DESYNC

Game review by
Michael Lafferty, Common Sense Media
DESYNC Game Poster Image
Fun yet challenging shooter tests skills, patience.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages
Positive Role Models & Representations

Arcade-like presentation to take out as many robots as possible. No role models in game.

Ease of Play

Simple controls, fast-paced action, challenge keep players on toes; restarts are frequent.

Violence

Run-and-gun game where digital monsters attack, can be lured into traps, wiped out with a variety of weapons. Monsters break apart; there's no blood. When defeated, player restarts zone. 

Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that DESYNC is a downloadable fast-paced run-and-gun shooter. Players can acquire weapons, lure enemies into traps (which the player can also take damage from), and "desync" enemies (the game's euphemism for killing them). But there's no blood or gore shown when a robot is destroyed. While it's easy to control, the action is intense and might be too much for younger players. Otherwise, there's no objectionable content in the game.

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What's it about?

An intense, single-player first-person shooter, DESYNC challenges players to be creative in the use of the environment to keep moving and to strafe consistently. Even then, the challenge is to be good enough to survive combat and kill the zone defender, which allows the player to progress to the next level. The game keeps track of everything, from the finesse of the kills to combination styles of kills (or "desyncs") to the weapons and traps used, adding all of it into a score that gets posted on a leaderboard. And if you liked the zone, yes, you can revisit it, although don't expect everything to look or behave the same because DESYNC seems to take cruel delight in throwing everything into a blender and re-rendering it in a challenging way. This is a game where minor enemies swarm and the bosses one-shot you, sending you back to the start to try again.

Is it any good?

This arcade-like shooter is fun, but its high degree of challenge and difficulty will test your skills like never before. Throwing your keyboard through the monitor with this game may seem like a good idea, but it solves nothing. DESYNC can foster that sort of rage and is easily one of the most challenging shooters to come out recently. The idea of the game is simple, and the intuitive control scheme keeps the focus on player skills, not on fumbling to learn to control this challenging beast. The game is graphically impressive, flaring with neon colors, with an underbeat audio track and the occasional flicker of lines as though you're viewing the world through an old CRT screen. The variety of weapons isn't overdrawn, but the weapons can be effective. And each weapon has a variety of ways to use it. You pick up style points for kills (desyncs) that translate into leaderboard scores. This isn't a game where players can camp and shoot the enemies that come at them; on the contrary, if you don't move constantly, you will disconnect (die) and have to start all over. 

Where DESYNC suffers the most is in the same arena where it excels: the challenge. This is a game that can seem insufferably hard at times, which makes it inappropriate for younger players. And when you think you see a rhythm to the game, the mutators enter to change everything up and throw players for a loop. If you think you have the FPS chops, then DESYNC might be just what you're looking for; other, beware -- this is a beast of a game that will beat you down and ignore pleas for an easy difficulty setting. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in video games and on television. Is the violence in DESYNC OK because it's against robots instead of humans?

  • Talk about game skills. Can you use the fast reflexes needed for this game in other real-world activities, such as sports?

Game details

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