One of the hottest games to come out of 2011 was Star Wars: The Old Republic (SWTOR). This MMORPG from BioWare and Electronic Arts was long-awaited and sure to please the Star Wars or MMO fan. With a game this big, it’s hard to put everything there is to say about it into such a short and concise review but I will attempt to cover the basics to help you determine whether or not it’s right for you.
I’ve been waiting for the game since I first heard they were going to make it and I’ve been playing it since beta. I’ve been writing about it for a very popular SWTOR fan site and every day of my life for the past 12 months or more has been devoted to SWTOR in some way. This is not to say I am a biased fan – in fact, it’s quite the opposite. Since it is my job to research, write and report on the game, I am required to see all sides of it with an objective eye and pass this on to the readers and fans.
While it is not without its faults and bugs – like any new game will have – all in all, it is a very good game. It’s well-rounded, with all the features you expect in an MMORPG but with the added storyline factor like no one but BioWare can do.
From the very start, you will be impressed with the graphics in SWTOR. It looks fantastic, the character customization has many options for you and once you enter the game, you will find beautiful worlds, amazing scenery and creative interaction. The game is beautiful – to a fault for some people, as the graphics prove to be too much for certain systems. With some minor tweaking, you should be able to adjust your settings for smooth gameplay, however.
Story is the real meat and potatoes of SWTOR. It’s what BioWare has going for it and what makes this MMO different from so many other similar games on the market. The unique storyline combined with full voice acting like never before done in a video game and the turn-based story choices with light side and dark side options and consequences make this game like a book or movie come to life that you get to experience first-hand.
There are some go-here-get-this quests like any MMORPG but for the most part, the mindless farming quests are reduced in SWTOR. The class quests that directly affect your personal storyline are the most interesting but still, all the quests have a point and a story which adds to the overall gameplay.
Replayability is high with SWTOR because no two characters are exactly the same. Each class has a unique story of their own and the choices you make in the game ultimately affect the outcome of your story. You could play the exact same class, specced the exact same way but make different choices in your storyline and still come out with a completely different gaming experience. This makes it more appealing to play various alts.
Pros and Cons
Just like any game, there will be parts that you like and parts that you don’t. It’s rare – if not impossible – that any game will suit every gamer completely. Some benefits to SWTOR are the great graphics, the unprecedented storyline and the relatable characters and Star Wars plot.
Some downsides to the game are that there is no structured tutorial and you have to figure many things out for yourself. Some important decisions made early on- like which Advanced Class to choose- will not be so clear to the new player and mistakes are irreversible.
Another con is that SWTOR does not have add-ons, macros, customizable UI or other features like this that many MMORPGs have but it is possible that the game will allow it later on- once it’s been out longer.