Star Wars: The Old Republic E3 Demo Report

Posted Wed, Jun 03, 2009 by Garrett Fuller

Until now, the general public has only seen bits and pieces of Star Wars: The Old Republic, but at E3 2009 LucasArts and BioWare are finally showing off a brand new CG trailer, some gameplay, and the Smuggler class for first time. Even though the game still isn’t in beta, TOR looks great, moves fast, and definitely takes a fun approach to MMOs. Having a very active story for players to explore along with the MMO elements of PvP and massive Jedi vs. Sith battles, TOR looks to deliver where other Star Wars games have come up short.

Our first look at the game while at E3 2009 began with a trailer of the sacking of Coruscant. Fast paced and action packed, the Sith make it clear they are here to wreak havoc with the Dark Side as their ally. As is the case in all BioWare games, story and character choices make all the difference in the world. TOR will be one of the first MMOs to use full voice over capabilities. Your responses are in text but only briefly and help to drive the story line in the game. BioWare uses its classic cut scene format to give players a heroic journey in the Old Republic.

We got a first look at the planet Hutta, home of the notorious gangsters the Hutts. The Bounty Hunter class was shown off and the team was quick to explain that they want players to truly feel the badass storyline, which can definitely draw some parralels Boba Fett. The class has great features to blast foes, use jump packs, rockets, and even fire a deadly flame thrower that works as a crowd control device. We later saw the Bounty Hunter working in full effect with a Sith as they took on an Imperial ships entire crew after the captain disobeyed a direct Grand Moff order. Team work counts, but the two classes made some nasty work of any opponents.

Our first look at the Smuggler class followed in the tracks of Han Solo himself. Both the Smuggler and Bounty Hunter are ranged classes, were the Jedi and Sith focus on melee. The Smuggler wears less armor and works on a unique new system that allows the class to take full advantage of cover in the game. The cover mechanic shows places where primarily ranged fighters can jump or roll themselves into a defensive bonus in the environment and is one of the first times a system like this has been used successfully in an MMO.

In the Smuggler segment, we got a chance to see Ord Mantell, where a civil war between the Republic and separatists gives the Smuggler plenty of options to run guns and information . Bounty Hunters have all kinds of weapons at their disposal with flash grenades and barrage fire as well as close combat dirty kicks and point blank head shots.  

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