Title: Star Wars: The Old Republic
Publishers: Electronic Arts, LucasArts
Developers: BioWare
Platforms: Microsoft Windows
Release Date: Out now

Star Wars: The Old Republic has been eagerly anticipated in the MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role playing game) world since its announcement three years ago. The game is set more than 3,500 years before the rise of Darth Vader, as the player carves their own path in the galaxy-dividing battle between The Galactic Republic and Sith Empire.

The player is greeted by a breathtaking cinematic, the visuals and sounds of which are really something to behold. While watching, the player is swallowed back into the world of Star Wars, which is particularly captivating for those who have not encountered the series in recent years.

The character creation scene is an important one in any RPG. After deciding between the Empire and the Republic the player can choose from one of eight class types, ranging from Jedi Knight and Sith Warrior to Bounty Hunter and Smuggler. The replay value of the game is increased as multiple characters can be created and each class type has a different story.

The gameplay in SW:TOR is similar to most MMORPGs of the past decade. Click on a target and select one of several attacks. The only difference is that in this game there is no auto-attack feature. As simple as the combat system is, it is still incredibly satisfying to slash away at a droid with a lightsaber, or pick off a flesh raider with a blaster.

NPCs (non-playable characters) are dotted across the world and give quests to the player through many impressive dialogue sequences. Quests are interesting and varied, and lead the player through dozens of different environments while taking on numerous and varying enemies. The plot in SW:TOR is among the best in the genre. Producers BioWare, known for the Mass Effect series, again succeed in leading the player through gripping stories and forcing them to make important decisions along the way.

The visuals featured aren’t groundbreaking, but they are solid for this genre. They manage to succeed in immersing the player into the world of Star Wars while still being playable on any half-decent system. The soundtrack is one of the most engaging of the game’s features. It stays true to the style of the original movie soundtracks and really helps to bring the player closer to the environment.

SW:TOR succeeds in providing gamers with a new take on the MMORPG genre. Stunning cinematic sequences, superb voice acting, great story lines and varied quests instantly redeems the initial hiccups encountered during the registration process. This is all complimented by a solid combat system, and an extremely functional multiplayer system. Not only does the game do the Star Wars franchise justice, it also establishes itself as one of the top MMORPGs of recent years.

Rating: 4/5