Old Republic Looks As Interesting As A Naboo Trade Blockade

Were the Old Republic any other MMO in existence, or even in development, I'd have probably walked away from its Gamescom presentation thinking "oh, this looks slightly interesting".

Considering the licence it's using and the developers behind it, though, I couldn't help but end up a little disappointed instead.

I am a lifelong Star Wars fan. I am a lifelong video gamer. I've been a fan of BioWare for a very long time, and honestly believe Knights of the Old Republic is one of the finest pieces of Star Wars lore ever built, whether the product of George Lucas, Timothy Zahn or anyone else who has ever written about a galaxy far, far away.

BioWare is going out of its way to tell the world how Old Republic will revolutionise the MMO. That line was thrown out at least twice during my showing.

But this game? What I saw today isn't doing it for me. It's telling me that it's revolutionising the genre, but all I'm seeing is just another MMO.

The screen was cluttered with a sea of icons, buttons and meters that make no sense to the interested bystander. The animation and combat is stilted and artificial, a crude real-time representation of the statistical dice-rolling going on under the hood. Defeating major enemies, like the one my demo concluded with, is time-consuming and reliant on whittling down ridiculously long health meters.

All standard fare for an MMO. And for MMO fans, they'll be appreciated. But for me, a massive Star Wars fan expecting a revolution, none of what I saw was very interesting, or representative of why I love that universe in the first place. Especially when the game's famously bombastic cinematic cutscenes (which even opened my demonstration) are so quickly followed by little but clicking, clicking then clicking some more.

To its credit, it's trying a number of neat new things, like an arena combat mode that throws out the universe's established sides and randomised instances that play like singleplayer RPG quests. These are features that, if you're used to this kind of thing, will be of worth looking into.

But I don't think that's good enough for this game. A little unfair, perhaps, given few other games are so burdened by expectation and (a new) hope, but hey, that's Star Wars for you.

I'll be getting some hands-on time with the game tomorrow; given my prior love for all parties involved I can hopefully end my Old Republic Gamescom experience on a more optimistic note.


Comments

    You should see the comment son RPS. Everyone is calling it an outright WoW clone. These were probably the same people that were saying that this game is the WoW Killer earlier. So what happened? EA decided to show off only gameplay at gamescom. They should realise that the gameplay isn't the selling point of this game, it's the storyline. If they had talked about the storyline and stuff like that, people probably wouldn't be as disappointed as they are now.

      You mean people have called a post-wow MMO a "Wow clone" or a "Wow-killer". Because that phrase has never been uttered. Ever.

      Storyline is all well and good, but 90% of the time you're actually playing the game.

      A lot of the comments on RPS were also talking about just how the combat was just plain silly. Like being shot in the face by a turret and hardly flinching. Which is completely too.

      There's a certain flair and excitement you would expect from SW combat - completely non-existant.

        Completely true**

        I just can't think this morning.

        Why are people do people have double standards about every other MMO that is not WoW? No one says that being hacked on 100 times by a big mean orc with an even bigger meaner axe is not realistic.

        No one complains the animations in WoW are static and boring, and the same goes for rift.

        My advice? Get of your damn high horse. The revolution this game is bringing to the genre is choice and story. Nothing more.

          Wow, I too, can not think straight this morning. Proof reading before posting is something I should do.

            Well people do complain that WoW and Rift are static and boring - that's why we all wanted TOR to be something different.

      Well, if it looks like a dog, and barks like one, it's probably not a zebra.

    I think if someone just looked at the pure game play aspect I would agree with your assessment it is just like many other MMO's you point and click. I dont know why you would stray from this tried and true method of killing stuff... Age of Conan tried and we all know how that faired!

    What makes SWTOR different is the interaction with the story hopefully gone are my days with WoW where i just click next till i get my quest objective. I want live the story and i think that is what The Old Republic is offering and something many MMO players want.

    Just like the original three SW movies were just good guys and bad guys fighting in space, it was the story that made them awesome and its the story of SWTOR that will revolutionise the MMO world.

