good?
Command & Conquer 4 isn't really the Command & Conquer most people remember. The campaign feels more focused on completing objectives with smaller groups than building the huge armies of C&Cs past; while the online multiplayer has players striving to hold control points rather than simply crushing the enemy. Depending on how much you liked the original formula, you may well find yourself lamenting the franchise's distinctive brand of classic real-time strategy.
The one thing that hasn't changed is the franchise's over-acted live-action cutscenes, which feature middling actors giving voice to thoroughly campy lines. If this decidedly B-movie style of narrative hasn't done anything for you in the past, it won't convert you now. However, players who get a kick out of the franchise's corny melodrama will probably eat it up. It's fitting that the final game in the franchise remains true to its narrative roots, even if its classic style of play doesn't.
Online interaction: Players can go up against one another or work as a team together online. Open text chat is supported. Common Sense Media does not recommend open online play for children under 12 years of age.
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.