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We have collected 21 reviews of the Star Wars : The Old Republic. Experts rate Star Wars : The Old Republic 8.3/10. Reviewsor.com helps you find reviews, best prices, user reviews of the Star Wars : The Old Republic and PC games.
In terms of Massively Multiplayer Online games, there's World of Warcraft and then there's everything else. As a collective of subscription-paying gamers, WoW dwarfs everything else on the market, forcing other developers to create an entirely new way of making money in the realm of free-to-play games. So for Electronic Arts and Bioware to enter this competitive sector, they've got to have something pretty special in their hands. In this instance, they've got Star Wars on their side. Lightsabers, force powers, bounty hunters, and an entire galaxy of licensing combine with the leveling, grinding, questing, and looting to bring you Star Wars: The Old Republic. When you create your character, you'll have to choose between the Empire and the Republic, both of which have four classes between them. Jedi and Sith join Mercenaries and Bounty Hunters. Each class has their own story to play, complete with companion characters, starting planets, and a compelling reason to continue seeking out the Character Quests that move the plot forward. That's the good. That's the promise of drama and emotion and action. Where The Old Republic falters is in its execution of this promise. Remember, this is an MMO, not a tight Mass Effect campaign, no matter how similar it may seem.
No single reviewer could play through all eight of Star Wars: The Old Republic's unique storylines, and even the most dedicated players have only seen a fraction of what the game has to offer after its first month. Even if a person could do all this, the game will change significantly with the addition of content patches. MMO reviews maintain their relevancy for only a very short period of time. I took an interview with a BioWare representative while writing this to talk about the upcoming 1.1 content patch just to ensure that this review is as up-to-date as possible. Even then, it won't be long before the next patch comes along -- tweaking existing systems and adding entire new ones. The game that exists right now is a well-designed MMO, but players unfamiliar with the genre might find themselves lost as the game does very little to reach out to them. The fine details of its mechanics are poorly explained and difficult to figure out. That said, if you're willing to put in the work (and sometimes it does feel like work) TOR will provide hundreds of hours of satisfying game time for MMO fans of all kinds. The Old Republic offers something for everyone, whether you prefer to spend your time logged-in killing other players, cooperating with allies, or simply questing solo.
From the moment you first log in, Star Wars: The Old Republic puts you in the mindset of a star-hopping badass. The opening cinematic, where the Sith appear out of nowhere and reclaim Korriban, introduces you to the conflict between the Empire and the Republic. Then you choose which faction you're going to play for, and another cinematic sets the tone of your alignment. For Empire players, the focus is on power, control, and anger. The Republic cinematic portrays a need to take back what's lost through planning and tenacity. The cinematics are spectacularly compelling and make me wish Blur, the creators, were contracted to do a feature-length film. Then you're kicked back to a menu screen to create your character. The creator is quite flexible, with a wide range of customization options unique to each race, but you're limited only to strictly humanoid races and a few rather similar body sizes (males at least get a "fat" option – female characters don't even get that). For a universe with a vast number of established intelligent races of all shapes and sizes, this feels limited. You can't, for example, play as a Jawa or a droid.
As the opening crawl of each film reminds us, the spacefaring Star Wars tales we know and love don't occur in the far-flung future but, rather, in the distant past. It's appropriate, then, that Star Wars: The Old Republic does not represent the future of online role-playing games but a refinement of what has preceded it. Instead of opening a wormhole into an unknown dimension, BioWare has remained in the local galaxy, taking proven game mechanics and heightening them with the branching narrative and overall structure that have characterized the developer's output for many a year now. The result is an enjoyable massively multiplayer online game with knockout production values. The Old Republic's foundation is somewhat ordinary; what makes it great are the fine details that gild its edges. Many of those details should be familiar to anyone that's played a BioWare game in recent years, such as Mass Effect or Dragon Age II. However, The Old Republic owes less to past BioWare successes (including the related single-player role-playing game, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic) than it does to the MMOGs that have come before. In fact, the license and a few other elements aside, the first hours of the game might have you thinking: "I've already played this game."
