A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Gigantic is a downloadable free-to-play team-based shooter/multiplayer online battle arena game for Xbox One and Windows. Players must work together as a team to defend their giant Guardian creature from attack while trying to create an opening to defeat the opposing team's Guardian. There's plenty of action in the matches, but the game's style and presentation reduce the impact of the on-screen violence. Gigantic is free to play, with a rotating selection of characters available and the ability to earn unlocks through gameplay. But players can choose to spend real money on the game to purchase permanent hero unlocks, cosmetic skins, and gameplay boosts.
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What's it about?
The world of GIGANTIC is a world in conflict. Two epic Guardians are in a constant battle to maintain their bond with the land, each supported by a house of champions. House Aurion fights for the majestic gryphon Guardian, Leiran, while House Devaedra battles for the dark serpent Guardian, Grenn. Heroes from both sides engage in frantic five vs. five (5v5) battles, casting spells, summoning creatures, clashing swords, and firing guns in defense of their Guardian, all while trying to create an opening to attack their opponent's Guardian in kind. This is a fantasy war of titanic proportions for the fate of the world. With stakes this high, the battle for survival isn't just big ... it's Gigantic.
Is it any good?
They say good things come in small packages, but in this case, great things come in "Gigantic" packages, as well. Gigantic takes the best parts of the team-based shooter genre, tosses in some of the best elements of multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) games, and adds a unique new twist on the classic objective-based gameplay to craft an experience that feels familiar but also unlike anything that's come before. It's one thing to protect some arbitrary payload or defend a random building. But it's another thing altogether to fight for and with a living, breathing behemoth of legendary proportions, joining in as it swoops into the fray.
Of course, none of this would mean anything if players didn't have their own role to play in the action. Gigantic includes a widely diverse cast of characters with an equally diverse set of skills and specialties. No matter what sort of play style you like, there's a character in the game suited to it. While the free-to-play aspect of the game might limit your initial choices to whatever characters are in rotation, the game still doesn't feel limited. Plus, if you like what you play, you can always pay to unlock characters early. In fact, for 30 bucks, there's the option to unlock every hero currently in the roster, along with all future releases. With its distinct art style, ease of play, and the depth of its rosters, it's hard to find anything bad to say about Gigantic. The only issue so far seems to be a lack of available maps, which is in stark contrast to its large number of characters. Currently, there are only four maps in the game, so it can get repetitive relatively quickly. Still, with all the action and fun that takes place in a match, even playing the same maps over and over never feels stale. The only thing bigger than the Guardians in Gigantic is the amount of pure fun you get out of playing it. And with that low, low entry fee of zero, there's no reason not to at least give it a try.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in video games. How does a game's style and setting affect the influence the violence can have on younger players? How does violence in an animated fantasy game like Gigantic compare to more realistic violence in a game like Call of Duty?
Talk about the economy of certain games. What are some of the benefits and drawbacks of free-to-play games? How important is it to spend money in the free-to-play genre, and is it necessary to do so to succeed?
- Platforms: Windows, Xbox One
- Pricing structure: Free
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Perfect World Entertainment
- Release date: July 20, 2017
- Genre: Third-person shooter
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Misfits and Underdogs, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- ESRB rating: T for Violence, Blood
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