A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that though there is nothing explicit in this game (no blood and guts, etc.), the dark mood marks this for mature players. The music is somber, the hero is damaged, and he can draw darkness out of enemies to use as a weapon.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
In this sequel, players wander through a beautifully drawn -- but dark -- futuristic fortress city, including what's outside the walls and what's underground. Though your original motivations have more to do with revenge against the city's scheming dictator, eventually you get swept up with the resistance movement.
Your missions include restoring water to a neglected part of the city, or patrolling the forest for stubborn mutants in league with the dictator. JAK II incorporates a wide range of gameplay, borrowing from some of the most popular games in the market. Standard jumping- and shooting-based missions are interspersed with opportunities to race and even grind on a hoverboard, for example.
Is it any good?
The dark atmosphere is lightened by comical characters who appear during interludes, such as a parrot translator who takes humorous liberties with his interpretations, and Daxter is back and ever-present as your sassy sidekick.
The game is sprawling with 60-plus missions to complete, and completing them can be a time-consuming chore. Some missions must be executed with absolute perfection or repeated (with escalating frustration each time). All in all, this is a demanding game, but players will delight in exploring the massive fantasy world created here.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Hak's ability to use enemies' darkness as a weapon: What happens when we are forced to combat a lot of negative forces? Is it logical that we would internalize some of this negativity? This may lead to a fruitful discussion about ways to deal with outside influences.
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.