A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this survival horror game is not appropriate for kids or young teenagers. Just as the five feature films are disturbingly sadistic and gory, the game is equally as graphic. Gamers will witness explosive helmets, spiky iron maiden chambers, saws that cut through bone, and an incinerator that burns a body inside. There is plenty of cussing and some references to drug use. Needless-to-say this game is for mature audiences only.
- Parents say
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What's it about?
Fans of the creepy Saw horror flicks from Lions Gate – which has grossed more than $665 million worldwide, including 28 million DVDs sold to date – can now get up close and personal with the masked Jigsaw killer. Based on the films of the same name, SAW – the video game – was designed with input from the creators of the Saw franchise, Leigh Whannell and James Wan, to ensure a tight integration with the movie’s story, characters, and visual style. The game is a third-person "survival horror" adventure that drops you into the twisted world of Jigsaw, as you attempt to evade and escape his sadistic mechanical traps (planted for you and others), while also taking on his devoted minions using weapons found in the environment. The storyline takes place sometime between the movies Saw and Saw II, where Detective David Tapp awakens in a decrepit, abandoned asylum, captured by his long-time nemesis and serial killer, Jigsaw.
Is it any good?
Sounds like the ingredients of a bone-chilling interactive entertainment experience, right? Not quite. The good news is the atmosphere is terrific (including incredible voice acting), some of the time-sensitive traps and puzzles are gratifyingly challenging, and the moral decisions you must make while saving others add another layer of depth. But the bad news is the game becomes repetitive quickly, the combat is lackluster, and because of its linearity, the game lacks replayability. In the end, fans of the Saw films might get a kick at this foray into games, and it helps tie up loose ends in the films (such as the origin of Jigsaw), but it's better as a weekend rental than splurging $60 to own it.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how this game compares to the movies on which it is based. Is this game less frightening than the movie because the character's aren't photorealistic and therefore might be less disturbing? Or is a Saw video game worse than a film because it's more active rather than passive. That is, in a movie you watch the action unfold onscreen, but in a game you're the one planting bombs to blow up enemies or fighting to take down Jigsaw.
How did you feel about the moral decisions you had to make in the game?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.