History Channel Civil War: Secret Missions

Game review by
Mark Raby, Common Sense Media
History Channel Civil War: Secret Missions Game Poster Image
Captivating recreation of Civil War has tempered violence.

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Educational Value

While players may not learn the nuanced and specific intricacies that they might see in a Civil War documentary, this game provides an overall grasp of the state of the nation in the 1860s, and how the tensions between the two sides increased as the war dragged on. The game presents historical context about every single battle that players engage in, allowing them to feel like they stepped into a time machine and are experiencing the same trials and tribulations that real American soldiers did at that time.

Positive Messages

This war simulation video game shows violence throughout the gameplay experience; however this is more of a historical game than anything else. The History Channel was involved in the creation of this game, so it's chock full of historical details about the Civil War. It doesn't glamorize the violence, but rather it's an accurate and educational representation of actual events in American history.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The historical information presented during the game highlights the impressive determination and dedication that military leaders at the time displayed, such as Ulysses S. Grant and President Lincoln. This game presents them in a very positive light, even though they, of course, had to make some tough decisions along the way.

Ease of Play

This game requires quick hand-eye coordination and perfect timing when aiming attacks against enemies. It's a lot more tactical of a gameplay experience than a modern first-person shooter because of the archaic weaponry. As such, quick reflexes, a watchful eye, and fully-developed shooting skills are imperative for victory. The game walks players through the various controls, although the level of difficulty is not linear, meaning that players will get thrown into intense battles quickly, without a whole lot of training. With practice, though, they can master the controls.

Violence

This game contains first-person shooting within frantic and stressful war-torn environments. Players will be shooting enemy soldiers, sometimes at close range. Because this is the Civil War, players shoot at people from the same country as them. That being said, there are a number of things that mitigate the impact of this violence. First of all, it's the Civil War so the weapons are outdated by today's standards -- there are no rocket launchers, plasma grenades, or automatic rifles here. Second, the graphics in the game are not as crisp and pristine as some of the other titles in this genre, so the violence isn't as graphic. Plus, this game doesn't show any blood. Players know they're playing a recreation of an actual event in American history. The game goes out of its way to make sure that even though the violent spirit of the Civil War was captured, it's not gratuitous.

Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that History Channel Civil War: Secret Missions is a first-person shooter (FPS) that takes place during the Civil War. Because The History Channel was involved in the making of this game, it's more about recreating a piece of history than it is creating a senseless and violent video game. As players progress through the game, they are frequently shown tidbits of trivia and information about the Civil War, along with important historical context for the mission they are about to undertake. While the first-person perspective and the frenetic pace of battle add to the violent content in this game, the impact is lessen by the deep historical context and no depictions of blood.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written byparent1035 November 27, 2013

it is for 10 years olds

it is not that bad really
Kid, 12 years old October 6, 2014

good game, great for learning.

all though not to much, there is a good amount of violence and a little language.

What's it about?

History Channel Civil War: Secret Missions puts players right in the middle of the action during the American Civil War. As a soldier of the union forces, players fight their way through missions that are based on actual battles from the 1860s. At the beginning of every mission, the game provides players with historical context and information about the task they are about to undertake. The game also contains a vast wealth of information, trivia, and tidbits about the Civil War, making this game more about understanding what it must have been like to be on the front lines during the tumultuous time in American history, rather than trying to be an overtly violent war simulation game.

Is it any good?

Playing through HISTORY CHANNEL CIVIL WAR: SECRET MISSIONS is a unique experience. Although it's a first-person shooter (FPS), it's very different than what most gamers have come to expect that term to mean. Because it's set a century and a half in the past, there are no advanced weapons; players are aiming their targeting crosshairs to fire old-fashioned rifles and muskets rather than the high-powered machine guns, giant bazookas, and nuclear rockets that have become synonymous with the FPS genre. In addition, the game provides a more fulfilling experience because of the faithful recreation of the Civil War, with no gory or gratuitous twists thrown in.

The graphics leave something to be desired, and the control scheme is not as well laid out as some of the more popular FPS titles, but this game provides a hands-on way to learn about American history. History buffs, as well as those who should buff up on their history, will walk away from this game completely satisfied.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the violence in this game, and about the real-life violence that it is recreating. Why do wars exist, and do they ever justify the violence they create?

  • Families might consider attending a Civil War recreation and then comparing that to what is shown in this game.

Game details

For kids who love games that teach

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