Star Wars: The Old Republic - PC

Star Wars: The Old Republic
Game Description:Embark on the most epic Star Wars experience to date in this story-driven MMO set during the time of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. Fight your way across the galaxy as a Jedi, Sith or various other Star Wars archetypes and characters, and encounter countless friends and foes along the way in Star Wars: The Old Republic. Experience the expansive Star Wars universe like never before thanks to the SWTOR's full voice acting, an MMO first.
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E3 2010: Star Wars: The Old Republic Preview

E3 2010: Star Wars: The Old Republic Preview

By Kevin Kelly - Posted Jun 17, 2010

Star Wars: The Old Republic

What We Already Know

BioWare wants to erase any memory of Star Wars Galaxies from your mind by launching a massively multiplayer role playing game that plunks you down right inside the pre-movies Star Wars universe, leveling up as a Jedi, a Sith, or a myriad of other choices. It's the world of Knights of the Old Republic, but a lot bigger and with a lot more options.

What We're Seeing Now

For the first time, we've finally been able to actually let loose inside this game instead of just watching trailers and hearing about their plans. But imagine someone says "Okay, you have a few minutes. Play through World of Warcraft and sum it up." How would you do it? Your brain would explode. There's just too much to cover. Star Wars: The Old Republic is no different, although you're going to find that the comparison to WoW is very appropriate.

Star Wars: The Old Republic

BioWare and LucasArts revealed a lot more information about ToR this time around, and they have a slew of videos to go along with that info. Players now get their own starships in the game, and they aren't just little two-seaters. These are multi-room spaceships that will serve as your base of operations. Alliance, er … I mean Republic players get a Corellian Vanguard-class light corvette, while the Empire starters get a Fury-class Imperial transport. They were tight-lipped about the customization of these ships, but I imagine they'll be letting you play with them in some manner. Although it's very doubtful that you'll be engaging in combat in them.

They also showed off the level of customization in the game with a video that shows a bounty hunter leveling up all the way into top tier armor and weapons. By the time you get that far into the game, your character is bristling with enough hardware to make Boba Fett cringe. There are "thousands" of different ways to customize your character in the game, and you'll find wearables galore. In our brief play through alone I must have found 20 different things to wear, including a Bantha hide vest. Which might be the cutting edge fashion across the galaxy, but I can't imagine it smelling very good. I wonder if they have Tauntaun pants in here somewhere.

E3 2010: Star Wars: The Old Republic Preview

They also stressed that you can play the game solo if you want, but that at the heart it is a multiplayer game. They want you to team up and go on raids, but it's nice to know you can go rogue and be a lone wolf if you like. They also want it to be a visceral MMO, where you can feel the lightsaber blaster deflections and see the sparks dive off the blades as they clash. They've also implemented a cover system, the first of its kind in an MMO, which is one of the Smuggler-class key abilities. You'll definitely be glad its there as you start taking blaster fire. More on that in a minute.

There were multiple characters to choose from, but I choose to play at the Sith Warrior and the Smuggler, both of which were in their starting zones. The Sith Warrior is at the Sith Academy (I wonder what the admissions tests are like) where he is first instructed to seek out a warblade in a nearby tomb, so he can toss away his Sith practice blade. It might be meant for practice, but it certainly deals out damage fairly well. Characters you encounter can be spoken to via a Mass Effect style conversation wheel, and your responses can range from polite to downright rude.

Display-wise, the game looks like any modern-day MMO. You have your ability/spell slots, health indicator, mini-map, and so on. If you've played an MMO before, it's very intuitive. We didn't start at level one (my Sith Warrior was already a level two), so I'm not sure what sort of a tutorial you'll have, but I imagine they'll put something in for first-timers. The quest log and map (which shows quest locations, thank Yoda) are handy, but we didn't get to dive deeper into the ability trees or anything. In fact, clicking the Ability icon brought up an onscreen message that said "Requires Advanced Level." At least our Warrior already had Vicious Slash (a very powerful sword swing) and Force Charge (a leaping forward attack that does extra damage). You can also use Channel Hatred to add health if you're ailing. Mmm, good old hate.

Sith don't use mana, instead they build up Rage during combat that allows them to trigger their abilities. Non-Force powered characters just use Energy. You also have access to a "Call Shuttle" ability that takes you back to your linked area, much like the Hearthstone in WoW. In fact, everywhere you look there are nods to the mmorpgs that have come before. Not that it's a bad thing, because why invent the wheel? If someone told me "Hey, we are taking World of Warcraft and putting a Star Wars skin on it", I'd be happy with that. It's freaking' Star Wars, after all, without the dancing Wookies.

I took my Sith Warrior through his paces, cutting down dozens of K'lor'slug Broodlings and Foragers as I raided the tomb for my warblade, and picked up a couple of sidequests in the process. There were some treasure hunters in the tomb who needed clearing out, and I also blew up a ton of slug eggs for my compatriots. Along the way I netted a bunch of items, including upgraded armor and slug parts, but the real prize was the warblade, which is a big improvement. According to BioWare, you'll be sent on an early quest to acquire your lightsaber as well. Sadly, I didn't have one. That warblade is basically a slightly amped-up sword. They're also considering the ability to have a Sith wield both a blaster and a lightsaber, though probably not at the same time.

