Today is the day everyone has been waiting for as the long awaited Star Wars: The Old Republic releases all over the world. Since its reveal back in 2007, a lot of gamers are already proclaiming that BioWare’s The Old Republic will topple the World of Warcraft by Blizzard for MMORPG supremacy. After spending almost a week playing The Old Republic via the game’s early access, there are a plethora of similarities that are borrowed from every MMO out there, specifically World of Warcraft.
While it may give gamers the impression that The Old Republic is a clone of World of Warcraft, there are a lot of new things in The Old Republic that will make it stand out on its own. The new features that The Old Republic has to offer will be something that will make every gamer out there that loves MMO games purchase Star Wars: The Old Republic. Lets take a look on what’s HOT and what’s NOT in our review.
All Quests Have Voice Overs
Players who are annoyed in reading endless text from quests in World of Warcraft or any other MMORPGs out there such as Rift will be pleased to know that The Old Republic will offer fans of the genre the ability to simply listen from the quest giver instead of reading through it. Back when I used to play World of Warcraft with friends, one of the things I hated about the game was reading the text non-stop while questing. With quests now equipped with voice overs, players in The Old Republic will no longer get bored as each of the voices in the game are unique and will give life to the characters as they convey their emotions and reactions.
Continuing the Star Wars Lore
It’s a fact that there are millions all over the world who are fans of the Star Wars franchise. Even though there are no Star Wars movies that are incoming, fans can continue to show their support to the Star Wars franchise by playing the Old Republic. We know in the prologue trilogy of the Star Wars movies, the on-going war between the Sith and the Jedi continues. Taking place years before the rise of the Galactic Empire and Darth Vader, The Old Republic will bring fans of the franchise to the epic massive-scale galaxies where players will go through quest via the point of view of both the Jedi and the Sith.
As a MMORPG, players will have to choose at the beginning of the game whether they want to side with the Sith or the Jedi. Each side has its own class where you can do a lot of customizations. There are a decent amount of races to choose from such as the Human, Mirakula, and the Twi’lek. Since BioWare is the team behind this game, we should expect a good and well developed storyline and they delivered it. At each class that is available, they have their own unique storyline that you can follow. They are completely unique that you might find to play other classes after finishing the current class you’re playing on.
Join the Dark or Light Side
Unlike other MMORPGs out there, players will be given a chance in the Old Republic to play the way they want it to be. Just like other BioWare games such as Mass Effect and Dragon Age, the choices you make in the game will alter the outcome of the player’s character story. At each conversation you do in the game, the list of dialogue options will appear which looks a lot similar in past BioWare games. Depending on what the player chooses, it will either bring them into the dark or light side of the force. Determining which one is the Light and Dark is easy to distinguish as there will be an insignia to the radial dialogue menu that represents each side.
Wait, Is this Knights of the Old Republic III?
For quite some time, players have been demanding BioWare to release the third game to the Knights of the Old Republic series. Instead of making KOTOR III, Bioware instead developed The Old Republic. While the game doesn’t carry the “Knights of” title, I must say that this game can be considered as the follow up title to the KOTOR series as the game offers a deep storyline that follows the storyline of the Old Republic, just before the Rise of Darth Vader. The class storyline that BioWare developed can be considered as a masterpiece as it’s one of the MMORPG games out there that are focused much on the story. They are very entertaining that it may not get you to realize that you’ve been doing the same kind of quest over and over again thanks to the phenomenal story.
Gamers who rather play with themselves can still enjoy the game. If at some point in time, players might find an area hard and there are no one to group with, players can have a companion that can assist them. There are a plethora of companions that are available in the game and they vary from droids to different races and classes. Each of the available companions has unique abilities and getting to know them is a must if you wish to be with them throughout your journey. Don’t forget that just like in past Bioware games, character affection is important to the companions. Depending on the choices you make in the story progression, the companion may love or hate you.
Classic MMORPG Elements Are Here
In addition to the new features that I mentioned above, MMORPG fans who have played other games out there such as World of Warcraft and Rift will not be lost in this game. The story progression and the leveling procedures are the same in context. Players can pick up quests from NPCs in the game, get experience points, level up and distribute the skill points that they get. Also, players will be able to join Guilds where a group of members can team up in raiding some of the game’s challenging dungeons, or simply hunt for loot. There are PvP arenas that are also available in the game where you can compete with other players on the opposing side.
Another new feature that MMORPG fans will love on the Old Republic is the ship battles. At some point in the game, players will have an opportunity to have their own ship and do intergalactic battles with other players and species in the game.
Game’s Presentation Is Phenomenal
Playing through World of Warcraft and Rift over the past few months and/or years, I must say that the Old Republic is one of the MMO games out there that has exceptional visuals. The character models the game has to offer are detailed and it’s something that fans will really love. Also, the vast environments of the Old Republic are full of eye candy as it’s big and there are a lot of details that BioWare has put into it. For those who are wondering what Coruscant looks like, they’ll finally be able to see it in Old Republic in pristine detail.
Bugs, Bugs, Bugs
As of time of writing, the necessary patch for the game’s launch has been released but there are glitches and bugs that can get very annoying. At some point in the game where you have your companions, there will be times that they will be missing as soon as you launch the game. Other times they will randomly disappears. This glitch is very annoying and the only way for me to get them back is by restarting the game. There are also lip syncing issues to some of the characters as at times, quest givers will not move their mouth but you’ll still hear and see them speaking.
The mentioned glitches and bugs are very minor and players will only see them less frequent than they expect. Hopefully in the coming weeks, BioWare will continue to patch the game’s glitches to make it perfect.
In the end, I can conclude that Star Wars: The Old Republic has the features that lets the game stands on its own two feet and it is not a clone of World of Warcraft. The new features that the game has to offer such as the multiple dialogue options, companions that can come along to aid you in your quest and full voice over dialogue are only a few of the biggest things that you can expect to experience in the game. Gamers who have been following BioWare games for quite some time can expect the Old Republic to get you involved in the story by doing quests, rather than World of Warcraft’s somewhat boring story. Well, does this mean The Old Republic can take World of Warcraft down? Not at the moment as World of Warcraft has a bigger fanbase whereas The Old Republic is barely starting. However, once the word spreads out that The Old Republic is the revolution of MMORPG, then there’s a chance.
[Editor’s Note: Star Wars the Old Republic was reviewed on the PC. The game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes. Review is based on 50+ hours of gameplay since Early Access was granted last week.
Beware of the long server queues if you played during the early access phase. The server you most likely are playing will be full, allowing you to wait an hour or so. If you just started today, choose the new servers that Bioware put up today. If you wish to play with US, we’re on Dark Reaper server!]Star Wars: The Old Republic Review,