A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the main focus of this game is combat. This is a fighting game of slashing and stabbing where fantasy characters die and blood is shown. Unlike the book by Christopher Paolini on which this game is based, the story line is pretty weak. In the middle of the melee, it's tough for kids to absorb any kind of message about good fighting evil. The game is more violent than the movie.
What's it about?
Since this is a game based on the movie depiction of Christopher Paolini's book Eragon, naturally, the game places you in the role of Eragon, a young dragon-rider entrusted with saving his native land from an evil sorcerer and his army. If you play with a friend, someone can assume the character of Eragon's mentor. The game's artificial intelligence takes control of this character if you're playing alone.
Is it any good?
Most video games based on movies, whether the film itself is a blockbuster or a box-office bomb, tend to be underwhelming. While ERAGON isn't exactly unplayable, it's not about to be nominated for game of the year. If you're not already familiar with the Eragon universe, expect to be lost or confused. The game starts off with a few tutorials about basic controls and the combat system. These tutorials leave the impression that there will be strategy involved and some type of intuitive combat system in place. Unfortunately, you can just about make your way through the entire game by mashing the A and B buttons.
One of the main draws of the Eragon story, which may excite die-hard fans of the franchise, is dragon-riding. Sadly, like many other aspects of the game, it is not executed well. But the game's biggest flaw is the crippling camera angles. In the middle of a battle you can find yourself hacking and slashing blindly because you can't see your character or the enemies swinging at you. All in all, Eragon can keep you entertained through a rental, but the bad camera, cheesy unlockables, and sheer lack of variety of gameplay will not sustain your interest.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how this game resembles or differs from the book and movie. When you read the book, is this depiction what you saw in your mind? What would you have done differently if you were in charge of bringing this literary work to life? Do you think video games need a story or just good action?
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