Twenty Minutes Of The Old Republic

By Jim Rossignol on August 25th, 2009 at 5:56 pm.


Did we mention we were rather warm in our anticipation of The Old Republic? John had some pretty hefty preview thoughts to unload after E3, and we’ve been eager to learn a bit more. It seems IGN scooped the internet on that count, with a four part, twenty-minute developer walkthrough of parts of the game, including the early bounty-hunter, smuggler and Sith sequences, with lots more besides. Posted below, it is. This is heavy spoiler territory, obviously, so those of you who are definitely on course to play this game might want to avoid it. On the other hand, that bit where he walks out onto the surface of Hutta…

, .

134 Comments »

  1. Juror #9 says:

    Damn Jim…one second im lookin at an elephant and the next second i clicked back and this was the lead article… You guys are fast….good on ya mate.

  2. Destron says:

    Why are the lightsaber hilts so freaking huge?

  3. Railick says:

    Why did they cartoonify the light sabers ? Is this just a strange effect going off or do they always look like this?

  4. Xercies says:

    Heavily instanced, basically singleplayer with maybe some MMO like hubs. I wouldn’t pay monthly for this, this is Guild Wars stuff. The combat at least looks fluid.

  5. Psychopomp says:

    @Xercies

    I really don’t get that attitude at all. What do you do in most MMO’s? You run dungeons, or PvP.

    Not even to mention the fact that they’re concentrating on showing us what separates it from other MMO’s. If they were showing us overworld crap the internet would be screaming “WOW CLONE,” instead.

  6. Paul S. says:

    The internet always complains. It’s like a bunch of old ladies, getting sweaty over the Daily Mail and whingeing endlessly.

  7. CJohnson03 says:

    That’s what she said?

    Anyways.. cool footage. Dunno if it’ll be enough to convince me to subscribe to an mmo again, though. We shall see.

  8. Stupoider says:

    Openworld crap? Openworld isn’t crap, Psycho. :o I’m not a fan of heavily instanced worlds, unless all the instances are aiming to group people together and force teamplay. Open world makes it feel more like an MMO rather than a singleplayer game.

    I’ll keep watching this, but I don’t think I’m likely to get it.

  9. Xercies says:

    @Psychopump

    You forgot exploring a world from one side to another, being able to go to that mountain in the distance see that palace over there and fight some goblins in ruins. Also you get to meet people in that world. Yes there is dungeons in that but usually those are for speciel occasions.

    I kind of dislike heavily instanced games because it disconnects you from the world and from the players. Even Guild Wars was a bit to disconnected for my tastes.

  10. Jacques says:

    Sweet jesus the gameplay looks dull.

  11. Sartoris says:

    So full voice acting is their main selling point? Who cares? Especially if the stuff that’s recorded is as poorly written as this. Spend that budet on things that matter, don’t encourage the REDDING IS TEH HARD attitude.

  12. Schaulustiger says:

    The dialogue system looks pretty neat and innovative (and fun!), but combat mechanics seem rather conservative.

    And I have to second the people complaining about the – seemingly – heavy instancing. The best moments I had in MMO’s were the ones that truly felt epic due to the number of players present: huge open world pvp battles or big roleplay events. Instancing takes the “massive” out of MMO.

  13. Patrick says:

    If you’d written, “we were rather lukewarm in our reception…” it might have been a terrible pun, so I’m glad you saved us all our sanity by instead liking the game.

  14. Vinraith says:

    The instancing and solo play prospects are very appealing, but I haven’t found it in me to play through a Star Wars game since the series went to shit. Add to that the likelihood of a monthly fee, and all the time-wasting nonsense that goes with it, and I’d be surprised if this one ended up mattering to me.

    Still, kudos for serving the silent soloing majority of the MMO community.

  15. Devan says:

    Hmm, the problem with being all ‘heroic’ right from the start is that there’s nowhere to go from there. Sure you’ll learn new moves that do more damage, but the combat mechanic will probably _feel_ the same all the time (like many other MMOs). This may be alleviated by allowing you to switch your control to any of your NPC party members like you could in KOTOR, which would allow you to mix up your playstyles a bit without requiring you to grind out an alt for each class.
    As for the central story mechanic, it looks to be very similar to how Mass Effect’s story worked: Massive corridored instances, which are generally unrelated to each other so their outcomes don’t conflict. The difference is that the story, while affecting on your personal and party development, has very little or no effect on the persistent world.

    I hope these negative impressions are proven wrong and it turns out to be a lot of fun, but the more game footage I see, the less likely that seems.

