The Old Republic – “This Changes Everything”

I adore the sheer arrogance of this video. The Old Republic setting requires leaving familiar Star Wars characters behind, right? Well, seems Bioware have said “fuggit – let’s just put Darth Vader in there anyway.” Clearly it’s not actually ol’ talk, dark and bronchial, but, y’know – it really is. And, come the end of this video, it’s the Vader vs Obi-Wan lightsaber fight the world had been praying and hoping Episode 3 would offer, and that it so summarily failed to deliver upon. This cinematic, then, may not be explaining all that much about how the game plays, but it is saying one thing loud and clear – “we’re going to fix Star Wars.”

As if a million voices cried out at once, and were suddenly fanboys… I’m bored to my last midichlorian of Lucas’s milked-dry sci-fi franchise, but this trailer managed to reawake the teenager in me several times. From judicious use of Luke’s theme at the start to the promise of mass Jedi vs Sith pile-ons and that final “yeah, I’m Vader” shot, I got far more excited than I’d ever have expected. But… what of the game itself? For details of that, we have the SWTOR slice of EA’s E3 press conference yesterday:

Oh, bless those LARPers. And full spoken dialogue throughout? Lawks. That’s going to be one big install. Lucky I bought a terabyte hard drive last month.

Individual, per-class storylines too, apparently. Big, big promises. I’ve heard far too many big, big promises from this genre, so forgive me for keeping one suspicious eyebrow raised until I see this wonderful-sounding thing in action.

135 Comments

  1. skrat says:

    wait what? Vader?

  2. Bobsy says:

    Ugh. Sorry, but this is another step back. Rather than having fun and playing with the mythos, being inventive, they’re just making small restylings on everything. Stormtroopers are still stormtroopers, Star Destroyers are still Star Destroyers, and apparently now we still can’t live without Darth Vader so he gets stuck back in.

    To say nothing of the entirely un-mmo mechanics being brought in. As someone with – let’s say emotional investment in KOTOR, this is appealing to me less and less. And it didn’t start particularly well.

    Give me the rhythm-action extravaganza Hutt Hutt Revolution over this any day.

  3. Monkeybreadman says:

    Horrrrrr-purrrrrrrrrrr

  4. Philip says:

    The cinematic trailer is jizz in pants worthy. So epic.

    Gives me confidence that Bioware won’t bend this over.

  5. Bear says:

    I can’t wait to be my mandalorian merc and laugh at you all obsessing over the stupid force

  6. tigershuffle says:

    gahh!! cant play video content at work!! I
    s he joking about Vader? Is it just to pull in the great unwashed to get em hooked?
    I thought the whole point of this was to re-invest in the KOTOR era..not SW episodes 4,5,6. Even my 7yr old son (yes he does want to be a BountyHunter when he grows up) loves the idea of Sith v Jedi battles. Mandalorian armoured dudes not more shiny white clones. and Vader again?! (he got bored of Force Unleashed on Wii cos of Vader) me confused. Will watch the vids when i get home and hopefully all will be clear.

  7. Psychopomp says:

    @Bobsy

    He didn’t mean it’s literally Vader. It’s just a badass sith lord.

    Also, this is set just before KoTOR, not thousands of years before.

    Sorry, but the general look of things is set in stone for that era, in KoTOR.

  8. Ian says:

    Not sure whether I’m liking what little I know (or think I know) of this game thus far, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think the trailer was good fun.

  9. AndrewC says:

    The good guy looks like David Beckham!

  10. PC Monster says:

    Good god, that trailer is BRILLIANT. My jaw dropped several times, which has to be a good thing. Give me a TV series of THAT, Lucas, and I might just watch it.

    Still, it’s an MMO. I’m doubt much of that excitement and drama will make it into the game proper, but I’ll get keep one lazy peeper on it, just in case…

  11. Tworak says:

    Don’t fuck this up, Bioware! PLEASE!

  12. Bobsy says:

    @Psycopomp: As I understand it, it’s set a couple of centuries AFTER KOTOR, which is still thousands of years before the films. There’s no real reason to make everything emulate the same old characters/places/spaceships we’re oh-so-familiar with other than making us go HAY LOOK VADAR IT MUST BE JUST LIK THE FILMS THEN LOLOLOL

  13. tigershuffle says:

    @psychopomp …..
    cheers for clearing that up the Vader thing. The fanboy redmist descended for a moment then..
    *counts to 10 and hugs Bioware*

  14. Psychopomp says:

    @ Bobsy
    Upon further inspection, you are correct.

