Star Wars: The Old Republic (SWTOR) is a Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG) developed by Bioware and released in 2011. It is a successor to the Knights of the Old Republic single-player games. The game is available as Free-to-play, with an optional subscription for additional benefits. Like most MMOs, SWTOR has been actively updated over the years with new planets, stories, and changes that focus on improving the single-player experience.
In SWTOR, you choose one of eight classes, which will affect your preferred roles in combat. You may also have one companion with you, and their role can be freely chosen at any time. Your character and companion(s) will follow one of three traditional MMO roles: Damage (Damaging enemies), Tank (Sustaining damage from enemies), and Support (Healing and buffing allies). This allows you to switch the dynamic of the two characters in play, allowing for more flexibility and adaptation. This is a welcome addition to the single-player experience, but it’s not without faults. In older versions of the game, every companion would have a set role that could not be changed. Within the new system, this makes the other two extra roles less efficient, as the companion behavior for the original role is more refined. The new roles are serviceable, but inferior due to having new abilities that feel tacked on.
Throughout the game, you will travel to many different planets and complete missions for your allies. Typically, you must find an objective and fight enemies on the way to reach it. In combat, you and your companion can use abilities to fight enemies or support your allies. Abilities require resources to use, and most have a cooldown before they may be used again. Your character class has its own story missions, and planets have their own optional story and side missions. Some larger missions, called “Flashpoints”, have been made accessible to solo players by adding a “story mode”. This is an easier version of a challenging mission that would previously require a party to complete. This is perhaps the best of the single-player additions, as many Flashpoints have a considerable amount of story to them.
With eight class stories combined with Flashpoints, SWTOR offers plenty of story for both solo and group players. Thanks to level downscaling and generous experience points (XP), the player should never feel too powerful, while also removing the need to grind for XP to progress in the story. However, these two factors do limit the game to a smooth, often easy combat where you will not find many challenges, as you are forced into a certain level of power. As an unfortunate side-effect, these limitations of power also make your equipment largely meaningless, as the game will be forced to scale down powerful gear, to keep the character in line with the current mission’s difficulty. Despite its issues, I’ve found SWTOR to be a decent RPG, with plenty of content to explore in the Star Wars universe.
Game: Star Wars: The Old Republic
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Platforms: Windows PC
Release Date: December 20. 2011
Title image: Promotional image from Steam’s store page: https://steamcdn-a.akamaihd.net/steam/apps/1286830/ss_b8ea89ee13623661af1d078b19e0a6ec0c728da0.jpg?t=1603983952
First image: Taken in-game by the author.
Last image: Promotional image from Steam’s store page: https://steamcdn-a.akamaihd.net/steam/apps/1286830/ss_cfcbe6a178e6f1e0b7153b560539deff8f6af48b.jpg?t=1603983952
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