Star Wars: The Old Republic Preview

Star Wars: The Old Republic Preview

Bioware is trying its hand at the World of Warcraft dominated MMO genre with Star Wars: The Old Republic. The Old Republic is an MMO set in the Star Wars universe made famous by Knights of the Old Republic, a Bioware RPG released for the original Xbox and PC platforms. Set thousands of years before the events of the Star Wars movies, The Old Republic focuses on conflict between the Republic and the Sith Empire.

The Old Republic is a very ambitious title: Bioware isn’t making a WoW clone with a new setting. Instead, Bioware is working to bring their morally ambigious RPG storylines to the massively multiplayer genre, by allowing players several choices throughout each of the many, many quests that comprise the game’s storyline.

Bioware has also confirmed that the entire game will be voice acted, a huge feat that has never been done before in MMOs. This commitment to voice acting shows just how much Bioware is emphasizing the importance of narrative in The Old Republic. The CGI trailer they released at E3 2009, which you can view below, certainly has an epic quality to it that seems more coherent and gripping than any of the plotlines in Episodes I, II or III.

[gametrailers 49936]

As in other MMOs, there are several classes that the player can choose from, including bounty hunters, smugglers, soldiers, and of course Jedi and Sith. Now, before you ask why anyone would want to play a grunt when they could play a Jedi, remember that these are elites, more like Boba Fett and Han Solo than an average Stormtrooper. Each class has their own advantages and disadvantages, based on their archetypes from the Star Wars movies.

Normally, I’d be skeptical about an MMO’s chances of success against the world-beating WoW. But Bioware seems to really know what they are doing, and with the juggernaut of Electronic Arts supporting them, they might have a chance against Blizzard’s prized MMO after all. Bioware is trying to bring the moral ambiguity and freedom that makes its RPGs so excellent to the MMO genre, and early impressions from The Old Republic seem to indicate that they’ve done a better job than most might have expected.

No release date has been announced for Star Wars: The Old Republic.

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About the Author

avatar I'm a 19 year old university student in my third year of undergraduate school. I live in British Columbia, Canada. Videogames have been a hobby of mine since I played my first games on the Super Nintendo and MS-DOS well over a decade ago.