FANDOM


This week, Zero Punctuation reviews Star Wars: The Old Republic.

Transcript Edit

Christing McBollockwaffles, do I hate reviewing MMORPGs. Especially when I only have a week! It's like having to write the Lonely Planet guide to Belgium when all you did was eat a waffle and fall asleep in a gutter in Bruges. So yes, once again this review of an MMO will be more of a "first impressions" video. I'd love to discuss how the Republic trooper campaign and combat mechanics compare to the Sith babysitter campaign and combat mechanics, but it took me most of the time I had available just to get through one character's fucking prologue section. You'd almost think a game that operates on a subscription service is deliberately trying to drag its runtime out, like Dennis Hopper set it to explode if it ever drops below slow walking pace.

Have you guessed already that I'm talking about The Old Republic, BioWare's big, fancy, Star Wars-branded hat it's throwing into the MMORPG ring to get mauled by World of Warcraft like they always are? It could be considered a follow up to BioWare's Knights of the Old Republic single-player RPGs (they had to shorten the title so as not to alienate all the people role-playing lollipop ladies and dentists and whatever).

After a couple of cinematics depicting dull, ridiculously over-choreographed lightsaber fighting (since Star wars is still forced to carry the attitude of the prequel movies around with it like a child dragging his stillborn Siamese twin), we find ourselves in the world of the Old Republic. Apparently it's set centuries before Star Wars the movies, not that it seems to matter, because every period in the Star Wars canon seems pretty interchangeable. Spaceships fly around, glowy sword fights sound like you're being whacked over the head with a florescent lighting rig, the good guys are clean-living humanoids with American accents, and the bad guys all draw squiggles on their faces with permanent marker.

The class you inevitably pick will reflect your favorite Star Wars character, and, by extension, perhaps your personality: Are you a Jedi like Luke Skywalker, a noble, disciplined peacekeeper with a collective penis extension issue; a smuggler like Han Solo, a free-spirited chancer with a heart of gold and his eyes on the prize; or a trooper like... um... 3rd bloke from the left? I opted for smuggler, it brings back pleasant memories of an airplane ride I once took with three condoms fulls of pre-cut Acapulco gold.

This, it turned out, is a primarily long-range class, whose job is to hide behind things going pew-pew-pew with a blaster and, in curious defiance to how blasters usually behave in Star Wars, not missing ninety percent of the time. Most of my other special skills involved preventing enemies from getting close enough to attack, such as concession grenades, leg shots, and crafty knees to the bollocks (which for some reason still works on robots - perhaps they're all wearing Tanooki suits). You might think that this arsenal would give me a fairly bloated advantage when fighting melee-only enemies, but to balance that out the game gave me a standard BioWare NPC support companion whose job seemed to be harpooning enemies from a distance and pulling them really close. making it more convenient for them to slice him into deli meat. This is a guy armed with a gun, I'll remind you. Maybe he doesn't have a lot of faith in his aiming ability; maybe he was one of those kids who played Duck Hunt with the light gun pressed right up against the TV.

Since the smuggler is the only Republic class who doesn't work for any larger authority, a reason has to be contrived for him to be in all the same places as the classes that do, so a dastardly scoundrel steals the Totally Not The Millenium Falcon and makes his getaway through a walking tour of his favorite war zones.

Now - spoiler alert - Old Republic is a MMORPG, so of course you're going to be spending a lot of time collecting seven diseased buttocks from the Blood Nubbin Drink Spikers, who all stand around in random positions in a single square acre of terrain. But the game does make the effort to keep things interesting by dressing up every mission with the BioWare mandatory Mass Effect-style conversations, where everyone gestures like they're in a dubbed-over German soap opera about something completely unrelated.

