A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Hybrid is a multiplayer-only downloadable shooter available through Xbox Live Arcade. It's not nearly as gritty or graphic as most other games in the category, but its focus is on violence, with players spending virtually all of their time shooting and killing human-controlled enemies in frenetic fracases. Since this game can only be played online with other players, it requires a constant Internet connection. It also gives rise to potential privacy and safety concerns.
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What's it about?
The Xbox Live Arcade game HYBRID is an unusual multiplayer sci-fi shooter that doesn't involve any running around. Made by the same team behind the critically acclaimed Scribblenauts games, it sees players spending their time either taking cover behind barricades or flying through the air via jetpack on direct paths to other pieces of cover. Simply target a new barricade, press a button, and you'll take to the air and zoom straight over. Like most modern shooters, a series of rewards -- ranks, guns, various power-ups -- are bestowed as players progress through the game and accomplish specific milestones, such as racking up kills while in flight. Plus, players can unlock deadly drone helpers in-mission by performing well. There is no single-player campaign; but a handful of deathmatch and objective-based multiplayer modes provide some variety. All matches take place online against other players, which means you’ll need a constant internet connection to play.
Is it any good?
Hybrid is a neat idea that works more often than not, but when it fails, it tends to put a damper on the whole experience. For example, when leaping between barricades with a different gravitational orientation, the camera will spin around to reposition itself. However, it sometimes spins the wrong direction or gets caught for a second, leaving the player confused and an easy target, which in turn may lead to a frustrating, unfair death.
The good news is that when everything is working properly Hybrid delivers a refreshingly original shooter experience filled with hectic, feverish, exhilarating action both in the air and on the ground. It may prove a bit too quirky for mainstream tastes, but fans of gun games looking for something a little different could be pleasantly surprised.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about sportsmanship. Just because some online games allow you to play with strangers doesn't mean it's okay to be any less polite than you would were you playing with friends or family. What are some examples of good gamer etiquette?
Families can also discuss violence in media. Are you concerned about the graphic depiction of violence? The level of aggression involved in the violence? The meaning of the violence within the context of the game's narrative?
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