by Ryan Cope
previewed on PC
The Legacy of the Republic
After years of waiting, Bioware has once again grabbed hold of the light saber hilt and brought peace and justice to the gaming galaxy. With the former masters in command, Star Wars: The Old Republic (sequel to Knights of The Old Republic I and II) looks like it will once again feed the hungry fans their much needed Force-wielding fun. The influence of recent Bioware games, such as the Mass Effect franchise, should provide a healthy infusion of new ideas to the much-loved Knights of The Old Republic formula.
Set 3,500 years before the era of Darth Vader and 300 years after the Jedi Civil War, the galaxy is, as always, in turmoil. After a fragile Republic has finally regained its footing and restored peace to the galaxy, the “true” Sith emerged from the unknown regions of space, bringing with them the biggest Sith army and fleet ever seen. The war that the Sith waged was so devastating for both sides that a treaty was created between the two factions. Although there is a temporary peace, the Sith and Republic still fight on the borderlines of their territories. Trouble seems to be looming on the horizon, and it is time for players to take up the role of a hero and help bring this war to an end, for whatever side they choose.
Your Story In a Vast Galaxy
For those of you unaware, The Old Republic is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), which means that unlike its ancestor games, this Old Republic won’t be played alone. Players will still be able to play their own unique story, but will do so in a world filled with countless others doing the exact same thing. While playing solo is acceptable, it is often encouraged for players to team up and quest together in a perilous galaxy of war.
This aside it is still YOUR story, so whether you play with friends, AI or alone, you will still get your own unique experience that hopefully shouldn’t hinder the telling of The Old Republic saga. Bioware is very proud of its new class system, which will give players a diverse range of options and possibilities. There are eight classes in all, four for both sides in the war, the Sith and the Republic. Each class will have a completely different experience with its own personal stories, quests, events and characters. Bioware has even been so bold as to say each one will have as many options and progressions found in a normal Bioware game, a feat that, if it can be pulled off, will offer players endless fun with all eight classes.
Freedom to Choose
The available professions will give players enough freedom with either force users or non-force users that everyone should be happy. If fighting the good fight and defending the galaxy is your kind of thing, then siding with the Republic is the choice for you. Players will have access to the Jedi Knight and Jedi Consular classes. While the Knight focuses on light saber based attacks and likes to jump straight into the front of the action, the Consular is a diplomat who would rather use force powers and talk through a situation. If being force sensitive isn’t your thing, then you can be a Trooper or a Smuggler. While the Trooper is a damage dealer and an all-out-in-your-face crazed gunman, the Smuggler is stealthy, precise and deadly accurate.
However, if you don’t fancy defending the galaxy and would rather conquer it, then the Sith Imperial Empire is for you. Players have the option to become the enemy of the Jedi and wield the dark side as either a Sith Warrior or a Sith Inquisitor. The Warrior is a typical Darth Vader type, light saber wielding and deadly powerful, while the Inquisitor is like Palpatine, a sneaky lightning blasting thinker, who plots and plans from the shadows. Again, players are also offered two non-force based classes as well, the Bounty Hunter and the Imperial Agent. The Bounty Hunter is the equivalent of the Trooper, a powerful gun slinging armored badass with a wrist rocket launcher, while the Imperial Agent is stealthy and works better with accurate shots like the Smuggler.
What makes these classes unique is that each one has the choice to take on an advanced class, further developing their characters and focusing them on a certain area.