A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Gears of War: Ultimate Edition is a fast-paced action game that focuses heavily on combat. You kill alien creatures with a number of weapons -- such as guns, flamethrowers and grenades -- and enemies are often left in a bloody pulp, dismembered or beheaded. The game also has strong profanity, with frequent use of "s--t," "f--k," and "a--hole." The game is an updated remake of an older Xbox 360 title and is part of a larger franchise that spans graphic novels, action figures, and more. Parents also should be aware that multiplayer is unmoderated, which can expose players to unwanted content during matches.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
A high-definition update to the award-winning 2006 game, GEARS OF WAR: ULTIMATE EDITION is an action-heavy sci-fi shooter. Players assume the role of Marcus Fenix, a beefy futuristic soldier for the Coalition of Ordered Governments (COG), who joins fellow teammates to rid the world of nightmarish alien creatures through tactical warfare. Unlike most other shooters, this game can't be won by aimlessly running through environments and unleashing firepower on baddies. Instead, this slower-paced thriller places a heavy emphasis on using items for cover and exchanging blows with the vicious E.T. race known as the Locust Horde. Played from a third-person "over the shoulder" camera perspective, players must carefully assess the indoor or outdoor areas for cover, find ammo and health packs to sustain the next fight, and then take on the enemies until the coast is clear to continue to the next area.
Is it any good?
If you missed the original, this 2015 reboot of the 2006 original title is well worth the investment. The updated 1080p HD graphics with smooth animation and 60 frames per second (fps) frame rate -- even for multiplayer games -- brings this instant classic onto next-generation hardware. All the visuals have been updated, from characters and environments to lighting and cinematic scenes. The Xbox One controls feel great as you sprint over obstacles, duck behind objects to take cover, and then exchange fire with enemies. Many other third-person games like this could learn from this Gears of War update. All original 19 maps have been remastered, along with six competitive modes, including new Team DeathMatch, updated King of the Hill, and a special 2-vs.-2 mode (designed by the Gears of War community).
Though not advertised, the game also includes new drop-in/drop-out cooperative play and new campaign chapters that were previously available only in the PC version; these horror-filled levels take place mostly in abandoned factories, while you're being hunted by a huge bipedal beast. There are a few minor issues such as questionable artificial intelligence (AI), especially on later campaign levels, but it's certainly not horrible overall. With exclusives such as Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, this Xbox One game is fun, tense, and plenty gory for mature players.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in media such as Gears of War: Ultimate Edition. What is it about the violence in this game that excites gamers? Should parents be more forgiving on this game since you're battling aliens, or is it just too over the top?
Talk about remakes. Why do you think publishers rerelease older games? Is this to take advantage of new technology and produce a "director's cut," or is it to sell more copies of titles?
- Platforms: Xbox One
- Price: $39.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Not available online
- Developer: Microsoft Studios
- Release date: August 26, 2015
- Genre: First Person Shooter
- Topics: Adventures, Misfits and Underdogs, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires, Space and Aliens
- ESRB rating: M for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.