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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Darksiders II is an extremely violent, action-oriented role-playing game intended only for mature players. Sensationalized fantasy combat includes gory finishing moves that see opponents impaled, decapitated, and yelling out in pain as they perish. While the game focuses on a distinctly Christian notion -- the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse -- it shies away from any other terms or ideas that might be connected with a specific religion.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
DARKSIDERS II, sequel to 2010's Darksiders, continues the exploits of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. War was the star of the original, but players shift into the skin of his brother Death for the series' second installment. He's on a journey to prove War innocent of prematurely initiating the apocalypse. His travels take him to planes beyond Earth, where he meets, among others, the mammoth-sized Makers of worlds (not to be confused with the grand Creator), who help guide him on his quest. As in the first game, players spend most of their time exploring monster-infested areas while undertaking a variety of missions, leveling up, and upgrading their weapons and armor as they carve their way through hordes of fantastical opponents. Other parts of the game involve some tricky parkour-like antics, with players climbing walls and leaping between pillars.
Is it any good?
Grown-up gamers will appreciate the enormous size of Darksiders II's world, the sophistication of its character growth and combat systems, and the high quality storytelling, which includes talented voice actors and a twisty, compelling narrative that sinks its hooks into players in the first chapter. The visual presentation lacks the sort of polish seen in other high-profile fantasy games -- object surfaces lack sheen and detail, and the world seems a little flat at times. However, what's here is more than sufficient to create believable, otherworldly environments in which it's easy to lose oneself for hours on end.
It's not the sort of game that pushes many boundaries, but older players looking for a lengthy, well made, and just plain fun adventure filled with plenty of hacking and slashing are unlikely to go away disappointed.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in media. Do you see any difference between gory, bloody fantasy violence carried out against non-human creatures and gritty, realistic military violence set in more familiar environments?
Families can also discuss the inclusion of religious iconography in games. Is there a proper place in interactive entertainment to depict spirituality, or should games simply stay away from the world of religion?
- Platforms: PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360
- Skills: Self-Direction: achieving goals
Thinking & Reasoning: strategy
- Price: $59.99
- Available online? Not available online
- Developer: THQ
- Release date: August 14, 2012
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- ESRB rating: M for Blood and Gore, Suggestive Themes, Violence
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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.