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Review: Star Wars: The Old Republic

John Hoang, Staff Writer

From the creators of the Mass Effect series and Dragon Age: Origins, Bioware has released a new Star Wars MMORPG (Massive-multiplayer online role playing game) The Old Republic on Dec. 20 2011. Set thousands of years before the original Star Wars trilogy, this game takes place during the war between the Republic and the Sith Empire. This MMORPG features fully developed voice acting, fluid combat, an interactive story, endgame raids and much more. Unlike other MMORPGS, SW: TOR focuses more on story instead of endgame dungeons or player vs. player. Although the game has some great features, it has some major bugs and game play issues.

Players can join one of two factions either, the Sith Empire or the Republic. The Old Republic features an interactive storyline in which players can make choices that influence their story. The decisions the player makes within the game will alter their alignment to either light side or dark side, giving players a choice and influence on their story. Players feel like they have an impact on the universe while retaining the basic MMO elements of group questing and a social community. I have only played about 3 classes so far, so I can’t speak for everyone, but each mission has an interesting story, and has been a blast to play through.The graphics of the game do feel a bit dated which may be discouraging at first, but being an MMO this was expected. After a while I got used to it and it lends a good Star Wars atmosphere to the environment.

The game features voice acting for every NPC ( non-playable-character) giving personality to the characters, both alien and humans. Players can right click on an NPC to start a conversation with them. Voice acting in the game has mostly been spectacular so far, characters sound like I would imagine them to sound. Jedi masters sound wise and calm, Sith lords sound deceitful and evil, and troopers sound like tough war heroes. While the main characters are well developed with amazing voice effects, the lip-syncing can be a bit off, but very rarely. The facial expressions and gestures help the characters seem like real people having a conversation. Overall the dialogue, which is a huge part of the game, has been very well done.

The game hasn’t been around for long, but there are many glitches and bugs that keeps it from being as enjoyable as possible. Characters getting stuck in certain places, monsters resetting when they aren’t supposed to and NPCs not showing up. Some of these bugs are minor but they can add up to become very irritating and annoying. Even though they will be fixed in future patches, Bioware should have fixed many of these glitches/bugs during beta testing before launching such a huge game.

Overall I found The Old Republic to be a very entertaining game with an engaging story. The voice acting helps add a cinematic aspect to the game giving it a unique feel. Even though the game has quite a few bugs, it has a massive amount of content to make up for it. I was amazed by the effort Bioware put into crafting such a great game. My rating 8/10

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