Many words can describe this game, but short is not one of them. If you expect to pick up your copy of Star Wars: The Old Republic (SW:TOR) and see the exact same games as Knights of the Old Republic 1 & 2, then you might be disappointed. On that note, this game is still a lot of fun.
Despite being an MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game), SW:TOR still plays a lot like a single player game. Whether it’s the deeply engaging storyline, the unique yet familiar combat system, or the vastly detailed environment, you’re not going to forget you’re playing a Star Wars game, but you just might forget for how long you’ve been playing it.
Warning: This review contains some spoilers.
Act 1 starts you off on the planet Tython, the lost-and-found-again Jedi homeworld. You play a Padawan who arrives via transport to complete his training at the Jedi Temple. As you know, good MMOs start with a conflict, and you quickly find Flesh Raiders attacking the camp. As part of your early training, you successfully hold back the attacks and eventually find out who’s behind them.
Along your journey, you run into Jedi Master Orgus Din, who decides to take you under his wing to be his Padawan. You also run into the faithful droid T7-01, who eventually becomes your first companion to aid you along your journey. At this point in the game, Bioware does a very good job of engaging you in each character’s background, thus making you connect to the NPCs (Non Player Character) individually. Whether it’s your companions, the Sith, or the comic relief that occasionally gets thrown your way, you run into plenty of unique personalities on your journey to becoming a Jedi Knight.
After completing your trials on Tython, you next stop is naturally Coruscant, where you accompany Master Orgus to investigate new threats that face the galaxy. Here you meet your second companion, Kira Carsen, the love interest for the male Jedi Knight questline. Completing the various dialog options available with her turned out to be quite fun, especially when the subject matter turned to romance (wink wink, nudge nudge). This feature alone gives SW:TOR a huge advantage over many other MMOs’ story structures.
Once you’ve completed your first quest on Coruscant, you discover that the Sith Lords have made away with a super weapon. Before moving along in the story, the game takes time to familiarize you with the Republic Fleet, the hub for everything you need along your journey. The station’s unique circular design certainly helps when you need to jump from class trainers, to equipment vendors, and even to Flashpoint Shuttles (I’ll cover these in my next review). Upon meeting with the Council, they promote you to Jedi Knight. After the meeting, your next task is tracking down weapons that the Republic military has “misplaced” as well as a missing doctor. This begins 3 small important story-lines, on separate planets, that coincide with your own.
While touring the planets Taris, Tatooine, and Alderaan, SW:TOR makes sure to gradually teach you many of the game’s more unique mechanics. Being an MMO, all of the expected features (like skill trees, PvP zones, and guilds) are naturally included, but the one that will take getting used to is the crafting system. With the extensive use of companions in SW:TOR, your character doesn’t actually craft anything. Instead, your
minions companions do the work. Although this incorporates gathering and crafting professions into the game, it ends up being a huge money sink. Say goodbye to your credits, you won’t be buying that new speeder after all.
After completing Act 1, you unlock your Legacy, which works like a secondary leveling system between all of your characters on a single server. Although Bioware currently has no uses for the Legacy mechanic, they promise a special skill tree in a future content patch. Until then, have fun farming that up, and enjoy your new name. You’ve earned it.
Stay tuned to GenGAME.net for my review of Act 2.