Obi-One: The Old Republic Jedi Trailer

I'd be more excited if they were called Tightsabers

Thwack! Bap! Thunk! CVG have spotted the latest trailer for upcoming Bioware MMORPG Star Wars: The Old Republic, this time covering the path of the Jedi, showing how Jedi players will work their way up from nobodies running around twatting ugly dudes to mighty warriors who run around twatting ugly dudes. The overall impression I get is that the Jedi Knight is certainly the bane of ugly dudes the galaxy over, but also kind of a jerk and somewhat at odds with the heroic brass accompaniment in the backgrounds. Come see if you agree!

I like the robot at 0:35, though. He couldn’t care less, could he? He’s like a display model or something.


  1. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    Methinks you are easily amused. But then, I sniffed a bit at the saber gag, so maybe so am I.

    Also.. trailers!

  2. kwyjibo says:

    Like the robot, I too, could not care less.

    Just play Farmville, seriously, just sink your time and money into Farmville, rather than this.

  3. The Army of None says:

    Eesh… Jedi walking towards a robot at a slightly hurried pace, taking multiple rockets to the skull with seemingly no effect… Please, be a good game, TOR :/

  4. Squirrelfanatic says:

    This dude acts like a Sith if I ever saw one.

  5. Horza says:

    This trailer, like all the earlier ones, left me unimpressed =/

    • notjasonlee says:


    • Simon Hawthorne says:

      I agree – as far as gameplay trailers go. The two non-gameplay CGI trailers are incredible. I want more of those.

  6. MCM says:

    I have to admit I am going to try this game out but I expect it to be mediocre at best, wit h a high chance of terrible. May not ever buy another Bioware game, depending on what happens.

    • utharda says:

      In a way, a deeply disturbing way this really speaks to the power of star wars. My first memory is seeing the movie. I was two the first time Star Wars was in the theatre, I remember my mom going walking out because she hated the aliens in the cantina. But wow was it ever crack for me. I think i would have sold my younger brother for a death star model. It was all good to, I could even live with the ewoks at the end of Return of the Jedi, because I was young, and now its even fairly nostalgic, and i like the redemption of Darth Vader. (Not anakin, goddamn I hate annakin.)
      Anyway, so I was in college… back in the 90s, and I nearly lost my mind over the re-do’s of the original movies, and I go to see star wars, on the big screen, for the first time in like, 20 years, and wtf, han didn’t shoot first. Han is no longer a badass, now hes just… any hollywood character, and my childhood dies a little.
      But somehow, when episode one coming out, I go stand in line at the one theatre in washington dc with a big screen (I’m talking about you uptown!), (and I NEVER stand in line for anything, ever.) and I’m in this giant line, and I even get interviewed by the local news, and I’m hopeful, and jar jar rapes my childhood.
      And then I actually hated lucas enough at that point, that i skipped two and three, but somewhere in there I decided to play swg. That lasted about 15 days. (Off hand, I’ve NEVER played a ralph koster game that was at all fun, and I hope he chokes on his book. “Theory of Fun”). and my child hood dies a little, while watching a fat wookie and a twi’lek dancing in a cantina. I decide I’ll never play another starwars mmo….
      And here we are. i’m enjoying rift a ton on a day to day basis, and play with my wife. I still play eve, and enjoy that. (btw Koster, eve is fun, swg, was not.) But I know I won’t be able to fight the evil, I know, and I can see the glint in lucas’s eye as he lines my childhood up for another buggering…. But I know I’ll buy the goddamn game, in hopes that somehow I’ll hit that feeling I got from the original star wars…..

      anyway, I think i know how your feeling MCM.

    • Squirrelfanatic says:

      @utharda: Thank you for that comment, in many ways I have similar feelings about SW. SW is what defines nostalgia best for me. It was a great set of movies with a decent story and interesting characters which could have become a faded but good memory. But the new trilogy pistol-whipped those memories and dragged them off to a dark place from wherefrom there is no return.

    • QuantaCat says:

      Though KOTOR 1 & 2 (especially 2) were fantastic games, and showed that if you have a bit of decency and a STORY that you can still do good in the SW universe, in my opinion.

      I care not for the old republic, though. This decision seems like a purely financial one, similar to DA2 being more actiony and less RPGy. (I liked the fact that they had a more “pure” RPG on one side (Dragon Age: Origins), and an actionRPG hybrid on the other (Mass Effect))

      That and I really liked the fact that my female arcane warrior went off with leliane after the expansion. I wish they built upon DA:O instead of setting a “sequel” thousand years later.

    • thebigJ_A says:

      “(except 2)”


      (Oh, and DA2 wasn’t set 1,000’s of years later. It was set during and a bit after. I agree with the rest of your feelings on it, though.)

