A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that God of War: Ghost of Sparta is an extremely violent hack ‘n’ slash game not intended for children. Action sequences involve lots of blood and cinematic deaths, and there is a sex mini-game that involves a topless woman (the sex act is not depicted onscreen -- players only hear moans). Also troubling is that the game’s vengeful, bloodthirsty hero is not out to save the world but rather acting in his own interests. He’s not a bad guy, but he is extremely self-absorbed.
- Parents say
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What's it about?
Greek warrior Kratos returns to the small screen in GOD OF WAR: GHOST OF SPARTA, an “interquel” that takes place between early games in the franchise. This game sees the crimson-painted protagonist exploring his past and family, with additional central characters, including his mother and his brother, Deimos. Like all of the God of War games, the action is composed primarily of extremely bloody and violent fights against fantastical creatures that include cinematic kill moves (this is not a game for kids) as well as some simple puzzles that involve pushing blocks and throwing switches.
Is it any good?
God of War: Ghost of Sparta is perhaps the most graphically impressive game yet to be released for Sony’s handheld console. Its characters are highly detailed and capable of expressing emotion through subtle facial animations, and the environments and boss battles have an epic scope similar to that of their console-based cousins.
The action, meanwhile, is tight and entertaining. Kratos’ over-the-top blade attacks and imaginative kill moves are perhaps becoming a little well-worn, but they remain highly satisfying. Plus, the developers have added a few elements, including new weapons in the form of the Arms of Sparta and the ability to add flames to Kratos’ blades, a necessary tactic to breach certain enemies’ armor and some barriers. It’s one of the best handheld games of the year for adults.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why developers would put a sex scene in a game. Is it always purely exploitative? Can sexual sequences be presented with maturity and taste in an interactive medium? Did you find the sex scenes in this game to be offensive?
Families can also discuss excessive violence in games. Can it serve a legitimate narrative purpose? Is it more acceptable if the violence is perpetrated against non-humans? Do you think the violence in this game is too much?
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