The written equivalent of upside-down film of an oil well fire

Star Wars: The Old Republic

By Shepton on February 5, 2012 in Reviews

Final verdict: D-
Final playtime: Who the fuck knows

Alright, what up. Missed me? Well too bad ’cause I’m here anyway. So we’re looking at SWTOR today. Now some people might be fooled into thinking that this game is an MMORPG. After all, the game is advertised as being one, and you even have to pay a monthly subscription (the first month is free though, and that’s more than enough time to find out how fucking terrible this game is). But I’m here to tell you that’s all lies. SWTOR is basically a single player game with a chat box. Since MMOs barely qualify as games, you might be thinking “Hey, that sounds pretty good!” and I wouldn’t blame you for thinking that. But the truth is that Bioware tried to make an MMORPG, and failed so horribly that what they ended up with is a single player game that is bogged down by sad attempts at turning it massively multiplayer and which barely even has the benefit of being able to play with friends. Not that I’m saying being able to play with friends can make a bad game good, far from it, but misery loves company. 

Let’s start off with probably the only good things in this game: the story/quests are kind of fun because it uses the Mass Effect/other Bioware games conversation wheel system where you can answer or do different things during cut scenes and you get either light side points or dark side points depending on that. This is cool, I like that and it makes doing quests more interesting. On the other hand, it also suffers from the unbelievably retarded but standard mistake where the game only rewards you for going all the way either light, or dark, and punishes you for trying to role play, have ambiguous morality or otherwise make things interesting. In fact SWTOR goes even further by restricting lightsabers to be only usable by people who have a certain number of points in either light or dark. And goes even further than that still, by making it so that light side points cancel out dark side points. So if a lightsaber requires 1000 dark side points to wield, and you happen to have 1000 light side points and 1000 dark side points, guess what, you can’t use it because in reality you’re at 0 points. Yeah, they said they were going to add neutral alignment lightsabers in some patch in the distant future but you know what? Fuck you. It should have never been like this to begin with. This is just common fucking sense. I’m playing the game right now and I’m being hurt by your incompetence right now, why should I wait a month or god knows how long for you to finally get off your lazy asses and put in something that should have been blindingly obvious from the start? Yeah that’s what I thought.

Finally the only other good thing is that your companions are pretty cool. You get a different one based on your class and they actually have a personality, talk to you, and comment on things. They also have an affection rating that can go up or down depending on if they like the things you say or do during cutscenes, or if you give them gifts, and as it goes up you get missions and cutscenes with them that develop their character and story.

So those are pretty much the only good points the game has. And even the first one is only somewhat good because it has certain things detracting from it. Not only because of what I said before but also the fact that they tried to make it an MMO: the quests may be fine for a while, maybe the first 20 levels or so, but after a while it falls into that standard MMOish grind where you’re just doing the same largely tedious things over and over again. While the main quests generally manage to stay interesting, most of your time is spent doing lesser filler quests which almost always take the form of “kill x amount of y” or “obtain x amount of y” or “use x on y” and not even the conversation system manages to keep them from getting pretty boring, especially because there isn’t actually that much meaningful conversation going on in lesser quests. 

And it’s certainly not helped by the fact that the gameplay in SWTOR is really god damn shitty. First of all, who in the cunt was the asshole who decided it would be a good idea to have tank controls? What is this, Resident Evil? Tomb Raider 1? Fuck you. Let’s get one thing straight here, if your game has tank controls in this day and age, congratulations, you’re a dumbass. If I press left, I want my character to fucking go left, not pivot. If I press back, I want my character to run that way immediately, not walk backwards without turning around. Should I be grateful that at the very least they give us strafe buttons? I really don’t understand this, this is an extremely dated control scheme that has been scientifically proven to be shitty, and yet here we are, 2012, still having to deal with it. Why? Don’t ask me, I’m not in charge of these assholes. It makes moving around very awkward, especially for melee characters who have to actually run around and get close to enemies to fight. Straight annoying.

Then there’s the fact that the game feels very unresponsive in general. There’s a pretty annoying delay on abilities, you have to get used to mashing to get stuff to come out, attack animations are slow and can’t be canceled when you use other abilities so you have to sit there waiting for it to end, while other times ability animations get canceled for no reason and make the attack fail. There’s also not enough feedback on hits so a lot of the time even when your attacks connect it feels like you’re just swinging at the air.

But I guess shitty gameplay is standard when it comes to MMOs, or in the case of SWTOR, a game that tries but fails at being one. Not only can the entire game be soloed, but the game doesn’t even bother to make adjustments based on whether you’re in a group or not. Enemies die in seconds when you’re alone, and they don’t get any stronger if you decide to group, so you can imagine what happens if you’re playing with someone else, or, god forbid, three other people. Pretty dumb when enemies die before half your fucking team even has time to get their glowsticks out. It just throws out any semblance of teamwork or party dynamics and just devolves into running around slaughtering things. And this is because most of the content is designed to be done alone. Oh sure, there are special “heroic” quests and areas every now and then and some missions called flashpoints that are made for a group, but most of the content is still the solo stuff. 

So what you end up with is a game with some optional multiplayer stuff in between all the stuff that becomes kind of pointless if done in a group, but which you still kind of need to do if you intend to play with friends because doing all that stuff on your own and only convening for the heroic stuff can raise problems with level gaps and people being farther than others.

So should you get SWTOR? No. Fuck this game. It still sucks despite not quite being a real MMO. It might be alright for the first levels but then it gets massively boring. And that’s really the biggest problem outside of all the other badly designed shit. This game is just so fucking boring that I would literally rather read a book than play it. 

Final Verdict: D-

Final Playtime: Who the fuck knows.

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