A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Army Corps of Hell is a "Mature"-rated PlayStation Vita game that fuses action with strategy. There is a lot of blood in the game, which can be seen pouring out of fallen creatures when defeated, as well as during cut-scene story sequences. As a demon commanding your goblins, you can hack and slash and shoot projectiles at enemies, plus they can violently attack your goblins, too, such as being crushed and burned. Boss demons can be dismembered and decapitated in a gory fashion with ample pools of blood.
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What's it about?
One of the launch titles for the PlayStation Vita, Square Enix's ARMY CORPS OF HELL is a hybrid action-strategy game that takes place in hell. You are the former King of Hell, who must fight against legions of demons to regain your crown. While advancing through the depths of hell, you'll ward off these monsters, take on big bosses, and command groups of minions to do your bidding, each of whom have unique abilities. Your loyal goblins are divided into three types: Soldiers (basic, melee fighters), Spearman (long-range attackers), and Magi (capable of firing magic blasts at targets, including protected ones). You can also assign formations for each unit type.
Is it any good?
While an intriguing concept, and somewhat fun, Army Corps of Hell falls short of greatness because of repetitive gameplay, levels that lack variety, and graphics that don't take full advantage of the PS Vita's capabilities (though it does offer vibrant colors). At least the game has some depth because of its use of tactics instead of a simple hack-and-slash mechanic; plus there's a role-playing game (RPG)-like upgrade system where accumulated loot (dropped from fallen enemies) can be used to alchemize new weapons and items. You can also upgrade your goblin's weapons and armor and unlock more alchemy items as you progress through the campaign.
The game also offers an ad-hoc multiplayer option for up to four players, for wireless play in the same room. While not a bad debut title, it does feel redundant after a short while and the $40 price tag is steep for what you get. That said, those with a new PS Vita might consider renting it for a weekend instead of buying.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about whether the PlayStation Vita is going after a more mature audience than the Nintendo 3DS. Both have mature and kids titles (and some in between) but it seems many of the launch titles for PS Vita contain violence, blood, and gore.
What is the impact of media violence, such as that found in this game?
- Platforms: PlayStation Vita
- Price: $39.99
- Available online? Not available online
- Developer: Square Enix
- Release date: February 22, 2012
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- ESRB rating: M for Blood and Gore, Violence
- Last updated: November 11, 2020
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.