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Parent reviews for Halo: Reach

Common Sense says

Conclusion to violent sci-fi shooter for older teens only.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 100 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 361 reviews
Adult Written byJason Peevyhouse September 20, 2010

Best Halo yet, including good role models and customized online settings

This is the latest (and last) Halo release. The game is a prequel to all other Halo games, and leaves off where the original Halo begins. This game is the best Halo game to date, and is fairly mild in regards to violence as compared with Halo 3. Yes, you are still shooting aliens for the majority of the game. However, the moments of actual violence against humans is fairly sparse and infrequent. The game developers could have added more gore and blood, but it seems they made an effort to tone those elements down in this title and focus on the story and gameplay. There are moments when human teammates get stabbed with alien energy swords, but there is no blood or gore shown in those moments. The ESRB gives this game a M rating 17+. This is for blood and violence, but like I said, those moments are fairly rare and the game is toned down compared to other titles such as MW2, Gears of War 2, and certainly most other first person shooters out there. The reason I rate this game iffy for for age 11 is that there is violence and occasional intense moments of action. The violence is mainly alien in nature. The role models in the game display great heroism in the face of danger and can be a launching point in discussing bravery and sacrifice in the name of a bigger cause. The story is well thought out, and the visuals are amazing. There is multiplayer available online for this title and if offers the coolest feature I've seen yet. You can customize your multiplayer experience and add filters for content like language and skill level. For example, you can choose to display lobbies that are categorize the tone as polite. Also, they have a filter for more competitive play or playing for fun. This is a really cool feature Bungie introduced with this title and I hope it does well and other game developers catch on. This way, at least I have a better chance at finding a lobby that isn't cursing at each other and trash talking all the time. All being said, this is the best Halo title to date and if your kid is interested, be sure he/she can handle alien violence and be prepared for a discussion on bravery and courage in the line of duty.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Positive role models
Parent of a 12 and 16 year old Written byOhioGrown March 13, 2011
Well, this was my 12-year olds first m-rated game. I watched him play for an hour or so, praying that he wouldn't see something gruesome and have nightmares. Buy in all honesty, Halo: Reach is a relatively mild game, and is gun as well. First you need to know that we live in a Christian home, and that out family loves playing video games together! I grew up playing the old Super Mario Bros on my NES. My wife and I don't generally let our 12-year old play m-rated titles without our supervision, but this was not a problem. The blood was so unrealistic, I didn't realize it was blood until my son pointed it out to me. Mild, PG-rated language. Some violence, but if you let your kids watch Star Wars, there's nothing new here. No sex, I don't recal any alcohol. The only real problem, and probably the reason for the N rating, was the online interaction. Generally there was some mild cussing, no worse than the actual game. But every once in a while there would be some crazy little kid cussing like a sailor, trying to act all grown up. It was kinda funny, but I didn't want my kid hearing that. Fortunately, you can mute players online, and most of the gaming community is friendly and do not cuss. So, Halo: Reach is a great game in general, and I would have no problem letting a 10-year old play this. Just be prepared to mute some players, and it you have time, play with your kid. Bond with them. One more thing, I like the role models and how they are willing to sacrifice themselves for the greater good. When my son saw this, he noted that this was courageous of them and that they were acting heroically, and how they almost represented Jesus. Of course, Jesus never defended a planet from aliens, but the morals are there just the same. So, if you want to treat your kid, I recommend this game whole heartedly. I'm not a big shooter fan, but Halo is a blast! This is a great "first m-rated game", and was even milder than Assassin's Creed.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Privacy & Safety
Parent of a 11 year old Written bykaydcee February 20, 2011
Adult Written byTom Keeth June 19, 2011

Best Halo Game For Kids Out There

My 11 year old son was begging me to get this game. I finally let him and it wasn't as bad as i thought. You don't even shoot real people. You shoot aliens and spartans and there isn't much blood and when there is, its usually not red! I was also worried about the language but halo did a good job on making a game with no bad language. I would totally recomend this game for pre-teens and up because I have seen bloodier games than this that are rated "T". Brink is a good example.
Parent of a 7 year old Written byCraig Jenkins III November 26, 2010
GREAT GAME!!!!!! your kids will love it. great messages and educational value! have fun!