I've spent the majority of my many hours in Star Wars: The Old Republic playing alongside a spunky Jedi Shadow named Kira, whose stealth and damage-based talent specialization neatly complemented my Jedi Guardian's tanking. When she wasn't backing me up in a fight, she'd often drag me along on missions of her choosing, badmouth me for some silly decisions I'd made, and helpfully run off to gather raw materials I needed to craft new lightsaber hilts. I've met few friends in MMORPGs who've been so reliable. "Kira, I love you, but your hat is absurd. I can't stand the sight of you right now." The thing is, Kira isn't human -- she's an AI companion character, and the way that she and her ilk are integrated into both my character's combat and storyline is just one of several aspects that set this ambitious MMO apart from its competition. It's not without its shortcomings, to be fair, but I've had more fun in The Old Republic than in most other MMOs over the last decade -- and I'm not even a diehard fan of the Star Wars universe. Rule the Galaxy By My Side "I started to think of Kira less as a set of complementary abilities and buffs, and more as something approaching a real person."
If you don't like MMOs, then you won't like Star Wars: The Old Republic. Despite Bioware's pitch that the game is "Knights of the Old Republic 3, 4, 5, and 6 rolled into one", based my time with the beta, TOR owes more to World of Warcraft than KOTOR. I sunk around 20 hours into my human Jedi Shadow/Consular before writing this preview. In that time I went from young Padawan on the reclaimed Jedi homeworld of Tython to Jedi Consular on my own ship with a mission set to take me across the galaxy. My character is now sitting aboard said craft at level 20 -- the same level I quit playing most of the WOW characters I ever created. However, I don't want to quit. I'd be playing the game right now if 1UP wasn't currently being slammed by the rush of games being released. As mentioned in the headline, TOR is basically WOW with lightsabers. That's an overly reductive statement but I guarantee it's one you're going to hear from disappointed KOTOR fans upon the game's release the Christmas. Do yourself a favor and stop listening to them now. Yes, TOR plays a lot like WOW, but that's a good thing for the most part. Combat in the game boils down to hitting numbers on your keyboard or clicking icons on a tool bar, watching the animation play out, and then triggering the next ability.
Does The Old Republic have what it takes when it comes to social play?Last year, before BioWare was busy breaking pre-order records and congratulating one another with carts of champagne, Star Wars: The Old Republic was a hard sell; an MMO that so stubbornly went against the traditions of World of Warcraft, it would take roughly $150 million and the general sanity of their QA staff to make.Its PvE system - a combination between MMO styled mouse-bash combat and basically Mass Effect - got it nicknamed a Massively Single Player title. The game has been marketed in a way that pushes the character-driven narrative so far out to the foreground it's difficult to see why you would consider playing the game in groups, and you can't help but feel sympathy pains for the team of scriptwriters who have had to churn out thousands of NPC dialogue trees.But the most recent demonstration of the game at gamescom 2011 is one reason it's always a good idea to bide your time until you see legitimate group quests before you judge an MMO for its lax take on group-work.The Eternity Vault is what BioWare has to say in response to criticism of the lack of social play.
Star Wars: The Old Republic's genre doesn't make it the greatest game to be demoing at an event like E3. It usually takes hours upon hours before one can even start to get a feeling for what an MMORPG can offer. Well, it was here at E3 and I played as a level 26 Imperial Agent for the short 20 minute hands-on demo. Here are a few thoughts from my brief time from the game: The demo takes place on Tatooine in the Judland Wastes and my character has the capability to ride a speeder across the desert, giving me a very brief tour of how large this planet will be for the game. It seems like a single planet is roughly three times larger than some of the basic zones in World of Warcraft. Even at level 26 there is still some rudimentary quest design in place. For this demo our group had to kill 20 Tuskan Raiders to fulfill one of the quests that was assigned to us before the demo began. Keep in mind, the demo was designed to give players a very brief and quick taste of the game so the next round of people could be shuffled in for their turn. I was never able to play the main quest due to my time limit with the game; I just kept killing Raiders instead. Having killed so many Raiders it gave me a chance to play around the with Sniper's abilities, such as deployable cover.
