History: Legends of War: Patton

 

Learning(i)

World War II simulation focuses on history, strategy.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

While one would be hard-pressed to say that a game that involves war exudes any sort of strong positive message, this game is unique in that it also doubles as a history lesson. Players trace the steps of General George Patton during World War II. As such, the primary objective is to take out the Nazis, reinforcing the message that in this particular context, violence in the only means to which any semblance of peace could possibly be restored. On the whole, violence is glorified in this game but players should nevertheless come out of the experience feeling more knowledgeable about American history, and better understand why the United States entered the war back in the 1940s.

Positive role models

The focal point of this game is to emphasize the masterful way in which General George Patton commanded his troops during World War II. He was able to motivate soldiers to take on one of the most dangerous human threats the world has ever faced. Although he is revered for his leadership during a violent war, no one could doubt his resolve as a true role model, inspiring values that can be adhered to in any situation.

Ease of play

This is a challenging game that requires strategy, focus, and the ability to think quickly and alter decisions on the fly. Players take control of the action from a third-person perspective, organizing their troops and vehicles in a way that is most likely to take out as many enemy soldiers while preserving their own army as much as possible. They essentially act as the general, calling the shots but not necessarily manning the tanks and shooting the enemies directly. The game is split up into several different missions, some of which focus on offensive attacks and others on defense. As a result, players also need to modify varying strategies based on the specific mission at hand.

Violence

Because this game is meant to be a realistic simulation of World War II, there is a lot of violence. Players will shoot enemy forces with on-the-ground gunfire from soldiers as well as air-to-ground missiles and explosives. The often-frenetic pace of battle heightens the experience and emphasizes the violence as gunfire and explosions ravage the vast battlefields. It is always in the back of the player's mind, however, that these acts of violence are necessary and justified to help prevent the world from further dismay and destruction.

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Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that History: Legends of War: Patton is a third-person strategy game in which players take on the role of famed army general George S. Patton. In this role, players decide where to place troops and vehicles on the battlefield but they do not participate in the actual shooting of enemies. This is a strategy game, not a shooting game. The game is packed with historical tidbits about Patton as well as the context of World War II as a whole. It is nevertheless a simulation of a horrific war, and that means there is a considerable amount of violence, with frequent gunfire, explosions, and depictions of soldiers collapsing to their death.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Social Studies

  • history
  • events
  • historical figures

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • problem solving
  • strategy
  • decision-making

Responsibility & Ethics

  • learning from consequences
  • making wise decisions
  • integrity

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Learning Approach

Support

What kids can learn

Subjects

Social Studies

  • history
  • events
  • historical figures

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • problem solving
  • strategy
  • decision-making

Responsibility & Ethics

  • learning from consequences
  • making wise decisions
  • integrity

Kids can learn about the history of World War II. This game puts a particular emphasis on the contributions of General George S. Patton of the US Army and defines him as a man who arguably single-handedly prevented the war from being more catastrophic than it was. In addition, the game has players step directly into those shoes as they command the troops from a third-person perspective and realize just how hectic it can get in the heat of battle. Despite the game's violent content, there's a lot of historical perspective, and players can also read facts about the war and the involvement of General Patton.

This Learning Rating review was written by Mark Raby

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What's it about?

HISTORY: LEGENDS OF WAR: PATTON is a war simulation game. This places it in the company of dozens, if not hundreds, of video games before it. What makes this title unique, though, is that it puts specific emphasis on a single person rather than a specific historic event. As General Patton, players earn \"prestige points\" and \"skill points\" which dynamically alter the way that their soldiers fight in combat. Players also learn all sorts of historic facts about Patton and his role in the war. The ultimate story that players fight their way through has been told an uncountable number of times, but the way it is presented in this game is definitely unique to this medium.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

History: Legends of War: Patton is a great strategic game. This is not a game for the lighthearted, however. Turn-based strategy combat games are among the most challenging types of video games in the industry and this one is no exception. It is not built to be frustratingly difficult, but rather to further make the point that World War II -- and General Patton's role therein -- was no piece of cake. It is a very refreshing and welcome approach to telling the story of a historic point in time, in a way that no video game has really done before. It definitely earns points in that regard. Some of the missions may seem repetitive at times, and there are occasionally wild variances in the level of difficulty, but that is perhaps the point of the game, to make sure players are on their toes and can get at least some kind of a grasp of what it was like to be the one making all the decisions on the battlefield during a time of such turmoil and uncertainty. World War II buffs will very much appreciate the approach that this game takes.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the depiction of violence in this game. Given the context, do you think the violence is appropriate or does it go over-the-top?

  • What do you think of the men and women who served in the army during World War II?

  • Would you consider General Patton to be a role model? Even if you never come anywhere close to dealing with what he had to, do you think you could learn anything about yourself by seeing the kind of leader he was?

Game details

Platforms:PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Windows, Xbox 360
Price:$49.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Maximum Family Games
Release date:November 20, 2012
Genre:Strategy
ESRB rating:T for Violence (PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Windows, Xbox 360)

This review of History: Legends of War: Patton was written by

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  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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