You may have seen the commercials or heard about it from a friend, you may have beta tested, but if you haven’t here is a review on the game itself. For those of you who have not heard, Star Wars: The Old Republic is the latest game from EA Bioware, and the first Massively Multiplayer Online Role-playing Game, or MMORPG for short, that Bioware has created. If you played either of the Knights of the Old Republic games you have a very general idea of what SWTOR is about. The game takes place in the Star Wars universe approximately 3,000 years before Episode One: The Phantom Menace.
In SWTOR, there are two factions, similar to many MMORPG games, you can choose between the Republic or the Sith Empire. The Republic should be familiar to anyone who has watched the newer trilogy of Star Wars movies, it represents the bastion of freedom in a democratic society of planets with a governing senate. The Sith Empire however is slightly harder to identify with if you haven’t gone into what many call “extended lore” such as books that tell the story beyond the movies. The Sith Empire was founded by a race called the Sith that are red skinned and typically force sensitive. When the game takes place however, the Sith Empire more closely resembles the Empire from the original Star Wars trilogy.
After you chose your side you get to choose a class, which will eventually branch into one of two advanced classes, each of which plays differently. The starting classes you can chose from depend on which faction you chose. If you chose Republic you can be a Jedi Knight, Jedi Consular, Smuggler or Trooper, for Empire you have Sith Warrior, Sith Inquisitor, Imperial Agent or Bounty Hunter. Each class will determine which races you can chose from based on Star Wars lore, or storyline.
Once you have chosen your character race and class you get to begin your saga. If you have ever played an MMO before you probably expect to have an almost identical grind through quests that you never actually read. In SWTOR however, each class has its own, unique, story that plays out. There are side quests that are shared between classes on each side, but you actually have story tailored to your class. Now as I mentioned before, most MMOs use a text based explanation of the story and quest objectives that many players skip all together. This is where SWTOR really stands out, everything is voice acted. When going through quests rather than reading about it you actually have a fully voiced conversation with the quest giver where you get to chose from three options on how to reply that will impact your characters development as well as whether or not your character leans towards the light or good side of the force, or the dark or evil side.
This game is still extremely new, as it launched December 20th 2011, so there are still quite a few bugs in the works as well as limited endgame, or maximum level content. As the game progresses in its growth, like other MMOs, the bugs will iron out and new content has already been release with much more in the works. There is a monthly fee to play, but this grants unlimited access to the game and its features while your subscription is active. Feel free to check it out at www.swtor.com.