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written byParent1001 April 8, 2011

Perfect for any kid

Halo can be played by 8 and above because I have played the halo series and halo is nothing like cod or modern warfare or anything else because halo has a great story to it and there's no language or anything bad in it. The esrb really overrated this game because parents, its really appropriate for kids. No argument required to get it or not. Great game.

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive role models
Parent of a 15 year old Written bySlick334 September 13, 2011

ESRB WENT TOO FAR

Let me start off by saying I am the father of 2 kids, 13, and a 16 year old. I give my 16 year old basically all rights to M games except for one I know personally should not be played by a child ( GTA, Saints Row). I see a lot of games be played by my older son. I like video games too so I have FIRST HAND EXPERIENCE with a lot of games. First off, I will say that the ESRB went WAY too far to give this game an M rating. But then again, I believe that YOU should not believe in the ESRB, video games should be restricted and allowed based on EACH CHILD'S PERSONAL MATURITY. A 14 year old who is always getting in trouble for violence, or some kind of sex related issue, should not be able to play, however a kid who understand video games are fantasy, and should not be used as an source to get violent ideas. Halo Reach is a VERY good game. Halo Reach has the typical shooter style of violence, you use a gun to kill another player or complete the story. The game has blood, in a mediocre amount, sometimes leaving a stain on the ground or wall. Violence in the game is excited but in NO WAY can be describes as intense a la ESRB "intense violence" on M games. This game has absolutely ZERO language, as if it had any, there would be a mild language warning on the rating box. This game is suitable for decently mature children ages 12,13 and up. Once again I stress that YOU need to decide whether your child is mature enough to handle an M game, not cut out any possibility because of a discouraging M on the game box. ONCE YOU HAVE SEEN THE GAME YOU WILL UNDERSTAND WHAT I SAY. This game, for one last time, I must stress that it is honestly about as bad as a lower end T game. How ESRB pulled an M rating out of their a*ses I do not know, but for this game in particular, PLEASE DO NOT PAY ATTENTION TO THE ESRB, MAKE YOUR OWN DECISION.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Parent of a 12 year old Written byBioshocker March 3, 2011

13 and up can play with no problem.

The violence is mild at the most. Bad words are scattered and rarely heard, volume can be turned down if it is an issue. No sexual themes, no crude humor, no drugs, no drinking, very clean fun game.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Language
Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written byseraphoenix December 5, 2010
Truth be told, I think this should have been rated a bit higher. It's a fantastic game, but it is noticeably darker and more visceral than other Halo games. The amount of blood has not increased substantially, but combat feels more brutal due to how the game is presented. Language is still somewhat mild when compared to the likes of Red Dead Redemption or perhaps Fallout. (The following will not apply to those who eschew the story mode and focus on the multiplayer. I do not have an Xbox Live account, and I will assume that the multiplayer is not drastically changed in terms of content from previous entries.) The story is much, much more darkly presented than was the case in past Halo games. The first few missions come across as a run-of-the-mill alien invasion, but then things get worse. And worse. And worse. The story takes on an atmosphere of utter hopelessness, with several noble characters giving their lives even as you press on to assuage what could be considered a 9/11 attack on a planet-wide scale. Scripted sequences depicting a city being bombarded from orbit -- while you are in it at the time, in the middle of gameplay -- could be extremely upsetting for younger players as various buildings begin catching fire and collapsing. The game itself has some fantastic moments as far as role models are concerned -- one mission, a marvel of gameplay and storytelling alike, centers on rounding up civilians and helping them evacuate a city under attack with the help of other soldiers. The stark presentation, though, means that this is a title not recommended for young children.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written byparental helper June 11, 2011

ERSB screws up again

there are exactly no, and i mean no issues. the blood is mostly blue and purple and that comes from the aliens plus your guy and other humans may have red blood but it doesn't even spray at all or any where it just drops immediatly without even seeing it when you see the blood it's uslly on the ground. violince is basically just knifes and shoting but mostly shooting. so this is not that bad although some kids under ten may become addictted.

This title contains:

Language
Parent of a 10 year old Written bybensmother2 September 22, 2010

perfect for anyone 10 and up, halo reach a a video game masterpiece

One of the things i love about halo reach is that my son can play a first person shooter without to much violence. Reach has an awesome storyline and teaches my kid good reflexes, and the value of sacrifice for the good of mankind.This game has next to no blood, and does not promote violence as a good thing. It even shows the horrible effects of war, but gives you more insight, as you are playing. I am a fairly strict parent, and when my son talked me into buying it, but i kept the reciept. When I watched him play it, i was shoked that it was raed m.

