The Rattataki bounty hunter, Shrat, is well on his way to becoming the most ruthless hunter in the galaxy. While he is only level 20, Shrat has ended his fair share of lives, and delivered through with missions that would make even the most hardy Imperial agents, cringe.
From time to time, Shrat teams up with the merciless Sith Inquisitor, Helmz. While Helmz cares little for the lives of anyone standing in the way of his ultimate pursuit of power, Shrat can be enticed if there are credits to be earned.
Know how I know Shrat wants money, while Helmz wants power? Because my character and H3lmz’s character said so in the damn game! Literally.
This is the most striking difference that Star Wars: The Old Republic holds over their competition: Old Republic’s ingenious method of getting quests into your hands.
Instead of just clicking an NPC and having a wall of text pop up, or even clicking an NPC and listening to them ramble on, in Old Republic, when you click an NPC that has a quest for you, the game shifts into cinematic mode where different camera angles are used throughout the conversation. Much like the dialog choices seen in Knights of the Old Republic, or more recently, Mass Effect, a number of dialog choices are presented to you as the conversation progresses.
For example, Imperial Admiral Stupid-Moustache asks, “So, what do you think about my plan?”
You may be presented with the choices: “Sssounds fabalouuuus!” or “It might work, but what’s in it for me?” or “As long as I can kill everyone I need to.”
The choices pop up on both H3lmz’s screen and my own, we select our appropriate choices, and by random selection, one of our characters is the one that gets to speak up.
H3lm’z Inquisitor wins and the Sith, Helmz, ignites his red lightsaber, shaves off Admiral Stupid-Moustache’s moustache and snarls, “I’ll do it, but don’t be surprised by the body count.”
It makes questing with friends so much more fun. Sometimes, the choices made in the conversations can even alter the quests a bit. While Helmz may want to slaughter a captured enemy, Shrat decides to take her in alive for a reward. Shrat’s conversation choice wins, and the pair are met with a credit boost at the end of the quest.
While the actual questing on the beginning planets (I’m only level 20, so I’ve only been to 2 planets so far, Hutta and Balmorra) is pretty linear, the stories you get with the quests balance out the linearity. I’m looking at this early experience as perhaps a tutorial for players new to an MMO, where just throwing a new player into a completely open world would be as disastrous as dropping a Bantu tribesman in the middle of Detroit…Zeus save him.
Other than the conversation mechanic that I just spent way too much time on, the rest of the game is very much reminiscent of World of Warcraft, if you happen to be familiar with that particular title. From where the items in the user interface are located, to the use of the keyboard, the game borrows from Warcraft unabashedly.
A lot of people complain about that fact. But for me, it just makes things easier, and frankly, in a game as complex as an MMO can be, I am happy to have some familiarity when stepping into a new world, or in Old Republic’s case, a new galaxy.
However, I am a little let down in Old Republic, visually. As awesome as the landscapes of these planets could be, the pop-ins and overall lack of anything really interesting to look at, disappointed me. I am on alien planets that has never been seen in the movies. I wanted to be engaged more in looking around, than I actually am. I wanted to see speeders zipping overhead, or a battle taking place off in the distance. Everything just feels so static that I don’t even bother to really investigate because deep down I know that I won’t find anything from exploring.
I’ll do another one of these once I hit level 30, where I’ll talk about the PVP aspects and more.
If you enjoy(ed) World of Warcraft – Try it!
If you are a huge Star Wars geek – Buy it!
If you are looking for Knights of the Old Republic III – Try it!
If you are expecting a game far superior to World of Warcraft – Avoid it!
Overall Opinion So Far: Try it!