A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
This is a fictional vehicular combat game that doesn't attempt to deliver any messages to players. It's a fast-paced, multiplayer-focused game that's meant to be exhilarating -- but nothing serious.
Positive Role Models
Little is known about the drivers of these vehicles, but they seem fairly well represented by race and gender (but perhaps not by age or body type). Each driver has his or her own unique abilities.
Ease of Play
This is a fairly simple game to learn -- complimented by a comprehensive tutorial divided into 17 parts -- that lets players drive, brake, smash, eject, and many other moves. Controls are intuitive, plus it also supports PS5's Game Help feature, which gives you hints and tips without the need to leave the game.
Violence & Scariness
While not graphic or bloody, drivers must smash into other vehicles, which causes extensive damage, and drivers can also get run over by vehicles before they find another vehicle to hop into (but players do not die). A major smash, or explosion, may cause a "KO" (knock-out). Other obstacles should be avoided, too, like giant saws that can cut a car in half, huge pits that swallow up the vehicle, and more.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Players may hear other online gamers talk through a microphone, which could include profanity or offensive comments (like any other online multiplayer game).
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
The game's currently free for those with a PlayStation Plus account, which has a subscription cost. There will be optional downloadable content (DLC), as well.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Destruction AllStars is a vehicular combat game available for the PlayStation 5. In the game, drivers hop into vehicles to race around an arena, and must smash and destroy other cars, like a demolition derby. There are also obstacles to avoid, like a giant pit, weapons (explosives and giant saws), and the ability to eject out of the vehicle and run towards another car. Cars smash into pieces and even ejected drivers can be run over -- but there's no blood, gore or death. This is a multiplayer-focused game, and depending on the console's settings, players can hear others talk, including profanity and other inappropriate and potentially offensive comments (as with any other online game that supports voice chat). While this is currently available for free to players that have a PlayStation Plus account (which has its own subscription cost), there are plans to release additional downloadable content (DLC) in the future.
Is It Any Good?
This is a fun game that fuses the popularity of online third-person action games with car racing, and it works on most levels. Destruction AllStars is easy to pick up and gratifying. Its selection of characters, vehicles and game modes keeps the gameplay fresh and frenetic -- in and out of the vehicles. Also, it's a free download for PlayStation Plus subscribers. It's an enjoyable smash-em-up digital diversion to play with 15 others when you've got an hour to kill here and there (or for those who want to invest even more that that to build up their rank within the game). Characters enjoy special abilities (called "Breakers") that can also help give them an edge, such as seeing through walls in the arena, or leaving a trail of fire that can damage others in her path. All this effort is proof the drivers weren't an afterthought. While the in-vehicle action is what most players will likely buzz about, players also need to master their driver's on-foot tactics.
Of course, some modes are better than others. The main Mayhem match ("Deathmatch") stands out, but Carnado is good as well. Playable in both solo and online in teams, you can earn Gears (redeemable for collectable in-game items) as you hit opponents. The more you KO, the more Gears you'll earn). The PS5 hardware shines here, too, with fast load times, smooth frame rates, and tight controls with haptic feedback (like if you get a flat tire, you can feel the rat-tat-tat-tat on your left or right trigger). All in all, Destruction AllStars is the first big 2021 exclusive for PS5, and it's really good. If you like cars and carnage, PlayStation Plus subscribers should have a blast playing this freebie.
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.