Fated: The Silent Oath

Game review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
Fated: The Silent Oath Game Poster Image
VR short adventure heavy on story, light on gameplay.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Relies heavily on Norse mythology; could raise player's interest in subject, but not really much of an educational tool.

Positive Messages

Main theme is importance of family, what we're willing to do to keep them safe. It's driving force behind all player's actions, actions of NPCs.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Main characters are strong, positive, value importance of family, coming together in times of crisis. Also speaks a lot to their strength to see how much they're willing to sacrifice for sake of those they care about.

Ease of Play

Simple controls; very little "gameplay" to interact with.

Violence

Couple of spots where players will see dead animals with some blood, a creature getting stabbed in eye from a distance. A moment where one character's death is brutal, but due to art style, presentation, it's not overly graphic.

Sex
Language
Consumerism

First in an episodic release. As such, it ends on a cliffhanger, requiring purchase of future episodes (if released) to complete adventure.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Fated: The Silent Oath is a downloadable episodic adventure game. It's a relatively short, story-driven adventure with a heavily animated style. The game features strong themes of family and protecting those you care about. It has very basic gameplay, with simple, fairly intuitive controls for interacting with other characters and the environment. There are a few violent scenes and some blood shown over the course of the story, but the art style and perspective used in these scenes reduces the impact somewhat.

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What's it about?

FATED: THE SILENT OATH begins with your death, after a mysterious force destroys your village and your house collapses on you. That's not the end of your story, though. It's just the beginning. Visited at the moment of your death by one of the Valkyrie, you're offered a bargain: She's willing to grant you another thread of fate, returning you to life to protect your family from a coming threat, but you must give up your voice. Returned to the living, it's now your goal to protect your family and find a way to escape the dark forces returning to the world. In doing so, you may also protect the key to driving back those forces and defeating the gods' machinations once and for all.

Is it any good?

Some adventures leave players to their own devices, setting them loose to do whatever they choose, while others lead players by the hand. Fated: The Silent Oath doesn't so much lead players by the hand as it shoves them from behind. The story is pretty engaging, and it's easy to feel connected to the characters. But it doesn't feel like much of a game. Outside of a short hunting sequence and a handful of simple puzzles, there's never much to do other than nod or shake your head when asked a question. Even then, other than a line or two of dialogue being different, it feels like your decisions don't make any kind of impact on the story. Instead, it feels like the "gameplay" is just the cue to move to the next scene, like the beep on an old-school filmstrip projector cueing the next image.

While Fated: The Silent Oath may not feel like much in the way of a traditional game, it's actually surprisingly well done as an interactive story. You may not have much control over the events happening around you, but you're still a part of those events. As the story unfolds, you genuinely start to feel like you exist in this tale. You can't help but start to care for the people around you, especially your wife and daughter. You feel a real bond and a desire to keep them safe. Of course, it's right about the time you feel closest to them that the rug gets pulled out from under you. As an episodic adventure, the game only clocks in at about two hours or so. Worst of all, it leaves things with a massive cliffhanger that's sure to knock the wind out of your sails and leave you almost screaming as the credits roll. In the end, you're left with a sort of aching for more resolution. It's more like you just spent your time and money on a VR demo of something greater to come.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about overcoming obstacles. In the game, the main character loses his voice unexpectedly, but it doesn't stop him from communicating with his family, so what are some ways that people today can overcome disabilities?

  • Talk about the importance of family. What are the qualities that make and strengthen familial bonds?

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