Star Wars: The Old Republic Review
Surrender your life to the Force.
There are very, very few games that I will play through to completion or give a good chunk of my time to. And that’s simply because I very rarely find a game that compels me to give it that much attention and care. So when I sat down to fiddle about with Star Wars: The Old Republic, I imagined that I would sit down for a few hours, tinker about in the game, finish some missions, and then move on with my life. Well, I think it’s safe to say that we all know how that ended.
From the very moment you launch Star Wars: The Old Republic, you’re sucked into this fantastic world that you instantly want to be a part of. You want to believe that you can dual-wield lightsabres or fling debris at your foes. You want to electrocute everyone who dares to challenge you. You want to travel into the deep realms of space and bring justice to alien planets. Everywhere you go, you either feel like a true soldier of the Republic or an instrument of destruction as the Sith Empire. And it’s a feeling truly worth relishing. Right from the opening scene featuring the iconic Star Wars text crawl, you know you’re stepping into sacred territory.
After drooling over the gorgeous opening cinematic, you get to choose your faction and one of nine races. You then choose one of four classes to play as – each class has an appropriate choice depending on which faction you’ve selected. After a few mostly cosmetic changes to your character, you’re ready to begin your adventure. My first character was a Jedi Knight, so I began my training on Tython in the ways of the Jedi. The world is beautiful, inhabited by fierce and tame creatures as well as the now feared Flesh Raiders who are attacking the natives as well as Jedi trainees. If you’ve played any recent MMO, the controls and interface will be very familiar. Even if you’re new to the MMO genre, the game gently gives you tips about how to play the game, and Bioware themselves have started releasing in-depth video guides for new players to follow. Once you’ve become familiar with the controls, you can pick up your first few quests on your path to being a seasoned player.
One thing I will remark about the quests in SWTOR is that they never feel monotonous or forced. Even though your initial quests will be of the fetch variety, it never feels this way, unlike other MMOs. A bonus is that as you’re progressing through on quest, you may inadvertently trigger a side quest that you can complete for extra XP. Every quest you is taken on through a conversation with an NPC, and it’s great that you actually get to have a conversation with characters rather than just hitting “Accept” on a quest. The hundreds of hours of dialogue recorded for this game really makes a difference, and the conversation wheel gives you a number of choices that can turn a conversation around at any time. In addition to providing a more engaging experience to the game, conversations with NPCs can also shift your alignment with the Force, so it’s worthwhile keeping a track on what you’re saying to people.