Get Even

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
Get Even Game Poster Image
Psychological thriller has violent gun sequences.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Suggests greed, selfishness, thirst for revenge can't ultimately satisfy. Strong themes of family, loyalty, betrayal.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Most characters are deeply flawed, pursuing their own objectives at expense of others. A father disregards his family in favor of work, a guilt-ridden man kills for money because it's all he knows; a woman uses her sexuality to get what she wants from men.

Ease of Play

Two difficulty options, easier of which makes game much more accessible for less experienced players.

Violence

Players use guns to kill memory representations of humans, turning them into white digital fragments. One scene depicts multiple violent gun deaths frozen in time, another involves a bomb strapped to a young woman. Text describes unnecessary amputations in an asylum. Players find, scan blood stains.

Sex

A woman discusses how she seduces, sleeps with a married man to get ahead. Nothing visually explicit.

Language

Instances of strong profanity, including "f--k," "s--t," regional variations, such as "s--te."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters discuss drinking pints at a pub.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Get Even is a downloadable first-person thriller with sequences of gun violence. Most of the game is spent exploring creepy and dangerous locations within character memories, but some scenes encourage players to use a mix of stealth and violence to progress. Enemies look human but are actually only memory representations of humans, and break into white digital fragments when shot. Key scenes show tense situations in detail, such as a ticking bomb strapped to a woman and a crime scene where multiple people are shot and frozen in midair. A woman uses her sexuality to get ahead in her job by seducing her married boss, though nothing explicit is shown. Dialogue contains profanity, including strong four-letter words, and discussions about drinking in pubs occur as well.

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What's it about?

GET EVEN explores the concept of human memory, including how it works and whether it's reliable. The story revolves around a key event -- a bomb that explodes while attached to a young woman -- witnessed by the security chief of a European arms corporation. Players experience his memory of this incident, as well as events before and some after, via a device that allows the subject to relive his or her memories while being guided by an operator. The goal of the game is to discover the truth of what happened and the motives of those involved, but fallibility of human recollections -- and the subject's potential resistance to recall the truth -- make this no simple task. The subject's mind sometimes confuses memories, or constructs defenses in the form of representations of human aggressors that must either be avoided through stealth or dealt with through force, including guns. As the game leads players through a series of twists and turns toward its conclusion it becomes clear that nothing we see can be trusted, not even who we think we are.

Is it any good?

This psychological thriller would've been more compelling if it was designed purely as a first-person narrative adventure free of stealth and combat sequences. The story is terrific, thoughtfully exploring the difficult subject of human memory and how it works while playing on the notion of recollections being fallible to weave a sophisticated series of narrative zigzags that will continue to shock most players right up until the final scene. The visual presentation is oddly dated but easily overlooked thanks to a bold and experimental score that sets a uniquely unsettling mood, plus splendid voice acting that breathes life into several of the key characters, letting players feel their emotions.

Unfortunately, the action isn't a match for the story. More specifically, it doesn't fit the story. The sequences in which players must use stealth or guns to progress (rather than solve puzzles and find clues) feel as though they were added simply to give the game a more traditional first-person shooter feel and make the game more marketable. The stealth is frustratingly awkward, and the gunplay generic. Neither serve to enhance the feeling of mystery or dread, but instead simply act as frustrating hurdles that need to be overcome to get back to what the game does best, which is knitting a thrilling, chilling, surprise-laden story that may well leave you questioning the truth of your own memories.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in the media. Get Even's release was postponed out of respect for those affected by terror attacks in the U.K., but why do you think the publisher decided to delay the game?

  • Talk about the nature of memory. Do you think memory is reliable? If not, how do we know when to trust our recollections of events?

Game details

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