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.
G4TV Rating
5 / 5
  • Avg User Rating
    (151 Ratings)
    4.5 / 5
  • Rate This Game
Star Wars: The Old Republic E3 2011 Preview

Star Wars: The Old Republic E3 2011 Preview

By Jeffrey Matulef - Posted Jun 08, 2011

Star Wars The Old Republic

Apologies to BioWare fanboys, but I have to admit that I was skeptical of a Star Wars MMO. I never played Star Wars Galaxies and I had a hard time putting my finger on why the idea didn't appeal to me until the fine folks at Red Letter Media summed it up for me: lightsabers lose their impact when everyone has one.

For instance, in the original trilogy they were a rarity, wielded only by Jedi knights. By the time the prequels came out everyone and their mother had one. In an MMO, just any Joe schmo can get one, making the once-beloved weapon rather passe.

Star Wars: The Old Republic also has a Clone Wars-like aesthetic, which didn't help. The Tatooine area I saw looked like it was built of plastic sand and green screens. Resembling the reviled prequels over their beloved predecessors, The Old Republic makes a bad first impression.

It is a BioWare game, though, and they're notorious for making high-quality RPGs. They even turned the impressive trick of making non-trilogy Star Wars cool again with Knights of The Old Republic in 2003. So if anyone can make this tenuous concept work, it's BioWare.

Star Wars the Old Republic

According to the developer, the foundation of a compelling role-playing experience is exploration, progress, combat, and story. They claimed that lots of MMOs succeed at the former three, but BioWare themselves wanted to create a story-driven experience in this space as well.

To achieve this, each class has their own unique story in the Star Wars universe. From there, plenty of choices will affect your specific story. So you could play the game for 100 hours with a Jedi Knight, then start over as a bounty hunter and have a completely different experience. "We're giving players Knights of the Old Republic 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 in one MMO package," said the demo rep.

Like other BioWare hits, The Old Republic will feature moral choices. The one shown off today portrayed a Jedi Knight deciding whether to slay a defeated Sith Lord or spare him. The former obviously results in bloodshed, while the latter ends with him joining your cause.

Star Wars: The Old Republic

It also leads to some embarrassingly cheesy dialogue like, "It's a strange thing, saving lives instead of taking them. It feels right." It feels pandering, more like. Hopefully other choices won't be as blatantly black and white.

For better or worse, The Old Republic is the first fully-voiced MMO. Every class and every NPC will speak. From what I saw, most of the voice-acting was decent, but not up to the standard of Mass Effect or Dragon Age.

The dialogue operates almost exactly like in Mass Effect, with a wheel in the middle dictating whether your responses lean toward the dark side or the order of the jedi. Keeping track is a karma meter, letting you know at any time where you stand.

Combat is much as one would expect, with different attack options and abilities for lightsabers, guns, and force powers. Vehicles are also a major component, and trailer gave a brief glimpse at space combat which looked more exciting than on-foot action. Sadly, these sections were not available to play.

Elsewhere, Bioware is promising dozens of worlds, complete with many famous locations from the movies. We even get to see Alderaan thousands of year before it got blown up by the Death Star.

It's unclear who The Old Republic is supposed to appeal to. Its complex mechanics and the dark tone of its trailers seems to indicate an older crowd, but the bright, cartoony look, obvious moral choices, and hokey dialogue would appeal more towards a younger audience.

Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg and given BioWare's pedigree it's likely that the script will get exponentially more mature as it goes. It's certainly an ambitious undertaking at any rate and though I remain skeptical, I have to give BioWare credit for attempting such an arduous task. As Han Solo once said, "Never tell me the odds."

Comments are Closed

  • DiiGiiTAL

    Hope the dude who wrote this article reads these comments. I imagine his ego would compel him to.


    Posted: June 24, 2011 5:24 AM
  • SkyMarshall

    Wow, is this a movie-comparison or a MMO-preview? I don't mind negativity towards games, but this preview was just plain bad, not informative, pretty inacurate at certain points and just plain dumb.

    U mad bro?

    2/10 - Unworthy of G4

    Posted: June 23, 2011 12:55 PM
  • JJenson

    mmmm yummy fan boy rage - enjoy your cartoony piece of $#!? fan boys :)

    Posted: June 12, 2011 2:07 PM
  • JJenson

    joy, more cartoony wow looking crap

    Posted: June 12, 2011 2:03 PM
  • dblogan3829

    Thats just how it is on g4tv. Not one person has their own opinion about anything. everyone likes the same crap. I mean lets see some have an opposing point of view for a change and not be told what to say by the execs.

    Posted: June 12, 2011 1:57 PM
  • SeanIsAHero

    Really getting sick of people blasting the Prequel trilogy. Really? It's Star Wars. How can you not like it. Once you start blasting people for liking it then you just become another ignorant douchebag.

    Posted: June 12, 2011 1:07 PM
  • huddle

    Is that December 1, 2011 release date for real or what?