    • baconismidog says:


      Go get your childhood back. I read these on my phone sometimes, they are a great way to remember a time when Jar Jar hadn’t taken a huge dump in my Mandalorian crush-gaunts.

      link to

      Lost Tribe books are free on Amazon. Try them and see if you get that feeling again.

      Notes on some of the other books:
      Darth Bane – dude is a bada$$.
      New Jedi Order – has a really cool enemy species in it. They cut their own bits off and stick in other animal’s bits, like hands and feet. Freaky
      Legacy of the Force – has a few really good books with Fett as the main character

  7. darthmajor says:

    I really wish Bioware all the best but i can not see this working out for them and EA, at all. They need a massive amount of subscribers, and star wars fanbase isn’t what it used to be. Plus, i have the feeling that Bioware is making a single player game…

    • Nick says:

      “Plus, i have the feeling that Bioware is making a single player gameā€¦”

      If only they were.

    • DigitalSignalX says:

      If it was a single player game, they could afford the graphics and animation budget of actually making light sabers that ACTUALLY CUT STUFF. Sigh. Even the Lego SW got that right.

    • Nick says:

      Oh don’t be silly about abstract stuff like that, there are lots of reasons it looks terrible and thats really not one of them.

    • sneetch says:

      Yeah, from what I’ve seen and heard they are making a single player game, just one you pay a subscription for.

      I have my doubts about this but we’ll see.

  8. Pop says:

    Nope, heros definitely just kill stuff. Years of video games have taught me that heros most definitely kill ugly dudes. That Jedi’s definitely a heroic hero and the trumpets are well earned.

    Question for the developers: will the trumpets level up? What will the class progression for the brass section look like? And will there have to be a binary choice between French Horn and Trombone?

    • FunkyBadger3 says:

      E Flat is the dark side. Any fule kno that…

    • Loopy says:

      It’s a good job French Horns are tuned in F then. ;)

    • Hallgrim says:

      My 3 year old son wants to kill the mouse droids in a Lego Star Wars mission. I tell him, “You don’t have to kill those things, they won’t hurt you”. He says, “But Dad, there’s money in them!”. Computer Role Playing Games, distilled.

    • Deccan says:


      E Flat is the red-headed stepchild of the music world, chiz.

    • Nick says:

      does that make D# the light side?

  9. Astalano says:

    I really want to like this game but it looks like it’s design was thought up 10 years ago.

    Guild Wars 2 and this aren’t that far apart even and the former looks infinitely better.

    Also, Norn Ranger for great justice.

    • Wulf says:

      Hahaha. Yeah, but that’s because Guild Wars 2 has so many amazing artists behind it, it gives that game about as much visual personality as Valve’s robots. It’s like Colin Johansen said, it’s the sort of thing you’ll look at and say “Wow, I’ve never seen anything like that in an MMO before.” and he’s absolutely right.

      As for me? Charr all the way. The poor bastards have been through a lot, they had their land stolen by the humans and their Gods, they got their land raped when the Flame Legion enslaved them, and only now are they coming into their own, being fiercely independent to do so, and relying on the hard sciences rather than anything else to do so. Charr Astrophysicist > Magic Handwavers.

      So I’m looking forward to Guild Wars 2. The lore, prettiness, and general innovation is strong in that one.

  10. Mana_Garmr says:

    The sword-like weapon vs sword-like weapon looked quite boring. I don’t think the PC even moved his weapon during the first combat to parry those attacks.

  11. Tei says:

    I like Kotor, but I can’t find Kotor in this. RPG’s are all about characters, good quests, etc.. Most MMORPG can’t touch that.

    Is this really jedi? most jedi looks really ascetic to me.

    • Ultra Superior says:

      I’m finding that a bit perverse too.
      Isn’t pride, ambition and vanity what caused the vader disaster in the first place?
      The moment I saw all those blinky ice on that fancy lvl 20 armor I thought
      “dark side has this one already”

    • QuantaCat says:

      Well, the thing is, and its a sortof theme in KOTOR2, is that there really isnt that much difference between jedi and sith in the first place. They like to say a lot of things which they dont hold up. Atleast sith are honest about their intentions. After they stab you in the back, anyway.

  12. atworkforu says:

    World of Starwarscraft

  13. JackShandy says:

    Is “Twatting” actually a thing you can do in england? Is it actually possible to go around, Twatting Dudes?

    • Mirqy says:

      On bank holidays and the Queen’s birthday.

    • Man Raised by Puffins says:

    • Nick says:

      yes, but you have to pronounce it correctly. Like cat rather than blot.

    • westyfield says:

      Wait, people rhyme twat with blot?

    • Man Raised by Puffins says:

      They exist, but we don’t talk to them.

    • Nick says:

      A lot of americans I have encountered do. “Twot” Or.. “Twhat” would be closer I suppose.

    • MD says:

      Those people always made me mildly worried that I was the one saying it wrong. Not too worried though. It’s not a word I hear often in my part of the world, but still, ‘twot’ is pretty obviously ridiculous.

