Dying: Reborn

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
Dying: Reborn Game Poster Image
Horror escape room doesn't deliver replayability, depth.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

No positive messages, other than sibling love that motivates protagonist to find his kidnapped sister.

Positive Role Models & Representations

You play Matthew, who's on a mission to find his sister but wakes up locked inside a dilapidated hotel. Nothing known about him, his past, personality, so difficult to tell whether he's a good role model, although he seems brave.

Ease of Play

Simple controls, but some puzzles can be challenging.

Violence

Some frightening cut scenes, violence, blood.

Sex
Language

"S--t," "bastard," "hell," "damn" used occasionally.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Dying: Reborn is an "escape room"-themed horror adventure game. This is a scary game, with mature themes, including violent scenes in a flashback, with blood and torture. There's also occasional profanity, such as "s--t," "bastard," and "damn." While controls are intuitive, some puzzles are difficult to interact with, which could frustrate players.

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What's it about?

DYING: REBORN is a first-person adventure game set against a backdrop of "escape room" horror. You play Matthew, who's determined to find his missing sister, Shirley, who appears to have been kidnapped by a deranged maniac who wears a fish head. Matthew wakes up in a locked, dilapidated hotel and must solve puzzles to advance through the game. Along the way, he is contacted by his captor through a TV screen and must continue to escape with his sibling.

Is it any good?

This is an average horror adventure game at best with decent but unimaginative puzzles. Those who like "escape room"-style games (in real life or in a video game) might enjoy the horror twist on the classic point-and-click puzzles strewn throughout this relatively short adventure. Most of the puzzles involve finding objects, placing them in your inventory, perhaps combining them to make something new, and then using them somewhere else on the level. Other puzzles are standalone challenges, such as figuring out a pattern on a machine to pass through a locked door, often with a hint placed elsewhere. Oddly, you don't need to complete all the puzzles in an environment to proceed through the rooms. Puzzles include numeric puzzles, finding keys, playing specific notes on a piano, matching patterns, and the like. It's perhaps a little like the classic Myst in play and Resident Evil  in atmosphere (though there's no combat in Dying: Reborn).

Visually, the first-person game is OK, between the rundown hotel and objects you need to pick up and use, but the poor voice acting does take away from any suspension of disbelief achieved through the high-definition visuals. Even at $20, Dying: Reborn isn't worth the relatively low price tag. Plus, the entire game can be completed in an hour and has an anticlimactic ending and little reason to play again. But fans of the movie Saw or adventure gamers might consider wandering these darkened halls.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in media. Could this game achieve the same frightening effect without the disturbing images? Would it be creepier if you saw less and your imagination filled in the blanks? Or do these mature images add to the delight for gamers?

  • Talk about scares. Do games scare you more than scary movies? Why, or why not?

Game details

Themes & Topics

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