This could be one of the most directed leveling experiences I've seen in an MMO. The story proceeds very linearly and you are only ever given missions for the current environment or the very next one as a none too subtle passive-aggressive gesture of direction. I actually kind of like it. The emphasis on single-player storytelling seems tailor-made for people like me playing MMOs. You know, the friendless, forever alone types. But that may be to the detriment of the whole multiplayer aspect of the Massively Multiplayer Online Rage Producing Gobbledygook. The buzz seems to be that the PvP is unbalanced, but you know how it is: cows go "moo," dogs go "woof," MMO players go "the PvP is unbalanced." What I really don't get is how the group conversations work in the four man instances. You all pick the conversation option you want, then it seems like everyone gets assigned a random number and the one with the highest number gets to say their line.

I don't know how this works when you're given the moral choice conversation options that change your Light Side/Dark Side stats. It seems like if you wanted Dark Side but the guy who wins picked Light Side, then you get to eat shit and have one Light Side point dangling awkwardly off your Dark Side report card like an arid bogey forever. Which reminds me: sheep go "baa," cats go "meow," Yahtzee goes "moral choice systems are bullshit." This is the kind where you can only get the best bonuses if you stick to one side or the other, so they might as well have just locked your alignment in during character creation when you went for the dastardly mustache.

Every time I play a MMORPG, I have a moment of self-realization at some point when I say "What the fuck am I doing?" and go back to being a productive member of society. In some games it comes earlier than others, but to Old Republic 's credit, it did take a while. It was right after my character got the Schmellenium Schmalcon back and the game universe opened up. My heart leaped when the space battles were introduced, but they're basically just pseudo-rail shooters in the Novastorm or Microcosm style and aren't much more than a gimmick.

What really made me lose interest was that, in emphasizing the story, the game unwittingly sealed its downfall. Because once my smuggler had reclaimed the Thousand-Year Albatross, he suddenly didn't have a story anymore. Some hideously contrived development about a pirate treasure was yanked from a butt hole lubricated with desperate sweat, but all I could think was "Why the hell would I want a treasure? I've got twenty-five grand in the bank gathering dust because the stores don't sell anything worth shit and I peel all my equipment off dead tosspots. At least provide a beautiful princess for me to put my cocksure leg over. I spent a lot of cold lonely nights in the captain's bunk with my right hand and some racy holograms thinking 'so this is why they called him Han Solo.'"

AddendaEdit

Strong is he with the force: Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw

Do you think the people who manufacture red light saber crystals get along with the guys who make the green ones

I'm so force sensitive I clean my swimming pool with midichlorine


ScreenshotsEdit

Old Republic 1

They had to shorten the title so as not to alienate all the people roleplaying lollipop ladies and dentists

Old Republic 2

And you are ever given missions for the current environment or the very next one...

Old Republic 3

... as a none too subtle passive-aggressive gesture of direction.

