Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Star Wars: The Old Republic

Star Wars : The Old Republic is the new Star Wars themed MMO from EA, and despite the fact that it doesn't really bring anything new to the table as far as MMO's are concerned, it's wicked fun.

The game opens with a pretty awesome video,which offers a basic introduction to the character classes as well as a broad outline of the universe you'll play in.After this,you choose your server,alignment,and then finally your character class which you then customise.

As it's a Star Wars game, my first character was the obvious Jedi. Like most multi-race MMO's, there are restrictions to which race can be which character class.

I went with human.

Each race also has a racial trait. Humans for example can rally their teammates while Miraluka can sense anothers force alignment. Twi'lek.......well,Twi'lek get a dance. Of course,these sweet dance moves do have a use, but they also relegate Twi'lek to the status of Night Elves of the SWTOR universe.

SWTOR is basic MMO fare as far as gameplay goes with the biggest change being that instead of an intimidating and yawn inspiring wall of text, you have actual voiced conversations with your quest givers.

You also get to choose your responses to what's being said, which as it happens......ends up with a very sarcastic Jedi in my game.

When you play in a group all your party members take part in the conversation, a simple automated dice roll deciding who gets to answer (smugglers get to be even more sarcastic than Jedi). These conversations can actually be skipped if you get bored, simply pressing space bar will fast forward the chat to your next answer option.

Another small, yet much needed change is that the quests you go on aren't "kill x amount of this enemy".

Whilst there is a bonus option to most quests for killing enemies connected to that piece of storyline, it isn't a necessity, and if you feel bored by running around slaughtering people who were (for all intents and purposes) minding their own business then you can skip the bonus and simply finish the quest.

The backgrounds and environments are well made and quite pretty, and from what I've seen so far......quite accurate to the Star Wars universe.

Coruscant for example is all city. The mini map and world map could have been made a bit more user friendly though - for example.........maybe being able to toggle on more than one search at a time?, but after a bit of clicking you do get used to it and I found I quickly learned how to use the maps.

Taking a leaf out of the Guild Wars book, SWTOR also has companions - NPC characters you collect along the way that you can group with in the absence of other players. The upside to having your own companions is that you can outfit them with higher level armor and weapons.

NPC companions can be a bit annoying at times though. My class companion - Qyzen Fess continuously gets in the way when I run up to loot a body, resulting in me clicking on him instead. I think he may be secretly starved for attention.

As in World of Warcraft, you are able to choose professions, called crew skills in SWTOR. I quickly picked the three that would allow me to create lightsabers and the associated mods for them.

The only issue I have with this system is that you don't do the actual crafting yourself. This is done by your companions. I felt it took away the feeling of accomplishment you usually get from creating your own gear.

It also causes some annoyance earlier on when you only have one companion, as you can't craft multiple items and end up standing around and twiddling your thumbs until your companion is finished their assigned task.

All in all, I'm finding Star Wars: The Old Republic greatly worth my time.

I've read alot of negative reviews (mostly because SWTOR feels like a "WoW Clone"), and as mentioned before, it follows the basic MMO recipe to the T and doesn't really try to improve on it.

It is good fun though, even if you aren't a giant star wars fan.

Definitely worth the buy.

This is a game I'll be playing for quite some time, and there's a lot of content to go through.....so until I find something game-breaking to lower it....this is my score.

8 / 10

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