Lightsabers, Tauntauns, and Bathrobes, Oh my!
by Matt Donnelly
Unless you have been living under a rock on Mars with your fingers in your ears, humming the Tetris theme (and let’s face it, we’ve all hummed THAT theme on more than one occasion), you will have seen and heard about Star Wars: The Old Republic.
You have seen the advertisements, the blog posts, the biblical omens of its coming, and if you are anything like me, the drool caused from said advertisements has meant the purchase of a new keyboard. That being said, I was not entirely convinced to rush out and buy a copy of the game on the day of its release. Being a committed fan of World of Warcraft, I was hesitant to give up my adventures in Azeroth to go zipping around the galaxy with the proverbial “New Kid” on the MMORPG scene. That was until Bioware gave us the option to play Star Wars: The Old Republic for free until you reach level 15.
Well, now it is a different story. I don’t have to feel sullied and guilty about leaving Azeroth for a day or two to see what sights the galaxy at large has to offer, sights I am pleased to say did not disappoint in the slightest.
The process of signing up for SWTOR was quick and simple, just go to http://www.swtor.com/ and you’ll find yourself in the warm and gentle embrace of the Bioware official site, just sign up for free and begin the download. Please keep in mind that the download in its entirety is roughly 15GB, so if your hard drive has put on a few pounds of late and doesn’t quite have the free space it used to, you may want to consider putting it on a crash diet and freeing up some room. In addition, the system requirements(http://www.swtor.com/info/newplayerguide/chapter-five) are conveniently linked here for your perusal.
Okay, so you’ve downloaded the game, clicked on the desktop icon, and you come to your first, and quite possibly, your hardest decision: Light Side or Dark Side? Now, I know many Star Wars fans are adamant about their allegiances, some cry glory for the Republic whilst others are more at home in the murky depths of the Sith Empire. I, for one, am impartial. Sometimes I’m a Jedi, always on the look out for injustice and rushing to the defense of the innocent; sometimes I just wanna shoot lightning out of my fingertips. For those of you who are reading this now saying, “Oh, I’ll never be a Sith,” do not knock it ‘til you have run around an area zapping everything in sight like a toddler with a taser. It’s more fun than you might think.
Besides the obvious Jedi and Sith character choices, you also have the option for a whole cornucopia of different characters, ranging from smugglers and scoundrels to Republic commandos, bounty hunters and assassins. I haven’t even touched upon the advanced classes yet, opening up an even more complex array of character and class choices. Do you see yourself as more of a Jedi sentinel or a Jedi guardian, Sith inquisitor or a Sith assassin? These are not choices to be made lightly, they should be picked carefully and with due attention paid to what bonuses you will receive. I could go on for hours about the choices you have, the missions you can play or the overwhelming scope of the story you will find yourself immersed in. However, it is not for me to ruin this for you, playing this game yourself really is the only way you can appreciate what an utterly astounding game Bioware has created.
I have only played the free trial so far, about two to four days worth of game play, depending on how much time you devote to it, and I have not even scratched the surface. Although, between you and me, as soon as I got a lightsaber, I was too busy making “Whoosh, wumph!” sounds like a child to do much else. You have companions to discover, friendships to make (and break), starships to pilot, and an entire galaxy to explore! So what are you waiting for?