Have you ever wanted to stuff four balloons of pure cocaine up your ass to transport it from Columbia to the States? Yeah me neither, but thankfully SWTOR’s smuggler class chooses to embrace the romanticized side of smuggling rather than the dark reality.
At this years E3 I had the chance to get a hands-on with the smuggler class. Was it fun? Has Bioware delivered on their promises? Did I shoot first? Read on to find out!
So this is a MMO Right?
Just a quick glance through the demo interface, I found everything from a world map to a social list(although many of these functions were locked for the demo). All of the gear had stats and the enemies dropped loot but that’s nothing to be surprised about if you played any of the KOTOR games. The game(at least at the early levels) is very easy to play if you’ve played World of Warcraft, but that’s a good thing. If Bioware wants to win people from WoW they’re going to have to make it easily accessible. Mind you the combat is very fun and makes you feel more of a heroic character that I’ve seen in any other game. I found myself often taking on 3-5 enemies and not ever feeling overwhelmed.
This game is all that and a bag of chips.
While it was only around a 15 minute demo, it was quite noticeably different than any other MMO I’ve played. Even though the demo started in the middle of a storyline the story was awesome. It started with me delivering some illegal weapons(or as I prefer to call them “better weapons”) to the local military. Turns out that some of the local resistance took control of the AA guns while they were unloading the cargo and need my help dealing with them. While my choices were varied it seems that they all ended with the conclusion that I needed to help them regain control of the AA guns so that I could leave. After fighting my way to the AA control room and completed my quest I worked my way pack to the hanger this all started in. As I entered the hanger I was ambushed by some of those same resistance fighters. I quickly dove behind a crate and took them out only to find my ship stolen. I was legitimately upset when the demo was over because I couldn’t chase after the bastards that stole my ship.
The combat was very fast paced and had me looking forward to fighting my next enemy rather than trying to avoid them. The smuggler uses a cover system similar to WoW’s rogue giving different abilities while in cover and when out of cover. I was taking a minimal amount of damage while in cover and I am not sure if it was a bug or indented game mechanics but it did take a bit away from feeling safe in cover.
There are special instanced areas(they don’t require loading screens) that only you and your party can enter called ‘Storyline Areas’. The devs there explained that the reason they did this was to make you feel more involved in the story and prevent people from standing on quest givers and ruining your experience.
Probably the coolest part of the whole thing(aside from the game of course) was that the Bioware representatives encouraged us to take notes on what we thought about the demo. After I had finished the demo a dev asked me what I thought and took down notes on my positives and negatives of the demo. Plus when I was chatting with one of the devs(he was in marketing of all things) he was actively talking about the forums and certain posts that he enjoyed. It was very obvious from everyone there that Bioware really enjoys their game and were ecstatic to show it to everybody.
When all was said and done, and I finally walked out being very satisfied with the game. SWTOR doesn’t revolutionize MMO gaming like some people are hoping it will, but what it does different it does well. The stronger emphasis on story and the voice acting immerse you into the world even if it’s only for 15 minutes. The fast paced and heroic game play is both fun and addictive. SWTOR will be similar to other MMOs that are out there but that’s a good thing. It’s like playing Mass Effect 2 after playing the first Mass Effect. It gives you everything you wanted from the first game while fixing those things you didn’t like. This will definitely be a game to pick up when it releases Spring 2011.
(If you have any questions about the demo or about Star Wars the Old Republic in general please leave a comment below and I’ll answer as much as I can.)
Editorial by Ninth Batter the author/creator of Nobody Like You.
Any opinions expressed in posts on Polygamerous are not necessarily the opinions of Polygamerous or the other Authors/Editors/Podcasters of Polygamerous.