  16. Premium User Badge

    Sagan says:

    Looks sweet. They seem to want to make the combat more interesting than WoW from the beginning. In WoW the first ca. 15 levels of combat are really boring, because you are always just hitting one guy over and over again, and don’t need even basic tactics. Here it seems that crowd control and teaming up could be useful from the beginning.
    Not sure about the story though. Seems to go back to the simple good/evil decisions that are so out of style nowadays. But Bioware has made that work well before.

    I think I am probably going to buy this, simply to play through the story once. Not sure if I will play it as an MMO afterwards.

    I really hope, that some of the things in there are just placeholders. Why are all the girls such hotties? That totally does not fit on an imperial ship. The same goes for the model haircut of the asian guy. Imperial guys shouldn’t have haircuts like that. Or look so friendly.
    And why are the republic troopers fighting with swords? That just looks stupid. If they absolutely need melee enemies, they should use special droids or trained monsters or something.

  17. Railick says:

    I really liked Jedi Academy, that was the last good Starwars game I played because Star Wars Galaxies

  18. Cunk says:

    It’s an MMO on rails. Look at those ridiculous cues that tell you where to take cover. What is that about? This game is nothing but scripted events, cut scenes, hand-holding, etc. It’s a single-player game with the added feature of grinding.

    Why even make it an MMO? Just make it a stand alone game with co-op.

    One of the guys in the video really summed up Bioware’s view of the MMO market: “I’m going to wave to this guy because that’s what you do in MMOs.” Yes, that’s what you do in MMOs. No reason to be ambitious about it.

  19. Jeremy says:

    Nice, that looks very cool. I think at this point, for an MMO to try and oust WoW is both foolish, and guaranteed financial suicide. This looks to take a different approach, focusing on story and things like that, which is pretty awesome. Although with the new phasing tech that Blizzard has been using, they’ve really been able to start doing more with story themselves.

    Full voice acting isn’t their main selling point, it’s just the first mmo to do that. You might as well say the cover system is their main selling point according to your standards. That being, they mentioned it once in 20 minutes. Also teamwork, and multiplayer dialogue trees. All of those things MUST be their main selling point since they mentioned it in the video.

    I’m actually kinda surprised that so many people have all these negative things to say, it really looked awesome to me :)

    Sagan: Those are vibroblades, a common Star Wars melee weapon.

  20. Jake R. says:

    The instancing seems handled in about the only way it could be – cutscene rooms are behind doors or color-coded effect fields. It’s a bit immersion-breaking, but it’s probably the best plausible solution. Also keeps from having to instance entire zones.

  21. Tei says:

    KOTOR was great because was Star Wars reinvented, made better, with more deep. I hope this game has something of that. I hope.

  22. Dante says:

    “Open world makes it feel more like an MMO rather than a singleplayer game.”

    And that is exactly the point, what people are hoping from for the old republic is an MMO that plays more like a single player game. Because then it might be a draw for those of us who thing most MMOs are bloody dull.

  23. Cheezey says:

    Everything about this game is screaming to me that its going to live up to the promise it is showing. I’m a big fan of Kotor and ME and it certainly looks as if they are pulling off the fusion with an mmo quite well from watching the videos. I can’t help but feel if they do end up getting it right WoW is going to become a fading memory for many.

    If you assume that group instancing is going to work like Parts 3/4 in the videos it’ll be superior to the sterility that i’ve grown acustomed to in WoW. It felt as if that kind of gameplay would make you feel involved in the story, much like Kotor/ME, giving certain choices implications on the story and progression of your character. Even if the implications of your decisions might be a bit shallower on closer examination, it’ll be better than the norm as far as I can see.

    I do hope they keep the groupplay smaller scale, on the whole, at least from the perspective of PVE instancing. I’ve spent my fair share of time raiding in WoW and it always irked me that to be involved with the main story you really needed to be raiding 40/25/10 man to experience it. I’ve never felt that the extra numbers have made anything that much more “Epic”, in fact half the time I felt like a tourguide for the 10 dribblers you always had to drag along to make up the numbers!

    Pvp wise I wouldnt so much mind the increase in numbers to give a feeling of actually being involved in the conflict on a level that extended beyond yourself and a small group.

    It’ll certainly be interesting to hear what else they have planned though, as theres so little real info out there atm that unfortunately assumptions are coming up left, right and centre.

  24. Andy M says:

    I disliked a lot of the animations (especially the fact that the bounty hunter’s feet were sliding across the floor while he walked), I cringed when he started walking headfirst into gunfire, and I almost facepalmed when the guy said “we want you to really feel like a hero from the start.”

