A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Focuses on friendship, teamwork to complete objectives, defeat enemies.
Positive Role Models
Our hero works well with others, but little else is known about him.
Ease of Play
Simple controls, but there's a depth, complexity to non-combat parts, especially if you're not already a fan of cartoon, comics, or books that inspired this game.
Violence & Scariness
Players use a variety of futuristic guns to shoot other people's characters, including those of real people playing online, but there's no blood, gore.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some female characters wear cleavage-baring outfits, including one character who bends over seductively. During character creation, players can adjust the size of a female character's chest, though never to ridiculous proportions.
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"Bitch," "ass," "bastard" occasionally heard in dialogue.
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Products & Purchases
Game will make players want to buy books, comics, T-shirts, other paraphernalia (if they haven't already, of course).
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet is a third-person adventure game for the PS4, Xbox One, and Windows. Based on the cartoon, comic book, and young adult novel series Sword Art Online, this game has players using futuristic guns and explosives to kill human-looking characters. But there's no blood or gore. The game's dialogue includes such curse words as "ass," "bitch," and "bastard," while some female characters wear outfits that expose their cleavage, including one character who bends over to make sure you get a good look at it. Players can also adjust the chest size of female characters they make, though never to the point where the character looks ridiculous or unnatural. The game may make players want the books, comics, and cartoons, if they don't have them already.
Is It Any Good?
While it may have elements of other games, this third-person action/adventure game is really only made for fans of the titular cartoons, comics, and novels. In Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet, you're one of the players of Sword Art Online, an online virtual reality game. It's like if the people behind the Final Fantasy series made their own version of Mass Effect for the holodeck on Star Trek. Which is why the action in this game is of the third-person shooter variety, but you spend way more time conversing with other characters and running around.
But while all of this works well, it does have some issues. Most notably: You need to be familiar with the original Sword Art Online anime, manga, or young adult novels to understand what's going on. Doubly so, since there's a ton of dialogue, and it's all in Japanese, so it's easy to miss something in the middle of a battle. The game's menu complexity will also frustrate those not familiar with similar role-playing games, especially if, as we said, they're not fans of the comics, cartoon, or novels. If they are, though, they'll find Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet to be a deep adventure that really makes you feel like you're in The Matrix ... I mean Sword Art Online.
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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.
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