A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that ArcheAge is a downloadable massively multiplayer online game that lets players create a character and an adventure through the world with other gamers. It requires an Internet connection and has servers for player-versus-player combat. Players engage in lots of battles with magical attacks, as well as ranged and bladed weaponry, although very little bloodshed is shown. There also are alcohol references, thanks to the player's ability to make liquor, and some racy content in the form of skimpy pieces of armor and other players' provocative actions. Because this is an MMO, there are serious privacy and safety concerns, especially thanks to the player-generated chat, which can be downright nasty at times. Chat filters that don't always seem to work and in-game spam (offers from companies selling in-game coin) is plentiful. Although the game is free to play, there are restrictions for free accounts. Patron accounts, which cost $14.99 per month, come with benefits such as the ability to own land and houses.
- Parents say
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What's it about?
ARCHEAGE is an open-world massively multiplayer game in which players create a character and adventure through the game's world, following story-driven quests to gain experience, weapons, armor, power, and prestige. The game is massive in nature, allowing players not only to raid and engage in player-vs.-player battles but also to own land, cultivate farms, fight on the seas, engage in naval trade, and even use gliders to take to the skies. There are four races (although some server restrictions are in place because of a proliferation of characters in a certain race) and 10 skill sets (classes), and players can further combine the skill sets into 120 combinations to create a totally customized character. Gradually, players explore storylines tailored to each class, advancing into harder areas as they gain experience and level up.
Is it any good?
Every MMO is a work in progress, and ArcheAge is no different. Some quests are flawed and simply don't work, and there are restrictions on gameplay depending on whether players have a subscription or not. The game was released in Asia in 2013 and subsequently translated for the North American market, but it seems there are some areas in which the work wasn't finished. Some non-playable characters speak in a language that isn't easily understood. Quests feel very linear at times.
Now forget all that, because ArcheAge is still massive, intriguing, enjoyable, and visually appealing. A mage wearing plate armor and swinging a two-handed greatsword when enemies get close is actually a blast to play. The inclusion of housing and farming, along with the ability to take to the high seas to protect trade routes or join raid groups to take on some pretty good challenges in search of great loot, make the game shine. Sure, a god named Gene doesn't seem to make much sense, but the lore of this game is rather solid. And that's only the start. Can we expect content drops that expand an already impressively large game world? Yep. ArcheAge has taken the MMO genre up a rung or two and is certainly worth a look.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Internet safety in games like ArcheAge. How can you protect personal and account information from strangers?
Talk to your kids about how developers and publishers seem to offer something for free to get you to purchase a subscription to gain in-game perks. What do players really need to enjoy playing a game like this?
Discuss responsible time limits on games. Why is it important to take time for real-world activities instead of sitting at a screen all the time?
- Platforms: Windows
- Pricing structure: Paid, Free (ArcheAge is a free-to-download and free-to-play game. But players can buy packages starting at $49.99 that include perks and bonus items, such as the ability to purchase and own land within the game world. A Patron Subscription will cost $14.99 per month and can be purchased either through the in-game store or with a Trion Worlds/Glyph account.)
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Trion Worlds
- Release date: September 16, 2014
- Genre: Massively Multiplayer Online Game (MMOG)
- Topics: Sports and Martial Arts, Adventures
- ESRB rating: M for Violence, Blood, Sexual Themes, Partial Nudity, and Drug References
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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.