    Posted: June 10, 2011 5:06 PM
  • Xodi

    This reviewer seems more like a troll or someone who is a bitter drunk and decided to write this. I don't get it. Its called a preview, not a "let me tell you why I don't think this is going to be a good game". Piss off dude and learn some writing skill. And maybe in the future lets not piss off people who are potential fans of your articles.

    Posted: June 9, 2011 7:00 AM
  • L.A.Hague

    Please, get Leah on Feedback to talk about this game. The guy who wrote this doesn't even have an explanation for the graphics which were chosen 2 years ago. A MMO Person should review/preview MMOs. Simple as that.

    Posted: June 8, 2011 6:50 PM

    If you were skeptical of a Star Wars MMO and have never played galaxies, why then didnt you at least take the 2 week free trial and play a little before sticking your foot in your mouth. Also, why wasnt this assignment given to someone who had either played galaxies or the TOR hands on demo from last years e3. Its like asking a virgin to write an article describing sex, without first hand knowledge its all just second hand gossip.

    Posted: June 8, 2011 3:13 PM
  • CanadianShield

    Yikes. Well, he told us nothing anyone with internet didn't know before (moral choices, space combat, length of story). Also if you think TOR looks like Clone Wars, you need your damn eyes checked! It's stylized sure, but not even close to the cartoon version of Clone Wars whose style was directly lifted and put into CG from the cel animated series.

    Posted: June 8, 2011 3:12 PM
  • Chrispetersen2893

    Ok I understand if the game was bad to say something but to honestly just spend the whole time complaining about how you like the original trilogy better is a waste of a preview. I have read quite a few reviews on this site and usually they show both sides of the coin. This preview makes it look like the game is crap from the get go and there is nothing appealing at all. So maybe next time G4 gets someone to preview a game it should be someone who will actually note both the pros and cons and not just their negative opinions.

    Seriously though go troll about how jedi have lightsabers somewhere else thats the way it is.

    Posted: June 8, 2011 3:11 PM
  • Soelus

    "So you could play the game for 100 hours with a Jedi Knight, then start over as a bounty hunter" This goes along way in forming my opinion!

    Pointing out mechanics and playstyle of a game doesn't make Jeff's preview biased/negative. It seems to me that to many of you so what this game to be epic, that you refuse to hear anything that would give reason to be wary of the game. I love Star Wars IP stuff and Bioware is an amazing company. But I won't be blinded by them.

    Posted: June 8, 2011 3:09 PM
  • JohnM79

    Aren't Previews to be about what the writer has learned about the game? I'm not understanding the need to interject this negativity and mistrust over an unreleased product. This isn't because it's Bioware or Star Wars, either. I would ask the same of any product being previewed in this manner. If this were a REVIEW of the final game, I could understand. And lets also make something clear. In the beginning of 'Galaxies', NO ONE could be a Jedi or Sith. You had to work a very long and at times difficult path to have a force using class open for your character. Becoming a Jedi/Sith was the ultimate reward in the game. But many people complained about this. Eventually, SOE gave in. THAT is when the game went south. So don't blame the game for what happened to Galaxies. Blame it's user base. With SWTOR, it's set in a time in the SW universe where there were tons of Jedi/Sith running around. I hope more people understand this.

    Posted: June 8, 2011 3:06 PM
  • NinthBatter

    meh I'm not too worried about this guy's impression(I'm hesitant to call this a review). He's a freelance writer so it's much more likely that G4 hired him just because of the sheer scope of the convention. But since SWTOR is a high profile title I'd rather have seen a article by Leah Jackson or Casey Schreiner(I know he doesn't write articles but I'd really like to see his perspective on things). Really any of the regular G4 MMO or RPG article writers would have been better that Jeffrey here.

    Posted: June 8, 2011 3:05 PM
  • SanguineSphinx

    Maybe if he hadn't said things like, "for better or worse, this will be the first fully voiced MMO" the bias wouldn't be so obvious. Seriously? Fully voiced is clearly, unarguably better in this situation.

    Posted: June 8, 2011 3:01 PM
  • Aaron82

    "Hopefully other choices won't be as blatantly black and white."
    You've never played a bioware game I take it?

    Stop messing with the previewer guys.

    Posted: June 8, 2011 2:38 PM
  • coolcoollo

    coolcoollo's comment is abusive and has been removed.

    Posted: June 8, 2011 2:35 PM
  • Dynamite7673

    I'm fine with unbiased reviews but this was negatively biased from the start. Not very good journalism. It's like asking a prison inmate with a life sentence to review his sentencing. YUCK!

    Posted: June 8, 2011 2:17 PM
  • Joeweeno

    I'll try not to be too judgmental here but this preview seems pointless and obviously rushed. I understand a game not giving a great first impression, but this is an MMO. It's not about first impressions, it's about a persistent world and long term gameplay.

    I don't want to belittle this reviewer's opinion as it's difficult to write about such a large game with so little experience with it. I do, however, wish that he focused on game features rather than art style and his personal opinions on the IP before even touching the game.

    Again, I really don't see the point of this preview.

    Posted: June 8, 2011 2:15 PM