    • Spectre-7 says:


      Pretty obviously ridiculous? Out of curiosity, how do you pronounce swat?

    • Warth0g says:

      I’m from Surrey so pronounce it with a long A – “Swarrt”

  14. ceriphim says:

    Didn’t they already make this game a few times? It looks massively underwhelming, to say the least.

    At least in the old SW FPS games you could do the console hack that made your lightsaber act realistically. I had HOURS of fun chopping apart dudes in a dense fog of arms & legs. If they’re gonna remake a game, can’t they just do that?

    • DrazharLn says:

      Do you mind dropping a link or a reference to the commands you used to achieve choppy lightsabers? I’d be interested :)

    • Nick says:

      google jedi knight lightsaber dismemberment, first result should do it.

    • Simon Hawthorne says:

      In Star Wars: Dark Forces: Jedi Knight: Jedi Outcast there was a console command which allowed for excessive lightsaber dismemberment. The console command didn’t work in the sequel, Jedi Academy, but you could download a small mod which had the same effect. The console commands also let you have ridiculous levels of throwing people around.

  15. AiglosCelt says:

    Anyone who believes this game won’t do well severely underestimates the average gamer’s appetite for mediocre shit. It’s a boring, soulless game and it will sell MILLIONS.

    • Wulf says:

      If this does better than games with actual passion, verve, ambition, and risk to them (say, Guild Wars 2), then the gamers responsible should rescind their gaming license and their bloody right to be gamers!

      Gaming is about incredible things, damn it! It’s about awe, and wonder, and escapism, and visiting the sorts of places that simply don’t exist in reality, it’s about being able to walk around an interactive painting at your own pace, exploring every last angle of it, it’s about immersing yourself in the sort of world that you wouldn’t be able to, otherwise, and doing unique things.

      If this ends up being that popular, then… well, lots of people have very boring lives to find this more interesting than them, and a gamer license recall needs to happen. :p

    • AiglosCelt says:

      well said, furry.

    • Bantros says:

      @Wulf, but I hate fantasy and love sci-fi. Sci-fi fans are just hoping for an MMO that isn’t better to read about and imagine how great it is than actually play

    • Squirrelfanatic says:

      @Aiglos: What kind of comment was that?

  16. Juiceman says:

    I will play this game then judge it.

  17. westyfield says:

    There can be Obi Wan.

  18. Foosnark says:

    Wow… you do NOT use a spinning kick against a dude with a lightsaber, any more than you attack a hot knife with a stick of butter.

    • Sarkhan Lol says:

      Oh, I’m sure there’s SOME bullshit in the EE about Splongorian hyperweave saber-proof boots that’s just waiting to be shoehorned into a game somewhere.

  19. StingingVelvet says:

    I don’t like MMOs at all but I’ll be buying this for a solo run-through to the level cap, just like I do with WoW. I refuse to do that normally due to the monthly fee and the constant online requirement but for WoW, and now this, I make exceptions due to the quality of the exploration and world in WoW, and hopefully the same plus story and questing with TOR.

  20. BurningPet says:

    Oh look, another underwhelming trailer.
    @AiglosCelt – really? me thinks that if the game is as bad as it looks they can fail as hard as APB failed.

    • Dominic White says:

      Financially, it can’t fail. They’ve got the Bioware brand, and the Lucasfilm brand. Combined, that’s a license to print money. It also means they have to make no effort at all on the game and it WILL sell. And it really doesn’t look like much effort is going into this.

    • Warth0g says:

      Would normally agree – Lucasfilm plus Bioware should be potent, but there’s a graveyard out there filled with failed MMOs…

    • Hoaxfish says:

      I don’t really think Star Wars is really that strong a brand (though I think it’s more recognisable as a name than “Lucasfilms” in general).

      The first films are a landmark, but the later films are basically summerised as “Jar jar binks” (not that he’s the specific problem, but that he’s the most notable example of why they’re no better than any other franchise at this point)

      You could probably outsell this with a My Little Ponies MMO right now.

  21. Sarkhan Lol says:

    This trailer is somehow even worse than the others. Yes, the game will sell millions because star wars + bioware x MMO, and it might not even be the malignant pile of festering shit that the marketing department seems bent on convincing us it is, got it. It might even be a lot of fun! But the trailers are devastatingly mediocre. And this one in particular just looks like some sort of twisted jedi puppet theater.

  22. gorgol says:

    When I first saw this game I was very excited, but that was mainly because I was imaginging it to be what I wanted it to be. The more I see of it the less it seems to deliver that, and the less excited I am.

    I think no player bounties says a lot…

    On the upside, if it turns out to be like KotOR then perhaps it will be worth playing. I haven’t seen anything that seems like it won’t be like KotOR tbh.

