Customer Review

60 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars KOTOR as an MMO, 21 Dec 2011
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Star Wars: The Old Republic (PC DVD) (DVD-ROM)
Admittedly I was at best sceptical over Bioware's announcement - back in 2008 - that they would henceforth continue the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic franchise (which I adore) as an MMO. I don't like MMOs; I find them more often than not to be shallow and the worst representations of video games as a leisure activity. Also, the communities in-game and over the internet seem to attract the worst examples of gamer.

When I entered the universe of Star Wars: The Old Republic, I would say many of my reservations were put aside. The game fits right in with the Star Wars RPG standard set by KotOR, with an extraordinary amount of quality voice acting and an engaging story from the get go. The dialogue mechanics also make grouping up a rather fun experience. This was all to be expected from Bioware and the story elements are where this game really shines above the competition (MMO or otherwise). The combat is a definite improvement over KotOR 2, which could be rather sluggish and frankly quite boring at times. In ToR the hotkey-based combat mechanics add more strategy and depth, yet remain perfectly accessible. It's not innovative in itself but is a great solution for this particular franchise.

Gameplay outside of the story is of the familiar MMO archetype, and is also for the most part optional. If you don't like PvP, grouping, guilds you can easily avoid these elements and still have a huge game to enjoy. But you can't ignore the fact that ToR is an MMO. The odd server queue (although drastically reduced since launch), glitches, and less than optimal framerate (with respect to the graphical fidelity) make sure of this. Oh, and yeah a monthly fee. Yet it's worth tolerating this to enjoy the larger game that ToR is, larger perhaps because of the fact that it is an MMO...

For most all you need to know is this - there is truly an incredible amount of Star Wars lore to discover in this game, with rich character stories and an immensely fun exploration of the light/dark side of the force.
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Comments

Tracked by 4 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 27 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 22 Dec 2011 16:11:03 GMT
Last edited by the author on 22 Dec 2011 16:11:56 GMT
You sound like you have played the original KOTOR games (which I loved) so I had two questions for you: In the original KOTOR game, I really liked the fact that actions could be queued. This strikes me as a much more stategy/ RPG oriented approach, than fiddling with aiming and mashing the fire button. I worry that SWOR is more of an arcade, than a true strategy/ RPG. Would you agree? Also, having watched some youtube trailers, I feel unconvinced by the 'cartoonish' feel. Any thoughts? Thanks.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Dec 2011 16:31:44 GMT
J. Martin says:
I know I'm not Rob, but I'd like to give my thoughts for you, if you wouldn't mind.

I certainly wouldn't say it's just an arcade game, lacking proper RPG at all. On the contrairy decisions you make really do have an impact on your game, such as having affection points for your companion(s), so very little is lost. And it's also a heavily story-driven game, which is alwyas a plus in an RPG. So no, no strategy gameplay is lost. There's certainly no denying though there's far more combat than KOTOR, but then again most RPGs nowadays, such as Mass Effect, are very combat centered as well yet don't loose focus of their genre, although in TOR it does become very repetetive.

As for the cartoonish look, well really it's not much different from he original KOTORs. It's styalized and was deliberately chosen by BioWare to give the game a timeless look, so that in 5 years time it won't look outdated, like most realistic looking games out there. For me it really works and helps give the game a proper Star Wars feel, almost like the original Ralph McQuarrie concept art for the Original Trilogy. It also gives the game a mythical and fantasy feel that wouldn't come across in a realistic looking game. So it most defintely works once you get into it and understand why it was chosen.

