Blue Estate

Game review by
Chris Morris, Common Sense Media
Blue Estate Game Poster Image
Violent, lurid on-rails shooter with poor controls.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive messages

The game exists only to let you shoot people. There's a threadbare story but nothing that has any redeeming value. 

Positive role models & representations

Characters are either transparent stereotypes or trigger-happy villains. 

Ease of play

The game throws a lot of enemies your way -- a LOT -- but, since it's on rails and doesn't make you worry about where to go, it's not hard to advance. Still, this is all rendered moot by an atrocious control system that makes it impossible to control on-screen actions. 

Violence

If it moves, you shoot it. Expect to fire lots and lots of bullets through each level from pistols, automatic rifles, shotguns, and more. Blood and gore is constant across the game, and you get bonus points for successfully aiming at different parts of a target's body, such as the head, legs, or genitals.

Sex

If you're not shooting something, you're ogling it. There's lots of nudity, ranging from strippers wearing pasties and G-strings to posters for topless women. Virtually every woman in the game is shown as an stripper, further objectifying their characters.

Language

Pretty much every offensive word is used at one point or another, including "f--k" and "s--t," and they're all used frequently. The game also uses several racist terms, including "greaseball" and more.

Consumerism
Drinking, drugs & smoking

Parts of the game are set in a strip club, where alcohol is shown regularly. One character is surrounded by marijuana plants and discusses the use of the drug. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Blue Estate is a downloadable action/adventure game that's loaded to the brim with violence, sexual references, nudity, drug use, and jokes that walk a fine racial line. It is absolutely not a game for children, and even adults who try the game will be met with control issues that render it virtually unplayable at times.

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What's it about?

Based on the comic books from Viktor Kalvachev, BLUE ESTATE is an on-rails shooter that lets players face (and mow down) hundreds of enemies. Players can choose to be either Tony Luciano, a psychopathic son of an Italian crime boss who's trying to get back his kidnapped favorite prostitute, or Clarence, an ex-soldier trying to clean up Tony's mess and prevent a gang war.

Is it any good?

Blue Estate may be true to the comics on which it's based, but, as a game, it's a train wreck. Its humor falls flat -- and could offend some players. Its attempts to titillate are transparent ploys. And its action becomes less adrenaline-pumping and more monotonous after a while. For example, the first time in the game you have to swipe your hair out of your eyes, it might elicit a chuckle. The sixth or seventh? You'll groan in frustration, then kill another eight to 10 people before being zipped along to the next killing choke point. 

Making matters even worse is the game's baffling decision to use the DualShock 4's gyroscopic controls, rather than standard aiming analog stick techniques. Veterans of shooters will be frustrated by the lack of precision -- and when those controls drift (and they will), you'll struggle to control the on-screen action. With loads of racist jokes, an overemphasis on blasting anything that moves, and gratuitous content that's included only for shock value, this is a game anyone with taste will want to avoid. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about sensationalism in media such as Blue Estate and why it so often falls short. Is there ever a justification for over-the-top content such as the kind found here?

  • Talk about the importance of diversity in games. How important is it to have a range of characters from different cultural or ethnic backgrounds represented in a non-stereotypical fashion?

Game details

  • Platforms: PlayStation 4
  • Price: $19.99
  • Pricing structure: Paid
  • Available online? Available online
  • Developer: Focus Home Interactive
  • Release date: June 24, 2014
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • ESRB rating: M for Blood, Crude Humor, Drug Reference, Partial Nudity, Sexual Themes, Violence

For kids who love action

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