A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Features themes of teamwork, friendship, sacrifice. Ongoing theme of not judging people by initial impressions, but rather discovering who they really are. While main characters all have their own reasons for fighting back kaiju, they're all ultimately fighting for survival of the future.
Positive Role Models
Players control more than a dozen different protagonists at any given time, and they have a wide range of personalities, from kind-hearted and caring to cold and calculating to angry and delinquent. Many have deeper layers that players can discover, but others rarely stray far from their initial impressions.
Ease of Play
Combines two distinct styles into one package. Analysis side seems straightforward, but it's easy to overlook certain clues or to miss an update in the Thought Cloud and leaving players stuck for answers. Battle portions take a lot of quick thinking and strategic planning, with players trying to manage the chaotic action on the fly.
Violence & Scariness
Battle portion features a lot of explosions and destruction as giant Sentinels and the kaiju duke it out through the city. Story portions feature some violence as well, with characters occasionally shooting and electrocuting others, though no blood is shown on-screen.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some partial nudity in one scene, with female character covering her chest with her arms. A plot thread has some reference to gender fluidity.
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Some minor profanity, such as "s--t," occasionally appears in the dialogue.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim is a science fiction-themed hybrid adventure/strategy game available for the PlayStation 4. Players follow 13 teenagers over multiple time periods as they work to change history and stop an invasion in the future from causing the end of the world. Part of the game is a 2D exploration adventure, with players searching for clues and talking to characters, creating branching plots that change the course of the overall story. The other part is a top-down strategy game, with players controlling giant Sentinel mechs, defending key locations from attacks by creatures called kaiju. The game has lots of destruction and explosions during battles, but no blood or gore shown on-screen. The story mode features some scenes of violence, including showing characters shooting and electrocuting others. There's some partial nudity and profanity as well, including occasional use of "s--t" in dialogue.
Is It Any Good?
Some games tell their deep, engaging story with a solid plot in a straightforward path from beginning to end, instead of plot threads tangled in a bunch of knots to try to pull apart. In 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim, players control a whopping 13 different protagonists, each with their own distinct stories, relationships, and purpose in the overall plot. Even more confusing, thanks to the back-and-forth time travel hijinks, little things said or done in one era can have big ramifications in another, assuming you even realize you've done anything. The game keeps an updated selection of key phrases that evolve over time as the characters interact with one another. But you don't necessarily know exactly what you should be looking for in order to make progress. So one missed clue early on might come back to haunt you later, forcing a do-over of the chapter's events. It's a convoluted mess that's frustratingly difficult to keep track of. Eventually, things start to come together and make sense, but it never stops feeling like you've opened up a book or started watching a movie somewhere in the middle and are simply playing catch-up.
When players aren't trying to seek out clues to make sense of the story, they're suiting up for battle in their giant Sentinel mechanized suits and taking the fight to the kaiju in top-down real-time strategy battles. Sentinels come in one of three different models, each complete with a certain battlefield specialization (melee, long range, or all around), and each can be customized with attacks and abilities. These battles show off the power of the Sentinels and their importance to the future of humanity. For players, this means living out their mech vs. monster fantasies, carving out a swath of destruction through wave after wave of kaiju forces. There's a lot going on at any given time, and it can be difficult to follow all the action, but thankfully players can pause the action and think through their strategies on the fly. In the end, 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim almost tries too hard to do too much. It takes some time (no pun intended), but eventually the gameplay and the story begin to mesh into an entertaining, yet confusing, experience.
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.