As we march ever closer to the spring 2011 launch window for Star Wars: The Old
, BioWare has
continued to reveal plenty of interesting gameplay details, and their
showing at E3 2010 was certainly no exception. During their
presentation, we were given a look at not only the first details on the
PvP Warzones, but also learned about player ships and got a chance to
see how combat plays as a group.
All the lightsaber action you can handle!
For my hands-on time with the game, I opted to check out the Smuggler
class. While I didn’t get to spend quite as much time with it
as I may have liked, I did get the chance to experience a number of
different gameplay elements such as the dialog system, combat and
The combat and controls felt pretty fluid, though I have to admit that
the smuggler seemed as though you had little choice but to constantly
make use of its unique class mechanic of finding and firing from cover.
Mind you, since games such as Gears of War
popularized the cover mechanic for firing ranged weapons from a
position of relative safety, I’ve found the same to hold true
of many other titles that do something similar.
Yes, you are cooler just by looking at this ship.
In the case of The Old Republic
this boiled down to being able to easily pick off single enemies when I
could locate and fire from proper cover, whereas attempting to
run-and-gun it through the area resulted in some incredibly quick
deaths. That’s not necessarily a bad thing if you consider
that most MMOGs, regardless of genre, tend to have those archetypical
“glass cannons” as ranged characters to help
account for their higher DPS output.
For example, during the group gameplay portion of the demo we were
shown, the smuggler seemed to shine far brighter than when solo simply
because with proper group support they could more effectively assume
their own support role and fire from cover while the trooper took the
bulk of the incoming damage. Considering the
‘massively’ portion of MMOG, I certainly
don’t expect that every single class should be able to solo
all combat situations. So at least based on my hands-on time with the
smuggler, I definitely got the impression that The Old Republic
will shine brightest when played socially.
Who's got the high ground now, Jedi scum!
The other thing I would say about my hands-on with the game is that it
felt like a very genuine translation of the poplar KotOR
titles when it comes to questing. While I only experienced a handful of
quests, those I accepted and completed were strung together much like
quests tend to be in a single player RPG, with plenty of branching
dialog options thrown into the mix as well. The net result was that
will indeed be a
massive MMOG experience, there’s still plenty of elements
that help retain the essence of what has helped BioWare gain such a
positive reputation to begin with. It remains to be seen just how
extensively these elements permeate the overall gameplay experience,
but I have a feeling that KotOR
fans will feel right at home. Well, so long as they’re not
put off by the graphical nuances that remind me more of the Clone Wars
animated series more so than any of BioWare’s more recent
titles like Dragon Age