    Still, you reaction is puzzling. You expect a art shift? No matter the period, everything in Star Wars has looked vaguely the same.

    Also, god forbid they try to evoke the image of one of the most iconic villians of the modern age, as marketing tool. *Blasphemy*

  15. cliffski says:

    the obi vs vader lightsaber battle was awesome. on what level did it not deliver?

  16. Ashurbanipal says:

    Okay, I got frissons of delight when I watched that cinematic trailer, and I don’t particularly care about the star wars franchise. Just seeing the beautifully choreographed chaos made my heart soar in that special childlike way.

    The following trailer, where the mysterious cloaked figure throws open his hood to reveal a balding bespectacled man who you readily expect to discuss your tax with you, on the other hand…

  17. simon says:

    I don’t care about the game, I want them to remake the so-called ‘prequel’ movies. That short trailer entertained me more than the last three Lucas movies combined.

  18. mr_monolith says:

    I get exactly what you mean Alec! Its like Bioware are like, ” this is what the prequel trilogy SHOULD have been”. That trailer in particular is giving me feelings i haven’t felt since the good old days.

    Really hope this turns out awesome. And that Chick is hot. Something Star Wars needs.

  19. Alex McLarty says:

    Video looks great.

    But, needs the game. Video ain’t the game.

  20. CakeAddict says:

    Well, I’m not going to judge it yet I’ll wait untill it’s released for a month or two and then see if it’s worth to buy it.
    I’m really cautious about mmo’s these days, so many but oh so many are bad.

    They should have just made KotOR 3 in my opinion.

  21. Legionary says:

    OHGODOHGODOHGOD! Watching that trailer has made me physically anxious. I want it now! Ohgodohgodohgod. Pew pew, zzzchmm!

    Like Mr Meer says, this has woken up my inner fanboy.

  22. chris hyde says:

    If I never see another Star Wars product of any stripe, it’ll be too soon. This has got to be the single most overrated series in the history of the universe.

  23. Dude says:

    The only problem whit those kind of cinematic is that the game is usually quite far from this feeling when played. We can see bounty hunter killing grunts in a heartbeat, combat look very dynamic (you dodge my light saber, ok take my push in the face then)… I doubt it will be the same in the game, which is a shame.
    Very sceptical about their claim for the game, haven’t we heard this before? (yes AoC I am looking at you).
    But my inner geek is screaming “pleeeeeease bioware, don’t f***k this up!!!”

  24. schizoslayer says:

    Bioware absolutely HAVE to make sure the Light side guys win and are twice as awesome as the Sith in their next video or suffer the same imbalance that plagued Warhammer Online as a result of Mythic pushing Destruction as being the uber side.

    Not that I even want to be a Jedi. Smuggler all the way playing in the middle that’s what I want.

  25. mike says:

    I’m not skeptical, I’m scared. It’s a bit too ambitious and I’ve never seen an MMO since WoW to deliver at least a part of it’s promises.. I really hope they don’t blow this. It would be a great disappointment.

  26. Lukasz says:

    @Chris Hyde
    Just don’t play it. Is it so hard?

    @Psychopomp
    You said it happens before KOTOR.

    From what I heard it happens three hundred years AFTER kotor games. thousands years before Vader and pals.

  27. Disco says:

    Yawn. Light saber battles are old hat. And they can’t come up with some new villians? They look the same as ever, as do the Jedi. And they’re still trying to pretend that people who have no force powers have any relevance in a battle between sixty %^&*ing people who can shoot lightning out of their ass.

    KOTOR was great for its game-play and storyline, show us some of those please.

  28. Ado says:

    Lol, Bioware made a trailer that was better than the entire three prequals put together. Why couldn’t they have produced them in CGI instead of Lucas.

  29. Tei says:

    I have said this before,and is needed to be said again:

    Video of Videogames is a art at itself. THIS video is awesome. If the MMO (videogame) is based on is never released, is not even important anymore, because the urge to make a KOTOR MMO has delivered THIS video. And for this, that urge is sacred, beatifull and do-godder.

