Star Wars: The Old Republic (Free To Play)
Review by Alister Kennedy (PC)
Bought and paid 2 months subscription.
Free to play game.
"Every free game I have ever played has been shit"
"With the exception of The Old Republic"
~ Andy Urquhart
So lets look back to 1996 .....I finally sit down to watch the original Star Wars trilogy, sure I loved it but at the same time I was a bit meh......
Ready party like it was 1999 and the world gasps at Darth Maul’s double sided lightsaber......I was again a bit meh
So why is this you probably are asking yourself? Well I'll tell you why dear reader.......Tales Of The Jedi.
Tales Of The Jedi is a graphic novel featuring Star Wars stories from years before Luke Skywalker or even Anakin Skywalker were born and I was
the proud owner of these books from 1994 and the Knights Of The Old Republic graphic novel was my first ..... I fell I love with this universe, this
old, ancient, dangerous place! While my childhood friends were enjoying cuddly ewoks and the slapstick R2-D2 and C-3PO, I was learning of
Sith Holocrons, Korribian and Exar Kun. For you see Exar Kun was a Sith Lord, the baddest of the bad and made Darth Vader look like an angel!
He had a double sided saber that was blue and kicked butt! So you see by the time I caught up with the film series darth maul didn't impress me as
much as some, and despite never playing the Knights Of The Republic game (never really owned an original Xbox) this was my favorite era and nothing
can change that to this day.
So, fast forward to 2013 and I have just been introduced to the world of the MMORPGs properly by Russ, who recommended World Of Warcraft being
such a huge fan himself. So I took the plunge, bought all the expansions (up to Pandaria for a reasonable £29 on sale ) and even subscribed up to the
end of February (a month away from writing this) and I haven't played this game for over a week after spending £36 on it!
Why did this happen? Well I can put my finger on exactly why I stopped playing Warcraft - very little to no story to move things along and keep me
interested after your initial starting area.. So as much as I was enjoying my time in Warcraft, I needed more. I downloaded the client for Star Wars
The Old Republic, a game I had signed up for in 2011 and never got round to playing (possibly due to not owning an actual PC and relying on tablets
and laptops) my love story kicked off again with this beautiful era like I was Han finding out Luke was Leia’s sister on the planet of Endor. This game
had and has everything I was looking for.
First off it has story lines which has put off many MMORPG players, who aren't interested in cutscenes but, if like me you need the story to push things
along I found it wonderful! As I have began in free to play the game limits you to a choice of two races human and Zabrak (think Darth Maul) which was
fine for me. I messed about as a Sith Lord for a while before changing to the light side of the force and picking a Jedi consular (mage) Now this game
is still an MMORPG at heart as it has your "fetch" quests but they are presented in such a way as you genuinely want to go do the things for the NPCs
as they give you a little cutscene to explain exactly why you are doing this and some even tie in with the story.
Now to some up how this game plays .....it is literally Mass Effect with Star Wars characters.....everything from the hub to the conversation choices are
taken directly from the next best space trilogy out there (also by Bioware) , which I also loved and instantly felt at home and comfortable using.
This game is also fairly new so you won't be treated as a noob too much and generally people have been helpful while chatting in game. The way the
story is progressed is by completing class missions and usually taking on a mini boss or main boss and you get rewarded with new weapons and ships to
egg you on to see what more shiny things you can get for your character.
Close to the start of the game you are given a companion who can be summoned to your side and can learn various moves to assist you in battle and also
to be sent off to do missions to gather items for your main character! The companion is tied into the storyline so I'll give no spoilers however, let's just say
each class has its own different companion and relationships with the companions can be very different from class to class
(blue alien sex again Bioware?? I'm watching you!!!)
You are given your first starship by the Jedi council (during the Jedi storyline) and this gives you access to a second companion and a ship which you can
command and even do some space battle missions, which are nice little mini games that remind me of the brilliant star wars arcade! Along with character,
companion and weapon customization you can customize your ship itself!! This was a nice touch to the game that they could have left out and made the
player take shuttles instead, but I'm glad they chose to give everyone a personal ship!
Like I said, I loved Tales Of The Jedi and nearly squealed for joy when my Sith character storyline began on Korriban, the Sith home world! There are a
total of 17 planets (Tattooine included) with more being added with the expansion packs! The majority of the time for myself so far has been spent in
Coruscant, the capital planet and I can tell you it is absolutely massive and feels really alive , from its taxi lanes to seedy underbelly, I sure felt like I was
actually a part of the universe.
As a free to play player there are a few niggles. The sprint ability is locked till level 15, unless you pay £3 to buy the digital version of the game,
(which is overly reasonable if you are enjoying it and also gives you other in game items such as a speeder and flare gun).
Along with the slow movement, after level 10 your leveling is also slowed, not to a pace that makes you think that you must subscribe but, enough to
make you think about it at least. In game chat and trading is also restricted in free to play.
The customization options, from your own skills, to crew members and even weapons are so open ended you can spend hours sending a team mate on
missions to gather that specific light saber crystal colour you have been wanting to put into your saber! (I choose to use red crystals and run at people
which is funny as, sometimes, they mistake it for a PVP Sith attack) the other good thing about this game, if you don't usually play MMORPGs or are
nervous about dipping in to try one, is that it doesn't feel like one of those games, it's more like a personalized adventure that other players roam about in
and whether or not you choose to interact with them is totally up to you. However if you do choose to join a group to face a big boss or do a group only
mission only make the game more fun than daunting, as some games of this type tend to do.
There are four other classes other than the "warrior and mage" Jedi/Sith - (Smuggler and Trooper for the Republic and Imperial Agent and Bounty Hunter
for the Sith Empire) which I am yet to try. But I most definitely will, as each class has it’s own unique story and I just need to play in this universe,
during this era, as much as possible! So with the best ever era, not too daunting as an MMORPG and new expansions coming for it in the spring,
Star Wars The Old Republic is a free to play fantastic game that no one has an excuse not to play....
Oh and just ask Andy if you think you need a "high end " PC to run this game......
The force is strong with this one!
Ali - 41/42
Andy - 40/42
Overall Score - 97%