A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Sometimes you have to do what you think is right, not what you're told.
Positive Role Models
One hero defies orders to do what he thinks is right. The other obeys his orders for the same reasons.
Ease of Play
Controls will be familiar to anyone who's played a first-person shooter before but will be complicated for new players.
Violence & Scariness
You shoot aliens, other people from a first-person perspective; some bleed when shot. Weapons include guns, swords, explosives.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Your computerized pal Cortana looks like she's wearing a catsuit.
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Products & Purchases
Players can use real-world money to buy in-game bonuses for the multiplayer modes.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Halo 5: Guardians is a sci-fi shooting game played from the first-person perspective. Using guns, explosives, swords, and their fists, players have to kill numerous enemies that are alien, robotic, and even human. The game also can be played co-op with friends or competitively online, and since none of this is moderated, there may be players who use offensive language. There also are in-game multiplayer bonuses than can be bought for real-world money. But parents also should know that though previous games in this series were not for children, this one is tamer and OK for teenagers.
Is It Any Good?
With the same great controls, epic narrative, and addictive multiplayer, this sci-fi first-person shooter is as engaging as previous games in this series -- which isn't to say Halo 5: Guardians doesn't have some new tricks up its armored sleeve. The battlefields in both the campaign (which can be played solo or co-op) and the new "Warzone" multiplayer mode are larger and have more verticality, which makes it good that you've learned how to climb up ledges. You also have a mini-jet pack that can send you flying, fist-first, into enemies, even if you're jumping down from one of those aforementioned ledges. More importantly, the game finally lets you look down the barrel of your gun for added accuracy the way you've been doing in every other shooter for years. As for that new "Warzone" mode, it has 24 warriors on huge battlefields completing a series of objectives that have you trying to capture an area while taking out a high-value target and trying to kill everyone on the opposing team. All of this adds up to, well, another in a long line of fun Halo games.
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.