    I say.

    Note: Now I have to watch it with sound :-)

  30. tmp says:

    He didn’t mean it’s literally Vader. It’s just a badass sith lord Malak in life support suit.

    Fixed… well, maybe not fixed but he does look the part.

  31. Guy says:

    I think the sith was Darth Malak.

  32. Vandelay says:

    Well, to me the look of it was straight out of the prequels. The brief look of the Star Destroyers, everyone in long cloaks, that hallway (which I’m sure looks the same as the hallway when they return from the very dull space battle at the start of Ep.3 – whatever happened to the great dog fights of Star Wars universe?)

    Having said that, after my initial worry of it looking just like the prequels, I was settled by the amazing action sequence that beats anything from the prequels. Truly incredible, but it has no bearing on the game itself.

    The idea of an MMO that is heavily story driven is very appealing to me. But until we really see the thing in action, I don’t think we can judge.

  33. Sartoris says:

    That trailer there is better than the entire new SW trilogy.

    Also, I’m wondering if Hawaii Five-O Theme (since in my mind that theme is superimposed over every trailer I see nowadays) could be applied to this trailer as well, or would you suggest some other theme? Discuss!

  34. Dain says:

    Amazing, that one cinematic was pretty much better than all the prequels.. always wanted to see a large scale sith vs. jedi battle!

    Does look like the Republic will be fairly useless versus all the fancy toys of the Sith though.

    Yeah, they aren’t going for the more unique look of KotoR.. shame… but I guess movie (and very prequelish) visuals sell.

    Shame this is a MMO really and the real combat will be *click on an enemy, do +5 damage*

    We need a new Jedi Knight game.. none of these console imitations.

  35. Legionary says:

    @schizoslayer: good point. I always worry when I see MMOs taking one particular side and advertising how ‘badass’ they are. An MMO needs roughly equal numbers of players on both sides.

    Hopefully TOR won’t be a WoW-clone with PvP, “need dps and healer” etc, so maybe it’s not even relevant. I’m hoping it’s KOTOR with multiplayer, rather than Warcraft with X-Wings. If that’s the case then there’ll be less of an issue with the rule of cool dictating player populations.

    It seems fairly likely that there’ll be a heck of a lot of Sith players though. Dark-side is often more fun, as John Walker found out in Bastard of the Old Republic – and if he can be seduced by the dark side, anyone can.

  36. Pennyroyal says:

    Why oh why oh why oh why oh why do they have to pump out an MMO. The KOTOR games were some of my favourite pc rpg’s ever. I understand this is a much more profitable endeavor for them but I’m still massively disappointed. Regardless of how immersive and wonderful the plot of this game will be, it will be ruined by the players that you are forced to interact with.

  37. Jacques says:

    Cool video, but I’m more interested in what the gameplay will be like. If it’s your standard MMORPG style gameplay, I’ll stay well clear.

  38. Psychopomp says:

    @Sartoris
    WHAT HAVE I DONE?

    @Disco

    Go play the fuck out of KoTOR 2, then we’ll talk about how jedi/sith aren’t the gods people they are.

    @Chris Hyde
    1.Then don’t click on the Star Wars articles
    2.Opinion, motherfucker, do you speak it?

  39. Bobsy says:

    @Psychopomp

    Emulating the style in a general sense is all fine and pleasant: see KOTOR 1. But this is far too heavy handed, bringing in far-too-blatant copies of the same old tired shapes. So for instance, the Sith cruisers in KOTOR 1 had parallels to Star Destroyers, but their sleek curved hulls and the beak-like shape gave them a style and history (churned out by the Star Forge) of their own. Then you get to KOTOR 2 and the Star Destroyers are just Star Destroyers, right down to that hemispherical tumour on the underside.

    The first shots of TOR had Sith Troopers that were standard familiar Stormtroopers but grey and more spikey. And now we have Vader.

    The reason this matters is because it weakens the identity of the Old Republic part of the franchise. If everything looks and feels identical to the “classic” era, why don’t we just put it in that classic era and be done with it? One of the old strengths of Star Wars has been that it’s inventive. But then post-90s it became more and more stagnant and zombified. The same old creeping flesh of the franchise shambling about looking for brains to chow down on.

