A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Alekhine’s Gun is a Cold War-era action game that has you as a Soviet spy turned CIA named Agent Alekhine, who must investigate a government conspiracy. Parents need to know this game is packed with violence and blood -- players can use pistols, knives, and bare hands to kill enemies. Large splatters of blood can be seen after a head shot. Enemies may cry out in pain. The game also has some strong profanity, such as "s--t," "damn," and "bastard" used occasionally. Controls can sometimes be buggy and clunky, which can frustrate players.
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What's it about?
ALEKHINE'S GUN is a third-person action game that takes place during the 1960's Cold War era. You play as Agent Alekhine, a skilled KGB assassin turned CIA operative, who works with other American spies to lead a covert operation behind enemy lines in the U.S., Europe, and Cuba. There's even a bit of action set in World War II in flashback sequences. With multiple routes and hidden rooms, players sneak around and use pistols, knives, and poison to take down enemy threats without behind detected, or you can go in guns blazing instead of lurking quietly in the shadows. There are also "seek and find" missions, such as infiltrating bases and stealing secret documents.
Is it any good?
While not a complete disaster, this violent action game -- which borrows heavily from the Hitman series -- isn't worth your time, effort, or money. For one, the artificial intelligence (AI) is anything but intelligent. While the enemy soldiers will take aim after you're detected, all you have to do is simply hide behind a wall and you'll be soon forgotten; plus, guards patrol in a predictable pattern, which you can easily exploit. This hurts the all-important immersion factor by reminding you it's just a game -- and one that isn't quite finished yet. There are other bugs, too, such as one that might get you stuck in an object, obscure the camera when you get too close to a wall or have the soldiers all animate the same way (eerily, all at the same time). Sloppy controls also break the suspension of disbelief.
The PC version even resulted in system freezes during review or complete crashes to the desktop. On a related note, the graphics -- including the character models, environments, and special effects -- are very behind the times. Subpar graphics and animation won't hurt a smartly designed and executed game as much as one might think, but Alekhine's Gun falters in many other areas: Characters are bland and one-dimensional. Voice acting is weak. Levels are large, yes, but this design doesn't play into the story line or missions as well as it could (the way it does in Grand Theft Auto games). While the time frame and story line are a little interesting, the gameplay, production quality (or lack thereof), and overall value proposition (including replayability) are all lacking here. Perhaps with more time and better tools to create this game, Alekhine's Gun wont be as broken as it is.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in games. Does the excessive violence and blood make this game that much more fun? Would the game be more accessible if the violence was pared back?
Talk about history. This game is set during the Cold War, but how much do you know about this critical part of the 20th century? Do you think that the events in this game could have happened? Why?
Themes & Topics
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