After being billed as a narrative-centric MMO and dubbed by the Internet "that massively single-player RPG", a traditional PVP system seems almost incongruous to everything BioWare has been working towards. But the PVP Warzone it's featuring is more traditional than not - which is something MMO conventionalists should be breathing a sigh of sweet relief over. To the traditionalists who worry about MMOs designing away social gameplay: don't worry, at least your PVP is still intact.Alderaan Civil War is an 8v8 Battleground on a planet that's become the target of political manoeuvring. This pits Republicans against Imperial forces in a head-to-head battle to decide the planet's future. Or so goes the premise in what's essentially that old faithful, Capture the Flag.Both sides are attempting to take command of Alderaan's enormous planetary defence cannon, a weapon that gives you domination over the planet's sky while under your control. Republicans and Imperial forces capture points from the ground before getting a hold of the gun - so right off the bat the game veers away from the typical arbitrary objectives and gives you something a bit more tangible to aim for.
Indulge me for a moment here. I am of a small group of people that has spent almost forty hours with The Old Republic, Bioware’s MMO based upon the Star Wars universe. Every hour with the game has been entirely addictive and entertaining. I’ve quested as a Sith Warrior, talked down to NPCs as a Jedi Consular, and walked the fine line between good and bad as a bounty hunter. With this much time invested in the game, you’d think I’d be tired of it. But I’m not. Understand this: I don’t care about Star Wars that much. MMOs have always been an exercise in frustration for me. Hell, I’ve yet to beat a BioWare game. But BioWare Austin has done a fantastic job maintaining my interest in what may be one of the best games of the year (should they reach their goal of a 2011 release). For those new to The Old Republic, this is Star Wars 3,000 years before Darth Vader came onto the scene. The battles between the dark and the light sides of the force are just as intense, and players constantly have to interact with their place in the galaxy. At its core, The Old Republic is an MMO in the same vein as World of Warcraft. Players can fulfill traditional MMO roles, such as healer, tank, or DPS-focused character, and they can do it with each of the eight classes and multitude of humanoid races.
It's safe to say 2011 is shaping up to be the year MMORPGs finally take a break from kneeling at WoW's altar, with studios making games that actually shy away from comparisons to Blizzard's big one. After seven years of trying to recreate World of Warcraft's secret sauce it's heartening to see a number of MMOs learning that the answer to developing a niche in the market isn't in trying to topple WoW by releasing a game that operates on exactly the same ideas.Rift's advertising campaign earlier in the year has been one of the most obvious attempts at unWoWing the market with its "you're not in Azeroth anymore" tagline. Accurate or not it at least shows how much the playing field has changed since mid-2000 when developers were chasing Blizzard's demographic like petulant teenagers following a touring band. Now we're beginning to see more games setting their sights on attacking the genre from some of the less common angles. BioWare's prominence in single-player RPGs is to thank for its stance on MMOs. They've professed their disappointment with the state of storylines in Massively Multiplayer games, whose epic plotlines tend to get demoted to quest-line duty or at best become padded out in a game's typically-ignored lore.
I dream of a world where MMORPG players aren't considered cretins; where fans of the genre haven't been occupying the bottom of the gaming totem pole since the days of Everquest. Instead we live in a cruel world, one where there's a rib-cracking riposte ready to be delivered whenever World of Warcraft gets mentioned. Even with the broad demographic that Blizzard has sucked in, the genre has an image of being as weird, insular and hardcore as it is tediously lazy in design. The MMO design standards have barely moved forward since WoW was first released in 2004, and those were standards put in place in the nineties by Everquest. It's not a genre that's been great at evolving beyond the basic treadmill levelling system.But in the last year MMOs have gone through a few structural and stylistic changes. Massively Multiplayer titles are beginning to experiment with tropes that typically you'd only see in other genres. Specifically, they're attempting to fulfil the 'role-playing' part of their namesake by developing narrative-led questlines and events. Don't worry about whether you're interested in MMOs. This is an incredibly interesting time to be watching their progress, regardless of whether or not you have a bias against them.
