I agree with Common Sense Media’s rating suggesting that adults only play this game. So far, I have played for a few hours and made it out of the snow to the campsite. I find it surprising that the “parents” on CSM are suggesting younger ages than the kids are. What I have seen and heard so far is not excessive as some mature rated titles are (such as the new Doom games), but it is still appropriate for the mature rating it has received.
Violence and gore: So far, I have seen several shootouts, a fist fight, a dead horse on the ground with its guts sprawled into the snow and urine underneath it, and a decapitated body strung up underneath some train tracks with blood dripping from the body, and guts on the ground. To the side of the lower half of the body is also a head of the character that is pinned against the wooden post with some form of stake and a paper inserted into its mouth. A lot of the violence is what can be seen in some Teen rated games, such as the Uncharted series, but there are occasional scenes that are more graphic, such as the slow motion deaths that show realistic detail of where the person was shot with blood splattering through the air. You can also drive a knife into your enemies to kill them. Depending on your actions, they could be cold-hearted killings or self preservation. There is one moment in the game where you can kick a man who is hogtied on the ground. There is another where you have a choice of how to deal with a man who you got into a fistfight with. I don’t remember the choices, but there is a more harsh and a more kind option to choose from.
Language: The language in the game is appropriate for the situation. Again, it is not gratuitous. There are periods of time where there is no language at all, and there are other periods where I have heard language that would be heard in a Teen game as well. There is a character in a saloon who talks about a pig’s anatomy and I’ve heard one F-word in the few hours of gameplay that I’ve been through.
Sex/Nudity: So far, there has not been any nudity or sexual content, besides a female character walking around in the background of camp with a low-cut top.
Drugs: There are options to use cigarettes in the game. Some characters can be seen smoking as well. I don’t recall any drinking yet.
The controls in the game are consistent with the previous Red Dead Redepmtion, but they can be confusing depending on the situation. For example, the R2 button (on the PS4) is used to shoot, but there was a time that I was prompted to use the R2 button to point my gun at some people to convince them to get into a train. It felt like this would have shot them, which I wasn’t wanting to do. Another thing with the controls is holding down buttons while navigating menu systems, such as the equipment wheel, and other buttons that have to be held—at least briefly—before getting the response from the system. I have been confused at times when it is safe to release the held button/buttons, which is somewhat complicated for playing.
Overall, the game is amazing and I’m excited to experience more of it! The story, direction, acting, musical score, graphical detail, and the world that the experience is set in is fantastic! I appreciate that the game is not afraid to slow down to show the player that there is a living world to experience, not just run through and shoot up. The contrast from the snowy environment with few wildlife encounters, and then going to warmer forrests with believable animals going about their own lives in herds and realistically responding to approaching humans is mind-boggling. I can’t imagine all the time even one person spent on the detail that was added to make this more than just a game, but an experience that is convincing.
I’ve gone on long enough about content that is separate from the age rating for the game, but I would highly recommend it for appropriate audiences.
This title contains:
Violence & scariness
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking