The lights are on
One of the first purchases I ever
made when I got the original Xbox along with a couple duke controllers,
was a little game developed by Bioware called Knights of the Old
Republic. I was only ten years old at the time and it came out during
the prequel Star Wars era. That was my first Bioware game and was
immediately blown away with how great it was. It had an amazingly
crafted storyline, great gameplay and had one of the greatest twists in
video gaming history. It set up so many personal milestones for me as it
made me into the Star Wars fan I am today.
Eight years later,
Bioware has returned to it’s roots since they moved on to make Jade
Empire, Dragon Age and Mass Effect series. This time however, Bioware is
imprinting what they’re well known for and putting it into an MMO.
Before playing SWTOR, I would have told you that creating story driven
MMO would have been impossible, but after five years in development and
more than 100 hours of gameplay. Bioware Austin, has created something
that MMO’s have never seen before and making it one of the best MMO’s on
the market with great story telling, great gameplay and a remarkable
amount of content that is perfect for any Star Wars fan.
The Old Republic, there are eight classes you can choose from. On the
Republic side, you can choose from Jedi Knight, Jedi Consular, Smuggler
and Trooper on the Republic side and the Sith Warrior, Sith Inquisitor,
Imperial Agent and Bounty Hunter for the Empire. Most of the class’s
balance out and all of the classes feel equally powerful. Never did I
feel one class was overpowering and was stronger than the rest. What
separates each class is that all have different story arks.
playing the Jedi Consular in the Beta, I chose to play as the Imperial
Agent when I got early access to mix things up. What I like so much
about it is this feels like entirely new story material that I have
never come across before. Sure it’s fun to be a Jedi or Sith, but we
have already seen their back story in various games. Most of the classes
in The Old Republic take lit bits from the movies, but The Imperial
Agent is a different story and deals with Imperial politics and deals
with covert missions. It’s what got me coming back to the Agent because
of the new take on the Star Wars Universe.
of many reasons the Imperial Agent is so appealing is because it never
feels like your playing an MMO. The Old Republic is the first MMO that
is truly a story driven and barrows many story elements used in Bioware
games. One of the first things your going to notice right away, is that
The Old Republic is the first fully voiced MMO. Nearly every NPC
character in the game is fully voiced and highly compelling. Over 300
hundred actors were hired to portrayed more than 4,000 characters. It
would have been acceptable for Bioware to take a shortcut and the voice
acting be average, but all of it’s high quality. If you’re planning on
playing the Jedi Consular, fan favorite and frequently used actor Nolan
North, was hired to voice your class character. This all would have been
lost if the cutscenes in the game weren’t spectacular. Thankfully,
lessoned learned from previous Bioware help make it one of the best
parts of the game.
Any time you need to say something, a Mass
Effect pop up wheel and will guide to either the Dark or Light side.
This is very reminiscent of Knights of the Old Republic, as choosing one
side will change your appearance and how people perceive you. These
features aren't just for those who want to go solo. Anytime your working
in a group in a quest and you start a conversation. By random the game
rolls for who speaks out in your group, making the story more engaging.
quest structure in The Old Republic is broken up into two, Main and
side quests. Main quests are where are going to fine story quests built
into your class. Side quests mostly revolve around doing fetch quests,
which for the most are fun but can be boring for some. The Personal
class storylines are a lot more involving and you can tell that a lot
more went into developing the main quests rather than the side quests.
One of the first problems you’re going to notice
right way is the character creator. Normally a character creator doesn’t
have a big role in an MMO, but with SWTOR being the first story driven
this is an exception. There is simply a lack of options to customize
your character to your own personal liking. Now there are plenty options
to customize, from eyes, scars, color and etc. But the most important
characteristic like height and muscle tone were completely forgotten.
There are only four body classes in the game. You can only choose
between short and thin, normal, Tall and muscular or fat chubby person.
This is it hurts the presentation for in-game cutscenes since your
character is going to look the same as everyone else.
I have been
following The Old Republic for five years and believed they could
deliver on what they were promising. It’s in creditable that they
managed to deliverer on what they promised. Even though it took Bioware
Austin forever to develop the game, thankfully all the time spent made
The Old Republic so great. Unlike recent Star Wars games, The Old
Republic is by far the most complete game featuring an in-creditable
story, in-creditable replayability and in-creditable gameplay.
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