    • anduin1 says:

      that was my problem when this was announced but after watching a couple weekly MMO reports on TOR and reading more, seeing more previews, Im becoming steadily less excited for the game as time passes. In my mind I was hoping for a true open world Star Wars game that SOE came close to achieving until they butchered their game but with a Bioware twist of unique storytelling. Now it’s looking like KoTOR with multiplayer elements added to it….that cost monthly, bleh. There is no way this is unseating WoW.

  23. Darko Drako says:

    I have a really bad feeling about this game.

    The art style and animation already looks dated.

    You don’t get any feeling of danger or excitement form the combat, it feels very static i.e the player does not appear to be in any danger.

    Granted this is just a trailer, but typically you would expect them to look better than the real game.

    • Dominic White says:

      There was a trailer a while back showing off the assassiny-snipey class. Problem is that during every scene where he was shooting at enemies above or below (about half of them), he didn’t even aim the gun up or down. The laser sight pointed at the target and the shot flew out of the barrel at an angle. And that’s what we see in TRAILERS, where they carefully omit anything broken or wonky.

      Either Bioware have somehow ended up with the worlds worst marketing department, or the game really is looking rather wretched.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      Given the recent trainwreck of DA2’s community relations department (a.k.a lies, bans, and arrogance), it isn’t too much of a surprise that something feels a little off.

  24. stahlwerk says:


  25. DeCi says:

    If only this was a Single Player game. I sometimes day-dream about this being KOTOR 3. Then I wake up and I realize its not. Damn you BioWare for tricking me. Damn you indeed

  26. mkultra says:

    These trailers are obviously perfect use of reverse reverse psychology.

  27. Zenicetus says:

    Is it just me, or does it look like they’re re-using some of the leaping and jumping attack moves for the Rogue class in DA2? The fast pace of combat seems awfully familiar. It isn’t necessarily a bad thing, I guess, if it pleases enough people. It’s just odd, how familiar that looked to me.

  28. Betamax says:

    Yikes, with the possible exception of Mass Effect it really is hate on Bioware season at the moment isn’t it? TOR doesn’t look as exciting as GW2 (certainly in terms of fresh gameplay design), but I don’t see where this sort of reaction comes from. It looks very WoW-ish to me, but Star Wars and with better storytelling. That alone has me interested. Complaining about unrealistic combat ala rockets to faces and such? In an MMO? Really? And do people really care that much about an MMO’s graphics? I wanted KotOR 3 as well guys but it’s time to move on.

    As it stands I’ll be waiting to play the game for a bit before passing proper judgement, just find it odd that so many seem keen to write it off so quickly.

    • Eolirin says:

      It gets even more ridiculous when you consider that this is nothing new for Bioware; Kotor had ridiculously unrealistic combat too – it should not take 20 hits to take out a sand raider with a lightsaber and you can get shot and hit by all sorts of things without taking any substantial damage. So there’s literally nothing new here in that regard.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      The problem is exactly that it looks “as good as WoW/KotoR”… WoW/KotoR are years old, MMO design has moved on considerably, as well as animation technology.

      So, a lot of people would’ve praised this if it was made at the same time as WoW… but not now. Now it looks like a rehash of a cash-in of a rip-off of a tie-in, or something… and this is the trailers. The very thing most people expect to lie to you about how goddamn awesome the game will be. If even the “lie-filled promotional material” can’t make it look interesting, wtf is the actual game going to be like?

    • Nick says:

      Personally I think it looks worse than Kotor from an art *style* perspective.

  29. Rii says:

    I wanted to pour scorn on this game but lightsabres are like an instant I-win button. Or at least an I-don’t-lose-button. I’m firmly in the Guild Wars 2 camp but that clip actually wasn’t too bad at all.

    *washes mouth out with soap*

  30. Leprikhan says:

    I find it hil-larious how even in the trailers the gameplay gives an outstanding appearance of typical MMORPG garbage. I already know what to expect, guys- you can go ahead and make your trailers look cool if you want to!

  31. Tiddler says:

    Is it sad I find myself looking forward to the 40k MMO rather than this? Dont get me wrong as someone who loved the first Kotor (and enjoyed the second however thats a conversation for another time) I just find myself feeling “Meh” towards this title.

    Perhaps the apathy will lift later on, however judging by the majority of the trailers i’ll be waiting to see how the game launches before I decide to splash the cash on it.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      Yes, it’s sad. Sad because it seems Bioware intend to deliver a mediocre game at best. Every single game a developer makes should at least be an attempt at making something good and highly enjoyable.

    • Warat says:

      @Hmm-Hmm Seriously, you think BW has set up two new offices and is pumping hundreds of millions into this because they *intend* to deliver a mediocre game? The game might be mediocre, but they aren’t aiming for that.

  32. Basilicus says:

    Dragon Age 2’s combat is not wonky enough. Bioware have turned their backs on fans!

    Old Republic’s combat is too wonky. Bioware have lost their touch!