I hope this helps.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Dec 2011 16:50:31 GMT
Last edited by the author on 22 Dec 2011 16:50:52 GMT
Yes, thanks, that's very helpful. Another issue is this: how much can you play this game as a single player game? I just worry that playing this as an MMO proper would be too much of a time sink.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Dec 2011 17:16:30 GMT
Last edited by the author on 22 Dec 2011 17:16:40 GMT
J. Martin says:
You can very easily play it as a single player game, and in fact a lot of people have criticized the game just for that and it not being enough like a typical MMO, but I don't see any issue with it. You only really need to play with other players for a few side quest and Flashpoints, where the enemies and situations would be too difficult for a single player. But you don't have to participate in these in order to complete the game, they're just there to make the game more expansive and add more towards your character.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Dec 2011 17:35:58 GMT
Last edited by the author on 23 Dec 2011 12:34:14 GMT
Proxeny says:
You're right in saying that KOTOR has the more traditional RPG approach to strategy in terms of queuing actions and pausing combat; the combat in KOTOR is turn-based. Really, if you prefer turn-based combat then SWTOR may not be to your liking as it is very fast paced - in fact that's what I prefer about it! It's definitely not an arcade though, as J.Martin said. You need to know exactly what the different abilities do, what situation to use them in and how to play/build your character around them. Also in terms of the visual design, 'cartoonish' and photorealism are two ends of a spectrum. SWTOR sits alongside KOTOR in this area, so I wouldn't think it should be an issue.

And yes, you can definitely approach it as a single-player game. I think it was Total Biscuit who said he intends to play the game as if it were KOTOR 3, which is in essence what SWTOR is.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Dec 2011 18:30:27 GMT
[Deleted by the author on 4 Jan 2012 07:03:26 GMT]

Posted on 25 Dec 2011 17:51:08 GMT
[Deleted by the author on 25 Dec 2011 17:52:30 GMT]

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Jan 2012 14:42:46 GMT
Lloobee says:
Absolutely agree. The combat sequencing doesn't let you queue commands in the same way, but to counter that there are sequences that you learn work, plus some abilities that are only available at unpredictable points - like the "riposte" ability that is only available after the enemy has failed to hit you. Sometimes combat in KOTOR 1/2 was a bit "samey", I've found that less of a problem in TOR.

As for the single player - I agree totally as well. I've been playing it as a single-player game that has a real-time chat room built in. The story missions are well thought out, very well presented (with lots and lots of cutscenes) and the game world itself feels even more of an open sandbox than the KOTOR games - even though I haven't even got my starship yet.

Though I have grouped up for a couple of (optional) missions that were just too hard, it feels like the Multiplayer aspects have been added to KOTOR, rather than a KOTOR skin has been wrapped around an MMO.

Posted on 3 Jan 2012 16:53:59 GMT
Stephanie D says:
Hi,

I just have a few questions about this game. I have played the first KOTOR game and absolutely loved it, and look forward to playing the second, despite the mixed reviews. SWTOR looks great, but I have never played an MMO and there are a few things I still don't understand. Basically, I'd love to play this game but am not at all interested in the multiplayer aspect of it. Someone here has already said that it is possible to simply play single player just to enjoy the story which is really all I want to do. The problem, then, is the monthly fee. Firstly, does the monthly fee come on top of the price of the game, or do you get the first month free or something? And what happens once your subscription runs out? Do you lose all access to the game even if you don't play multiplayer? Argh I just wish it wasn't an MMO...

Thanks

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Jan 2012 17:30:32 GMT
Last edited by the author on 3 Jan 2012 17:37:23 GMT
Proxeny says:
I know how you feel...before SWTOR I only had a passing interest in MMO's (done a couple of free trials), but they always seemed to be sub-par in comparison to fully fledged single player games. This is where SWTOR stands out though - it can measure up as a single player game, at least in terms of content. From what i can tell so far, it offers more content than KOTOR 1&2 put together, even without doing the multiplayer quests (called Heroics, Flashpoints and Operations). Also like Lewis said above, you could play it as KOTOR with a chat box; if it gets annoying, turn the chat off.

In terms of monthly fee you get 30 days free with the game and you need to subscribe to a plan which will kick in after the first month - I've just done an extra month for £8.99 (and yes, without a subscription you cannot play at all). It is annoying to have to subscribe but honestly, there's SO much content - it does work out as value for money in my opinion. I don't think i will subscribe for the whole year, and will probably take a break after i finish my current storyline (1 out of 8 available).

Personally I do play SWTOR as an MMO (doing the Heroics and such) and I really like it! Saying that i did have to familiarise myself with the different 'roles' you have when grouping with other players (Tank, DPS, Healer), but people are actually quite friendly when you ask what you should be doing. Thankfully there are experienced MMO players who often take lead in groups and give orders and such. BUT, you can definitely play the game without doing any of this and still have a full experience.

Anyway i hope that helps!
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