Greetings friends and strangers,
I am the enigmatic Rob-in-hood. I am here to take you on the journey of a world yet to be fully realized: the video game Star Wars: The Old Republic.
From what I have played thus far, it is a truly outstanding game. The opening cinematic is very outstanding as it starts off in a starport above a planet and shows a couple of jedi masters escorting a smuggler to a cell after he was caught trying to smuggle ancient sith artifacts. After one of the jedi feels something bad in the force, a huge fleet of ships come out of hyper space and begin firing on the starport. Right away, two sith warriors board the starport and attack the jedi in a very acrobatic fight. In the end, one of the jedi masters must flee while the other sacrifices himself. It’s a very beautiful cinematic, but beautiful cinematics are industry standard now. The cool thing about this game is that when you choose an allegiance, you are treated to another beautiful cinematic which highlights the strengths of whichever side you have just chosen. Again, the cinematics in this game are just icing. Fortunately, the game itself makes the icing look lame.
After choosing your class (4 on each side) and race (4 or 5 options within each class), you can customize your look. Now, I have to say that this was one of the coolest features I had seen from a new MMO in a while. While there are MMOs that allow you some changes made to your body type, few give you the option of making your character overweight. While that is not exactly a selling point, it was one of those ‘hahaha, that’s cool!’ moments. Now, if you’re going through the character creation process, I highly recommend you make a character that looks good. Most times when playing any MMO, you create a character and give little heed to his facial features. Some people get really into it, but for the most part, it’s something you can ignore completely. With SWTOR, however, if you created an ugly character during character creation, you will be looking at and suffering through your ugly character through every in game cut scene. Take from my experience … after 5 levels of watching an ugly character talk for you, you will regret not taking an extra few minutes to make him more to your liking.
After character creation is finished and you have a character you can stand to look at, you are treated by the lip curling sound of trumpets blaring as the wall scroll appears from the bottom of your screen and begins to relay to you the story of your character and his role in the world. You immediately are thrust into a grand storyline, depending upon your class, and all written directly towards the class. For example, smugglers start out with dropping off a cargo shipment and their ship ends up getting stolen. Bounty hunters are told one thing when they start … become notorious. Imperial troopers are on an infiltration mission. All class quests are very appropriate.
For the purposes of this review, I shall be relaying the tales of Robear, Imperial Agent. I started off on the planet of Hutta, a planet obviously run by the Hutt clans, and I am to infiltrate their clan and suggest they take up arms against the Republic. The game play is fairly standard to most any other MMO. Attack with enemies with powers, loot bodies, rinse, repeat. It’s a very familiar system. The main driving force in this game is the storyline. BioWare built this game around being a story-driven MMO and they excel in spades. Any quest you pick up is not a simple “quest giver tells you to kill 50 rats”, but is instead a treat of an interactive experience. Getting a quest puts you and whoever else is in your party into a cut scene where you can make decisions for what you respond to the NCP with. If they say “I’m injured and hurt”, you can call them a coward or you can offer to help them. Your responses don’t affect your quest (that I’ve seen), but they can affect your companion’s relationship with you, though, during the first 8 levels, that is irrelevant. There is a system in place that gives you light side and dark side points for your responses, but your light side and dark side points only affect social items and titles.
All in all, from what I’ve seen thus far, the game is well made, fresh, and extremely fun to play. It brings the addiction back into the MMO experience. And just so we’re clear, this is only the first part of my review. More to come next week!
For all those who are now enticed to purchase the game, you can order it here: Star Wars: The Old Republic.