  33. Wulf says:

    Well, after having played a lot (a lot!) of LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars lately, my mind had to compare the two, and I can’t say that I’ve ever once had the urge to yawn at the former. Now if they were to do a LEGO Star Wars MMO or something, I might be interested. But personally I’d prefer TT do a LEGO Doctor Who series of games, one for each Doctor, because that absolutely needs to happen. (And I would buy them all. Wouldn’t you?)

    What irritates me though is that they keep failing to show the UI, because the UI parts the first ten levels turns into WoW. I saw one player in beta with three bars on his screen, of ten buttons each, and more than half of them were on cooldown. This is versus the ten skills that I use in CO, which are barely ever on cooldown, and the same can be said about Guild Wars 2 (10 skills, very few cooldowns). Why anyone would want to go back to playing a game where you watch bars and 30 skills on cooldown is beyond me.

    And considering that Guild Wars 2 has no subscription fees, I’d say that I know the only MMO I’m destined to spend any amount of time with, soon.

    Videos worth noting:

    Guild Wars 2 PAX East Panel Part 1
    Guild Wars 2 PAX East Panel Part 2

  34. jti says:

    This trailer reminds me of The Movies game. I mean those movie scenes you made in it. Errr, that might not be a good thing.

  35. Thiefsie says:

    The yawn is strong with this one…

  36. jstar says:

    It really does look like a pile of shit. I can not wait for this to fail. I’ve had enough of the all the rubbish surrounding Bioware. They make terrible terrible games that we lap up because as lovers of RPG’s there are hardly any alternatives. Their reputation as good storytellers is frankly laughable. I am very much looking forward to the Witcher 2 showing them how it should be done.

    • Acosta says:

      “We”? what influential group are you representing, oh mighty angry man?

    • jstar says:

      There’s no need to be a prick. I mean people who like RPGs. Obviously. And I was hardly angry. Now I’m angry because you’ve been a twat. Probably because you disagree with me. Which of course is your right however it shows that you like Bioware have no understanding of story, narrative structure or character development.

    • gwathdring says:

      Wrong reply. Sorry. But while I’m at it ….

      I enjoyed Mass Effect 1 and 2. The games and stories had issues, but I loved the Characters. I felt that I wasn’t allowed to interact with them on the level of their presentation, and that they didn’t interact with one-another at all … but the characterizations were fantastic with the voice, visuals, and dialog often impeccable to me.

      I’m not incapable of understanding narrative. I simply consume too many different mediums not to respect that video game writing is inherently different from other forms of writing and while it is not above the factors that affect stories in other narrative mediums, the rules, practical realities, and focal points of interactive stories and video game stories in particular are enormously different from those in other mediums. Video games are not movies. They aren’t books. And the stories are almost never written from beginning to end with the distinct possibility that other branches of development will do things that change the story and necessitate important elements disappearing or changing.

      I’ve played a lot of games, and a lot of RPGs. I haven’t played many of the classics, either from Bioware’s or any other RPG catalog (I really want to play Grim Fandango though, but Good Old Games fails me there). But I can say that Bioware puts a development emphasis on story that a lot of developers don’t. They produce unusually coherent narratives and consistently make characters I rather adore no matter how much the gameplay and story can get in the way of those characters. In the big picture of things, I think Bioware does a damn good job. At the least, I find it odd that you will outright declare their games terrible. I find WoW to be one of the most vapid things I’ve ever given a try and would never pay money for the privilege. But I also see a lot of developing talent in the game, a lot of marketing success, and enormous financial success, and a game that is simply not designed with me in mind to begin with. That doesn’t make it terrible.

      P.S. No need to name call. Especially not if you’re going to pretend everyone who disagrees with you has no understanding on par with your own of such things as narrative.

    • jstar says:

      Apologies for name calling, it was pathetic. Got my hide up is all.

      Unfortunately what your saying is particularly depressing. The defense that video games are ‘not like books or films’ is often trotted out and yet what makes a good line of dialogue is unform between all mediums. There are not different rules for different formats, I’m sorry but there are not. And what makes a good story is uniform among them as well. There are no different rules. Good stories play on human emotions and human emotions are set in stone. By which I mean we know what they are and to varying degrees we know how to manipulate them.

      The rules that do exist are those that cover the WAY you tell a story and of course the WAY you tell a story in a book, game or film is totally different. But that is a structural issue, an issue of method not of content. The fact you think like that shows me categorically that you do not understand story or narrative structure at all.
      I find it absolutely shocking that anyone could claim that any of the dialogue in Mass Effect 2 (lets take the poster child as the example) is anything other than perfunctory. My yard stick for a good sci fi story is, for example:

      Peter F Hamilton’s Night’s Dawn trilogy

      Just to name a couple of books and a film. ow of course I’ve picked (arguably depending on taste) some of the best examples in the genre. All new sci fi opera literature that is published now is measured against Peter F hamilton’s books and new sci fi thriller movies are rightly judged on a scale with Blade Runner somewhere near the top. Now why should computer games be judged differently?