    Perhaps those are all just personal issues that most people won’t share, but there’s not a chance in hell that I’ll be playing this game. Dull.

  25. Sunjammer says:

    Wow that animation work is awwwkwarrrddd. Does he need to poo or something?

    As much of a Bioware and KOTOR fan i am. I’m not sold by these videos.

    Is there some rule out there that everyone but CCP are following that dictates that MMORPGs need to play stiffly, awkwardly and look roughly the same? That whole genre needs some serious innovation beyond adding voice acting and dialog options.

  26. l1ddl3monkey says:

    “The Defenestrator” was a Great Hunt winner? Someone’s been reading the Hitman comics…

  27. Xercies says:

    @Dante

    And Isk again..why? Why not just make this into a singleplayer game, then you can change the world to your hearts content, maybe put co-op in fo rpeople who want to play with friends. Just making anmmo has certain connotations like a big world(Guild Wars is not considered an mmo) and people to group with. You can’t change the world in an mmo but some people like having things in an mmo stay an mmo. Some people like single player games and not mmos then why play an mmo if you don’t like one and just like singleplayer games.

    It really baffles me, choose one…

  28. Jeremy says:

    Why not choose something completely different? Does it really gall you that much?

  29. Vinraith says:

    I’ve never understood the mentality of people that want a game to FORCE other people to play with them. I mean, is it some kind of desperate loneliness thing? A symptom of always being picked last for kickball (no, wait, that was me and I’m not afflicted)? Someone want to explain why I should pay money to be forced to play with strangers?

  30. Stupoider says:

    Nah, Vinraith. It’s just wanting to play in a team. That, and enjoying multiplayer games. How exactly is it a symptom of being lonely?

  31. Persus-9 says:

    As a former Star Wars fan it pains me to see it still so out of touch with what made me love it.

    The real strength of Star Wars to me was that it took itself seriously and really tried to sell the story, it made it real by making everything work realistically around it’s few basic fictions. If you could swollow the basic premise of the force and ignore the fact that spaceships wouldn’t work like that in real life then everything else made sense and was explained.

    The E3 video really gave me hope http://www.gametrailers.com/video/e3-09-star-wars/49936 but these videos have crushed it completely. The art style says a lot, the E3 teaser was in a realistic style with the real living dirty world that was the great inovation of the original film, now it’s suddenly a cartoon, great way to sell the fiction that. I know that it was never going to look like that because that’s a pre-rendered cinamatic but the style could have be the same. But beyond the art style the important thing is that pretty much everything in the E3 video can be explained within the fiction and it’s trying as hard as possible to be real. Nobody in that video took on more that three enemies at a time and then only with the element of surprise. In that video one blaster shot or light saber cut is enough to drop anyone even if they’re a Jedi. Even the precision crash landing can be explained away as conceivably possible given that the cargo was entirely made up of sith.

    Now we’ve got these latest videos and suddenly we’re talking about heroic Star Wars combat, what? I don’t remember that from the original films, when did that happen exactly? I remember Han Solo confronting about 10 storm troppers on the Death Star but as I recall his solution to that problem was to run really fast. I can’t recall any situation in the Star Wars films except maybe the attack on Jabba’s sail barge where the attackers didn’t make sure they had the advantage first. Heck Obi Wan allowed Vader to kill him because he recognised it was the only way for them to escape a situation where the odds turned against them. I suppose it makes some sort of sense now blaster and lightsaber hits are now apparently about as effective as punching people but that doesn’t make any damn sense at all. I don’t believe this Star Wars, I can’t engage with it because it doesn’t believe in itself, it doesn’t buy into the very fiction it’s meant to be trying to sell, it’s just silly fantasy crap in a way old Star Wars never was.

    Sure old Star Wars was silly, very silly even but within the world it was deadly seriously. Heck look at X-Wing and Tie Fighter, look at how seriously those games took the Star Wars universe, can you imagine doing power management to strike a balance between shields and lasers in the modern Star Wars universe? No, that time has past and with it my love for the series.

    I really hope people who aren’t depressed former fans get a real kick out of this because I’m sure it’ll be a good game but every time I see the mediocrity that Star Wars has become I see the ghost of what it was and that’s just makes me sad.

