Will Star Wars: The Old Republic finally challenge World of Warcraft?
The Force is strong.
There is no denying that when it comes to MMORPGs, World of Warcraft pretty much rules the roost. There have been many MMORPG games released in recent years, some good ones too like Rift and Guild Wars, but none of them has managed to take the title away from Blizzard. So when it was revealed that Bioware will be working on an MMORPG based in the Star Wars Universe, things certainly started looking interesting.
With the public beta launched, I played Star Wars: The Old Republic over the last two weekends and I must say that I’m impressed with what Bioware has done. It just might become the first true challenger to World of Warcraft.
So what is it that make The Old Republic so special? Obviously, the first thing that comes to mind is the awesome Star Wars Universe that already has a pretty big following. But that would only drive gamers to give the game a shot. It’s the task of keeping them that will be the most difficult challenge. Considering Bioware is behind SWTOR, I guess you can say that it’s in pretty safe hands. While they haven’t really done an MMORPG before, they do have a lot of experience creating super popular RPGs such as Baldur’s Gate and Neverwinter Nights. Not only that, but they have also created KOTOR which, arguably, is the best Star Wars game.
So, as I mentioned, I managed to play the game for a few hours and I’ve tried both, the light and dark sides. Everything from creating your character to entering the game is a fairly easy process and anyone with any WoW experience will be able to jump right into it. Obviously, this is not a review of the game so I’m going to stop here but let me say that after the first few quests, SWTOR feels very well balanced and engaging enough to keep you coming back for more.
EA, the publisher of the game, is wisely staying pretty close to WoW as far as pricing is concerned with the first month coming in free and subsequent months set at $15 per month with a bit of a discount for quarterly or higher period subscriptions. But pricing alone isn’t something that will make SWTOR succeed. It’s the combination of everything that I’ve talked about.
The Force, is certainly strong with it.