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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Players are a force of death and destruction, with no higher purpose than to feed their hunger and infect the world around them.
Positive Role Models
There are no "good guys" in the game. The player is the monster from a horror story, but even its victims aren't on the side of angels. Instead, they are experimenting on something they hope to control and willing to sacrifice whatever (or whoever) to succeed.
Ease of Play
Basic controls for the creature are surprisingly simple and fluid. The difficulty lies in the game design, which encourages players to use stealth where possible. Head-on encounters can quickly lead to defeat, and flame in particular can be frustrating to deal with.
Violence & Scariness
In-game action's unapologetically violent, with massive amounts of blood and gore throughout the adventure. That said, the game uses a very pixelated, retro art style, which removes a fair amount of detail from the violent imagery.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Carrion is a horror-themed action/adventure game available for download on Xbox One and Nintendo Switch game consoles, as well as Windows, MacOS, and Linux based computers. Players take on the role of blob-like creature freed from imprisonment and set on a path of destruction. The creature's main goal is to survive while killing as many scientists and soldiers as possible while making its way through the nearby research facility. The game's violence is over-the-top, with large amounts of blood and carnage constantly shown onscreen. But it uses a retro and pixelated art style that reduces the detail, though not the volume, of the gore.
Is It Any Good?
Sometimes it's good the be the bad guy. At least that's the premise behind Carrion, the self-described "reverse horror" game that flips the script by dropping players into the role of the bloodthirsty monster lurking in the shadows, instead of the victims running from it. There's no denying that it's a lot of fun to give in to some darker impulses and leaving a path of slaughter and carnage in your wake. But once the initial thrill wears off, it quickly becomes apparent that a lot of hard work goes into being a gelatinous harbinger of death. In fact, if you look past the role-reversal gimmick, Carrion plays almost like any other side-scrolling action adventure game … just with a lot more blood and pixelated chunks of gore.
One immediate surprise is just how fragile your blob monster can be. Although you're a shapeless mass of goo, bullets can rip you to shreds relatively quickly. Fire is an even bigger threat, as your mass is apparently combustible and will continue to burn unless you find some convenient pool of water to douse the flames. This usually means players have to sneak up on their prey by taking out lights, keeping to the shadows, crawling through vents, and other textbook stealth mechanics. Although your creature gets bigger and meaner as the game progresses, the moments of feeling truly powerful are few and far between. Even the rooms in the base start to get repetitive after a while. That's not to say Carrion isn't fun to play, but the game leans more into its shock value and misses out on some more unique gameplay opportunities.
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.