A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
This world is a brutal one. Characters are threatened with disembowelment and torture. Nariko's own father contemplates killing her because she is cursed, and Bohan is physically and verbally abusive to his son (although both relationships are eventually redeemed.) Nariko and Kai are motivated by their friendship for each other.
Violence & Scariness
Players will rack up a mind-boggling number of kills -- one level's goal requires Nariko to knock down 700 soldiers with a cannon. There is spattering blood and graphic finishing moves including plunging two swords into an enemy's back. Kai's mother is murdered in a flashback.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Bohan desires Nariko sexually and makes a couple of references to his genitals. Nariko wears very revealing clothes.
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Enemies hurl various insults at Nariko including "hell-whore," "bitch" and "hell-hag." There's also "dammit" and "s--t."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that while Heavenly Sword is only rated "Teen" (instead of "Mature"), the cut scenes depict some genuinely unsettling situations, like when a screaming Kai is pursued by a villain intent on stabbing her to death. The game contains examples of parental cruelty and whole-scale violence on the part of heroes and villains alike. While the story is interesting, it's designed for an older audience.
Is It Any Good?
Heavenly Sword boasts near-flawless character models, sweeping scenery, and a story that's every bit as emotionally charged as a film. Characters look alive and don't move with the usual stiltedness. Battle scenes are truly epic, with hundreds of soldiers on-screen at once.
Heavenly Sword clocks in at only about six hours -- slightly more if you unlock all the bonus content, which includes the making of vignettes and artwork. You can't skip cut scenes, even when you're watching them for a second time, and there are a few uneven difficulty spikes, most notably the frustrating final boss. But Heavenly Sword is so exquisitely rendered that it's pretty easy to forgive these minor faults. Gamers who can handle the game's mature themes and realistic violence will enjoy the cinematic experience.
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Our Editors Recommend
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