      The story in Mass Effect is a rehashing of a wide variety of books I have read. There is nothing original there. Halo stole it’s best idea from Larry Niven and don’t even get me started on Mass Effect 2. If you really want to hear some well written and acted dialogue in a game you should buy Fight Night Champion and play the story mode. The writing in that game is of such a higher standard than anything BIoware have ever done it is untrue.

      And then we have the total stagnation of the Bioware RPG. If you go back and play BG2 or Planescape you will notice that other than the graphics and a morality scale the games have actually not changed at all. Apart from now Bioware are using their own IP where as before they were using the Forgotten Realms IP, an IP that was developed when it HAD to rely on it’s story and character because of it’s table top roots. If you replay the beginning of BG2 you will see that there is more character in Minsc in 5 minutes of conversation than there is in 5 hours of waffly crap with anyone in Mass Effect. Now I don;t want to get into a debate about which character is better, thats too subjective but BG 2 was made 10 years ago! It shouldn’t even be a competition between them! And yet it is because narratively nothing has progressed. We are in the same boat as we were a decade ago. Great.

      That is why I find it unfathomable how someone like Richard Cobette could claim that Anders in DA was a great character. His voice acting was woeful, his dialogue atrocious. I find it gob smacking that our standards are so low. So I think that games should be held to a higher standard. I think that it should no longer be acceptable to say ‘it’s good for a game’, I think that we deserve better.

    • gwathdring says:

      You have largely misunderstood me and insulted me shortly after apologizing. I’m not appreciating your track record.

      Firstly, my point is not that the rules of the STORY are different in games. But the rules of writing. Writing for games is a different process with different challenges that can often obfuscate the act of writing what you would consider a good story. Technology failing to allow for a gameplay segment that had been planned for half a year can lead to the scrapping of a crucial plot point. Writing the story around that cut can make it seem disjointed where previously it was coherent and at least MORE meaningful. Same with comparing movies and books. Movie writers very rarely write a script that is picked up by a director. They are usually given a story or concept and made to write it or given a script already written to adapt with certain limitations put on what they can change to to contractual issues with the previous writer. This can make coherence and character and narrative flow harder to come by even when skilled writers are at the task.

      Videogame writers have to do more than just write dialog and narrative. They have to write codex entries, menu systems, tool-text, and so forth in addition to the dialog and story. Their story might be scrapped at any point due to design decisions beyond the control of the writer or potentially anyone on the team (publisher veto or technological issues, trouble getting a gameplay segment to work in a way that is fun and meaningful to the player even if it would have worked in a novel). This sounds a lot different from the process of writing a novel. Yes, I know not every author just whips out a typewriter, sends out some letters, and gets a book. But the process is still very different and this means that we’re going to see different stories whether or not the definition of a “good story” changes.

      Furthermore, what makes a good video games story is different in a simpler sense as well. If you write a brilliant movie script, you can have some cool cut-scenes, and an amazing story … and then what do you do with gameplay? Shuffle your feet between scenes? Have the character go to the bathroom? Leave all of the drama and awesome character moments out of the player’s control? Your movie might deserve enormous acclaim and still make a shitty video game story. This may fall into your category of “ways of telling stories” rather than your category of “stories” so please don’t try to ignore the argument on those grounds. I simply believe that the way a story is told is itself a component of the story inseparable from the content. This is a philosophical difference. It doesn’t show you understand stories better than I do. I don’t think the content of a story is the only or even most important part. The telling can sometimes make an otherwise poor tale engaging and moving and wonderful. I’d argue the “way” of telling the story is thus more crucial to the narrative making movies and books and video games as different as can be simply because they necessitate that the way of telling changes and thus change which narratives are stronger and which are weaker. There are books that simply don’t work as films and vice-versa.

      Also, I don’t buy the “this story is a rip-off of this one so it’s crap” argument. In the grand scheme of things, our society only tells so many stories, changing the details of archetypal narratives that hit us deep down. I’m sure there are books, movies, and short stories you love that one day you will discover were not nearly as original as they seemed when you read them. That some other lesser known author got there first. A few of my favorite short stories are the written equivalent of music covers and finding that out didn’t change how much they meant to me. Just like musical covers and traditional songs can be fantastic and still leave room for artistic interpretation, stories do not need to be unique or even vaguely new to get our attention and move us.

