Star Wars: The Old Republic
A long time ago in a galaxy far, fa…well you get the idea. Star Wars: The Old Republic is the latest MMORPG by LucasArts, BioWare, and EA and is set to be released December 20th, though those who pre-order are able to get into the game early.
Star Wars: The Old Republic (SWTOR) is similar to World of Warcraft and other MMOs in the respect that you can pick a class and level up your character by doing quests and killing enemies. Each class has a different range of abilities, strengths, and weaknesses. For example, my level twelve Jedi Knight recently specialized into becoming a Jedi Guardian, whose talent trees specialize in being either a tank or damage dealer. A tank, for those of you not familiar with the lingo, is often your party leader and the one who takes all of the punishment while your more fragile classes do damage from a safe distance.
SWTOR is not your typical MMO. If I had to draw comparisons, it’s a cross between World of Warcraft and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (KOTOR), with elements from Mass Effect and Dragon Age thrown in the mix. Speaking to a quest giver for example doesn’t just plop a box of text on your screen for you to accept or decline, instead a cutscene ensues and you are often treated to a conversation wheel (similar to Mass Effect) that allows you to choose what you would like to say. Your answers will sometimes affect the approval rating of your companions (similar to Dragon Age) and grant you light or darkside points.
Combat is pretty fluid. While it doesn’t take on the instant action button press system as DC Universe Online, you’re not waiting seven years for your next action to begin either. Like World of Warcraft, you can add sidebars and an extra action at the bottom of your screen in the preferences menu. You’ll also have access to maps, a character sheet, a library codex, professions, and other standard MMO features. You can expand inventory space as well with a one time investment of credits.
Every class can have companions to aid you in your adventutes. What’s new is that you can send them to sell trash items and perform other missions to collect raw materials for your professions among other things.
Another cool feature is the looting system. When you loot one dead mob for their goodies, you automatically collect loot that belongs to you from the dead mobs nearby. There are also zones specific to your storyline. If you come across an area blocked off in red, that means your class cannot progress your storyline there. You also cannot enter those zones.
Overall, I am happy with my investment. The music, sounds, and gameplay feel like a true Star Wars game. The game requires a subscription fee, similar to World of Warcraft. If you’ve been bored with the MMOs currently out there or you just need to scratch your inner Wookie, give this a try. As always, check your system specs against the requirements before purchasing.
Final Verdict: 7/10