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Medal of Honor

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
Medal of Honor Game Poster Image
War series returns with hyperrealistic military combat.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 12 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 20 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The game was designed to be an authentic look at Tier 1 Operators (an elite troupe of modern-day soldiers), and their dangerous missions in Afghanistan. These troops take on the Taliban, al-Qaeda, and other insurgents, protecting the free world from these radical groups. However, they're also shooting and killing enemies in countless number. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

The Tier 1 Operators are a smart, tough, and tactical group of fighters who are highly trained at taking down threats and protecting innocent people. That said, the game glorifies the way they do their job, allowing players to, say, pick off enemies with bloody head shots. Note that players can take on the role of the terrorists in multiplayer.

Ease of Play

Gamers who've played other first-person military shooters won't have a tough time navigating the environments and using weapons. Plus, the game walks you through the basics at the start of the single-player campaign. But it can be tough -- even on the easiest of three difficulty settings -- and playing online against skilled gamers might prove intimidating, too.


Like most previous Medal of Honor games, this is a violent first-person shooter. Players look down the barrel of a gun and shoot enemies in a realistic fashion. There is copious amounts of blood, and enemies often scream out in pain when killed. That said, there isn't any gore, such as decapitation. There is also an option to switch off the more violent effects.


There is plenty of profanity in dialog sequences, including several instances of the words "f--k" and "s--t," as well as less graphic language, such as "hell," "damn," and "bitch." Plus, this is a multiplayer game that allows for chatting during online play, so it's possible to hear profanity from live human players, too.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Medal of Honor is an extremely realistic, intense, and violent military game that takes place in modern-day Afghanistan, a setting that might bother some families, particularly those with members currently enlisted in the armed forces. If war is a sensitive issue around the home this game might not be the best pick. The game's publisher, Electronic Arts, recently took out the option to play as the Taliban in the online head-to-head mode due to a public controversy surrounding the feature. Note that online multiplayer allows players to engage in open, non-moderated communication, which Common Sense Media does not recommend for younger players.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 14 year old Written bymomerggy23 February 21, 2011
What I like about this game is that there is a optional gore setting so that my kids dont have to be exposed to decapitation or flying limbs. When I use this se... Continue reading
Adult Written byCR90 April 16, 2011

Talk to kids about it though.

I own the game and have completed the campaign, it is difficult but realistic. The people you play as are fictional characters based on the actual heroes fighti... Continue reading
Kid, 8 years old February 6, 2011

cool game

sick and great game!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Teen, 14 years old Written byamg433 February 9, 2013

Somewhat Good

This game teaches a small amount of history, so it is somewhat educational. It's not too violent, but shotguns can decapitate (the review is incorrect). Th... Continue reading

What's it about?

EA’s latest first-person war game can best be described as a \"refresh\" of the franchise, as it now concentrates on contemporary battles in Afghanistan rather than storming the beaches of Normandy in the 1940s. The first MEDAL OF HONOR game in three years introduces the Tier 1 Operator, a little-known outfit of the National Command Authority, which takes on extremely daring missions. For authenticity's sake, the development team at EA Los Angeles studios have worked with real Tier 1 Operators from the U.S. Special Operations Community -- so, while the bearded characters and missions are fictional, they’re “inspired” by real people and events. Players use realistic weapons to shoot at enemies, move around deadly environments, and play online with and against others.

Is it any good?

Medal of Honor has its issues, but can still be an engaging play. First, the good news: Mature fans of military shooters, such as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, will likely find Medal of Honor's multiplayer modes a blast to play. Up to 24 players can tackle special maps and modes designed for both solo players and teams, and the action is, in a word, intense. Addressing complaints before the game was released, EA changed playable enemies from "Taliban" to "Opfor" (an abbreviation of the term "opposing force"), though it might not be enough to douse critics opposed to a game based on a current hotspot. The graphics are top-notch -- especially during a memorable fight in the mountainous Shahi-Kot Valley -- and the controls are tight and responsive.

However, in the solo campaign the A.I. isn't the brightest (your computer-controlled teammates don't always have your back), it can be difficult to know where to go next to trigger the next scene. And even on the easy setting you can die pretty easily. That said, it's a very good military game that proves fun, especially online.

Online interaction: Much of the game is focused on online multiplayer modes that have players going up against one another in competitive and cooperative play. Note that this game supports voice chat, a feature that exposes the player to non-moderated conversations between players that may include profanity and bigotry, inappropriate subject matter, and the sharing of personal information.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about whether a game based on an ongoing war is a good idea. Is it "too soon" to create entertainment based on the war in Afghanistan? Is it irresponsible or insensitive to make a "game" out of a real situation in which real people are losing their lives? Or do you think this game shines a spotlight on the skill and bravery modern soldiers?

  • Families can also discuss how to stay safe while playing online. Parents can talk to their kids about what they might expect to encounter and how to deal with situations in which other players are using excessive profanity, spouting hateful remarks, or soliciting personal information.

Game details

For kids who love fast action games

Our editors recommend

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