Star Wars: The Old Republic

Common Sense Media says

Play as Jedi or Sith in this story-rich, combat-laden MMO.

Age(i)

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

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The game has a lot of morality issues associated with the game. By acting in a certain manner, players can either earn Light Side (Jedi) or Dark Side (Sith) points. The Jedi pride themselves on peace, honor, and justice, while the Sith are devious, backstabbing, vengeful, and would rather kill than find a peaceful outcome. This means that by choosing your role in the game (Jedi or Sith), you determine what your morality is and if you are a positive role model or not.

 

Positive role models

It is up to the player to craft their characters and play them the way they wish. If you play as a Sith, players will show no mercy and kill without hesitation or risk developing a reputation for being too nice. The Jedis kill just as much, but those characters are not left with much choice and express regret that it came to violence. As you progress through the game, you will have dialogue choices that will determine how other non-playable characters will respond to you, what type of gear you can wear, or weapons you can use. Essentially, each player is their own role model.

Ease of play

There is a small learning curve, but the controls are relatively intuitive. Customization of controls and characters is available, and the learning curve mostly involves other elements of the game, such as crafting. All in all, this is an accessible game if you invest the time to learn it.

Violence

This is a game that revolves around combat, with hostile worlds attacking without provocation. Most of the violent acts are not seen directly on the screen -- there is no dismemberment or blood and bodies will disappear quickly. There is, though, a look of horror in the death masks of slain humanoids who will lay there with mouths and eyes open in shock. Players not only use lightsabers to hack at each other, but guns are also used as well as explosive devices. Those trained in the force can use shockwaves or lightning to stun and kill their enemies. One Sith quest requires the dipping of a skull in a pool of blood to spawn a quest boss monster. Space battles involve shooting missiles and lasers at other ships that, when damaged enough, will explode. When players are defeated in battle, their equipment takes damage (and will deteriorate over time anyway), but players will fall lifeless on the battlefield and can summon a medical ship to revive them.

Sex

There are comments about having sexual relations during the game's cutscenes (plot-driven pre-made movies that include created characters), with lines about having nuptial visits. As players interact with non-playable characters, dialogue choices come up and some of those can be a bit racy and flirty, even in the beginning phases of the game. Players don't have to choose those lines, but they are there.  In some of the cantinas, there are scantily-clad dancers showing cleavage. Character social costumes can run on the racy side and one of the actions available to characters is "club dance," which involves some suggestive gyrations.

Language

"Damn" and "hell" can be heard during cutscenes (the little movie pieces that drive the storyline), and the text chat has a censor on it to prohibit players from typing in stronger language. If the censor is turned off, typed chat can include much stronger language and imagery.

Consumerism

This game requires an initial purchase of the game and then a $14.99 monthly fee. While the "Star Wars" words only appear on transition screens (as players move from one area to another, which requires the computer to unload one area and load up the new area), this is a game based on a very popular license and is promoting it through this online game.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Cantinas (bars) are just about everywhere. The cantinas serve a purpose, though, and that is to allow for private conversations as well as to rest characters so that they will receive bonus experience points when questing (once players reach level 14/15, they will qualify for a spaceship that can also serve as resting quarters for characters as opposed to the cantinas.) There are also cutscenes (pre-made movies featuring your character that drive the story along) in which characters are drinking or are offered drinks.

Privacy & safety

Creates privacy and safety concerns: This is a massively multiplayer online game where players can communicate through text chat and have an option of turning off the censor. Players can progress to chat servers where the opportunity to exchange personal information is virtually unrestrained.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Star Wars: The Old Republic is a massively multiplayer online game (MMO) that requires the purchase of the game as well as a $14.95 monthly subscription fee. Players become classic characters from the Star Wars movies and not only quest and kill non-playable characters and monsters, but they can indulge in player-versus-player combat that uses weapons and magic, but no blood is shown. However, blood can be seen in a few other scenes. Players can choose to be a good and noble Jedi or play as a Sith, which means portraying an attitude that is arrogant, bullying, fear-inducing, and cruel. In addition to questing, players can also indulge in space combat and player-versus-player war zones. There is text chat between players that can become uncensored. The system requirements for the game are a bit beefy, so newer machines or older systems that have new components (RAM and video cards) are required to play the game.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • reading comprehension
  • storytelling
  • text analysis

Social Studies

  • cultural understanding
  • exploration
  • power structures

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • problem solving
  • solving puzzles
  • strategy
  • decision-making

Communication

  • asking questions
  • conveying messages effectively
  • friendship building

Collaboration

  • cooperation
  • respecting other viewpoints
  • teamwork

Responsibility & Ethics

  • learning from consequences
  • following codes of conduct

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Learning Approach

Support

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • reading comprehension
  • storytelling
  • text analysis

Social Studies

  • cultural understanding
  • exploration
  • power structures

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • problem solving
  • solving puzzles
  • strategy
  • decision-making

Communication

  • asking questions
  • conveying messages effectively
  • friendship building

Collaboration

  • cooperation
  • respecting other viewpoints
  • teamwork

Responsibility & Ethics

  • learning from consequences
  • following codes of conduct

Kids can learn about collaborating and communicating with others as they contribute to a team while exploring the sci-fi world of Star Wars: The Old Republic. This massively multiplayer online game requires kids to use reasoning to accomplish the quest-driven goals. There is a moral element to the game, where kids' decisions lead to consequences and ultimately determine whether players go to the "light" or "dark" side. Players can also create items by crafting and learn about buying and selling for profit. The Old Republic lays out quests and locations for you, which hinders your ability to feel empowered.

