A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Path of Exile: The Fall of Oriath is a mature, free-to-play action role-playing game (RPG) featuring constant bloody violence. Heroes are rewarded for obliterating monsters, animals, and people with magic and weaponry. Online group play is encouraged, and players communicate via text and voice chat. An in-game store contains optional vanity items, and occasional in-game messages prompt players to shop. Character dialogue contains infrequent suggestive themes.
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What's it about?
PATH OF EXILE: THE FALL OF ORIATH continues the saga of the exiles of Wraeclast and details the consequences of the game's previous events. Heroes find they've opened a passage back to their homeland, but have also unwittingly released a slew of vengeful gods. Exploring new areas and revisiting old ones, players seek out these dangerous deities and, upon defeating them, take on their unique powers. Thus empowered, players fight to free humanity and themselves from certain destruction.
Is it any good?
This free-to-play role-playing game has outdone itself in this expansion with its depth, difficulty, and warfare. Adding six new acts and a range of interesting new powers, it offers action RPG fans countless hours of bloody combat and disturbing storylines. As usual, though, only the best, most knowledgeable players will be able to experience it all.
Though its last expansion got rid of some of the game's more punishing aspects (requiring you to play through three times to access the endgame content, for instance), Path of Exile remains a niche game meant for only the hardiest of players. Though Acts 6-10 take the place of the now-defunct Cruel and Merciless difficulty levels, you must conquer the complex gear system and intimidatingly huge skill tree or your chances of getting through The Fall of Oriath are slim indeed. That's a shame, because there's a lot of great stuff here. It's fun going back to previous areas and seeing the consequences of your previous actions, not to mention fighting off a host of creative new enemies. It's also fun to talk to characters, too, since they're always ready to spout more of PoE's typical melodramatic dialogue. The new bosses, though -- they're the stars of the show. Great boss fights aren't new to Path of Exile, but by pitting you against the gods of Wraeclast, The Fall of Oriath takes you to a new level of fright and depravity. From beginning to end, the expansion's incredibly high-quality, especially for a free-to-play game. Again, the only downer -- if you can call it that -- is the time and effort you'll have to put in and the knowledge and skill you'll need to be able to experience it.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about screen time and the "grinding" game mechanic. Do you like games that enforce hours of tedious repetition?
Think about online game communities. Do you think games should rely on their communities to convey information?
Discuss your expectations of free-to-play games. Do you expect the same level of quality from them as you do from paid games?
- Platforms: Windows, Xbox One
- Pricing structure: Free (Contains in-game shop with optional vanity items.)
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Grinding Gear Games
- Release date: August 4, 2017
- Genre: Role Playing
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- ESRB rating: M for Intense Violence, Blood and Gore, Sexual Themes, Nudity, Language
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