    Om nom nom nom.

  40. Tei says:

    Personal Notes:
    The action on this video is better than most of the prequels, or it feel better.
    I hate these “Kung-fu movie” moves, and the bullet-time. Now all movies/trailers/games need bullet time and kung-fu? Everything is tryiing too hard to look badass. …

    …CliffyB has infected the S XXI of his personality. We need a exortizer that show something could be cool, withouth cheap badasery.

    Public notes:
    There are 2 mmos with linear history: LOTRO and Age of Conan. The AoC missions are poorly designed, and the linearity of everything else in the game make then feel worst, also are 1 man missions, so suck somewhat. LOTRO missions are multiplayer, are well designed and are cool. Everything else is no has linear as in Age of Conan, so the game is better for it. I expect SWOTOR to be a “WoW clone” with the error’s of linearity of Age of Conan. It will be boring 4 levels before the top… after 3/4 months playing. But for 2/3 months, it will be a really fun game. People looking for a new gamplay in the MMO genre, probably must search elsewhere. SWOTOR will be “dead town” in 2 years after release, because linarity have no replayability.
    Anyway, I could be wrong, we don’t know much about the game. Maybe Bioware can pull a “Anarchy Online”-ish mmo, I doubt it.

  41. Koopa says:

    I still have high hopes for this. Wish they’d shared more info about the actual gameplay mechanics of the game.

  42. Monkeybreadman says:

    This is even better than the cinematic trailers for Hellgate London…………………

    exactly

  43. RC-1290'Dreadnought' says:

    Erm, are they going to do procedurally generated voices?

  44. Thiefsie says:

    Oh the pity that this is an MMO =(

  45. Dain says:

    Indeed. I’d prefer a new Jedi Knight game set in this era than that..

    With heavily inspired Deus Ex style RPG elements.. oh yes.. yes please.

  46. Kris says:

    Colour me very, very skeptical. Even the vast majority of games that try to do super dynamic combat in the style of Devil May Cry, Ninja Gaiden (or the Star Wars, and Matrix films) fail, or only seem to embraced by a minority ala DMC again. The entire RPG genre has never sucessfully achieved dynamic combat of this nature (though obviously some have good combat systems, just not like this). RPG MMO’s seem to be virulently allegic to such things.
    To be honest the trailer looked great, but how does it right the wrongs of the prequels. All the trailers for the new films looked great whilst the films were lacking (the poor script / plotting were esy to hide) and this trailer looks just like them. Worse still, those trailers were of stuff that actually appeared in the film, the same cannot be said of this. Also, look at the sabers in darkness shot and the actual deathstab / keel over of Jedi shots – Both are very reminiscient of shots from the new films, the latter is Qui Gon Jin style death. Admittedly this sort of death by sword and the portentious light in dark motif are common imagery in the visual arts.
    The game might be good, but it will not be this trailer and I would have preferred a KOTOR 3.

  47. DBeaver says:

    Force-Push when your opponent is jumping was a filthy trick ever since Jedi Knight 2!

  48. ironanno says:

    Looks like someones been learning from Blizzard. Was instantly reminded of the video from Warcraft 3 where Arthas walks in the castle to kill his father. The sith’s clothing looked a lot like Arthas as well. The intro to WoW also has a lot of similar things in it. Like some of the classes showing what cool stuff they can do. Still, very impressive video.

  49. ZIGS says:

    Why oh why oh why oh why oh why do they have to pump out an MMO. The KOTOR games were some of my favourite pc rpg’s ever. I understand this is a much more profitable endeavor for them but I’m still massively disappointed. Regardless of how immersive and wonderful the plot of this game will be, it will be ruined by the players that you are forced to interact with.

    THIS! I mean seriously, you nailed it right in the head. This is why MMOs suck. When I play a RPG, I want to be fully immersed in it and play it when/how I want. MMOs are just an excuse for companies to charge a monthly fee for what would otherwise be a “normal” game. “Hey, you pay a monthly fee but you also get a shitload of other people running around you and spamming text massages while you’re trying to enjoy the fucking game!”

  50. Stem says:

    I don’t even play these games but that was an excellent trailer. They should have let them make the Clone Wars shows.