      I agree with your general sentiment. This isn’t great, it has some gaping flaws, and we deserve better. We deserve high octane, AAA games with literary or “art film” attention to quality and story (I know there are shitty art house films and great blockbusters, but still the art house movement gave a lot of directors and writers more freedom to play with art in the industry and still make money). Indie games do this to an extent, but the effect seems to operate far more on gameplay innovation than on story. And you are right in that it is disingenuous to say I like the writing in a Bioware game if I really mean I like the writing better than the writing in most games I play. But I am not praising their writing unequivocally. I do not even intend particularly to praise the writing in a literary sense. But I personally felt connected to some of the characters. They resonated with me, and whether their depth came from my own imagination or the game’s writing doens’t really matter to me. I enjoyed it. And that doens’t mean I don’t understand narrative and character. Perhaps it means that you generalize your own opinions about what makes for good characters to all consumers, which is a little misguided and arrogant of you.

      Yes, the characters did things that made no sense (trying to sleep with my character being perhaps the most flagrantly bad, in my playthrough). But I felt enough of a solid character in there that I had a good idea what there characters actually would have done in the situation. I felt enough of a connection that if made me quite upset to have to make choices that rather than being difficult in-world were simply absurd out-of-world and were wrecking my interaction with these characters.

      Are Bioware games well written? That depends. Is the goal of an in-game narrative to stand alone, to augment the gaming experience, or to communicate with the game such that they both inform one-another and neither would function were they to separate? I think my wording makes it clear that I favor the third option. And Bioware certainly does not achieve that ideal. Bioware games do a fairly good job with the second option, I feel, especially relative to a lot of other games. As for the first? Bioware seems poor by this measure. Pulp fiction. Fun for some people, but filling for few. While that describes Bioware’s score in my preferred third category as well … I think it worth mentioning that holding games up to the first option is not particularly informative or useful insofar as the medium is concerned.

      Because games are not just interactive stories. They are visual, auditory, kinetic entertainment often enchanting us with virtual worlds we can exert control on, something we simply cannot do in even the greatest novels and films. This changes and should change the way stories in games are told and perceived by their audience.

    • Wilson says:

      @jstar – I agree with what gwathdring has said, but I also wanted to argue against the point you made that “what makes a good line of dialogue is unform between all mediums” – I don’t think this is the case. For instance, in books you can have dialogue easily mixed in with descriptions of things, while in a game that’s much harder. You can’t draw the player’s attention to a particular piece of the background scenery as easily as you could in a book, and probably not without giving it more significance than you wanted in many cases.

      A line of dialogue that would be good in a film or book might have to be rewritten two or three different ways to account for character choices in an RPG (e.g. what race you chose to be). I don’t think I’m doing a very good job of getting my point across, but I’m confident that there are substantial differences between what makes a good line of dialogue in a book, a film, or a game.

    • jstar says:


  37. MacQ says:

    Is this game ever going to be released, or are they just making movies and never intend to do the former?

    • Simon Hawthorne says:

      If they never release this game but continue to make the high quality CGI trailers I think I would be happier than if they released the game at half the expected monthly subscription.

    • gwathdring says:

      Those trailers were pretty awesome. It would be horribly expensive to make, but I’d be interested to see what they could do with something a fair bit longer.

  38. Hoaxfish says:

    Okay… gun-fight in a corridor… blue alien guy is standing in the corridor, and has constructed a knee-high “energy wall” to duck behind, while shooting some other guys with guns about 2 meters away from him… completely ignoring the idea that he could have just stayed at the end of the tunnel and shot round the corner.

    and this is one of the reasons why most Sci-Fi MMOs look like bad reskins of fantasy games. “Park and fire” like a bad Star Trek ship-battle

  39. jstar says:

    I think it’s really that if you take away the Star Wars license there is nothing remarkable about it. I’m 30 years old and have been exposed to Star Wars as much as anyone but still even today I feel a tremendous warmth for the original trilogy despite how many times I’ve seen it and how many terrible spin offs there have been.

    When I see the gameplay videos it looks exactly like a World of Star Wars but WoW is six years old and it feels very much like they are making a six year old game. I find that hard to get excited about. The development videos I have seen also fill me with dread. Their talk of ‘heroic combat’ for example. Their definition of heroic combat is being able to fight more than one enemy at a time. But that seems such an oversimplification of a potentially interesting idea.

    Also their narrative flash points. These are ,oments in the game where you can decide the course of a story. But in a group situation each group member gets to make decisions at different points. I mean… have they ever been on the internet? I literally can not think of a more terrible idea. Unless I have misunderstood how it works of course.

    • Warat says:

      And if you take away the Star Wars from KoTOR, you’re left with an unremarkable D&D game. The license is what people will buy into. BW haven’t been innovators since the NWN toolkit. Those looking for something new should play GW2. Everyone else will like playing a polished old-style MMO based around Star Wars.

    • jstar says:

      I think that’s harsh. I generally consider Kotor to be Bioware’s last good game. Certainly better than Mass Effect and Dragon Age.

  40. gwathdring says:

    On the one hand it doesn’t look more vapid than other MMOs I’ve seen. With the exception of GW 2, and to a certain extent City of Heroes (which I’d probably pick out of the crowd if I thought any game was worth $14.00 a month), I’ve found every MMO I’ve tried or investigated fairly vapid, empty seeming and dull. World of Warcraft’s art style strikes a fantastic balance, though, so I suppose I should add that to the list of my less-vapid MMOs.

