A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
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
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.
Violence & Scariness
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.
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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.
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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.
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.
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.