I didn't spend as much time with the Smuggler, but quickly noticed that she has a Cover ability. When you've targeted someone or something, you can activate that ability to hide behind a rock, a tree, a wall, or basically anything that offers cover. This keeps her from taking fire while firing out with her blaster, and you'll take much less damage this way. You'll see little green silhouettes of your character pop up behind different objects, indicating that you can take cover there. It felt foreign at first, but you'll quickly adapt to it and be thankful it exists.

There's a lot more to this game, but so far I'm extremely impressed with what it offers. I swore I wouldn't get addicted to another MMO after I spent a ton of time in Warcraft, but it looks like I'm going to have to forget all about that promise to myself so I can jump into George Lucas' sandbox. Goodbye, free time.


Comments are Closed

  • T3B7Y4

    i've never played an mmo before but my friends have and ive gotten mixed reviews but im definitely gonna try this and dcu online they look awesome

    Posted: June 24, 2010 5:03 AM
  • DeadCitizen

    You guys missed a small point that Bioware said. Each individual class in the game gets a different starship. What they showed is that the Jedi class gets a Vanguard-class light corvette and that the sith class gets the Fury-class transport.

    Posted: June 22, 2010 9:56 AM
  • 7331Dude

    nice, goodbye WoW, I won't rly miss u.

    Posted: June 21, 2010 4:27 PM
  • Flagg

    Thanks. I cant say anthing other than this because it keeps warning me about profanity. FYI I didn't type a single swear word or slang for one. Unless "SITH" is flagged.

    Posted: June 19, 2010 4:00 PM
  • incantator

    The byline is missing. Who wrote this article?

    Posted: June 19, 2010 2:47 AM
  • ABCgum64

    there goes my community service

    Posted: June 17, 2010 6:17 PM
  • Gbuent

    I'm not a gamer, much less an mmo player, but I can't wait to join this online game! I'll be wasting alot of time in there.

    Posted: June 17, 2010 4:38 PM
  • Ra3000

    This reminds me of KOTOR but with people thrown in

    Hmm wonder why Bioware can't let go of companions in their rpgs; I get that it adds to the plot but c'mon I don't need them with me every where I go especially when i have real people to play with.

    Posted: June 17, 2010 4:11 PM
  • debacol

    Oh god my wife is gonna HATE this game. I can't wait for it!

    Posted: June 17, 2010 3:58 PM
  • flunkorg

    I can easily see my self playing this on a regular basis (Don't think my gf gonna be to happy about that one do) Anyway, definitely gonna be a jedi, why? Because i love saving kittens from trees...

    Posted: June 17, 2010 3:19 PM
  • Tylerbear

    while i don't think i could break away from WoW, SWTOR is a must play for me. i hated SWTOR when i first started to hear about it and perhaps i still do, a little left over anger from the NGE in SWG. btw i'll never forget that game no matter how good any Star Wars MMO is. but over the past few months and now this news at E3, my heart's fire for a Star Wars MMO has been rekindled, i feel the same way i did when Galaxies was in developement. a sense of anticipation i haven't felt in many many years. being in this deep depressed state few things stir the stillness in my heart, SWTOR is one of them so too is the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 phone, i know it's odd that these two things would give my bleak future view a ray of light but they do and i will cling to them with all my hope that i may rise from this cesspit and be a normal functioning human being.


    Posted: June 17, 2010 3:06 PM
  • TheDfresh

    Cannot wait for this game. going bounty hunter all the way.

    I'm TheDfresh and this is soon to be my favorite game.

    Posted: June 17, 2010 2:21 PM
  • crocodilius

    so bet it...Jedi...*ZZZTTT*

    ps: you spelt wookiees wrongly.

    Posted: June 17, 2010 2:03 PM
  • hoof_hearted4

    finally an MMO i wanna spend money on!, hope they have a life time package

    Posted: June 17, 2010 1:19 PM
  • KitFisto94

    Don't you mean Sith Warrior, not Sith Trooper?

    Posted: June 17, 2010 1:09 PM
  • Maylox

    Sith Trooper? Did ya mean Sith Warrior? Just a small nit pick. Otherwise a good read.

    Posted: June 17, 2010 12:38 PM
  • Maylox

    Sith Trooper? Did ya mean Sith Warrior? Just a small nit pick. Otherwise a good read.

    Posted: June 17, 2010 12:33 PM
  • rugggg

    I'M WAY past excited for this game. I simply cannot wait for it, like BIOWARE, we need a darn beta NOW.

    Posted: June 17, 2010 12:22 PM
  • JeriKu

    This game looks fantastic! After my World of Warcraft addiction I promised my wife I would never play another MMORPG but I may have to break that promise for this game. The only thing keeping me from doing so is not knowing what type of end-game content there will be.

    Will we see raids per-say, where more than 10 people will get together for some PVE action?

    Posted: June 17, 2010 12:10 PM
  • unseen_enemy

    amen. so frekaing excited bout this game

    Posted: June 17, 2010 12:07 PM