  32. QwanJin says:

    Quite frankly, I think people need to quit complaining. Yes this is a MMO from what they are saying. I like the style of gameplay they are using. I prefer small groups or playing by myself as opposed to people running around in complete chaos doing whatever they want. This is not the way that battles are depicted from the movies. There is organization and teamwork. As far as the graphics and character movement….people, this is not even in BETA yet! They are just showing a preview. Many things are bound to be improved before the complete product is released. Singleplayer/versus multiplayer: The way they are doing this is very smart. Think about it. You can play by yourself or with friends. Plus, since there will be a server farm managing the game. Worlds, details, and events can be HUGE, not merely limited by the few gigs of space that typical single player games require on your computer. Personally, I think even this preview is great and can’t wait for the game to come out so I can get my hands on it.

  33. Vinraith says:

    @Stupoider

    The “forced” part. Just wanting to play a multiplayer game is fine, all one needs is the OPTION to group to make that happen. FORCED grouping is something else entirely. In the first case you’re controlling your own game experience, in the second you’re demanding control of everyone else’s as well.

  34. Stupoider says:

    Also, there’s nothing wrong with playing with strangers. If you haven’t noticed, real life is full of strangers. What’s wrong with making a few friends while you play, instead of being stuck in your own little world?

  35. Vinraith says:

    You’re still missing that key little word that means that, instead of having the option to play with strangers if I’m in the mood, I ALWAYS have to do so in order to play the game at all.

  36. Stupoider says:

    Well, many people don’t mind being forced to play with strangers. Matchmaking systems force you to play with strangers, joining a random server in CS:S will make you play with strangers. If you want the option to not group, and then never group, what’s the point in having the second option?

  37. Vinraith says:

    I group when I choose with whom I choose (ie with friends when they’re around, or on that rare occasion I feel like playing with a pick-up group). Even if I didn’t, though, it’d be important to have the option there for people that DO enjoy grouping. More options = more satisfied players. The real question is why deprive players of the option NOT to group? What’s the motivation, there?

  38. Psychopomp says:

    The internet:”THEY SHOWED US INSTANCES THAT MUST BE THE WHOLE GAME HURP DURP”

  39. Psychopomp says:

    @Vin

    Because the internet hates change.

  40. Heliocentric says:

    I guess its like the new battlefield 1943, they force you into squads if you don’t join one (might be server side choice) because it encourages cooperation. Whether you like it or not :)

  41. Stupoider says:

    It means there are more people for other’s to group with.

    Separating people from the game world into their own world, which isn’t influenced by other people, it ceases to be an MMO.

  42. Vinraith says:

    @Psychopomp

    Ah, but it’s not even change, now is it? Guild Wars handled this issue beautifully, but it’s just about the only MMO-like game to have done so. There, if I wanted to play alone, I could fill out a party with AI. If I wanted to play with friends or a pick up group, I just created/joined a group. Simple.

    You know the best part, though? And this is an issue that NO other MMO seems to handle well, from what I’ve seen: If I could only fine, say, 2 friends for an area that required 8 players, we could just bring along 5 AI to fill out the group.

    Now that’s proper flexibility.

  43. Vinraith says:

    @Stupoider: “It means there are more people for other’s to group with.”

    Now we’re getting to the reality of the situation. The people that DON”T want to group should be forced to do so so that those people who DO want to group have someone to play with. Read as: it’s more important that the MP crowd have fun than that the SP crowd has fun.

  44. Stupoider says:

    If they don’t want to group, why are they playing an MMO?

    Aaanyway, I don’t see this going anywhere. Why don’t we see people asking Valve for a TF2 singleplayer campaign? Probably because it’s best played online.

  45. Meat Circus says:

    @Psychopomp:

    No, there’s still hope there’s 60 levels of tedious PvE “kill 30 Ewoks” grinds of doom.

  46. Vinraith says:

    @Stupoider

    The lack of bots in TF2 has always been a sticking point with a lot of people.

    “If they don’t want to group, why are they playing an MMO?”

    Because they like the other characteristics of MMO’s? They enjoy a player-driven economy? A vast, sprawling world that’s constantly updated? The ability to easily group with friends or strangers when the mood strikes? Other characteristics particular to the game in question (EVE’s setting and graphics, WoW’s story, whatever)?

  47. Dinger says:

    You know, I don’t like the grind as much as the next guy, but “Kill 30 Ewoks”? Where do I sign? How about 100?

  48. Meat Circus says:

    @Dinger:

    You may be right. Perhaps it wasn’t the best example.

  49. Vinraith says:

    @Dinger

    You raise an intriguing point. The deaths need to be VERY well animated and gruesome, though. I want to hear that “dying ewok” noise, and preferably want to see an ewok come over and shake the one I just killed, looking sad (right before I kill IT, of course).

    Suddenly I’m hoping there’s the Star Wars equivalent of a chain saw in this game…

  50. Nihlus says:

    awful looking game play and graphic.