Star Wars: The Old Republic–a Response to The Weekend Beta Test
My entire opinion on everything that I saw during my time playing the Star Wars: The Old Republic Beta. Including found bugs, suggestions, things I really loved, and a (very) few disappointments.
I was given somewhat of an honor last week by being invited to participate in the Star Wars: The Old Republic (SW:ToR) this weekend. I would first like to start by saying that the game looks solid. I have played many MMOs in my time, as well as a far larger quantity of single player games. The Old Republic is Good. I mean legitimately good. The game looks ready for launch.
Now, starting with the actual report, I will start with what every gamer sees from the beginning: Graphics. The Old Republic Looks Good; However, I can’t give much comment because I played on my non-power school laptop. The game looks fine* on low settings (which I had to set in order to achieve a playable frame rate), but I imagine (based on other forum posts that I’ve seen) that it would look much better with a higher-end PC. That goes for textures and the like. One thing that is also very important to note is the quality of the particle effects. Bioware did an amazing job with the projectile and lightsaber effects. The game looks good overall, and models seem to fit the theme of the original Knights of The Old Republic.
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While I’m sure that the game would look better on a more powerful machine, there is far more to the artistry of this game than nice 3D graphics. The audio design is phenomenal. The music that plays intermittently through ToR takes you back to the films. Being in direct workings with Lucas Arts, Bioware had plenty of resources to bring the Star Wars feel to this game (as they did with KoTOR). All of the music feels like genuine, old-school Star Wars. What makes the audio design even more impressive is the very well designed audio cues. Similarly to TES:V Skyrim the game does not constantly bombard you with excessive music, but rather plays music at the best points of the game–such as during combat, or during long periods of walking or idleness (to distract from the distance you have to move in the MASSIVE game world). While the game’s music and the cues for it are great, this barely scratches the surface of this game’s audio. As many have heard SW:TOR is the first ever fully voice acted MMORPG, this adds up to a ton of audio, and from level 1-17 (Where I ended) I never noticed a quest where the voice acting sounded overly strange or really bad. On top of the voice acting, the game’s sound effects are exceptional. All the familiar sounds of Star Wars–the lightsaber sounds, blaster sounds, force sounds, droid beeps, etc.–are back. This includes the fact that lightsaber clashes sound as they should. But once again all of this is irrelevant for the most part. As any gamer knows, game-play is the true teller.