A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
There's a paper-thin story that simply serves as a backdrop for the NERF competition to take place. Beyond this, the only purpose the player has is to compete in these virtual tournament cups and earn high scores.
Positive Role Models
Players are little more than bland, blank slate avatars meant to run around and shoot robots or other players with NERF blasters. There's little to no personality in any of the characters.
Players are given a pretty varied selection of appearance options to try and create an avatar to their liking. Outside of generic appearances, though, there's no broader development.
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Ease of Play
NERF Legends is about as basic a first-person shooter as one can get. Even so, there are issues with the gameplay. Movement feels sluggish and unresponsive, most of the blasters feel sorely underpowered, and things as straightforward as precision aiming are also sketchy at best.
Violence & Scariness
Although the core gameplay revolves around shootouts, these are fights against robots or other players using NERF blasters and foam bullets in a virtual environment. Defeated enemies and players simply disintegrate into data bits before getting respawned.
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Products & Purchases
Aside from the in-game microtransactions and add-ons, the game's based on the NERF line of toy weapons. It uses actual NERF products for the players' arsenal, acting as a sort of interactive commercial for the toy line.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that NERF Legends is a first-person shooter available for download on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Windows based PCs. Players battle in large arenas in either single-player obstacle course style score runs or multiplayer 4v4 team or eight player free-for-all matches. Players are armed with an arsenal of weapons based on real world items from the NERF toy line. Violence is mild, with no blood of any kind, as players use NERF darts to dismantle robot enemies or to temporarily deactivate human opponents' digital avatars.
Is It Any Good?
For years, generations of kids have staged all-out NERF wars, where the foam darts fly in fun, fast paced competitive battles. NERF Legends tries to recreate this for the gaming market, packing in what seems on the surface to be plenty of content into a family friendly first-person shooter. Ironically, while the NERF toys are known for being relatively injury free, playing this game is an almost excruciatingly painful experience. It's an interesting concept, using a selection of fifteen authentic NERF blasters from across the franchise's Mega, Ultra, and Elite lines in sci-fi battles. In practice though, NERF Legends is little more than a cheap feeling interactive advertisement.
For a first-person shooter, NERF Legends just can't seem to ever hit a target when it comes to gameplay. For starters, moving through the world feels almost like moving through molasses. There are also large portions of each arena where there doesn't seem to be an enemy in sight. And when you do run into a foe, the shooting is imprecise and all the blasters, even after upgrading their abilities, feel sorely underpowered. In fact, actually shooting at the robotic enemies with your blaster often feels about as useful as if you really were shooting them with foam darts. At least in the multiplayer everyone else suffers from the same shortcomings. Of course, that's assuming you can even find a match. It's difficult to tell if it's a problem with the game's matchmaking or simply that no one's playing, but connecting to an online match is almost a rarity in and of itself. Ultimately, the best part of playing NERF Legends is the moment you decide to turn it off.
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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.