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Star Wars: The Old Republic

We Get A Deep Look Into Ranged Combat

While in town for GDC 2010 last week, we took a trip to the Persidio in San Francisco to visit our friends at LucasArts. Once there, we took some more time with the upcoming MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic. For those of you in need of a quick refresher, you can click here to check out our previous preview coverage. The Old Republic is in development over at BioWare Austin and EA and LucasArts are teaming up to publish the game.

The demo that we had a chance to play followed a Trooper named Jastor within the Republic who’s part of the elite Havoc Squad. Our job was to help quell a Separatist uprising on Ord Mantell (the junkyard planet) before things get too out of control. A highly populated area called Mannett Point is being threatened by way of a massive ZR-57 bomb that will kill many if the Separatists aren’t stopped. The demo’s focus on ranged combat was a great way to see how the companies involved planned on tackling the hurdle of making it fun.

Starting off, our first objective was to find our commanding officer and squad member Wraith who was already inside the base. On the way, our first battle ensues and we get a taste of the Trooper’s ranged combat. The base attack Hammer Shot is a couple of blaster shots from the rifle equipped. As we attack and build action points, the other options become available including Full Auto, a rapid fire that shoots until the action points are drained. The most effective off the attacks for us was the Rifle Grenade, an explosive blast that has an area of effect against the enemies. The Sticky Grenade was great for hilarity sake as it allowed Jastor to toss an explosive device on an enemy and watch them run in terror as they blew up. Last but not least was the Shock Strike, a melee attack that knocked an enemy down and allowed you to get in a few cheap shots.

Upon finally meeting Wraith and having a few bits of conversation, we found out where the bomb was and headed off to disarm it. Moving from outside to the interior, we had a chance to take on more enemies and try some combos. The most effective strategy came with tossing a Sticky Grenade onto a Separatist soldier and, as he ran, opening fire with the Hammer Shot. The two worked in a very deadly way together.

As we got to the bomb and disarmed it, we pissed off a good number of Separatists and had an all-out super battle on our hands. There was even a battle droid in the mix. Being a ranged class going up against a mix of both ranged and melee required some strategy. We made sure we never stopped firing the basic Hammer Shot and added a good mix of the Rifle Grenade and Shock Strike.

The Trooper class cannot take cover like the Smuggler can, but players can still run behind stuff to get out of fire—although NPCs will follow. After a good hour with this ranged combat, it’s refreshing to say how active it felt. In the past, a lot of ranged combat didn’t feel much different that its melee counterpart in MMOs. BioWare seems to be cleaning up a lot of that, and while it’s still nowhere near a real-time shooter, people who may be turned off to MMO gameplay may yet still have fun with Star Wars: The Old Republic.

  • Awesome.  I'm glad they're trying to take this MMO where others haven't achieved as much with.  Can't wait for The Old Republic.

  • I hope they make another single player KOTOR. Like, on PS3 or something.

  • Though this looks great, I don't care for the cartoonish looks. Give me KOTOR III and I'll be set.

  • Yo this game will be amazing (if they make it the right way). Any KOTOR game was great, so to base a MMORPG off of that is a great chocie of star wars games. I hope Old Republic will be a smash hit nad I will deff save my money to get it haha. *** money !!!

  • I hear the angels everytime I think of this game

  • kotor can go mmo for all i care but what i really need is jade empire 2

  • Looking forward to it.

  • sound like mass effect but more rpg than shooter instead of the other way around

  • I'm with Dave. Name the target so I could have a chance at Beta on any class.

    Really getting excited about the possibilites on this one. Bioware has a great reputation to uphold, but they also have the great reputation of the first two KOTORs to uphold. and from the looks of their website at swtor.com , I think that Bioware is delivering well so far on their promise to make this game highly story-oriented.

    Keep up the reports Game Informer. We are drooling heavily for even any leaks of rumors about information.

  • What I really want to see is a game like Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. I loved that game. I still love that game.

  • I wish they would make a KOTOR 3....... Please????????

  • like half of the other people commenting, i am ready for kotor 3, i know its probably not coming, which makes no sense, do they have any idea how many people are waiting for it?! im remembering a article in an issue awhile back about the most wanted sequels, and kotor 2 was on top, assassins creed was number 2! how does number 2 get a sequel and number 1 gets left out in cold?!

  • Dude! I will so look forward to playing this if it ever comes out on Mac (which I really hope it does)!

  • Man I cannot wait for this. Give me something else to do other than WoW.

  • bounty hunters ftw