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Star Wars: The Old Republic
PC



Reviewed on: PC
Developer:
BioWare / LucasArts
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Rated: "T" for Teen



CHEATfactor Game Review
by Joe Sinicki

   
view user comments (3)
   
User Rating:        6
   
Presentation: 6

Everything looks crisp and clear and should perform well on most systems. The visuals are reminiscent of classic Star Wars game Knights of the Old Republic, but much more cartoony.

Gameplay: 5

Underneath everything, The Old Republic is a Bioware RPG, and it shows. It's a remarkably character and story driven title. Blending both of Bioware's strengths, The Old Republic could be the MMORPG that entices players to jump into the genre.

Lasting Appeal:
5

From the quests to getting your own starship, there's plenty to do. What's really going to hold most player's attention though (at least it did mine) was how this feels more like the Star Wars we know and love than any project in recent memory.

Overall: 6
It's easy to throw the Star Wars name on a project and watch as it sells, but EA and Bioware have something special on their hands with The Old Republic. If you've yet to jump into MMORPGs, this is your ticket in.
CHEATfactor: 6
 
 
   
     

Like most gamers my age, I like a few predictable things. Energy drinks (though I'm trying to scale back -- honest), The Simpsons, and of course -- Star Wars. Hell, whenever anyone asks me about my political or religious affiliation, I always answer that I'm simply a Han Soloist. I've always been disappointed though that my love for Lucas' epic has never been fully translated into my other love of video games. Enter Star Wars: The Old Republic.

With the first MMO set in the universe of the holy trilogy, Bioware and EA have set their sights remarkably high, and for the most part, they've met them. The Old Republic feels more like Star Wars than any game I've ever played, and what's more -- it's an outstanding blend of MMORPG and action game elements that you're not going to want to miss.

First, let it be known that I'm not really an MMORPG kind of gamer. Sure, I've dabbled into games like World of Warcraft and Baldur's Gate before, but as a story focused guy, I was always left wondering what the big deal was. That's why I've got to give mounds of credit to Bioware for crafting an MMORPG that not only features a number of dynamic story options, but using those to keep me interested throughout my time with The Old Republic. Throughout the game, your party will come across a number of story sequences that require quick decision making from you and your entire party. The easiest way to describe this is by thinking about Bioware's stable of games, it's like they got some of my Mass Effect in their MMORPG recipe.

"...the conversation and story system feels flawed from the beginning."

 
   

Though it does add a ton of depth to the game, the conversation and story system feels flawed from the beginning. In a game like Mass Effect, you get to shape your character by making your own decisions, but here, you have to worry about what your squadmates are choosing as well. When one of these story sections come up, everyone gets to choose what they would personally like to do, and a dice-roll of sorts chooses what actually happens. Sure, it adds a bit of depth and strategy, but it can also be incredibly frustrating.

Take one of these moments for example when my party was met with a beggar accused of stealing. We had the choice to let him go free or slaughter him. Now, I tend to play games like this more on the good side, and I chose to spare the poor man, and let him go free, but as we all know, it's cool to be evil and we ended up slaughtering him. It's frustrating that I don't have total control over my character, and random decisions seem to have a huge impact on that.

From a gameplay aspect, The Old Republic feels like your standard, yet polished MMORPG. The majority of the game features traditional genre aspects, but Bioware has again given a number of tweaks to that established formula. In most MMORPGs, your quests are built solely on the needs of those giving them, but here your characters aren't one dimensional and are looking for more than just XP and loot, so all of the quests seem a lot more dynamic than in previous games.

The combat in the Old Republic is very different than what I've played in other MMOs before it. Here, you won't be simply grinding and group attacking enemies to gain XP, combat in The Old Republic is much more dynamic and action focused. You'll need to think more like an action or shooter game than your traditional MMORPG, and while that may anger some, it means a much more open game, and it's a lot easier for newbies like me to jump right in to.

"...it requires a bit of careful selection."

 
   

Throughout much of The Old Republic, players will travel the game's world's via star ships that are different to each of these characters and fully upgradable. On these star ships, you can hold up to six different companion characters to help you through your journeys. The catch here though is that you can only take one of the companion characters off of your starship at a time, and since each one has different abilities, it requires a bit of careful selection. Some are good at attacks, while others fill support roles -- and others are just wookies. The companion system is one of the aspects of the Old Republic I was most worried about, that I was going to have to babysit my companion, but I was pleasantly surprised that in most cases, they were able to hold their own.

The game's class system also does a great deal in making it feel so genuinely like Star Wars. Being such a fan of Han Solo, I immediately gravitated towards the smuggler class. Independent from both sides of the intergalactic struggle, and suave, the smuggler made me feel like I was able to truly control what was happening with my character more than any of the other classes. As the smuggler, I was always looking for jobs, and allies as opposed to merely feeling like I was carrying out orders like some of the other classes. Plus, the gunslinger speciality is pretty badass -- come on, Han Solo as a cowboy? I'm in fanboy heaven.

If the Smuggler feels like an even middle ground for the class system, the others often feel like more of a guided tour of the Star Wars mythos. The roles are clearly defined and meant for specific types of players, though there's a bit of room for experimentation throughout. Playing as either the Trooper, Jedi Knight or Jedi Consular aligns you with The Republic and your missions, and choices will be skewed towards that path, but choosing the Bounty Hunter, Sith Warrior, Imperial Agent or Sith Inquisitor alligns you with the Sith and allows you to be more of a prick in your choices.

One impressive aspect of The Old Republic's class system is that though there is a clear designation of what each character choice should mean, you're more than encouraged to experiment with your choices. Take the Jedi Knight and Jedi Consular classes, the Knight by nature is the more aggressive of the two, while Consular uses the more naturally relies more on the powers of the force and diplomacy to deal with issues, but throughout the game, you'll get more than enough chances to change your character and skill tree.

