Rift: Starfall Prophecy

Game review by
Franklin Rinaldi, Common Sense Media
Rift: Starfall Prophecy Game Poster Image
Combat-driven sci-fi expansion appeals to vets, newcomers.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Characters portrayed as heroes on mission to save world from invading forces out to destroy world.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Strong nonplayer characters. Player's characters, as Ascended, are special heroic saviors of world, upholding high ideals, putting ideology before personal welfare, but who use combat to solve issues.

Ease of Play

Standard MMO controls; some complex concepts, configurations add unique challenges to play. 

Violence

Gameplay rooted in fast-paced combat with weapons, abilities where many decisions, progressions decided by results of violence. Displays of blood but no gore.

Sex

Armor, costuming can be rather skimpy at times on both male, female characters, but no nudity.

Language

Mild profanity used occasionally in dialogue.

Consumerism

Extensive online store encourages players to purchase enhancement, costumes for characters, promotes becoming a Patron (Subscription) for even more benefits. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A number of potions that affect Health, Mana represented as alcoholic beverages. You can also find NPCs having parties, drinking.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Rift: Starfall Prophecy is a downloadable expansion pack to the Rift massively multiplayer online (MMO) game. It's the first paid expansion, and it's required if you wish to progress beyond Level 65. You can play as a free-to-play character up to Level 65. It's a combat-centric game, and although violence isn't gory, injuries and/or deaths are shown with occasional blood effects. There's an extensive in-game store that encourages players to purchase additional items to improve or affect the gameplay experience. While there's no sex in game, players and nonplayer characters (NPCs) can be scantily clad in their outfits. Alcohol drinking is represented by players drinking potions with alcoholic names to replenish health or achieve other special effects.

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What's it about?

In RIFT: STARFALL PROPHECY, the world of Telara is once again under siege from a potentially overwhelming threat. The Comet of Ahnket is hurling through space and time, tearing pieces of the planes it passes through and adding them to its ever-growing mass. So far, Ahnket has assimilated marshes, forests, deserts, and volcanic wastes, creating a new world of unnatural beauty and extreme dangers. All the Ascended of the world must band together against the sinister intelligence of the Comet and stop it before it swallows their world. Players, as one of the Ascended, will need to work with other gamers to acquire powerful gear, defeat new monsters, and become stronger as they launch attacks against the Comet.

Is it any good?

This MMO is a great expansion, with an excellent storyline, new abilities, and enhanced features for veterans and newcomers alike. The initial concept of traveling to an ever-growing comet and battle the evil it's gathered on its journey is storytelling brilliance. Then again, story is where Rift has always stood out, with the levity and interaction in the world setting the pace for an immersive experience, even when you're just completing your standard "go here, kill that" quest. While the story isn't overly cinematic, it does demand that you take the time and read the dialogues you're presented with or you may feel like you're missing something. As you play through the beautifully rendered new zones, you'll come to appreciate your new legendary powers, many of which emphasize the element of fire (clearly as an homage to a destructive comet). Add in the new individual reward system, active equipment upgrades, and eternal items on top of those legendary powers, and you have a completely new character-customization toolkit that's sure to keep you engaged. 

As usual with Rift, the graphics are stunning and the music is top-notch. Getting a lot of people on the game-server population has unfortunately been challenging for the MMO as a whole, although Starfall Prophecy is bringing people back in droves and enticing new players to check out the fantastic world of Telara. The instant boost to Level 65 really helps with old and new players alike in jumping right into the new areas. There are five fantastic new zones, with epic dungeons and raids that significantly expand the already large and diverse world. Rift: Starfall Prophecy is a phenomenal expansion that's the shot in the arm developer Trion needed, and it's well worth playing. Just remember you can play for free up to Level 65 to ensure the game's right for you before spending the money on this expansion.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in video games. Can you tell the difference between real-world and fantasy violence in games like this?

  • Discuss screen-time concerns. MMOs frequently demand dozens of hours of gameplay; how do you balance this with time away from a screen?

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