Now, this is pretty hard to do, reviewing an MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) or MMO for short. Simply because they’re really in a class of their own when it comes to gameplay. For shooters, you can just compare most to a baseline Call of Duty (ugh) or Battlefield (though Halo 2 is still the best one for me). Action Adventure games you can compare to each other pretty well. Ecetera, ecetera you get the pattern by now.
MMOs though they come in a variety of different colors and flavors Some you gather, some you fight, some have story, some have none, some you race, others you shoot, its a very different experience for each one. So I’m going to try to structure this in a (somewhat) orderly fashion.
- General Information
SWTOR was released on Dec 20, 2011 and according to Wikipedia “is the third-most-expensive video game ever developed ($218+ million total cost with inflation)”. So you could expect it to be impressive (I mean with a number like that why wouldn’t you). The game is 7 years old and some would say that the population has waned since its release. I’d tend to agree with them actually. The population has gone down quite a bit since its heyday, but that’s not entirely a bad thing. The world chat for the worlds are always active for the most parts, you’re never waiting long for a queue, and pvp is always packed. Something that has gotten out of hand as of late though is the GTN (Galactic Trade Network). This is its version of WoW’s auction house, and the prices have gone insane. What was 5 million credits when I started has turned into 50 million, I suppose though thats because of something I hear complaining about. That the game is “Too easy” in its current reincarnation.
The story mode is definitely a breeze, but there are challenges to be had. Playing Flashpoints on veteran or hard mode can provide people the challenges they are looking for. Also playing raids can provide a challenge if you’re willing to put in the time. I like the current challenge in the game. I can breeze through the story while enjoying myself at my own pace. You level up pretty quickly too, with all the level up boosters they give you for completing missions. If you happen to play on a double XP event, you can leave the starting planet level 30. I ground the first flashpoint until i was 50-60 then I left, but I like to be massively overleveled to get to endgame faster. Story mode is really great though, being fully voice acted and really engaging the first time around. Each class has a different story to experience so that you can play them all while still experiencing something unique. I enjoy the Empires missions the best, although technically the Jedi Knights storyline is canonically KotOR 3.
The gameplay for SWTOR is simple by the numbers at first. With you pressing 1 to hit /shoot things until they die. But as you level you get more and more additions to use, some of which are really insidious. The agent looks like all it can do is shoot you and heal others, for example, but while you’re fighting this stealthy, shooty, stabby agent (agents ROCK) you might not notice the poison debuff thats impeding your tank from healing fully or slowing your casters. Slowly sapping your strength away while your DPS is in the corner unconscious for a whole 45 seconds. And while you look horrified at your teams separation and dismay, you hear a menacing laugh from the shadows…hahahahaha.
…Anyway! Got off track there, my apologies haha. Point being smart players will use their skills wisely and others will just throw them around willy nilly. There’s quite a bit of skills as well. The way things used to go, is you had a base class for each type, you got to play, for example, a Sith Warrior at first. Then at level 10 you got to choose an advanced class to play as. A Juggernaut Tank or a Dual Wielding Marauder. You’d get some playstyles from each as a start and got to make your decision later. Or not, I knew some people that would just use the base class till 50 just because they wanted to. Nowadays they have you start out as the advanced class from the get go. My personal favorite is the Sith Assassin. Think Darth Maul and that’s what you got…oh and they can turn invisible at will. Invisibility is always a plus lol.
The PvP in the game is really fun in my honest opinion. You get medals that add more to your valor, your pvp level basically. You level up your valor to gain access to more weapons and armor better sorted toward PVP. There’s not a HUGE variety of things to do, but it’s still a good bit to keep you entertained. There’s Deathmatches, objective based combat, *throws up* Huttball. Out of all the things that might pop in your queue, the things i usually get are Objective based stuff and…Huttball. The objective stuff are generally the most fun IMO.
You have a assault/defence mission where your team tries to destroy a generator by using bombs to blow your way into the base and the defending team has to defuse them to keep them at bay. There’s also a turret mission where two ships are blasting each other in the air and cancelling themselves out so your team has to take control of 2/3 turrets to heavily damage the other one while keeping it in control from the other team. There’s another variant of this with shield bunkers on a beach as well. The last one I can remember is one that involves an energy orb in the center of the map and your team has to capture the energy orb and put it to your teams energy container spot thingy and the team with the most energy wins.
Huttball is…ugh. Think future basketball and football combined that allows murder. Some people LOVE it. Some think its “aiight”. I hate it lol. I already don’t like Basketball or Football so forcing me to play it when all I wanna do is murder people for points irks me. I’m not a queue dodger, I’ll play-I wont enjoy it, but i’ll play. Basically you take the ball and pass it to someone or try to run it to the goal as best as you can before passing it to someone. Yes the other team can intercept the ball so be careful. Some games of huttball can be really intense and enjoyable even to me when everyone plays. But other times its just a mess of people attacking the first person they see while some people protect the ball carrier. I always pass it to the Warriors/Knights because they can leap to an enemy whos in the goal and (if they have the perk where they don’t get affected by knockbacks) it’s an easy goal every time.
Graphics…what can I say about the graphics? This game is beautiful. It’s a different beauty than say The Elder Scrolls Online (more on that later maybe) because it has an art style its own. It’s part cartoony and not at the same time. It makes it feel lighthearted and serious all at once with its setpieces. The trailers could be made into movies themselves. Man they’re so COOL. The world is fun and vibrant, and every planet you go to will be a spectacle..at least for a while. When you’ve been to every planet as much as I have whoo boy I get tired of sandy tatooine lol. The music is soothing and the sounds of blasters blasting and lightsabers turning on and off is AWESOME. You’ll never get tired of hearing the FWOOSH of your saber igniting or the whatever the blasters onomatopoeia sound of being at the ready, or your blasters…at the ready…You know I don’t want to say its a clicking sound but it is kinda like a click-clackish sound. Don’t care- it sounds nice to hear is what i’m trying to say lol.
There’s so much fashion to wear too. You can make outfits totally independent of whatever ugly hodgepodge armor you’re wearing. There’s even more options in the Cartel Market- where you go to spend real money. even though you’ll be playing against the odds against my dreaded foe- the evil LOOTBOX!! But it’s an EA game so what are you gonna do? They’re gonna put em everywhere because people are gonna buy them. When I do decide that i wanna gamble I get my coins at G2A.com (Cough *shameless plug* Cough) because its just a lil cheaper than giving it to EA themselves. I’ve seen people in bikinis, armor, and pure badassery just walking around. And no you dont have to use the GTN and the LOOTBOXES. People will usually be selling them on the GTN. Just be ready to farm heroics for weeks to get the funds- but its worth it.
The game is great- but it isn’t free. It costs $15/month to really enjoy it. I mean YEAH there IS a free to play model- but it restricts you of so much that you might as well just pay for the full game. I think its still a really good deal because you get more story out of this MMO than you get most AAA titles being released today. You get to meet fun people, enjoy a great story, have adventures, and murder Republic scum. What more can you ask for?
Free to play model – 6/10
Pay to play model – 9/10
Longevity (how long you’ll play before moving on) – Months to Years from what i’ve seen.