[SWTOR] Attention: Piqued

After a bout of Spring Break, rediculous school trouble to be solved, and a new quarter of classes (featuring more classes than before in addition to new material), my free time was chewed up and spat out and I’m finally able to get back to talking to you fine folks. Now, what you came here for…

Before, Star Wars: The Old Republic barely appeared on my radar. Admittedly, I wrote it off as just another Sci-fi game that was supposed to come out, which I figured would either just be like SW Galaxies and become a lackluster attempt to bring back KOTOR or even go the route of Stargate: Worlds and disappear entirely.

Light vs Dark sides of the Force

All combat sequences interact, including lightsaber blocks and laser deflections.

This was before I heard 2 things: It is made by bioware and it features things we might find very familiar from bioware games, such as AI companions that you can form relationships with (when you’re not in a party already) and they can perform tasks outside of your supervision, reputation, “morality” in the form of light or dark side points (like KOTOR) and a personal ship to move about the galaxy in.
After further inquiry I found something very interesting concerning battle mechanics: interactive fighting. This is something I do not think I have seen in any MMO ever, and makes auto-attacking a bit more action packed. Lightsabers clash when jedi knights and sith warriors collide. They dont just stand there, doing their own animations (which could even cause people to move THROUGH each other, as if they don’t really exist). Animations actually connect to each other, making them seem real and visceral instead of just someone rolling some dice in a backroom of the game. You FEEL like you are fighting, despite being disconnected by that third-person point of view.

As the more ranged classes go, they also get a realistic animation, irregular blasts and shots. This is not QUITE as revolutionary, but it still deserves a looking into. How often do you hear perfectly intervaled shots fired in real life or any movie? NEVER, thats when. We are all familiar with the pew-pewpew of a blaster or a bambam-bambambambambam of a rifle. This seems insignificant by itself, but it adds to the fast pace feel of what is a naturally calm genre. Now, you may feel the rush of trying to manage the situation in an RPG or MMORPG, but its RARELY because you feel part of the action, as if it’s your pair of boots on the ground and you’re in the thick of it.

Between the story, the combat and the gameplay, I am excited to see what this major contender to the Guild Wars 2 machine will shove in our eager faces, but for now, I’m just waiting for the two games to live up to the hype they have created for their impatient, yet faithful fanbases.

EDIT: Above, I mention auto-attacking as the basis for normal attacks. Via video reviews I have discovered a mistake or misconception on my part. It seems that there is a skill that serves as a basic attack and you have to hit it every time you want to do a normal attack, but not a more resource consuming skill.