External LinksEdit

Episodes
2007 - 2010
2007
Q3 The Darkness Demo · Fable: The Lost Chapters · Zero Punctuation (Episode) · Heavenly Sword and Other Stuff · Psychonauts · Console Rundown · BioShock · Tomb Raider: Anniversary · Manhunt · Peggle
Q4 Halo 3 · Tabula Rasa · The Orange Box · Super Paper Mario · Medal of Honor: Airborne · The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass · Clive Barker's Jericho · F.E.A.R. Perseus Mandate · Assassin's Creed · Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock · Mass Effect
2008
Q1 Super Mario Galaxy · Silent Hill: Origins · Crysis · The Witcher · Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles · Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare · SimCity Societies · Yahtzee Goes to GDC · Uncharted: Drake's Fortune · Devil May Cry 4 · Burnout: Paradise · Turok · Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure
Q2 Army of Two · No More Heroes · Condemned 2: Bloodshot · Super Smash Bros. Brawl · God of War: Chains of Olympus · Mailbag Showdown · Grand Theft Auto IV · Painkiller · The World Ends With You · The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion · Haze · Metal Gear Solid 4
Q3 Webcomics · Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures · Alone in the Dark · Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures · The E3 Trailer Park · Ninja Gaiden II · Prince of Persia Retrospective · Soulcalibur IV · Braid · EVE Online · Too Human · Spore · XBLA Double Bill
Q4 Mercenaries 2: World in Flames · Star Wars: The Force Unleashed · S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky · Silent Hill: Homecoming · Saints Row 2 · Dead Space · Fable II · Fallout 3 · Guitar Hero: World Tour · Mirror's Edge · Left 4 Dead · Sonic Unleashed · The Year in Review - 2008 · Prince of Persia
2009
Q1 Awards for 2008 · Tomb Raider: Underworld · Far Cry 2 · Gears of War 2 · LittleBigPlanet · Thief: The Dark Project · Skate 2 · F.E.A.R. 2 · Spider-Man: Web of Shadows · The House of the Dead: Overkill · 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand · Resident Evil 5
Q2 X-Blades/Halo Wars · Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars · MadWorld · Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X · Siren: Blood Curse · The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena · Valkyria Chronicles · Velvet Assassin · Duke Nukem Forever · Bionic Commando · InFamous · The Second Annual E3 Hype Massacre · Prototype
Q3 The Sims 3 · Ghostbusters: The Video Game · Overlord 2 · Red Faction Guerrilla · Wii Sports Resort · Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood · The Conduit · Silent Hill 2 · 2.5-D Hoedown · Tales of Monkey Island · Wolfenstein · Batman: Arkham Asylum · Beatles Rock Band & Guitar Hero 5 · Darkest of Days
Q4 Scribblenauts · Wet · Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story · Brutal Legend · Washington D.C. · Uncharted 2: Among Thieves · Dragon Age: Origins · Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 · Assassin's Creed 2 · Left 4 Dead 2 & New Super Mario Bros. Wii · Demon's Souls · Holiday 2009 · The Saboteur
2010
Q1 Awards for 2009 · Torchlight · Darksiders · Bayonetta · Dark Void · Borderlands · Mass Effect 2 · Dante's Inferno · BioShock 2 · Aliens vs Predator · Heavy Rain · Battlefield: Bad Company 2 · Final Fantasy XIII
Q2 April Fools 2010 · God of War III · Red Steel 2 · Just Cause 2 · Silent Hill: Shattered Memories · Splinter Cell: Conviction · Nier · Dead to Rights: Retribution · Monster Hunter Tri · Alan Wake · Red Dead Redemption · Alpha Protocol · Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands · E3 2010
Q3 No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle · Super Mario Galaxy 2 · Singularity · Crackdown 2 · DeathSpank & Limbo · Shadow of the Colossus · Split Second: Velocity · Transformers: War for Cybertron · Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days · Mafia II · Metroid: Other M · Video Game Voters Network · Amnesia: The Dark Descent
Q4 Halo: Reach · Dead Rising 2 · Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions · Castlevania: Lords of Shadow · Enslaved: Odyssey to the West · Fallout: New Vegas · Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II · Call of Duty: Black Ops · IPhone Games · Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood · Splatterhouse · Epic Mickey · Holiday 2010
2011 - 2014
2011
Q1 Top 5 of 2010 · World of Warcraft: Cataclysm · Fable III · Minecraft · A Shadow's Tale · Dead Space 2 · DC Universe Online · MindJack · Two Worlds II · Bulletstorm · Killzone 3 · Kirby's Epic Yarn · Dragon Age II
Q2 Pokémon White · Yakuza 4 · Crysis 2 · Nintendo 3DS · Portal 2 · Castlevania: Symphony of the Night · Mortal Kombat · Brink · L.A. Noire · The Witcher 2 · Hunted: The Demon's Forge · Duke Nukem Forever (for real this time) · InFamous 2