"...truly maximize just what your character can be by having you master a number of skills."

 
   

The real joy of The Old Republic's upgrade system is unlocking abilities for the master classes found within the game. These allow you to truly maximize just what your character can be by having you master a number of skills. For the Jedi Knight for example, it's mastering combat to the point of an art form, while the smuggler focuses on being street smart and being able to stay cool under pressure. The Master Class levels also allow users to unlock special abilities and items, like dual wielding light sabers and special armor, so there's a certain coolness and status to just seeing them in the game.

Perhaps what's most intriguing about the way The Old Republic is built is that throughout the game, you'll be faced with moments that make you doubt your choices in the game, so you never quite know who to trust, and as a result, your character is always changing. I for instance aligned myself with the republic from the start, looking to protect the people, but as I played through, I found that everything wasn't as it seemed, and I was forced to look at the world around me and my role in it. It's a really cool system filled with great writing.

There's no doubt about it though, The Old Republic is impressively built from start to finish. Each of the game's 17 worlds is constructed so remarkably and feels incredibly alive. From the Jawa tinkering with service droids in the corner to the Empire officers hasseling citizens, the worlds feel incredibly authentic, and lively. Now, I may not be a huge MMORPG guy, but I am a big Star Wars nerd, and I can honestly say that The Old Republic feels more like the Star Wars I love (read: not necessarily the Star Wars presented by Lucas), than any property I can remember in recent years.

It's easy to throw the Star Wars name on a project and watch as it sells, but EA and Bioware have something special on their hands with The Old Republic. It bends the rules of what a traditional MMORPG can be and embraces the cult culture of the franchise like never before. If you've yet to jump into MMORPGs, this may be your ticket in. 

 

CHEATfactor

Since The Old Republic is an online game, there are no cheats available for it, but I would absolutely love to be able to explore the depth of The Old Republic at my ease. There are a ton of customization options available if you're able to find them in the world of The Old Republic, and I'd love to have instant access to them. There are, however, Datacrons hidden throughout each world which give you a permanent stat boost. If you're a big explorer, seek these out when you finish with all of the world's missions.

Hey - this is the closest I'll ever get to being Han Solo, and I want to take advantage of it.




 LATEST COMMENTS / USER RATINGS leave a comment / rate this game 
 
 ReeO
 
Current rank: 1.5 Stars. Next Rank at 500 Posts.
VETERAN
User # 1043445
posted: 2/24/2012 5:39:49 PM -  Report Post              I rate this game   edit post

i have been playing this game since Early Acsess from a leveling point of view its quite a specail game with a class unique questing system.Like all mmo's online they have problems just i sence Origin does not seem to care i have the same issues i had at level1. and i now have 4 level 50s. The annimations the whole looks of the game is brilliant. Absoloutley wonderful graphics in full custom high spec. But the down side the ''Raiding'' side of this game in my opinion is a let down. Simply just too easy. i have done all the instances ei: Eternity Vault on hardmode/Nightmare and there easy.Not much in team mechanics involved like you actualy do get when playing on world of warcraft. Which i have been playing over 5years and i am a proud player on wow been raiding hardcore the past 3years and have accomplished alot of server firsts with my teams. For a game you want to play for an amazing adventure into quests and a wonderful scene, Swtor is a good choice. But if your like me looking for serious challenges with team mechanics Raids, then swtor is not a good idea. and best make sure your machine has the minimum 4GB RAM. otherwise you may find this game laggs. As many of my friends encountered.I'll maybe return one day when they add some desent-Raiding content thats got some desent mechanics.Until then im content raiding 10heroic wow.

 
 ralexpdx
 
Current rank: 1 Star. Next Rank at 100 Posts.
ELITE
User # 56945
posted: 2/22/2012 11:42:13 AM -  Report Post              I rate this game   edit post

I also agree with the review and comments by weedrk. I am old enough to have seen Star Wars (A New Hope as it's now called) in the theater when it premiered. I also have been playing and beta testing MMO's since Star Wars Galaxies. Star Wars The Old Republic, does things in an MMO that I didn't believe was possible. I am not a member of a guild and I generally also play it like a single player game, although I do occasionally team up with other players and frequently do missions with my wife who also is loving the game.

One of the amazing things about the writing and execution of the game, is I actually feel like my character is making a difference in the universe. Any MMO I've ever played, they tell you "You are the one!" or some rubbish similar, but SWTOR actually makes me believe it.

 
 weedrk
 
Current rank: 1 Star. Next Rank at 100 Posts.
ELITE
User # 391393
posted: 2/19/2012 2:50:57 PM -  Report Post              I rate this game   edit post

Joe, agree with your review and scores whole-heartedly. I'm having a blast in this game and I've been playing since a week after the North American launch. I'd like to point out that I have yet to join a guild, group with anyone or speak to any other player beyond answering questions in game that new players may have. I know other folks may ask, "why are you playing an MMO???", but parents of young children who also have full time jobs will understand why I would play that way. So, yes I'm playing it like a single player game and still having a great time! Just remember, there isn't a pause button and find a safe spot before you go afk, which only takes a second, anyway. Also, my 6 yr old son absolutely loves to watch me play the game since he's into Star Wars now. We get into some pretty deep (for a 6 yo) debates over whether the KOTOR era or the Clone Wars era is better.

Just thought i'd share that this is a game that is: 1)Star Wars, 2)set in the KOTOR universe, 3)has great story lines for multiple characters and 4)has a ton of content and is good even without playing it like it is a multiplayer online game. Thanks for listening and don't shy away from this game even if you don't have alot of free time like me.

 
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