A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that MediEvil is a PlayStation 4 high-definition remake of the original 1998 PlayStation action/adventure hack and slash game of the same name. Players take on the role of a resurrected "hero" as he fights to defeat an evil sorcerer that's taking over the land. The game has a very tongue-in-cheek sense of humor and is presented in a cartoonish, comedic style. There's constant violence, using fantasy weapons to fight against zombies and other creatures, but none of the violence is particularly gory or graphic. Also, the exaggerated characters and the overall humor reduces any impact of the violence.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
Sir Daniel Fortesque, the fallen hero of Gallowmere, has risen from the grave once again in MEDIEVIL, a high-definition remake of the original PlayStation classic exclusively available on the PlayStation 4. It's been one hundred years since Sir Daniel fell in battle to the first arrow fired in the battle against the armies of the sorcerer Zarok. Despite this seeming ignoble ending, Zarok was still defeated and Sir Daniel was posthumously given credit for the win. Now, Zarok has somehow returned to complete the scheme he set in motion a century before. One thing Zarok didn't count on, though, was his spell of eternal darkness bringing Sir Daniel back to … well, not so much "life" as, "not technically dead." Still, the fates have granted Sir Daniel Fortesque a second chance to stop Zarok, to live up his reputation as the Hero of Gallowmere, and to rightfully earn a spot at the hallowed Hall of Heroes.
Is it any good?
It's hard to believe that it's been more than two decades since Sir Daniel Fortesque first rose from his tomb in the original title. MediEvil was a bit of a cult classic for its time, but it's also aged about as well as poor Sir Dan's corpse after being sealed away for a century. Fortunately, the PS4 remake does a great job of walking that fine line between staying faithful to the original and yet still making a number of tweaks and improvements to appeal to a modern audience. For the classic purists, the new version uses most of the original game's voiceover work, aside from a new narrator and a couple of extra grunts and grumbles from Sir Dan. It's also an almost shot for shot remake of the original's level design.
Unfortunately, sticking so close to the source material also means some of the hiccups of original have risen from the grave as well. While the camera has been significantly improved over the original game, particularly by giving players a certain level of control of it, the sometimes claustrophobic nature of some areas doesn't give the camera much room to move. As a result, it sometimes gets stuck in an awkward position with its view blocked by some part of the environment. And while combat is pretty much just button mashing with an occasional block tossed in for good measure, it can take a bit to get the hang of the timing. There's always a bit of a delay with your attacks, but it's actually a realistic delay, dependent on the size and weight of whichever weapon you're using at a given time. Despite these minor gripes, MediEvil is still a fantastically fun experience, best described as feeling like you're playing a Tim Burton film. While the original may not have aged well, this modern remake has polish and pizazz to give Sir Daniel Fortesque yet another lease on life.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in games. Is the impact of the violence in MediEvil affected by the tongue-in-cheek humor of the game? Would the impact be intensified if the violence was more realistic or bloody?
What's the appeal of recreating classic franchises, either in remasters or complete reboots, for modern audiences? Do you think it's better to use the original more for inspiration or to do a complete recreation? What are the benefits and pitfalls of each?
- Platforms: PlayStation 4
- Price: $29.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Sony Interactive Entertainment
- Release date: October 25, 2019
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Misfits and Underdogs, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- ESRB rating: T for Blood and Gore, Violence
- Last updated: December 14, 2020
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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.