|4 posts found|
1/17/12 7:08:23 PM#1
Background: I have a level 20 Imperial Agent, 19 Smuggler and 16 Sith Warrior. I, of course, cannot comment on end-game or higher levels, but I think I've played enough to get a solid impression.
Focus on story and roleplay. This is where the game truly shines. While some of the class stories are better then others(which is still entirely opinionated, anyway) Feeling like NPCs are more then just lifeless bots regurgitating quest text is rather refreshing. You come to care about your character's motivation and background. You feel like the game actually starts from level 1. There's motivation for killing x number of whatever. If you loved the hell out of Mass Effect and Dragon Age origins, you'll derive some enjoyment here even if the stories aren't quite as good as BioWare's single player RPGs. The voice acting is almost always top-notch and really adds to the feel you're talking to well-fleshed out characters.
Of course, this pro is going to fall flat on its face if you hate listening to story and spam the spacebar and just want to mindlessly follow objectives. You may as well stick with WoW or Rift in that case.
Love and care put into the setting: BioWare did an excellent job with lore and capturing the Star Wars feel. If you bother to read the codex, you'll learn alot, especially if you are not familiar with the Star Wars setting like I am.
Combat animations are pretty well done: It felt cool fighting with dual light-sabers. The animations just felt smooth and care was put into them. Any Star Wars lover is gonna like it
Focus on small groups: I enjoyed the fact I could do basically all the content in a duo or with 4 people. There's definately a focus on duos in this game. As somebody who likes to play MMORPGs with my significant other, it meshed with my playstyle very well.
Tradeskilling: Being able to make your companions do the tedium that is tradeskilling is refreshing. (Note: It feels imbalanced right now and to be honest, utterly useless. Why bother making stuff when I can get so much stuff with commendation badges. I put this as a pro because I appreciate BioWare doing tradeskilling a little differently and I'm sure this problem will be fixed over time.)
Space combat is pretty fun: It's a big downer there's no multiplayer space combat, but once you get your ship and you can do them, they're rather entertaining.
The world is too rail-roaded: If you thought WoW did not allow freedom of exploration, you'll probably feel extra annoyed with this game. When you get your ship and you can actually travel the galaxy, its nice and all, but you still feel so limited.
Some of the maps are considerably large, but you still feel like you're visiting different rides on a themepark. Now, there's datacrons and lore objects, so its not like you can't look around and go off the beaten path, but it still feels incredibly limited. Maybe I'm just too spoilt with Skyrim and dreamy about an Elder Scrolls MMO...
The world is too phased: Way too many instances! You'll get about 100 players or so on each instance of a server and good luck feeling like you're playing an MMORPG most of the time. The game feels like a co-op RPG with general chat.
Fugly graphics: The game really does look like a 2005 game. Many of the textures are very muddy and not terribly sharp or impressive. You'll notice in cutscenesthe textures switch to high resolution. BioWare have disabled High resolution textures "because it was never intended for the game to use them, only during cutscenes." The game was using high res textures during BETA and I think BioWare realized their game could not run properly on many PCs, even high end ones due to how badly optimized the engine is. I'm no tech expert, but its clear there are rather serious problem with the graphics. BioWare noted they are working towards fixing this and its clear its going to take a long time.
Character customization is lackluster for a 2012 MMORPG: Some are not going to put much care into this, but I found the options not that great. It didn't help the alien races looked kinda cheap. Chiss look like humans dipped in smurf soup, for one.
Tired, dated feel of the gameplay: This game feels like World of Warcraft BC-era. This may not be a bad thing for some players, but you'll get that "been there done that feeling" quick, that's for sure. Some like the familiar feeling, while others are going to groan, but let's be honest, we're sort of expecting alot more from our MMORPGs this day and age.
Conclusion: I feel SWtOR is one of those games that inititally isn't what many people hoped, but will improve alot over time and hopefully offer cool stuff like multiplayer space combat to differentiate itself. The focus on story and RP is the best part of this game and anybody who appreciates that will enjoy the game enough. It's too early to really know how this game will fare in the long run and I'm kind of worried with GW2 coming out, but we'll see. I'm gonna keep playing the game for another 2-3 months or so.
1/17/12 7:29:19 PM#2
This is really good overview. I agree with all points except one.
I don't enjoy the space gameplay because it reminds me of my Spectrum 48k days. SWTOR is a ground based game and the space part just seems tacked on. I play STO though which has much better space gameplay.
The companions in SWTOR are a good feature and it's great to be able to get them to do the crafting for you, but again being an STO player I think the Bridge Officers (BOffs) in STO are a lot better because you have more of them and they are all unique to you.
Another thing SWTOR does really well is the music and it can really give that 'movie moments' feeling sometimes.
1/18/12 4:40:43 AM#3
good review, the only complaint you have that I would take issue with is the that the world is too railroaded. Yes it seems that way for the first 20 levels. But I am guessing you never made it to Hoth or Tatt. The worlds really start to open up once you get tpast level 25 or leave Nar Shaddah
Hard Core Member
Gaming since 1989
1/18/12 4:55:32 AM#4
I pretty much agree and at this stage have pretty much given up. If Bioware didn't have the courage to try something new with the financial backing of EA [although that's probably why] then I really can'y see any other Developer/Publisher having a stab off it. LEt's face it. Our genre has stagnated and it's likely to remain like this for the foreseeable future.