It's no secret that Star Wars: The Old Republic may be BioWare's most anticipated game. That, and 2011 is shaping up to be an unofficial, "year of BioWare" with three marquee titles coming from the studio: the aforementioned SWTOR, Mass Effect 3, and Dragon Age II. So far, all indications are pointing to SWTOR appearing at some point later next year -- at the worst, early 2012. The problem, however, isn't whether or not it makes it to store shelves in 2011; it's what condition will the game be in once we have it in our hands. If my recent hands-on session with the game is any indication, it's that we'll have a title with a lot of great ideas wrapped around an aging quest design. From the opening moments of the starting zone on Tython (the Jedi's starting area for SWTOR) as a Jedi Knight, my first couple of quests revolve around killing x-number of Flesh Raiders (hulking slimy beasts resembling something out of The Last Starfighter), or tracking down a series of Padawans who are trapped by said Flesh Raiders in the surrounding area. After some experience progression and then grinding through some similar quests, it all culminates with a showdown against an evil Sith apprentice who has taken up a residence in the nearby Gnarls Cavern.
"Immersion" is the watchword for this massively multiplayer Star Wars game. It not only applies to BioWare's heavy investment in storytelling and fully voiced dialogue--about which we've heard plenty--but also to more traditionally game-y segments of an online role-playing game such as this: the player-versus-player combat, as well as the gathering and crafting system. In a presentation on the game's crafting and warzones (the PVP arenas announced at the Electronic Entertainment Expo), BioWare bods Blaine Christine and Gabe Amatangelo explained how the number-crunching, stat-based heart of each would be concealed to maintain immersion. The crafting and gathering, for starters, have been designed to fit into the player's experience in a way that is credible with respect to the fiction. As Christine puts it, more or less, it doesn't make sense for a badass Darth Vader-like Sith to skin womp rats for a new pair of boots in between conquering worlds. And, so, the coherent fictional basis for crafting is the crew skills system. "You are the hero," says Christine. "You make your crew work for you." That crew is made up of the companion characters acquired as you play, with your spaceship as their base of operations.
Welcome to the Interrogation Room, GameSpy's signature pre-release game coverage format. Here, a GameSpy editor (typically one who's relatively in-the-dark about the game in question) grills his peers for information on a hotly anticipated game -- hopefully with more entertaining results than the typical boilerplate preview would provide. Will Tuttle, Editor in Chief: Now Ryan, as you know, I'm not an MMO guy, so I actually have a newbie-ish question before we get into this: Why didn't Star Wars Galaxies become the biggest MMO of all-time? I figured a Star Wars MMO would ruin billions of lives the world over, and give George Lucas enough money to finally claim his rightful spot behind fellow supervillain Adrian Veidt on the Forbes Fictional 15. Ryan Scott, Executive Editor: The short answer is that Star Wars Galaxies was a colossal train wreck. To name a few notable issues: It was extraordinarily buggy, the quest progression was haphazard and wonky, the character progression and crafting systems were incredibly hard to penetrate, and the game launched without any sort of space combat ("Star Wars without the stars or the wars," as one of my coworkers at the time called it).
So here's my problem with BioWare's ambitious Star Wars MMORPG: it sounds genuinely revolutionary in theory, but in practice, the practice I've experienced at least, there's nothing revolutionary about it. Let me explain.At EA's recent spring showcase event, I, once again, got the chance to play The Old Republic on servers whirring back at BioWare's Austin, Texas, studio. This time, I played as a level six Rattataki Bounty Hunter, one of eight classes that'll be included in the game. As all Star Wars fans know, the Rattataki are a near human species with chalk-white skin and bald heads. Asajj Ventress, a Dark Jedi from animated series The Clone Wars, is a Rattataki, for example (didn't have to Google Rattataki. Promise). Whatever level of Star Wars knowledge you have holed up in your head, you have to know what Star Wars Bounty Hunters are, right? The Sith Empire class is based on Boba Fett, perhaps the most-loved Star Wars character of all. Bounty Hunters kill for cash, usually while hovering ten feet off the ground and spraying flamethrower fire in Jedi faces. I'm detecting some puzzled looks. Boba Fett got swallowed up by that vagina with teeth monster in Return of the Jedi, remember? Sigh.
