Rise of the Hutt Cartel – First Look

My news on Star Wars: The Old Republic has been lacking of late, largely because I’m not actually playing. I loved this game, but my poor little computer doesn’t have enough power to play as I’d wanted. Planets, such as Tatooine, always had severe lags, whenever another player came into the vicinity there was more lag, and trying to play in WarZones (which I actually got REALLY into) was a nightmare because, you’ve guessed it, more lag. My computer simply couldn’t keep up.

There were also a few issues I had with the game, largely that it was severely lacking for RP’ers like myself. LOTRO has many opportunities for RP which I love, and they had a rudimentary feature which allows home ownership. SWG will continue to be my greatest love for the Star Wars online world. Here, they really cracked RP’ing with having homes, equipment and factories, and it’s the best system I’ve come across. But, alas, SWG has shut it’s doors. I still hope that SW:TOR will allow those little extras, such as being able to sit on chairs or having a little house where you can actually showcase some of the cool loot, in time.

For now, though, it seems as if Bioware are desperately trying to create content to retain fans, and having made SW:TOR freeplay, they’ve now released their newest Rise of the Hutt Cartel, First Look trailer. As always, it looks pretty decent with good graphics and a great new planet to explore. For now I’ll have to be content with looking rather than playing, because until I can buy a new computer, this game will grind to a half for me.

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War, and Companion Characters, Are Coming

We all know I’m a Star Wars geek, and having played Star Wars: Galaxies (SWG) for many years I’m waiting with HUGE anticipation for the release of Star Wars: The Old Republic (SWTOR). With a release date finally announced, and the later press release that Europe’s launch date had been changed to be the same as North America, allowing me to jump into this vibrant and expansive world from December 20th 2011.

 

Aside from that crucial launch date comes the compelling news about companion characters. We’ve experienced them before – they’re the creatures and pets available in WoW and SWG, or the skirmish soldiers that you can call in LOTRO. However, with SWTOR they are to be far more developed,. Emotional people, not the blank canvases that we’ve come to expect. Much of the hype with SWTOR is that all characters are to be voiced, making a dramatic shift away from minimal voice over and plain speech bubble options to engaging gameplay. A previous flaw for many MMO’s was that you had to read the speech bubbles and quest information which, quite frankly, you hardly end up doing. However, with fully audible interaction comes the chance for total immersion, with all your senses being compelled to complete your SWTOR story.

Companion characters will not only speak, and evolve but be completely customisable both physically and skill wise. Like Mass Effect, Bioware has taken the opportunity to offer romantic options with these customisable characters too, adding an entirely new genre for you to dabble in during this incredible MMO. From the sexy Twi’lek to the cute Jawa, you’ll be able to fill your ship with a range of characters to befriend, use on missions, and fall in love with, in addition to the other thousands of real players around you.

 

With December 20th fast approaching it’ll only be a matter of time before I’m engulfed in this fantastic new world. And with new details appearing all the time I’m already well and truly hooked.

Star Wars: The Old Republic – Cinematic Trailer

With E3 dominating the gaming scene, new details are set to start flooding into the community over the next few days. Whilst I’m jiggling in my chair with excitment over Mass Effect 3, I must not forget Star Wars: The Old Republic. Whilst ME3 will fulfil many hours of amazing gameplay, the MMORPG of SWTOR will, hopefully, continue to rock my world for months and possibly years.

On the first day of the expo, the new cinematic trailer has shown just the premise for SWTOR and what fans can expect from the chronological setting of the game’s period in history. I love the homage to Han Solo, a reference to the fact that whilst STWOR is set thousands of years before the iconic smuggler was born, players will still be able to create similar characters. The Zabrak and brief Twi’Lek appearances also look pretty stunning and offer the promise of great characterisation further than the everday human. And whilst a release date is still to be uncovered, my anticipation for this great game is steadily increasing.

Let Starwars Geekdom Begin

With a very obsessive personality when it comes to the science fiction and movie genre, and wanting to immerse myself totally into far off and incredibly exotic lands, I like nothing more than an expansive sci-fi computer game. Mass Effect really catered to this need with a brand new universe full of haunting worlds, bold new aliens and technology with which to thrash the living daylights out of adversaries. However, you could only do so much because, whilst being a role-playing game, it was single player.

I’ve been a fan of Star Wars Galaxies (SWG) in the past; the MMORPG that allows you to jump into George Lucas’s hugely diverse world. I could play a little rodian smuggling goods between Corellia and Tatooine. Or my favourite; a Transdoshan female medic living on Naboo who had a hatred of Wookies and loved nothing more than slaying and hunting. It’s a world that you write, and whilst there are of course challenges and goals ultimately gameplay is down to you.

However, SWG became tired over the years, mostly due to the developers wanting to attract a more wide-ranging audience. This led to many of features which hardcore Starwars fans loved being dropped in destructive updates and being replaced with rather benign and irritating gameplay. As such, I lost interest as did many of my gaming friends from around the world. But now, now we have the promise of Star Wars: The Old Republic.

Part of SWG’s downfall was its historical placement which put it alongside the popular movies and led to many historical issues. For hardcore fans this was a problem. There shouldn’t be loads of Jedi running around when they had, almost in their entirety, been wiped out by Order 66. The icons of the series were in the game but hidden away so you hardly saw them, and it resulted in a game which felt like it was only half the story. SWTOR however takes place 3,500 years before Darth Vader’s creation, lending the creators to basically do what they want.

You’ll have to wait a while for this promising new game though as no release date has yet been confirmed. Officials originally slated it for release, well, now but updates are still arriving without that elusive date. However, after being terribly disappointed with Star Trek Online I’m hoping that SWTOR makes a thrilling and exciting update to the now tired SWG.

Cinematic Trailer for Star Wars: The Old Republic

Levelling Up for Troopers