This Learning Rating review was written by Michael Lafferty

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

STAR WARS: THE OLD REPUBLIC takes place long before the age that formed the basis for the six movies. There are two factions, the peace-loving Jedi and the violent Sith, that are at odds and trying to control the galaxy. The player is cast into this turmoil, while retaining the choice of which side to fight for, or to tread between Light and Dark, equally. Just because a player is Jedi, though, does not mean they cannot be a Dark-Side Jedi, or a Sith can be a Light-Side Sith. The game has many fantastic worlds to explore, quests to undertake, with a different storyline for each of the four classes per faction (the factions being either the Sith or the Jedi.) Players can customize their character's looks and skills, take part in crafting, fight on the worlds or in space, and take on companions as well as join guilds to adventure with other real human players.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Star Wars: The Old Republic has bucked the story-doesn't-matter trend of MMOs by creating a game where the story matters a lot. This is one of the best, if not the best, story-driven MMO on the market. The graphics are glorious and the game bolsters its appeal with the lore and legend of the Star Wars license. While the space combat is not very good and is more arcade than anything else, the rest of the experience is well done: the crafting is intelligent, the player-versus-player battlefields are balanced for all player levels, and there is a lot to see and do. All in all, this is great fun.

Families can talk about...

Game details

Platforms:Windows
Price:$59.95
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Electronic Arts
Release date:December 20, 2011
Genre:Massively Multi-player Online Game (MMOG)
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Superheroes
ESRB rating:T for Blood and gore, mild language, sexual themes, violence (Windows)

This review of Star Wars: The Old Republic was written by

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.

Find out more

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written bymrblurr February 3, 2012
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

It's like WoW...but better.

Star Wars: The Old Republic (TOR) is an MMO game (Massively Multiplayer Online) that requires a $15 monthly fee to play. This fee may seem like a lot, but it guarantees a few things for the life of your game: 1. Content updates. You will get free content patches from time to time as well as regular system/server maintenance. This is a great deal that will balance the game, fix issues/bugs, and increase the playtime of the game by months-years. Look at it this way: A kid gets a $60 game every few months or gets a $50+$15/month (about $12 if you pay in 6 month bundles) will equal out if not be much cheaper than those other games, as well as it's on PC which means no new consoles to upgrade to. The game has some violence, but I highly doubt it's anything more than a 13-year old can handle. Not bloody or gory imo. Some swearing during cutscenes, nothing more than D*mn and Hell. and they are few and far between. As far as sexualily, there are conversations in which your character can choose to have sex with an NPC. This is not shown at all. Just hinted at. They walk off screen, fade to black, they come back on screen. Nothing shown. I didn't mark this because it's a decision option and depending on their decision it will or won't happen. I would say that if your child is playing in a guild with other players and uses a mic/headset to talk over skype/vent/teamspeak they are hearing more bad things than this game offers because you can't censor people. If you are on the line about this game just get it. It's free for a month, if you approve then good, if not, you at least get 1 month of playtime out of it, which is about what most kids spend playing 1 game these days anyway.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Teen, 16 years old Written byZambrak March 30, 2012
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

A Good Game for Mature Preteens

As a teenager (and a lifelong Star Wars fan), Star Wars: the Old Republic caught my eye the day it was announced. The game offers a truly incredible story, which players choose to be a class (profession, for example: bounty hunter, Jedi Knight, Imperial Agent, etc.) and develop a unique character. Along the journey, players will kill countless NPC's and other players . They can kill them just because they attack them, or choose to kill innocents, such as a small boy's father in front of the boy. Although the player can be Jedi or Sith, they can choose to make good decisions in dialogue that will earn them light side points, compared to bad actions, dark side points. Along the journey, players will have an option to romance NPC's, which can lead to kissing and off-screen sex. The player will develop a healthy relationship with them and can learn that there is more beyond having a boyfriend/girlfriend. The game offers an extremely long story, with plot twists and turns, classic Star Wars moments, and character development. Even though it is Star Wars, it can be violent, sexy, and display a bit of mild language. Even thought this the best game I have ever played (my opinion), it is clearly meant for older and more mature fans of Star Wars, compared to The Clone Wars. I think this game is good for any mature 12 year old, but it is ultimately your call. Keep in mind it does have a $15 dollar monthly fee. If you want to learn more information about this amazing experience, Google SWTOR.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex
Too much consumerism
Adult Written byTheotimus3 July 27, 2012
AGE
18
QUALITY
 

NOT FOR CHILDREN

Very inappropriate and impure aspects in dress and even gentlemens clubs. NOT FOR CHILDREN!!!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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