A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Predator: Hunting Grounds is a first and third-person shooter for the PlayStation 4 and PC. It's inspired by the iconic science fiction franchise that has included movies, comics, books, and other games. When playing as the Predator, players use laser guns and blades to kill human soldiers, while playing as a soldier gives you guns to use against the Predator. Both of these result in a lot of bloodshed, gore, and dismemberment that includes seeing human bodies with their skins removed, and their bloody buttocks exposed. The dialog includes such curse words as "f--k" and "s--t," while worse may be heard from other players since online communication isn't moderated. There's also a mission in which the soldiers have to find and destroy some drugs, though they don't partake.
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What's it about?
Inspired by the titular sci-fi movie series, PREDATOR: HUNTING GROUNDS casts you as both sides of this eternal struggle. When playing as one of four humans who must work together, the game works like a first-person shooter in which you're a special ops soldier who must complete military missions in a South American jungle while being hunted by the Predator. When playing as the Predator, the gameplay acts like a third-person stealth action game in which you have to hunt the soldiers and stop them from completing their mission using all the science fiction weaponry from the movies, such as blades, laser cannons, and net guns. Based on how well you do on either side, you'll earn experience, which can be used to unlock new gear and extras for your characters.
Is it any good?
Inspired by the titular sci-fi movie series, this four-against-one online-only hunting game is decidedly more fun when you're the hunter and not the hunted. In Predator: Hunting Grounds, you have your choice of playing as one of four human soldiers tasked with completing missions in a South American jungle while being hunted by a Predator, the lone alien sportsman out for an afternoon of human hunting. When played as one of the former, this is a solid, objective-based first-person shooter, one that boasts solid controls, varied and multi-part missions, and interesting jungle locations. Except that unlike Call of Duty or other games like it, the constant threat of being hunted by a superior enemy adds some tension to the proceedings.
Where this really gets good is when you are that superior enemy. Much like the similar moments in the Batman: Arkham games, playing as the Predator not only switches the perspective from first to third, but it gives you some cool gadgets, including thermal vision and a personal cloaking device. You have climbing skills that rival an Assassin's Creed hero. Though, ultimately, how well this works really relies on how serious you, your compatriots, and your competition take this. Even with a good amount of depth when it comes to the jungle locations and the soldiers' missions -- not to mention all the customizing options you unlock as you play (including practical gear and cosmetic skins for characters) -- this is still only as good as the people playing it. While Predator: Hunting Grounds isn't as good as the classic first movie, it's a worthy addition to this sci-fi series.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about teamwork. When you play Predator: Hunting Grounds as one of the soldiers, your survival depends on your ability to work together, but do you think this is true for real life as well? How can working together, as a team -- as a family -- make certain tasks easier?
Is the violence in Predator: Hunting Grounds affected by the large amount of blood and gore shown in the game? Do you think that the dismemberment and displaying of skinless bodies adds anything to the game? Would it be as entertaining if it didn't include this content?
- Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows
- Price: $39.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: IllFonic
- Release date: April 24, 2020
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Adventures, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires, Space and Aliens
- ESRB rating: M for Blood and Gore, Drug Reference, Intense Violence, Partial Nudity, Strong Language
- Last updated: January 11, 2021
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