Q3 Alice: Madness Returns · Shadows of the Damned · F.E.A.R. 3 · The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D · Call of Juarez: The Cartel · Bastion and From Dust · Catherine · Red Faction: Armageddon · Deus Ex · Deus Ex: Human Revolution · Driver: San Francisco · Dead Island · Resistance 3
Q4 Gears of War 3 · Hard Reset · Rage · Kinect · Batman: Arkham City · Battlefield 3 · Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception · Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 · The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim · Saints Row: The Third · Assassin's Creed: Revelations · The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
2012
Q1 Serious Sam 3: BFE · Top 5 of 2011 · Super Mario 3D Land & Rayman Origins · Sonic Generations · Star Wars: The Old Republic · Amy · Resident Evil: Revelations · Darkness 2 · Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning · NeverDead · Syndicate · Mass Effect 3 · Twisted Metal
Q2 Yakuza: Dead Souls · Ninja Gaiden 3 · Silent Hill: Downpour · Kid Icarus: Uprising · Fez and I Am Alive · Prototype 2 · Risen 2: Dark Waters · Sniper Elite V2 · Diablo 3 · Max Payne 3 · Dragon's Dogma · E3 2012 · Lollipop Chainsaw
Q3 Quantum Conundrum · Spec Ops: The Line · Walking Dead · Inversion · The Amazing Spider-Man · Half-Life · Wreckateer and Deadlight · Steam Roundup · Sleeping Dogs · Darksiders 2 · DayZ · Guild Wars 2
Q4 Borderlands 2 · FIFA 13 · Resident Evil 6 · Dishonored · XCOM: Enemy Unknown · Medal of Honor: Warfighter & Doom 3: BFG Edition · Assassin's Creed 3 · Halo 4 · Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 · Hitman: Absolution · Far Cry 3 · ZombiU
2013
Q1 Top 5 of 2012 · Paper Mario: Sticker Star · Black Knight Sword & Hotline Miami · Anarchy Reigns · DMC: Devil May Cry · The Cave · Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch · Dead Space 3 · Aliens: Colonial Marines · Crysis 3 · Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance · Tomb Raider · SimCity
Q2 The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct · BioShock Infinite · Lego City Undercover · Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon · Injustice: Gods Among Us · Star Trek · Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon · System Shock 2 · Metro: Last Light · Next Gen Buyer's Guide · Fuse · Remember Me · E3 2013
Q3 The Last of Us · Deadpool · Animal Crossing: New Leaf · Ride to Hell: Retribution · Dark · Mario & Luigi: Dream Team · Rise of the Triad · Papers, Please & Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons · Pikmin 3 · The Bureau: XCOM Declassified · Saints Row 4 · Killer is Dead · Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs
Q4 Grand Theft Auto V · Lost Planet 3 · Beyond: Two Souls · The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD · Batman: Arkham Origins · Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag · Call of Duty: Ghosts · Exclusives Showdown · Ryse: Son of Rome · Dead Rising 3 · Super Mario 3D World
2014
Q1 Top 5 of 2013 · Knack · Killzone: Shadow Fall · Survival Special · Broken Age · Might & Magic X: Legacy · The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds · Dark Souls · Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII · Strider · Thief · Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 · Dark Souls II
Q2 Titanfall · InFamous: Second Son · Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes · The Elder Scrolls Online · South Park: The Stick of Truth · FTL: Faster Than Light · Child of Day-Light · The Amazing Spider-Man 2 · Tesla Effect: A Tex Murphy Adventure · Wolfenstein: The New Order · WATCH DOGS · E3 2014 · Murdered: Soul Suspect
Q3 Tomodachi Life · Enemy Front & Valiant Hearts: The Great War · Shovel Knight · EarthBound · Transistor · E.T. · Firefall · Sacred 3 · Risen 3: Titan Lords · Daikatana · Lichdom: Battlemage · The Sims 4 · Destiny
Q4 D4: Dark Dreams Don't Die · Hyrule Warriors · Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor · Alien Isolation · The Evil Within · Bayonetta 2 · Sunset Overdrive · Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare · Assassin's Creed: Unity · Far Cry 4 · Dragon Age: Inquisition · Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric · Top 5 Games of 2014
2015 - 2017
2015
Q1 The Talos Principle · Elite: Dangerous · Five Nights at Freddy's and This War of Mine · Lords of the Fallen · Saints Row: Gat out of Hell · Dying Light · Grim Fandango · Evolve · The Order: 1886 · The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D · Resident Evil Revelations 2 · Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number & