Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

Common Sense Media says

Fun game lets players explore the dark side.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Players CAN be the hero, but they can also choose to be a villain.

Violence

Most of the game is dialogue based; however, there are multiple fight scenes.

Sex

Some occasional subtle sexual references: slaves offering "massage" services, female club dancers with tight clothing.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

Although the game is part of the massively commercial "Star Wars" universe, products are not necessarily advertised.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

References to alcohol, use of drugs to enhance performance.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that there are some minor sexual elements, and they may wish to address the quasi-religious philosophy of "the force" in regard to their personal beliefs. The game does not just reinforce positive behavior; rather, it rewards both positive and negative behavior in different ways. The game doesn't focus exclusively on violence to solve all situations -- communication and negotiation skills are also critical.

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

STAR WARS: KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC lets fans of Star Wars live out the life of a Jedi knight. Jedi knights are masters of the \"force,\" channeling energy drawn from all things to do their bidding. Jedi can be drawn to the light side (good) or the dark side (evil), which must be in balance. Choosing actions that are benevolent and kind will draw players to the light side, but actions that use power and strength to dominate will draw players toward the dark side.

A significant amount of the game is designed to resolve situations in a peaceful way -- through dialogue or by providing alternative solutions. However, players can influence this by their decisions, and there are many occasions where combat is presented as the only option. During fighting scenes, the player can command several characters within their control. Fighting can be paused to change weapons, use artificial stimulants to increase fighting ability, or alter fighting tactics.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The overall play of the game harkens back to earlier years of video games, with a style somewhat similar to old text adventure games or Pick-a-Path books. The game is almost literary in its depth. In fact, reading is reinforced, as players respond to computer-controlled characters by reading through several dialogue options on the screen, and then choosing the one that best fits their goal. Through these choices, players can influence the path of the story to a degree.

Nonetheless, the overall game is still quite linear, with major choices that are unalterable. Violence isn't portrayed in a particularly bloody or gruesome way; victims simply fall to the ground when defeated, and eventually fade away. Not to be conquered quickly, the game weaves missions, character storylines and overall Star Wars themes into an interesting story that is fun to play, but will take a long time to conquer.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about good and evil. Are domination and power always evil? Do you think good and evil need to be balanced in real life? How does this game explore that idea?

Game details

Platforms:Windows
Price:$35
Available online?Not available online
Developer:LucasArts
Release date:August 12, 2002
Genre:Action/Adventure
ESRB rating:T for (Windows)

This review of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 14 years old Written byAvatar Aang March 26, 2010
AGE
11
QUALITY
 

Great Game!

I have this game on Xbox and I love it! Let me explain my ratings: There are contradicting highlights and concerns like good role model/bad role model because you can choose to be good or evil, if you are a boy or girl and what you look like. -Violence The violence in this game is mild compared to some other Star Wars games. The combat is turn based but is blended so there are parries and deflections in lightsaber combat. There is no blood but enemies sometimes moan when they are killed. There are points in the game where you see corpses and skeletons and one dismembered arm. Players can use swords, lightsabers, blasters and explosives to fight. -Lovey-Dovey Stuff Ok, there is love in the game. But I don't find love bad. There are also some suggestive themes in the game. These themes are why the game is cited for this category. The female (and male) characters in your party can be equipped with tight fitting clothes (jumpsuits for guys, swimsuits for girls). There are dancing female Twi'lek slaves with semi-revealing clothing on in some cantinas. I also hear that there is a kissing scence but it requires that you pursue love intrests and I have not come across it. Two of the people in your party love you (if you are male it's a and b and if your female it's a and c) (forgive my use of algebra) which means one character will like you no matter what gender you are. You can tell a select character that you love them too. -Language Some characters say h*ll and d*mn. -Drugs There are things in the game called stimulants that can temporarily boost some of your stats. This could be percieved as drugs but their use is optional and truthfully I wouldn't have cited the game for it if I hadn't read the Common Sense Media reveiw. There is also a point where you meet drunken men on the street. -Choices Throughout the game there are decisions you can make that can send you down the light or dark paths. These conversations and subsequent actions could be imitated by kids. These choices are realistic because they invovle sacrifice, greed and other motives and consequences. You can fight evil or become it. - Educational Things There are various points in the game where you can (try to) solve logic and math problems. These can vary from identifyng number patterns to very hard logical problems. Overall this game is one of if not the best Star Wars games there are. It's story is great, the graphics are stunning and the music is wonderful. -Avatar Aang
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 15 years old Written bycross_breed August 24, 2009
AGE
11
QUALITY
 

Great Morality Based Game for Thirteen And Over

As much as I dislike the ESRB, they were right on the money with this rating. The violence is completely bloodless, and the sexual references are so undetectable, I didn't even notice them. However, the themes and moral choices can be considered mature themes, so I would not suggest letting anyone under eleven play this. As for the game in and of itself, I loved it, but then, I like talky games. If your kids want action get 'em Halo. This one is for people who like dialog driven and extremely talky RPG's with some action elements.
Parent of a 2 and 3 year old Written byZubalove December 4, 2009
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

Moral and ethical dilemas, excellent game play, and a wonderful story.

This game is one of the best action RPGs of its generation. It is, without much debate, the best Star Wars game produced. I won't get into a review here as you can easily get those details from IGN. However, it is very important to stress that the innovation the game presented was to have the story changed based upon the moral choices the player makes in game. Anyone that knows Star Wars knows the force has a light side and a dark side. This game allows your character to choose what side of the force you wish to represent. The choice isn't one big decision, but, like in life, decided by all the little actions and decisions you make along the way. The opportunity for a parent to do some moral and ethical coaching over the course of the game is enormous. Quite simply the question shouldn't be whether or not to let your child play this if they wish, but if they should play it, how can you involve yourself in their experience. In many ways, it is an antithesis to Grand Theft Auto. In this game, good moral decisions come at a cost (typically material) while poor moral choices are broadly illustrated as wicked and self-serving. Unlike other games, you cannot hide from your malicious decisions.

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