John 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!