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Positive role models
Parent of a 6, 11, 11, and 11 year old Written byBenny10 September 16, 2010

Perfect for kids 6+

Im a mom of 3 11 year olds and they play every day, its not at all gory,sexual, or has language. I also allow my child of 6 to play it. You don't shoot humans(unless connected online) you shoot aliens,mutant rats, and other non real objects. I give this game on!

This title contains:

Educational Value
Positive Messages
Positive role models
Parent of a 2 year old Written byScratcher_cat February 21, 2011

good for tweens.

pretty amazing, but not for under 10.
Parent of a 17 year old Written bydtsa78cfgs9rovw May 4, 2011
this is a great fps. note to other parents:this game is as mild as mature rated games get and i gave this to my son who is 11 years old and he luvs it!
Adult Written byCaleb Johnson September 18, 2010
Ok first of all I don't know why people keep saying theres no language. It has the 'h' word throughout, it has the 'd' word and the 'b'; word. These words are used quite frequently. You cant trust the esrb rating anymore and common sense media must not have even played the game

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Language
Written byAnonymous February 18, 2011

Violent, yes, but it's "Nerf" Violence if player is appropriate age

Game reviews geared towards parents often include objective descriptions of a game's most violent aspects out of context, but fail to capture how violent a game subjectively feels. Halo games may sound technically violent, but I find them to be surprisingly tame compared to other popular shooters. Yes, there is blood, but consider that there are no dismemberments, no visible wounds, and no gibs. Most of the weapons are fantasy weapons you can't buy. Your avatar and your enemies always stay in one piece, and in online games, when everyone is completely encased in brightly colored, face obscuring armor, it all feels more like a glorified game of Nerf tag where nobody really gets hurt. (In Reach, the new assassination animations are, IMHO, as violent as it gets and the only time I feel remotely like I might be hurting someone - emotionally more than anything!) More important for parents to consider, I think, is the question of whether cartoon violence sends the undesirable message that violence isn't really that bad. As adults, we have to walk the tightrope of reminding kids that violence and war are incredibly hurtful, horrifying, and serious. On the other hand, we don't want to desensitize them to gore. Having this discussion with young people would, I think, be more productive than simply concluding that a game is too violent without considering the nature and context of the violence. Context and real life experience: I'm in my late 20's and have not yet felt comfortable with playing Gears of War or Call of Duty, which have much more "realistic" violence and context. I have allowed a 13 year-old friend to play Halo: Reach with me (with parental permission). Observations: the realization that one is playing against actual human beings online may be a source of anxiety to a child and may heighten the experience of violence. Children may also take getting "owned" by an online opponent more personally. The game may be overly exciting for some ages, as there is necessarily some tension when opponents are shooting and one is under pressure to make quick decisions. The presence of an adult co-player and role model is helpful for younger teens. These issues, rather than violence per se, were the ones that I was most concerned about with my 13-year-old player, and ones that I feel an older player would be better equipped to deal with and even enjoy.

This title contains:

Privacy & Safety
Adult Written byDad133 September 3, 2011

what i think.

I think halo reach reminds me of the revoltion. it tells a story of people who give there lives for a better world. the only 2 diffrences are they lost and it takes place in the future. overall the blood is removible and swears are as bad as star wars. good game for early teens and up.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Parent of a 11 and 14 year old Written byDC70 September 19, 2010

Good for ages 10 and up

This title contains:

Positive role models
Adult Written byMichael N. August 22, 2011

Not a appropriate rating for this game

This game consists of blood and violence which makes the very appropriate for young teens because most of the "T" rated games on any system consists of the same description. This description makes the game not suitable for an "M" rating so it is more than okay to let kids 10 and up to play!

This title contains:

Positive role models
Parent of a 11 year old Written byLetsGo April 2, 2011

11+ READ

AWESOME game It has good role models and is easy to play Really unrealistic, the ragdoll physics are definitely unrealistic and all aliens have blue, green, purple, or orange blood If your kid can sit through star wars or star trek without a problem; they can play It's only rated M because of online gamers so if your kid doesnt go online, can sit through star wars or star trek, GET THEM ThIs

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Privacy & Safety

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