Thursday, December 8, 2011

Star Wars: The Old Republic

Over the Thanksgiving weekend I had the chance to Beta Test the upcoming Star WarsMMO.  Being the casual player that I am, and that I had family obligations, I was only able to devote a few hours to playing the game.  (Please also note that the notes I received while downloading the software stated that they were waving the NDA portion of the testing agreement, so I am not breaking any confidences with this post.)  As someone who has played his share of MMO’s (World or Warcraft, Champions Online, City ofHeroes, DC Universe Online and Star Trek Online) I feel that I have a good background to judge what I saw, even if this isn’t the final product.  Overall I have to say that I was not impressed.
Don’t get me wrong, the game play is nice and I could see myself playing the game in the future (the far future if they don’t go Free to Play) but it’s nothing spectacular.  Now I realize that I didn’t get to the space combat part, etc, but what I saw planet side was basically WoW.  You have your character classes, each with their special abilities.  You have to go to a trainer to get the new abilities.  There are Taxi’s that you discover that can take you from place to place, for a price.  I could go on and on.  Even the interface wasn’t all that different than just about any other MMO on the market (with the exception of DCU, since that had to be modified for the PS3).  Nothing gave me any sense of “This is new and different!”

In fact, there is one major thing that I thought was a mistake in the game, and that is the cut scenes.  I know that the developers are trying to make it feel like you are in the Star Wars universe, so that you don’t have to read every quest, but it doesn’t work.  First off, I had to watch a 5 minute set-up video before I could create a character, which I hope you’ll be able to skip in the final product.  Then I created a character and had to watch another 2+ minute cut scene where I had to choose my responses to questions.  So I get my mission, do it and come back to, you guessed it, a cut scene where I have to give responses.  I must have spent a third to half my time watching these scenes.  I even let the developers know how annoying it was in one of the surveys, saying “if I wanted to watch Star Wars, I’d put in the DVD.”

So, we have mediocre game play along with annoying cut scenes and, to top it all off, it’s not Free to Play.  Yes, it’s a new game and they need to earn their money.  I get that.  But then give me something I want to pay for, not Star Wars Galaxies with less original game play and better graphics.  This just isn’t a game I can see paying $15 a month for, especially since there are better/more interesting games that are at least free for an introductory period.  Personally, I would recommend holding off on this one until either the video cut scenes are made optional and/or it goes Free to Play.  That is, unless you are George Lucas’s Bitch.

1 comment:

  1. First, I'm sorry for just how derivative and often dull it turned out! Some people just don't listen, or pick the wrong squeaky, yelling crowd of children to give attention to. Second, thank Buddha/Thor/ZombieJesus that someone else understands!