    This one does not look remarkably dull to me, and in fact seems to have snippets of personality and energy in the animations and art style that most MMOs do not. It doesn’t feel alive like GW 2, or have the sheen of the Korean style MMOs like GW 1 (which had a lot of other things going for it beyond respectably flashy visuals), but it has more charm than any MMO I’ve looked at outside of the above three. It’s still on another level entirely (a lower one, that is) … but I don’t understand why people are finding it remarkably dull and old-hat.

    Is it once-high-now-wrecked expectations? The Bioware brand? Or am I misinterpreting the general sentiment in that it is not remarkably dull, but simple unremarkable?

    I’ll agree with the above post in that Sci-fi MMOs do seem more ridiculous in the inevitable automated combat scenarios.

  41. Simon Hawthorne says:

    I have a bad feeling about this.

  42. Warth0g says:

    Every time any new MMO gets discussed it gets compared to Guild Wars 2. I’m as hopeful as the next guy, but is there any way that GW2 can meet people’s expectations? Just waiting for the backlash to start….

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      Reasonably-priced and no subscription fee buys you a lot of goodwill and patience. I would’ve been happy with a GW2 that was just Guild Wars with a bunch of new stuff. But they’re trying something much more ambitious, and if they deliver even 10% of what they’ve promised, it’ll be great.

    • gwathdring says:

      The beauty of not having a subscription fee is that you don’t have to live up to $10-$15 a month worth of material. GW2 could give people an equivalent amount of material and play time to a standard off-the shelf game and they would be getting what they paid for, in theory. If GW1 is the slightest implication, the average user gets quite a bit more than that, and a reasonable amount of new and updated content even before looking at paid expansion packs. The company has already shown they can deliver in service and market value. And if they don’t deliver on gameplay … you’re setback about four months worth of cash more than you would have been if you stopped playing a typical MMO after the first month. But you can they play the game whenever you want, free of charge if you change your mind. The risk is a lot lower, and the game seems to be shaping up nicely.

    • Dominic White says:

      The thing with Guild Wars 2 is that they’ve had it playable at three trade-shows now. Hundreds/thousands of people have actually gotten extensive hands-on time with it, and I’ve not heard a single negative word said about it.

      When the developers are so confident of their work that they skip the whole ‘trailers and bragging about how awesome it’ll be’ phase of marketing and go straight to letting people actually play it, it’s a pretty good sign.

      Just search for ‘Guild Wars 2 PAX East’ for a mix of (mostly-unscripted) developer walkthroughs and hands-on gameplay footage that looks immediately better than anything on show here.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      I went into GW1, paying the equivalent of a single-player RPG.. I got my single-player RPG, and an enjoyable MMO (both PvE and PvP), and went on to buy (in fact pre-order) the other two packs when they were released, and play solidly for 2 years.

      I expect GW2 to be at least as functional as GW1, even if every “new” promise isn’t met, I would still be happy.

    • jstar says:

      I’ve just been watching those videos and I am now officially excited about it.

  43. Kefren says:

    Please can games stop having characters who put a weapon on their back and it just sticks there. Why do so many games include upper clothes made of sellotape?

  44. thecrius says:

    This game would be great… if only it was not a mmo.

    Mmo always ruins the game experience.

  45. Red_Avatar says:

    Ugh, not a fan of the graphics – they look semi-WoW (especially outside) and I’m really really really tired of that style since it’s too abstract and cartoonish.

    The rest seems pretty standard MMO stuff – hits don’t connect, lightsabers just cut through stuff without leaving any mark and battle just looks like a bunch of mimes acting their part. When will they learn that it would make a lot more sense to make battles feel real – hits adding blood layers, being able to seriously injure enemies instead of swords making swiping movements as if you’re fighting holograms.

    • sneetch says:

      Doing that would raise the age cert to 15 from about 12/PG and they don’t want to exclude so many potential customers.

  46. Buttless Boy says:

    This is the worst trailer for anything I’ve ever seen.
    It’s like they went back in time and hired 10 people from 1998 to make an MMORPG, then went back in time further and hired Ed Wood to make a trailer about it.

  47. wootles says:

    light sabers must have lost some of their edge over the years. Anyone else remember when they would actually cut through things rather than being a shiny baton? I guess the galaxy decided to go towards a more non-lethal route when dealing with rabble. This game will probably do well, but I don’t see it keeping a subscriber base for very long. Not in the state these trailers show it in.

    • Nick says:

      Yes, and remember when swords cut into flesh and hammer crushed peoples skulls in? Remember when daggers pierced peoples chests?

  48. Mr Fossy says:

    Making MMO gameplay look interesting must be the most horrific task for video editors.