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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
The story uses humor to poke fun of consumerism and capitalism by presenting disgusting fictional products as desirable, and suggesting that it's normal and okay for corporations to disregard worker safety, animal rights, and ecology. Cooperative play encourages teamwork and communication.
Positive Role Models
The player's character, who can be male or female, doesn't have much of a personality. He or she simply follows orders to complete corporate missions, several of which involve examining and killing local alien wildlife to harvest resources.
Ease of Play
The action starts off fairly easy, with intuitive first-person shooter (FPS) controls and basic abilities, such as running and jumping. Things grow more complex as the game progresses and players gain more abilities, many of which must be skillfully used to take down some surprisingly challenging bosses towards the end of the game.
Violence & Scariness
Players use a sci-fi blaster to shoot bizarre looking alien creatures, including flying squid, ball-shaped birds, and two-headed lizards. These enemies often bleed colorful blood, get ground up in swirling plant maws, and occasionally blow up in massive explosions causing mini mushroom clouds.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Dialogue contains a reference to alien genitals. A fake commercial advertises phone-sex with a weird amorphous creature.
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Spoken dialogue includes occasional instances of words such as "s--t," "hell," "poop," and "butthole."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Certain plants emit a foggy cloud that causes the hero's vision to distort in hallucinogenic fashion.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Journey to the Savage Planet is a first-person sci-fi adventure for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Windows PCs in which players explore an alien world. The hero discovers and does battle with a variety of fantastical alien lifeforms (some of which are peaceful until attacked) using a blaster pistol that fires bursts of energy. Enemies bleed colorful blood and occasionally explode in giant fireballs. The protagonist -- who can be male or female -- doesn't have much of a personality, but instead simply follows the orders of his or her corrupt corporate boss, who wants to exploit whatever resources the planet may have. The game uses humor to poke fun of things like consumerism and capitalism via ads for awful looking fictional products and a corrupt artificial intelligence. Dialogue includes mild language and makes reference to poop, buttholes, and alien genitalia. One jokey advertisement focuses on phone sex with an alien blob. An alien plant emits a toxic gas that causes the hero to hallucinate.
Is It Any Good?
Few lessons about exploiting worlds and their resources have been learned by Kindred Aerospace, the company overseeing the exploration of this batty space adventure. But that's kind of the point of Journey to the Savage Planet, which uses a liberal dose of humor to show the folly of our modern society as it's applied in bizarre and immoral ways in the future. This ranges from disgusting products meant to recall Sea Monkeys and spam to thoughtless corporations refusing to provide adequate protection to workers while ordering them to do things that don't feel quite right. Taking on the role of one of these employees (or two, if you choose to play cooperatively with someone else), players go about accomplishing the company's objectives by scanning everything they see and taking what they need from the ecosystem in order to survive and progress. Put more simply, we see clearly some of the absurdities of our modern world in what we are tasked to do on this futuristic, alien planet.
It'd have been nice if the same attention had been paid the action. The combat's fun most of the time, with clever concepts such as enemies that split in two when struck, others that need to be ground pounded from above, or flickering, hard-to-target tails that serve as weak spots. But navigating the world without a map is a pain. And many missions and collectibles require returning multiple times to areas already explored once you have the proper gear to accomplish a specific objective or reach a distant ledge. Making matters worse, one of the key traversal mechanics later in the game -- grappling and sliding on rails -- is a bit janky, with latch points sometimes failing to register a grapple cue while you're in mid-air, resulting in a long fall into a bottomless chasm. Journey to the Savage Planet is smart and entertaining, especially when you're on your ship scrolling through computer files, but what you get up to on the planet's surface could have benefitted from some tweaking.
Did we miss something on diversity?
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.