    Just my 2 cents. :)

      My thoughts exactly.

      If only more people look at it this way.

      Exactly! I don't mind wow/diablo style gameplay - it's fun enough for me - just that there was never really a sense of purpose to mmo gameplay beyond getting increasingly better loot, which doesn't do it for me. Weave in a rich well acted story and I'm sold :)

    Looking at someone playing an MMO vs actually playing it are two different things. You get invested into the character that you build up from Level 1, it's yours to hold and created. You can't exactly show that sense when displaying the game on a show floor

      This.

      Bioware have said grinding will be an inefficient way to get XP, and even collecting and crafting will be done mostly by your companions. Taking the monotony out of MMOs would be a revolution if you ask me.

    "But for me, a massive Star Wars fan expecting a revolution, none of what I saw was very interesting, or representative of why I love that universe in the first place."

    This game has already been made. over 7 years ago.
    It is currently being raped by its makers to make way for this rubish.

    Sad.

    I love how people say they hear an MMO is going to revolutionize the market and then complain that its not innovative enough.

    News flash if you can be innovative and still stick to a formula that works. I mean what is every one expecting will happen? That you load into the game and then load diaodes into your brain and control the game with wishful thinking and dreams?

    Once you break too far away from traditional you no longer fit into the genre. All Bioware are really doing thats revolutionary is bringing RPG back into the genre making the choices you make in game matter and making your character come to life rather than just an avatar. Just like Tera is bringing action into the genre with thier combat system.

    And if any one can honestly say that WoW makes you care about your character aside from shiney purplez they are outright lying. I have played the game for 6 years and the only decision I had to make was whether or not I rolled on gear.

      I should also note that no I am not a fanboy of this game, I will be giving it a try, if it fails it fails, if it is good I will still play it. But people have way to many expectations for the MMO market in general.

    Meanwhile, Guild Wars 2.

    It's an MMORPG... of course it has MMORPG-like gameplay. What was Luke and others expecting would be different about that?

    If these 'generic' features were missing they'd be complaining about that instead. There are certain things people expect from MMORPG's and that's why those features are there. What is really important is how well they've achieved those genre defining bulletpoints and then what else new they've brought to the table.

    The gameplay I've seen is also very low-level origin world stuff. Not everyone has played MMORPG's so they start off in a very simple place and move on from there too. I'd expect mid and high level content and abilities would be comparable to other MMORPGs.

    What have been there selling points to date? Story, story story. Well you were shown that too weren't you? Dialogue cutscenes, choices to be made. BAM its in there even at the beginning.

    Also FYI, Wow was just a clone of the previous genre MMORPG's too.

    If you want a revolutionary MMO experience play Demon's Souls and Dark Souls next month. While strictly speaking they're not MMO's they are multiplayer online RPGs.

    I may buy this game to play the story through with a mate, but chances are I will just go with either GW2 or Tera (depending on which launches first.)

    I'll play it, after it's failed commercially and gone free-to-play.

    Pipebomb!

    Guys, it's like none of you actually played KoTOR... All that they've done is expanded the actions from the doodads in the game onto a hotbar. You still had to wait for actions in that game, you have to wait here.
    Everyone seems to have either mis-remembered the KoTOR experience, or have never played it and are saying they have for hipster points.
    I'm sure that most of us remember KoTOR for what it was, an RPG with RPG styled gameplay, with a story that was simply amazing and, of course, the amazing Star Wars themed worlds and characters.
    All that I've seen from TOR is an expansion of this concept, as well as an expansion on the specialised classes introduced in KoTOR II.
    Sure, they've added MMO-friendly cooldowns and bars, but are they really all that different from the combat experienced in the previous entires?

      Totally agree. Combat in KoToR wasn't much different than what's been shown in ToR. People standing there getting hit by lasers ect.

    "I’ll be getting some hands-on time with the game tomorrow;"

    Bitching without playing.
    GAMES JOURNALISM FAIL.

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