A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
You're trying to save the human race. But to do so, you'll have to risk your own life. Though you'll also be taking the lives of other people, and not all of them are bad.
Positive Role Models
The player character is trying to save Earth from aliens who want to turn human beings into drugs. To do this, they have to kill a lot of people from other planets, some of whom are bad, and some not.
Players choose from a variety of characters to play as, including different genders, races, and ethnicities, though aside from seeing your hand on your gun in the beginning, you don't see the character.
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Ease of Play
Controls will be somewhat familiar to people who've played similar shooters, though the game explains controls well regardless. Three difficulty options: Story mode (easy), Normal mode (medium), and Hunter mode (hard).
Violence & Scariness
Players use guns and a knife, as well as the environment, to kill a lot of people, sometimes in rather graphic ways. This results in bloodshed and gore that includes dismemberment and decapitation.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A live-action movie shown on a TV has female rear end nudity. The game is full of sexually suggestive dialogue and situations, such as when one alien tells you they have "sensitive nipples" and another tries to sell you alien semen.
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Dialogue rife with curse words: "s--t," "f--k," etc., and potentially offensive utterances like "Jesus Christ" (as an exclamation), "cum," and "tough titties."
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Products & Purchases
In one mission, you go to Applebees.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
The character's sister smokes, does cocaine, and offers coke to the player. The sister also talks about a friend getting a DUI. Alien invaders are part of a drug cartel and want to turn humans into controlled substances, and characters talk about this frequently. A character is shown going through drug withdrawal. In the mission at Applebees, the waiter asks if you'd like a cocktail; you can buy one, though you don't get to drink it.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that High on Life is a sci-fi first-person shooter for Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and Windows PCs. The player uses guns, knives, and the environment to kill a lot of people, sometimes in rather graphic ways, resulting in large amounts of blood and gore that includes decapitation and dismemberment. The dialogue is full of curse words ("f--k," "s--t") and potentially offensive phrases (exclamatory use of "Jesus Christ," "tough titties"), as well as talk about drugs, acts of violence, and sex. An alien offers to sell you semen (and not theirs, either). There's also a live-action movie on a TV in which a woman disrobes, exposing her buttocks. Characters talk about how the alien invaders want to turn humans into drugs, while the player's sister is shown smoking and snorting cocaine, which she then offers the player. A character is shown suffering from drug withdrawal. In one mission, you go to Applebees and are offered a cocktail, which you can order, though you don't get to drink it.
Is It Any Good?
Though it's very cartoony, silly, and full of mature content, this sci-fi first-person shooter is also exciting, challenging, and engaging. In High on Life, you have to work as a bounty hunter on an alien world so that you can become proficient enough with firearms, and get more guns to rid Earth of the alien invaders who want to turn humans into drugs. So you run around, getting into fire fights with all manner of crazy aliens, while exploring and navigating some elaborate, layered, and hazardous locations. What really gives this game its personality is that it's made by Squanch Games, the studio co-founded by Rick & Morty co-creator and voice actor Justin Roiland. That's why the game has a similar mix of clever and scatological humor, which comes courtesy of your weapons ... which talk. A lot. And are also rather odd, but effective. Gus, for instance, is a shotgun that can suck enemies toward you or shoot giant metal discs at them, while Kenny, who sounds like Morty, is a pistol that can shoot explosive globs.
Admittedly, people who hate Rick & Morty -- or Roiland's other sci-fi sitcom cartoon, Solar Opposites -- will quickly get annoyed with this game's goofiness and naughty nature, even if they go into the options menu and tell the guns to keep it down. It has the same filthy sense of humor as those shows, with characters cursing nonstop, or you having to do rude things best left to your imagination (or your proctologist). It's also not for people looking for a serious shooter like Call of Duty. But if you love, like, or just appreciate this humor and you want a shooter that's challenging but not super serious, this game scratches that itch in the same way as the Ratchet & Clank games. That's why you also do a lot of jumping, climbing, and sliding on zip lines when not using offbeat guns to kill even odder aliens. All of which makes High on Life as clever and effortlessly fun as, well, the best episodes of Rick & Morty.
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Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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