Wednesday, December 28, 2011

[Review] Star Wars: The Old Republic 10/10

Review:  10/10
  As it has been taking up much of my free time as of late and causing me to slack on my programming, I figured I would put out a review for Star Wars:  The Old Republic.  If you are a classic Star Wars fan, a lore geek, an avid fan of fantasy novels, or just a plain ol' MMORPG gamer, then I highly recommend SWTOR.  Bioware combines epic story telling with exciting game play and puts it all in the mmorpg wrapping.

Graphics:  9/10
At first the graphics were a bit much for my video card on my desktop.  Apparently there is a bug with shadows on some cards and removing the shadow option, I went from 5 fps to around 40-50 ish.   The game runs really smoothly and looks incredible.  From sweeping planetscapes to dark infested dungeons, the game looks magnificent.  The character models stand out and look incredible.  And this is on full low graphics.  I beg to wonder what the game would look like if I had myself a proper gaming rig.  Spell effects and Lightsaber effects really shine in SWTOR and they did a really nice job of implementing different kinds of looks and effects.

Sound:  10/10
Sound is oddly one of the biggest pluses to SWTOR.  There are incredible soundtracks, epic effects that make you feel like a true Sith Lord, but, more importantly than all that is that each quest is fully voiced.  SWTOR immerses the player in the lore and you feel like you are watching a movie, a movie that you control.  Your character has a voice as well and (for mine at least) a pretty snarky voice to go with his attitude.  BioWare has done an incredible job putting in the effort to make every single quest voiced.  It really does make a world of difference.  I am not the greatest lore nerd, but I do truly appreciate the immersion level of TOR.  There are a few bugs here and there with sound, but overall, I keep it on all the time to enjoy the epic music and great story lines.

Story:  10/10
The ability to change and alter your story line is incredibly fun.  To gain dark side points, you really do feel like an ass.  You kill innocent people and with the immersion level, sometimes that is rather tough (for me at least).  I play a Sith Assassin and it just doesn't feel right to be all goody two shoes about it.  Wrecking havok on the world is my goal.  Also if you are a fan of KoTOR, an RPG made a few years back by BioWare, you will recognize some references to characters and plot developments.  It made me really happy to wipe out a clan of Revanites, well, happy to recognize past lore.  I read a lot of fantasy novels, and while Lore in video games has never appealed to me, in SWTOR it draws you in.  It's hard to not get addicted to reading all the codex entries and quest dialogues.  After the disinterest in quest text that other mmos have given me, it's pretty darn amazing how much TOR brings me into the story.

UI: 8/10
The UI is very simple, but still a little buggy.  There are times when you can't access your Ship menu and other small things, but overall the UI is nice, unobtrusive, and has a definitive space style to it that gives it a fresh feel.

Game Play: 10/10
Epic.  That word primarily sums up how I feel about SWTOR's game play.  From dancing with death among a throng of deranged neophytes to blasting force lightning across a pvp battlefield, you truly feel bad ass (even when you die because you think you are more bad ass than you are).  The skill system is set up fairly well and it's easy to figure out how to customize your keys if you are an mmo-expert.  The tabs on the keybind menu is really nice too:  I go to my hotbars and then just select which keys I want to bind.  The one complaint about binding keys is I can't unbind my '\' key which is the stupid help/bug menu which I hit all the time on my keyboard trying to hit enter, but other than that, it's works well.  But, anyway, the game play is great, and I love the fighting mechanics.  You don't just simply auto attack, you have to right click in between spells to do that, which is rather refreshing and gives a more controlled feel.

**will updated later after I examine PVP more**

Overall: 10/10
I am probably a little biased since I am a long fan of Star Wars and absolutely loved KoTOR, but this game is a new fresh break from the traditional MMO scene.  I thank BioWare for their immense effort in producing an amazing game, and look forward to the endgame, and new developments that come in the future.  If you haven't tried out Star Wars:  The Old Republic yet, I implore you:  DO SO.

May the force be with you


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