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The parents' guide to what's in this game.
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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Asgard's Wrath is a virtual reality (VR) action/role-playing game based on Norse mythology and available for download on the Oculus Rift. Players take on the role of a new god in the Norse pantheon. Players can create anthropomorphic warriors out of animals and possess certain faithful humans to influence the worlds of both gods and mortals through their actions. The game's brutally violent, with graphic scenes of dismemberment and mutilation complete with massive amounts of blood. Parent should also be aware that there's some partial nudity, particularly in some of the artistic items (statues, etc.). There are also scenes in which some characters, including the player, drink alcoholic beverages.
What's it about?
The power of the gods lies within your hands in ASGARD'S WRATH. Based on Norse mythology, you take on the role of a newly minted addition to the pantheon of Asgardian deities. Mentored by the trickster god Loki, you set out to the world of mortals to test your divine powers and grant favor to the humans you deem worthy. You'll be able to lend your aid from on high as you manipulate the world below, and even create loyal animal warriors from the nearby wildlife to fight by your side. You can even join the battle yourself by possessing your chosen warrior, bringing a swift and brutal end to all that oppose you. But as you find yourself more and more intertwined with the fate of these mortals, is it possible that you too are being manipulated by your fellow gods as a means to an unforeseen end?
Is it any good?
There have always been stories in folklore about the power of the gods and how they interacted with mortals, but what if you could experience those stories like never before? Asgard's Wrath brings players closer to the action than ever imaginable, courtesy of a highly immersive world and unique gameplay that combines in a way that makes the player feel like a true being of myth. Although the story can get a bit cheesy at times, it does offer a uniquely different perspective. As a new deity in the Norse hierarchy, you aren't saddled with some legacy or preconceived notions of what your character should be. Instead, this is an opportunity for you to be yourself, just with an overabundance of cosmic power at their fingertips. Between manipulating the world, plucking up animals and seeing what sort of crazy sidekicks they turn into, and of course, the occasional titanic god versus god clash, you can't help but feel empowered.
While toying with the powers of a god is fun, the bulk of the game is played at a more mortal level, as players possess a human warrior and fight in first-person combat. It's here that you truly appreciate the ridiculous amount of detail poured into the creation of this world. Whether you're hacking an enemy to bits on the battlefield, downing a tankard of mead with the other gods in Aesir Hall, or simply staring in awe down the rainbow bridge of the Bifrost, this fantasy world feels almost real … "almost" being the key word. There are a few minor snags here and there that quickly remind you that this is still just a game. For starters, targeting and interacting with certain items doesn't always work smoothly. You might reach through an object a couple of times before finally grabbing hold of it, or have a difficult time ordering your allies to a specific target. It's a minor frustration that doesn't take away from the overall gameplay, but it does tend to pull you out of the experience somewhat when it happens.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in video games. Is the impact of the violence in Asgard's Wrath affected by the graphic nature of the combat? Would the story be as engaging if fights weren't as bloody or gory? What sort of impact can visceral scenes of violence have on younger gamers? Does violence in VR have any greater or lesser impact than in standard gaming?
What are some ways that modern entertainment taps into classic folklore and mythology? How can this also inspire audiences to learn more about the cultures these stories came from?
- Platforms: Oculus Rift
- Price: $39.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Oculus Studios
- Release date: October 10, 2019
- Genre: Role-Playing
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Misfits and Underdogs, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires, Wild Animals
- ESRB rating: M for Blood and Gore, Violence, Partial Nudity
- Last updated: November 25, 2019
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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.