A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Although players generally work better as a team, communication is often limited. Otherwise, the main goal is to outlive and out kill your competition.
Positive Role Models
Players create their custom avatars to represent them in the online combat. The characters reflect the player and don't have any personality or character outside of the player's actions.
Ease of Play
While the bulk of the game is a pretty cut and dried first-person shooter that should feel instantly familiar, the game's use of portals (both friendly and enemy) adds an extra layer to the gameplay that opens up original venues for strategic thinking and tactical play.
Violence & Scariness
Players hunt each other down with a variety of realistic and sci-fi weapons in kill or be killed matchups. Death isn't a major factor, as characters respawn quickly and jump right back into the fray. There's some blood occasionally shown onscreen, but nothing too graphic and it can be turned off in the options.
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While there's no profanity in the dialogue, the online nature of the game and the available party chat features could still expose players to offensive language from others.
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Products & Purchases
The base game is free-to-play but encourages players to spend money at the in-game shop for all sorts of cosmetic options, as well as a Season Pass that rewards players with new and unique items for completing gameplay challenges.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Splitgate is a free-to-play sci-fi themed first-person shooter available for download on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, and Windows based PCs. Players compete in team-based and free-for-all matches, armed with an arsenal of sci-fi weapons. Players also have access to a portal gun, allowing for quick traversal, as well as strategic new gameplay options. Violence is constant, with players competing to earn the most kills while surviving as long as possible. There's some occasional blood shown onscreen, though it can be turned off in the game settings. There's no profanity in the game's dialogue, but online team chat options could still expose players to offensive language from others. While the game's free to play, the title encourages players to spend money for cosmetic items for characters as well as on a Season Pass for additional items when players complete challenges.
Is It Any Good?
Just when you think competitive shooters have pulled every trick possible from out of their collective hat, along comes a title with one more reality-bending trick up its sleeve. It's almost impossible to talk about Splitgate without mentioning Valve's classic first-person puzzler, Portal. But Splitgate brings the physics bending use of portals to a combat environment. This leads to some sometimes strategic, sometimes hilarious, and always fun scenarios, like popping up from a wall behind an unsuspecting foe or opening up the floor below you and making a quick escape straight out of a Looney Tunes cartoon. Combined with a jetpack capable of short-term hover and flight, as well as some good stage designs meant to take advantage of the game's features, and it makes for some unexpected opportunities that keep the gameplay from ever feeling stale.
Splitgate is a little rough around the edges in terms of presentation. The game lacks some of the visual polish found in many modern shooters currently available. Still, that doesn't stop it from being an absolute blast to play, with plenty of game types and maps to keep you busy, as well a fairly decent selection of customization options to buy or to earn through gameplay. Since the game's free-to-play, there's the obligatory in your face push to spend money on credits to use at the in-game shop. It's a lot like having to deal with the occasional commercial break during a television show in the sense that there often might not much you're actually interested in, but it's a necessary interruption in the entertainment. Thankfully, all of the available items are cosmetic in nature, keeping the game from become a pay-to-win situation.
Did we miss something on diversity?
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.