God of War and Darksiders for 14?

kratosJohn writes: My son is PLEADING me to play games such as God of War, and one that I think is called Nightsiders. He is 14 and has never gotten below an A in his life! (His mother doesn’t approve) but I have let him watch movies like The Matrix and Underworld. With these conditions, is it an appropiate gaming experience?

First of all I believe you’re talking about Darksiders and you mention the God of War series (2 PS2 games, 1 PSP game and a PS3 game on the way). You can check the ESRB for the descriptors and an explanation but here’s my take.  Both are bloody but in an arcade/nonrealistic kind of way. God of War is infamous for its interactive sex scenes – Kratos finds two naked women (their breasts are shown) and joins them (this is optional) then the camera discretely pulls away and you use the sticks and buttons on the gamepad to match the movements the game throws at you.  If you miss one, you’ll hear a sigh of dissatisfaction and you’ll have to start over. If you, pardon the pun, nail them, Kratos gets a health or experience boost, I can’t recall which.

Darksiders I haven’t played but the ESRB says there are brutal death animations, it’s possible to cut limbs off and some of the demons are female and their clothing is suggestive.  Go to YouTube if you want to see either game in action.  I’d say both are tamer than The Matrix and Underworld. Particularly Underworld which I remember being pretty bloody.  If that doesn’t convince Mom, then you’re on your own but there are certainly worse games a 14-year old can play.  If it matters, my wife, a feminist, thinks the God of War sex thing is hilarious and I’m pretty sure my son will be able to play these kinds of games at 14.

I don’t recommend sneaking the games past Mom.  Make the decision together and use the research tools at your disposal.  Good luck!

No Responses to “God of War and Darksiders for 14?”

  1. Okay, one, the kid’s grades don’t mater. Intelligence does not necessarily translate to maturity. I know some intelligent kids who are completely immature. You probably don’t care about my opinion, but I say yes do Darksiders and no to God of War. Also, ignore the strong language descriptor on God of War, I don’t think there’s any swearing.

  2. God of War isnt too bad but I think the new one will be quite brutal. Just in the demo I’ve played when you tear off Helios’ head it’s not simple like the two previous games. The developers went all out on this titles showing blood squirting, ligaments snapping and veins bursting. When you cut the centaur open you can see intestines and other various guts spill out. It’s quite epic and graphically amazing but I think the 3rd game might be a little too over the top for kids under 17. That’s just how I feel after playing the demo.

  3. Cross_Breed is right of course – but many parents do connect video game time and wanting to fulfill their child’s wish – with buying games. And Nixor, thank you, I tend to avoid prerelease info and that can skew my advice the wrong way.

    I wonder if they get more graphic with the sex minigame in 3 as well?

  4. In the GoW3 footage I saw, you not only rip off Helios’ head but keep it for use as a lantern. Just thought I’d point that out.

  5. I can understand Darksiders a LITTLE bit, but God of war?! I strongly disagree on that. :

  6. I have played all of the ones mentioned and wouldn’t have a problem with letting a mature 14 year old play any of them. As it has been suggested, there is tons of footage on youtube, so you should be able to get a good idea of what they are like.

  7. “In the GoW3 footage I saw, you not only rip off Helios’ head but keep it for use as a lantern. Just thought I’d point that out.”

    I shouldn’t admit this … but as a mythology nut this sounds very very cool.

  8. Just read about the GoW 3 sex minigame. Apparently Kratos has sex with a goddess while two topless hand maidens watch and suggestively caress one another. Kinky, strange, and oh so inappropriate. Again, not appropriate for age fourteen.

  9. It certainly sounds like they’re cranking up the “adult” content a bit with the jump to this console generation, but I’ll say something I’ve said before and still stand by:

    The number of times someone has travelled around the sun doesn’t necessarily determine their level of maturity.

    The content could be appropriate for some 14 year olds, but others won’t be mature enough to be exposed to it. No-one can tell if the person’s son is mature enough to handle the content based purely on this latter, the best person to make this judgement is the parent.

    It’s also strange how, in a game series containing several hours of brutal blood-soaked violence, the focus of this discussion is on the handful of sex mini-games each lasting just a few seconds (and the one in GOW II is even hidden). I’d have thought that the hours of brutality would be more concerning than the seconds of off-screen sex, but that’s just me (and I am viewing this from the perspective of a teenager rather than a parent).

  10. I do agree. Violence is worse than sex. I just thought that people might want to know. I really don’t see why anyone has to be exposed to the level of shock-value gore that the developers are pumping into this game, but I guess if you’re into that sort of thing, it’s okay. Speaking, as a teenager, I’m just saying that, if I had a fourteen year old, I wouldn’t let him play it. It doesn’t matter his maturity level for this one. Maturity counts for things like BioShock and Mass Effect that are actually Mature, but this is just a kill ’em up gore-fest that exists only for the sake of being gory and shocking. I don’t think its a matter of maturity. I don’t think this kind of thing is appropriate for anybody, but that’s just my opinion. I don’t care if you like it, or what you have to say about how Kratos is a deep, complex character that I’ll never understand, or that how the dump trucks full of gore is part of the series’s charm (ENTRAILS ARE NOT CHARMING), or how the sex is to personify the wanton era in which the game is taking place. It is just my two cents, and my opinion on the matter will not change.

  11. The battles against minor enemies in GoW are relatively tame, with otherworldly fountains of red goo squirting all over the screen and the occasional severing of limbs being the most “violent” stuff you encounter. Enemies also turn into ashes the very moment you deliver the fatal blow. Fighting bigger foes or level bosses, however, is a different kettle of fish. Those fights often take place in several phases that need you to continually mutilate the respective enemies in order to weaken them and eventually finishing them off in a spectacular and not only gory but also quite painful fashion, like clutching a cyclop’s eyeball with both hands and slowly pulling it out of its socket or slamming a treasure chest on a man’s head several times until his skull cracks and his brains spatter all over the wall. Also, there are occasional scenes where you need to torture someone in order to get information. I’d link my opinion primarily to such scenes, as standard combat feels, as stated above, quite mild in comparison.

  12. I don’t see what the problem is my parents actually let me play god of war and i’m only 13 my parents didn’t care when i found the two topless girls in the jacuzzi they just kept doing what they where doing.

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