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Ranking SWTOR’s Sith Storylines

Star Wars: The Old Republic Columns - By Michael Bitton on March 03, 2016

Ranking SWTOR’s Sith Storylines

While I wish the quality of Star Wars: The Old Republic’s class storylines were consistent across the board, it simply isn’t the case. This week, we’ll be ranking the game’s storylines from the Sith Empire side of things. And yes, there will be spoilers!

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#4 –Bounty Hunter

The Bounty Hunter is one of my favorite storylines on the Sith Empire side, but it also doesn’t have much of a narrative. This is both a strength and a weakness. Unlike every other class on the Sith side of things, the Bounty Hunter story is really about being your own man (or woman). It’s all about the almighty credit – or the honor of fulfilling a contract and making a name for yourself, however you want to play it. The first chapter starts off with focus as you look to make a name for yourself in the Great Hunt, but beyond that, you’re mostly on your own, and it’s the way the story regards your independence that ends up being a breath of fresh air. Unfortunately, the weak narrative also makes the overall story experience mostly forgettable. It doesn’t help that the Bounty Hunter also features the weakest set of companions. Mako is well written, and Gault is interesting, but the rest are just hangers-on that I wish I didn’t need to have on my ship.

#3 – Sith Inquisitor

The problem with the Inquisitor storyline is that it is incredibly front loaded with awesome. Chapter 1 is absolutely nuts and you go from slave to Sith Lord with your own power base (and mortal enemy) by the end of it. And after that? Well, you’re a ghostbuster. Chapter 2 is a plodding hunt for Force ghosts. The role these ghosts play is important in your personal story, but it’s just not compelling at all. It’s like the writers became exhausted after banging out such an amazing first chapter. Thankfully, the story receives a major second wind in Chapter 3 as you basically partake in an old fashioned Sith vs. Sith fight for power. This pointless struggle for power amongst the Sith is what the Imperial characters in the game constantly kvetch about as being the source of the Empire’s eventual downfall and you get to experience and relish it firsthand. It’s your power base against Darth Thanaton’s and I found the whole game of chess between my character and the antagonist to be quite satisfying. 

#2 – Sith Warrior

This storyline is a bit more straightforward up until around the beginning of Chapter 3. You spend the first and second chapters following the orders of your paranoid master, Darth Baras. The guy is an absolute toolshed and the game reminds you of this constantly in order to engender your hatred towards him. You know he’s going to betray you at some point and you’re likely waiting for any opportunity to off him, so it all builds up towards that eventual payoff. Unfortunately, Baras’ betrayal really sets you back, but things take a turn for the better once you learn that the Emperor’s Hand has chosen you to be the Emperor’s Wrath. This little turn of events makes you the Emperor’s personal enforcer (à la Darth Vader) and answerable only to the Emperor himself. This gives you the leeway to do as you please and an opportunity to take down your annoying master once and for all.

Normally, I’d rank being the Emperor’s Wrath way above being a Dark Council member like the Sith Inquisitor, but unfortunately, BioWare threw most of the cool away with the storyline leading up to Knights of the Fallen Empire. Being answerable only to the Emperor himself isn’t much of an asset when the Emperor returns with the aim of destroying the entire galaxy and becoming a god. Whoops.

#1 Imperial Agent

Not only is the Imperial Agent storyline the best written storyline in the entire game, it’s also functionally different than every other class story. What’s neat about the Imperial Agent storyline is that it essentially gives you a behind the scenes look at the entire conflict between the Empire and Republic. All of the other class storylines tie into what’s going on in some way and you’ll either hear references or run into characters involved in those storylines. You also get a firsthand look at the tense relationship between the Sith and the Imperials. The writing for the majority of the Agent’s companions is also strong, particularly the anarchist Kaliyo Djannis. Yes, yes most of the community hates her, but she’s got far more depth and nuance than most of SWTOR’s companion roster.  My Agent was a complete loyalist to the Empire which would make Kaliyo a terrible partner on the surface, but it didn’t. We learned to work with each other and all the tense moments in between really enhanced the overall experience of the story.

All of that aside, the magic of the Imperial Agent storyline is that your decisions actually matter. This class has multiple, significantly different endings, and the choices you make earlier in the storyline impact the way later events play out entirely. I was absolutely floored with the Imperial Agent from start to finish and it makes it hard for me to enjoy playthroughs of the other classes now that I’ve experienced BioWare Austin at its best.  If you’re currently playing through the game for the first time (why are you reading this?!), save the Agent for last.

What's your list look like? Share it with us in the comments below!

Michael Bitton / Michael began his career at the WarCry Network in 2005 as the site manager for several different WarCry fansite portals. In 2008, Michael worked for the startup magazine Massive Gamer as a columnist and online news editor. In June of 2009, Michael joined MMORPG.com as the site's Community Manager.