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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
A rather frightening message that can be taken from the game is that there are psychopaths out there who can cause any of us harm.
Positive Role Models
The protagonist, while ultimately heroic, is somewhat obsessed with solving the crime, often risking his own life and health to get the answers.
Ease of Play
Most players are bound to have a few "what do I do next?" moments, but there's a nice system built in for getting past those sticky spots -- you can always go back to your office and talk to your partner who will have a suggestion.The game gets far more difficult as it progresses, but none of the puzzles are insurmountable.
Violence & Scariness
Mulitiple dead bodies are shown, some lying in blood. These bodies (like all the characters in the game) are depicted by real actors, not with computer-drawn graphics. Pools or sprays of blood are visible in many of the crime scenes. Several murders are also shown -- shootings, bludgeonings, and a strangling -- in "past vision," a greenish, blurred video style, similar to what is seen through night-vision lenses. In one of these "past visions," a man doubles over and coughs up a lot of blood.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Nothing is shown, but there is talk of romantic liaisons. The most graphic the language gets, though, is describing people as "lovers."
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Mild swear words occur several times in the dialogue -- hell, damn, crap, bastard.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters who smoke appear in the story, though neither of the protagonists smoke. Even the hero characters do drink alcoholic beverages, though.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that there is a good deal of violence in this mystery game. While most of the violent acts are seen through a blurry, greenish night-vision lens, the realistic motions of the live actors are still easily recognizable -- as someone being strangled, bludgeoned, or shot. The use of real, filmed actors in lieu of computer graphics makes the violence more realistic. Parents should also be aware that, although the protagonist commits no acts of violence, he witnesses many, mostly through his psyhic power to envision the past. Players will also see characters smoking and drinking. The Teen rating could be a bit lenient, given that this is a frightening tale. Parents should consider what their teens can handle before letting them explore this serial killer mystery.
Is It Any Good?
Any mystery is only as good as its plot, and by that measure, Again is pretty awesome. There are several knock-your-socks-off twists that mystery fans will adore. The hero's psychic ability may seem a bit cheesy to players who prefer a more straightforward whodunit, but the game really couldn't work without it. And, okay, you have to overlook the FBI allowing an agent to investigate a case in which his own famly was killed. But employ a healthy suspension of disbelief and you'll be in for a wild mystery ride. In terms of gameplay, Again is also quite unique. The dual-screen approach, allowing you to investigate the same crime scene in both the present and the past is used to very good effect. That being said, this is not a game for the faint of heart. Even the Teen rating could be a bit lenient. Definitely know your kids and what they can handle before letting them explore this frightening tale.
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.