A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
The goal is to kill people. Despite this, you're the hero of the story, tasked with killing criminals causing havoc in your city. But, even after defeating a room of enemies who are torturing a group of citizens, there's no option for you to rescue those people -- you simply leave them where they are.
Positive Role Models
The protagonist sets off across the city to stop criminals from causing more violence or hurting innocent people. But his methods of doing so are by hurting and killing others.
Default main protagonist is a White man. While you can change your skin color after the tutorial, the skin colors are named after foods frequently used in stereotypes. For example, a Black skin color option is called "Chocolate" and a Hispanic skin color option is called "Caramel." Criminals are several different races. Women aren't often portrayed, but when they are, it's frequently in a stereotypically sexual manner.
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Ease of Play
The game relies on memorization of combos and quickly pressing buttons. For players new to fighting games, this may be a challenge. Tutorials provided are brief and don't offer the opportunity to replay them before launching into the main content. But there's a separate "playground" setting to test out and refine your skills after the tutorial. Preset and custom difficulty levels make gameplay easier, but the normal and easy settings are still fairly unforgiving. Gun use is clunky; even with auto-aim turned on, it's not very useful.
Violence & Scariness
Violence is extremely heavy, since premise is entirely based on killing others: splatters of blood, gore, broken bones, x-ray shots of broken skeletons, and sound effects of hitting, blood gushing out, and other graphic noises. Use of weapons, including batons, chairs, explosives, and guns, is encouraged. As the game notes, these weapons "break bones easier." The skill tree mostly revolves around strengthening your attacks to kill enemies quicker or more creatively.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Neon signs in a bar/strip club display different parts of women, including a woman who is completely topless. Women in bikinis dance around men in private rooms of the club, and become terrified when you fight outside of their rooms.
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Adult language is frequent, and includes insults like "pr--k," "a--hole," "psycho," and more. Curse words are plentiful and include several variations of "f--k" ("f--k you," "f--kery," etc.) and "s--t" ("piece of s--t," "s--t stain," etc.).
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult characters smoke cigarettes. Empty alcohol bottles are scattered around certain rooms and can be used as weapons.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Midnight Fight Express is a downloadable fighting game available on several platforms, including Nintendo Switch, PlayStation, Xbox, and PC. The goal of the game is to kill criminals who are taking over the city. The use of weapons is encouraged, and depictions of women are stereotypical and sexually focused in nature. Players who are used to beat-'em-up games will thrive in its easy-to-navigate combo system. While combat scenes may be satisfying to those players, Midnight Fight Express contains graphic violence that may give guardians of teens and younger children pause. There's also frequent use of profanity, with multiple variations of "f--k" and "s--t," as well as a large number of insults hurled at characters.
Is It Any Good?
Despite its relatively simple plot, this brawler excels in its combo and skill tree system that should be relatively easy for players (new and old) to pick up. Midnight Fight Express has preset and custom difficulty levels that make it easier for players to succeed, no matter your history with gaming, but experience with fighting games is helpful. The opening tutorial is a little too quick to fully grasp the reins on the controls, but the story offers you the ability to use a practice mode to continue honing your skills. The plot is fairly simple, and at times repetitive. You frequently find yourself moving into room after room of enemies without much plot expansion or character development. This is not, by any means, a game meant to encourage emotional maturity or growth in kids.
But these rooms are broken up by funny dialogue from your drone partner, and the game frequently parodies concepts of fighting games, making it an entertaining playthrough. It's a short, brutal, and relatively easy-to-navigate title, despite its flaws. While Midnight Fight Express doesn't necessarily bring something groundbreaking to the table, it succeeds in its ability to dish out satisfying combos, provide a stunning skill tree, and keep players' attention with a nonstop onslaught of enemies coming their way.
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.