Friday, December 30, 2011

Escapist Article on The Old Republic ... the first honest review?

Ok I just wanted to link an article and talk about The Old Republic as that has been the primary gaming activity I've been engaged in over the holidays, however, I have hope ... tonight we are playing some Apocalypse World and we have forays into historical mini gaming via old west, Zulus, and even Romans planned for late January and early February.

Anyway I've been playing alot of ToR ... team leveling with a friend and solo playing several other characters on the side. All in all its been fun, but if I wasn't home watching an infant alot I don't know if I'd be too happy spending all of this time glued to the PC. It has been every bit as fun as WoW ever was ... for what that is worth.

So the Escapist had a great article on it and really it struck a chord with me because this has been pretty much my experience with the game. If you are a video gamer or not this is sort of a geek cultural phenomena so perhaps just out of morbid curiosity one might want to take a look.
Anyway decent article and maybe the first honest media I've seen on the game so far, its pretty much just paid advert style reviews out there so far.

I generally agree with it ... I've had a hell of a lot of fun team leveling characters with Kyle ... by the way the game seems to be designed to team level. If you don't you miss out on alot of social points and it just gets pretty rough to solo, I know that is intentional to try to force players to be "social" with one an other. But its just that ... forced ... so to me its not meaningful.

I don't see myself playing this game for years on end like I did WoW ... I'm sure I have a few more months in me but beyond that I don't know ... I'm already feeling MMO fatigue again. The game is just too WoW like for my taste honestly. There are some bits here and there that are damn awesome but overall it is just a re-skinned, slightly updated, WoW. Anyway here is the article from yesterday from the escapist on it:

Escapist Article

I think this article hits on a few key points and they are to me. Awesome story plus an MMO might not be the match made in heaven that everyone thought it would be. I find myself more frustrated with standard MMO-ness because that crap is getting in the way of my story. Like you can easily race along on your cool class story stuff and then .. you get ahead of yourself and you can't continue because your too low level to keep going on it. So go kill 30 of these and 40 of those. The mobs are standing around walking in circles just like they were in WoW and you go out and mow them down ... yawn ... again and again. Ok come back now I can do more story ... woot!! Two segements of the story later ... back in the same spot. So the MMO-KoToR III blend is sort of leaving a bad taste in my mouth at times. At times its awesome. For me I think it makes me lose patience with the MMO format more quickly than I would in a WoW like game.

"Players often have the same companion or pet as other players in MMOs, but in The Old Republic these companions can be characters who participate in cut scenes and therefore have more heft to them than the typical henchman or meat shield does. Seeing ten people run by with a clone of "my" Imperial Agent's companion Kaliyo Djannis immediately breaks the illusion that I actually have a companion at all. Again, multiple players having the same companion in an MMO is a convention that The Old Republic's developers would have been hard-pressed to eliminate, but this time it seems strange."

That part right there can be applied to much in this game and it really hits at the core of this schizophrenic mash up of a game. Again it is not a bad MMO, not at all, and one could actually make a strong arguement that it is the BEST MMO of all time. I myself have touted the MMO model, I do like being able to again and again come back to a game and get many hours of play out of it and have a social atmosphere, etc. but I'm starting to see the big cracks in the dam on this generation of MMOs. I want the next generation and this isn't it. This is a logical, slight step past where all other MMOs have gone so far (well with the exception of Eve but ... wtf ... there is only room globally for one of those ... lol). I am not doom and gloom about it and I've enjoyed my time so far, and likely will enjoy leveling a character to 50. But this isn't the MMO-topia that I had hoped for ... but to be honest ... come on it was Bioware-EA ... that is like McDonalds and Wal-Mart teaming up, you know your going to get a commercially successful product but forget about astounding innovation. This was a licensed product made for the masses and along those lines is perhaps as good as it could have been reasonably expected to be.

So I don't disagree with this passage from the article:

"I mean none of these observations as criticisms of The Old Republic, which is reportedly the most expensive development project in the history of publisher Electronic Arts. It would be foolish to suggest that Bioware should have attempted or even had the financial resources to simultaneously challenge the status quo in MMO design on all fronts, and as I've tried to argue here the changes they did make stand to have wide-reaching repercussions we are just beginning to figure out."

In essence this game is what it should have been and what one should expect from a big, corporate product more McStarWars ...

Incidentally the image is from a Star Wars Themed Wedding Cake from ... funny stuff huh :D

« Last Edit: Today at 01:37:07 PM by The Lord of Excess »

1 comment:

Alexander Man said...

Thanks for the Old Rebublic summary. I wish I had the time to take part in it... Happy New Year!!!