Star Wars: The Old Republic
By Michael Lafferty,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Play as Jedi or Sith in this story-rich, combat-laden MMO.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
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.
Morality determined by player;. Jedi pride themselves on peace, honor, and justice; Sith are devious, backstabbing, vengeful.
Positive Role Models
If you play as a Sith, you'll show no mercy and kill without hesitation or risk developing a reputation for being too nice. The Jedis kill just as much, but they're not left with much choice and express regret.
Ease of Play
Small learning curve; controls relatively intuitive.
Violence & Scariness
Game revolves around combat, with hostile worlds attacking without provocation. Most violent acts not seen directly -- no dismemberment or blood, and bodies disappear quickly. Look of horror in the death masks of slain humanoids. Players use lightsabers, guns, explosive devices, shock waves, lightning. One Sith quest requires dipping 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.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Scantily clad dancers show cleavage. Characters can "club dance," which involves suggestive gyrations.
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"Damn" and "hell" in cut scenes. Comments about sex. Dialogue can be racy and flirty. Text chat has option to prohibit players from typing in strong language.
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Products & Purchases
After purchase, this game requires a monthly $14.99 fee. "Star Wars" appears on transition screens. The game is based on a very popular license.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Cantinas everywhere. Characters drink in cut scenes.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Star Wars: The Old Republic is a massively multiplayer online game (MMO) that, after purchase, requires a $14.95 monthly subscription fee. Players become classic characters from the Star Wars movies and not only quest and kill nonplayable characters and monsters but also indulge in player-vs.-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 being arrogant, bullying, and cruel. In addition to questing, players can indulge in space combat and player-vs.-player war zones. Text chat between players can be uncensored.
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Star Wars: The Old Republic
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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 must make the choice of which side to fight for or whether to tread equally between Light and Dark. Just because a player is Jedi, though, does not mean he can't be a Dark-Side Jedi, and a Sith can be a Light-Side Sith. The game has many fantastic worlds to explore and quests to undertake, with a different story line 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?
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. Though 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-vs.-player battlefields are balanced for all player levels, and there's a lot to see and do. All in all, this is great fun.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how some games, with ties to other areas of pop culture, can create interest and drive sales for a brand such as Star Wars.
With MMOs, it's easy to get wrapped up in playing for hours without taking breaks. Parents can talk to their kids about setting reasonable and responsible time limits for playing games.
Families can also talk about how to differentiate between the violence seen in games and what happens (or should not happen) in the real world.
- Platform: Windows
- Subjects: Language & Reading: reading comprehension, storytelling, text analysis, Social Studies: cultural understanding, exploration, power structures
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: decision-making, problem solving, solving puzzles, strategy, Communication: asking questions, conveying messages effectively, friendship building, Collaboration: cooperation, respecting other viewpoints, teamwork, Responsibility & Ethics: following codes of conduct, learning from consequences
- Available online?: Not available online
- Publisher: Electronic Arts
- Release date: December 20, 2011
- Genre: Massively Multiplayer Online Game (MMOG)
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Superheroes
- ESRB rating: T for Blood and gore, mild language, sexual themes, violence
- Last updated: August 29, 2016
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