Everyone knows that Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is still the best Star Wars game ever made. By introducing a new story and characters thousands of years before the usual stories (ie, there’s no friggin’ Hoth level in this one) they managed to create a fresh take on a series that still continues to be done to death. The incredible conversation system and freedom afforded to your character was really empowering. Of course, my guy was the most evil bastard around. I think I managed a triple cross some characters at one point.
Today Lucasarts officially announced the long-rumored Star Wars: The Old Republic, which will unfortunately be an MMO. This isn’t the first attempt at a Star Wars MMO, of course. 2003’s Star Wars: Galaxies was a moderate hit which was soon destroyed with its “New Game Enhancements” that effectively screwed up the game for its players, making it much easier and less complex. People left it in droves after that.
The only thing that could possibly bring gamers back is to take them back to the high point in Star Wars gaming, and by grabbing original KOTOR developer BioWare (Mass Effect) to get behind it.
In Star Wars: The Old Republic, players will explore an age thousands of years before the rise of Darth Vader when war between the Old Republic and the Sith Empire divides the galaxy. Players can choose to play as Jedi, Sith, or a variety of other classic Star Wars roles, defining their personal story and determining their path down the light or dark side of the Force. Along the way, players will befriend courageous companions who will fight at their side or possibly betray them, based on the players’ actions. Players can also choose to team up with friends to battle enemies and overcome incredible challenges using dynamic Star Wars combat.
The story will be set 300 years after the events of the first KOTOR. It’s interesting to note how cartoony the graphics look here… more in line with The Clone Wars than the more realistic characters of the older games. But how will it play in its new form?
“Traditionally, massively multiplayer online games have been about three basic gameplay pillars — combat, exploration and character progression,” says Dr. Ray Muzyka, Co-Founder and General Manager/CEO of BioWare and General Manager/Vice President of Electronic Arts Inc., “In Star Wars: The Old Republic, we’re fusing BioWare’s heritage of critically-acclaimed storytelling with the amazing pedigree of Lucasfilm and LucasArts, and adding a brand-new fourth pillar to the equation — story. At the same time, we will still deliver all the fun features and activities that fans have come to expect in a triple-A massively multiplayer online game.
It’s definitely got people excited, but I can’t be the only one that wishes they would just make another single player game. MMOs are about as interesting to me as going LARPing. (Really, it’s just that I know how much time I spend playing games as is, never mind one that would take over my life like an MMO).
Make sure to check the new official site out for more info and keep an eye here for more details on its release.