A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Reservoir Dogs: Bloody Days is a downloadable action game. It's a spin-off loosely inspired and somewhat based on the 1992 Quentin Tarantino movie. It has casual, repeated violent content and vulgar language. The focus is on gunplay, with the criminals that you play blasting police officers, bystanders, and others, spraying the walls and floors with blood. There's also a pronounced difficulty and learning curve thanks to its time-rewind mechanic that could frustrate some players. Gamers will also hang out in bars, with characters that drink and smoke cigarettes.
What's it about?
Like the 1992 movie, RESERVOIR DOGS: BLOODY DAYS centers on a group of criminals banding together for the express purposes of stealing, killing, and living the life of crime. That said, there isn't much of a story here. The dialog largely exists as filler excuses to go on another job. Really, the main focus of the plot through its 18 missions is on the flow of entering a place, causing a commotion, stealing valuables, and then shooting your way out against the police to make your escape.
Is it any good?
The cleverness of this action game hinges upon its time-rewind mechanic, which gets bogged down and hampered by repetitive gameplay. Considering how many seeming strikes against Reservoir Dogs: Bloody Days and arched eyebrows it invites based solely on the fact it exists (games based on movies are usually not good, and there was another unfavorably received Reservoir Dogs game in 2006), it's surprising how surprisingly workable and fun this title is. Which, to be clear, isn't a knock against the game. It's a serviceable action title, the likes of which you have seen before: From a top-down perspective, you run and gun as up to six different characters.
What makes the game unusual, and a deceptively brainier game than it might seem, is time rewinds after your turn with one gunman is over and you then take control of another. A color-coded visualization of the path you took in previous turns remains onscreen, allowing you to improvise and collaborate with yourself in other turns. This can be life-saving for some of your characters, or wind up costing you your life on a later turn. This gets thornier, trickier, and devilishly more complicated. Unfortunately, the first several missions will bog you down in repetitiveness to make sure you understand how to play around with time, and when there's only 18 levels, cutting down on the diversity of experiences is a bit of a disappointment.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in games. Since the film this game is based off of is very violent, would the game work if the violence was toned down? Why or why not?
Is it strange that in 2017 a game based on a 1992 movie is coming out? Why or why not? What are other, older properties you think would make for good video games?
Are there some things that should never be made video games? Why or why not?
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