In its latest demo of The Old Republic, developer BioWare showed off the bounty hunter playable class, adding another archetype of the Star Wars canon to the lineup for its massively multiplayer online role-playing game. The bounty hunter class is inspired, naturally, by fan favourite Boba Fett. "We want the game to feel as close to the movies as possible," says Daniel Erickson, lead writer. Accordingly, BioWare pays tribute to another "fan favourite," Dark Jedi Asajj Ventress, with the Rattataki: bald, pale-skinned humanoid creatures and the first playable alien race to be announced for the game. Though BioWare is not talking about Rattataki race-specific attributes yet, the bounty hunter's special abilities--at lowly level six, at least--were laid out for us. The bounty hunter is The Old Republic's gadgeteer class; we played as a male Rattataki bounty hunter, packing the basic arsenal of bounty hunter toys. These included rapid shots, as well as missile blast and rail shots. We also had shocking electro darts and the obligatory flamethrower attack. At the other end of the toolbar sat "recharge and reload," a gradual health and mana restorative akin to eating or drinking in World of Warcraft.
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Working from the press room at GDC is a bit like manning a typewriter while you're sinking in quicksand -- you're sucked in just a bit further with each keystroke until you're completely immersed and unable to wriggle free. With that lovely imagery in mind, I'd like to give a big thanks to the good folks at LucasArts, who, even if it was just for about an hour or so, whisked me away from the madness-infused inner sanctums of the Moscone Center all the way up to San Francisco's lovely Presidio district for a short hands-on appointment with BioWare's highly anticipated Star Wars MMO, The Old Republicc. From the outset, it's evident that LucasArts and BioWare have a haughty task ahead of them. A massively multiplayer Star Wars universe was attempted once before with Sony Online's Star Wars Galaxies, which, while not a disaster by any means, was still met with mixed reviews from fans and critics alike. And what of the ever-expanding Star Wars universe? Doing justice to the franchise's positively epic canon in a massively multiplayer environment is surely no simple task, especially when faced against established MMO franchises such as World of Warcraft or even sci-fi focused newcomers like Star Trek Online.
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.
Story, story, story. We get it. Star Wars: The Old Republic is doing things no MMORPG has done before. It's fully voice acted. It's cinematic. It's got plot, dialogue, politics, drama, emotion, cutscenes - everything you expect from a BioWare role-playing game. But, let's be honest, at the end of the day, we want to twat people in the face with a lightsaber. That is the great boyhood dream. To feel like a Jedi, or, if you're a bastard, a Sith. To feel like you're actually wielding the Force. To feel all powerful, all knowing, all conquering.There is still some mystery surrounding Star Wars: The Old Republic. We've seen only snippets of the game so far; self contained missions designed to demonstrate its cinematic story credentials. Perhaps that's why there still linger questions surrounding what traditional MMORPG features it'll have. Chief among these is combat. Will twatting people in the face with a lightsaber be any good? Perhaps more importantly, will it be any different to twatting people in the face with a big sword in that other MMO? At EA's recent Winter Showcase event in London, BioWare lifted the lid on the game's last two yet-to-be-revealed classes and gave us some precious hands-on time with one of them. Answers are coming...
While it was announced just a week ago, we just got a chance to check out the new Imperial Agent class from The Old Republic in action. The new class can be looked at as a strategic assassin type of character, laying traps and using guile to take down enemies. The agent’s storyline gives players a view of the underbelly of the Imperial side; they live and work in the shadows and carry out the black-ops missions that may be too dirty for other classes. The Smuggler (on the Republic side) has a similar flavor, but the parallels don’t stop there. The Imperial Agent also utilizes a cover mechanic in battle and is proficient with ranged weapons. In our short demo of this new class, we saw some of the ranged battle skills that are available to the Imperial Agent. While infiltrating a factory on the planet Hutta, the agent pulled out a powerful sniper rifle out and quietly took down a few enemies from behind cover. In areas without any cover, the agent can use a stealth unit to escape detection and sneak up to silently take out enemies with a blade at close range.
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