A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Players fight to survive brutal fantasy land, but only by being just as brutal.
Positive Role Models
Players are criminals inside a continent-sized penal colony who do nothing but kill.
Ease of Play
Expansion can only be played after getting through main game three times amid increasing difficulty. Because of this, only hard-core players will ever get to see the Atlas.
Violence & Scariness
Violence is point of gameplay. Every minute is blood-soaked, with weapons, sword, magic, graphic depictions of enemies being cut down, pools of blood, burning, electrocution, dismemberment shown.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some monsters appear partially clad, nude, but are seen from a distance, not in great detail.
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Products & Purchases
Purchases promoted on login screen but are completely unnecessary to succeed.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Path of Exile: Atlas of Worlds is a downloadable add-on to Path of Exile, an online single-player or co-op multiplayer action role-playing game (RPG) characterized by dark nightmare-scapes and graphic violence. Only very skilled and hard-core players are likely to access this content. Players who do will engage in constant combat, killing men and grotesque monsters using swords, axes, bows, and elemental magic. When killed, heroes simply vanish and respawn in a preset location, but enemies are shown bleeding, burning, being electrocuted, and being dismembered. There's no bad language, but the game is very bloody and features naked or half-naked enemies. Multiplayer gameplay is unmoderated, potentially exposing players to inappropriate content.
Is It Any Good?
The core game involves wading in blood amid nonstop violence, so it's no surprise that the expansion does the same. That said, the gory gameplay stays fresh thanks to the clever addition of 30 cool new maps and a personal map tool that lets you direct your own destiny. Path of Exile: Atlas of Worlds has found a great way to extend the main game's replayability: by giving players an ever-changing experience based on exploration and luck. Advanced players start at the edges of the Atlas and fight their way to the center through increasingly difficult maps. As they go, they collect more maps of varying rarity and combine low-level maps into higher-level ones, or they alter maps to suit their tastes. The new maps include places such as a beach, a factory, a jungle, a tomb, and many other beautiful and challenging locations. Maps contain new Essence scenarios (part of the three-month Essence Challenge League) where you can kill monsters for valuable essence, which you can use to craft cool new weapons.
All of this is great stuff, but the only problem is gaining access to it. The Atlas of Worlds doesn't unlock until you've played through the main game 2.75 times (through Act III on Merciless difficulty), which means many players will never gain access to it. Grinding Gear Games unapologetically made this game for the hard-core player, and Atlas of Worlds more than confirms that.
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.