World of Warcraft: The Battle for Azeroth

Game review by
Neilie Johnson, Common Sense Media
World of Warcraft: The Battle for Azeroth Game Poster Image
Well-made expansion has disturbing images, rich exploration.

Parents say

age 7+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The setting for this expansion is all-out war which limits positive messages. Players destroy as often as they preserve things, and kill people as often as they save others.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Both sides of the conflict think they're in the right. That means that heroes can be villains, depending on your point of view. 

Ease of Play

This high-level expansion assumes players have years of experience with the game's controls, systems, and skills of the game. Without knowing which skills are best in each situation, you'll find yourself frustrated and annoyed during fights or quests.

Violence

Combat dominates quests in this game, making play more action focused. Scenarios and cutscenes show a cartoon version of the horrors of war, which only slightly limits the impact of the imagery. There's also blood sacrifice, dead bodies, and a tree full of women and children burning among some of the more violent images seen in the game. Quests also reward players for killing monsters, people, or animals.

Sex

Some female characters wear revealing costumes. 

Language

"Damn" and "bastard" occasionally appear in dialogue. Unmoderated in-game chat can expose players to inappropriate content.

Consumerism

Latest installment in wildly popular Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG) World of Warcraft, which itself was a spin-off of a popular strategy franchise. The franchise has spawned merchandise, toys, and other products.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

There are mentions of alcohol and characters can visit taverns. Players can drink alcohol to the point of drunkenness. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that World of Warcraft: The Battle for Azeroth is an expansion for the blockbuster fantasy MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game), World of Warcraft on Windows and Mac computers. The basic game is now free, but the expansion has to be paid for, and players must pay a monthly subscription fee to play it. The expansion's theme involves all-out war between the game's two main factions and represents some of the bloodiest and most disturbing imagery of the series. In-game movies and scenarios show things like blood sacrifices, dead bodies, and a tree full of women and children being burned. Most quests reward players for killing animals, monsters, or people. There's a tavern in every town, and player characters can buy alcohol, drinking until their characters are drunk. Dialog occasionally contains mild language like “damn” or “bastard,” and female characters often wear revealing outfits. In-game chat (and voice chat) often contains inappropriate language and commentary, though players can turn it off.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written byIan H. September 8, 2018

Its good...but

The game is fine, the content is fine, the only problem I have with this game is the amount of time it can take up. I wouldn't be totally happy with young... Continue reading

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's it about?

WORLD OF WARCRAFT: THE BATTLE FOR AZEROTH is the narrative follow-up to previous expansion, The Burning Legion, and involves the aftermath of its catastrophic events. Previously allied against a common enemy, the Alliance and the Horde are once again at odds. Boosting their natural hatred of each other is the appearance of a valuable new magical resource called Azerite, because this strange substance significantly enhances the power of its owner's weapons. While the Alliance is willing to fight for it using conventional means, the newly-minuted Horde War Chief Sylvanas Windrunner goes out of her way to demonstrate that she's willing to take the conflict to new levels of savagery. New player-versus-player rules lets both Horde and Alliance explore the storyline in the same areas, and the expansion offers lots of new features including a higher level cap (120), two new continents to explore, six new playable Allied races to unlock, a new Heart of Azeroth gear system, new three-player Island Expeditions, new PvE battlegrounds called Warfronts, and countless new items.

Is it any good?

Clear your schedule, and get the snacks and comfy chair ready—you're gonna be here a while, even if you're going to go through some dark gameplay. No matter which side you take, there's a lot do in World of Warcraft: The Battle for Azeroth, and once you get over the shock of the intro cutscene (no spoilers!) you'll find your work's cut out for you. If you're Horde, you start in Zandalar, ancestral home of the trolls; if you're Alliance, you start in the seafaring kingdom of Kul Tiras. Both are amazing places, full of mystifying voodoo magic and rollicking piratey fun (respectively) and both are a blast to explore. You're given a magical stone called The Heart of Azeroth and are told to power it up by completing missions. Why do you want to do this? Because the stronger it is, the better your new Azerite-powered gear becomes, and the more skills it grants you.  Though not tremendously different than previous gear systems, (socketing, artifacts, etc.) the Azerite system plays well into the expansion's overall narrative, and its skill-choosing interface makes unlocking new skills fun and satisfying. 

Even more fun and satisfying are the story-rich quests. There's some real cleverness at work in the longer quests and in the weird random adventures you encounter just by exploring. Beyond that, the visuals of places like the seafaring city of Tiragarde Sound and the spooky ruins of Zuldar is awesome. Add to that some really beautiful musical themes and you've got an experience you'll want to wring every minute from. (Power levelers beware; speeding through every area means you're missing a lot of good stuff.) For players tough enough to brave new dungeons, the spooky halls of Waycrest Manor and the plague-ridden expanses of the Underrot (among others) offer spectacular scenery and cool new rewards. And though critics could argue World of Warcraft: The Battle for Azeroth's simple cartoony graphics and repetitive old school “collect and kill” missions reveal the game's age, role-playing game lovers will find it holds its own with any other massively multiplayer online game, and proves Blizzard still has plenty of entertaining tricks up its sleeve. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in video games. Is the impact of the violence in World of Warcraft: The Battle for Azeroth affected by the unrealistic creatures and settings of the game, or is it intensified by the fantasy scenes of violence and death?

  • Have you seen news stories about civilians being hurt through military action? Why are civilians frequently in the line of fire, even though they're not fighting in the middle of battles?

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