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Star Wars: The Old Republic Column: Commando vs Vanguard

By Michael Bitton on June 01, 2011

Last week’s Friday Update gave us an update on how the Trooper has been coming along (a class we haven’t heard about as much as we’d like) in a new “Trooper Progression” video posted to the official Star Wars: The Old Republic website.

Unlike some of the previous progression videos, the Trooper video focuses more on the action with far fewer hints at what one could expect from the Trooper storylines, but that’s all fine and dandy, as the action is certainly dialed up to 11 here.

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The Trooper was the first class to be unveiled for Star Wars: The Old Republic and it’s interesting to see how far things have come in the scant few years since BioWare announced the title. The armor progression between the Vanguard and Commando Advanced Classes isn’t as drastic as the Marauder/Juggernaut and Sith Sorcerer/Assassin, however, the style of play seems drastically different.

The Commando (who is able to play the DPS and healer roles) is seen lugging around a minigun-like blaster cannon and appears to just run into the action guns (or big gun) blazing. We don’t get too much of a look at his various abilities (other than his healing of a downed comrade), but the video definitely emphasizes his ability to take on what seems like impossible odds and come out on top even when in disadvantageous positions.

The Vanguard footage definitely calls to mind the Republic Commando shooter released by LucasArts several years back (sequel please?!), and also seems to physically mimic the visual style of the later Republic Troopers a bit closer. Vanguards carry a simple blaster rifle and seem to be able to use several different ammo types as we see one essentially use his rifle as a conduit to toast his foes with a massive fork of lightning. It looks like you might be able to get your Palpatine fix without having to hop over to the Sith Empire. Vanguards also seem a bit more gadget focused, perhaps similar to the Bounty Hunter in this way, at least if the video is anything to go by as we see the Vanguard employ a personal energy shield that can also be discharged to harm enemies in close proximity, employ stealth-revealing drones, and even shank a Sith Inquisitor with a vibro-knife.

Between the two I’ve always preferred the Vanguard style to the Commando. I’ve never been a fan of the giant minigun-like blaster cannon; I prefer the simple blaster rifle and all the gadgetry. Speaking of the gadgetry, didn’t that Cryo Grenade look awesome? The visual effects in Star Wars: The Old Republic certainly have improved over the years.            

Out of all the classes we’ve seen armor progression for thus far I would argue that the Trooper looks the most “Star Wars”. There seems to be much less use of creative license as far as the armor designs go and so I’m immediately drawn to the class from a visual standpoint. That’s not to say the other classes aren’t represented fairly well, but it’s obvious BioWare had to think a bit outside of the box with some of their designs as the existing material doesn’t tend to give as much to work with. If they went off the films alone we’d all be wearing simple brown or black robes for the most part (I have no problem with this, by the way!) but I can see how many would find that pretty boring.

So what did you think of the Trooper Progression video compared to the other progression videos we’ve seen so far? Also, for you Troopers out there, which Advanced Class do you plan on playing and why?

Let us know in the comments below!

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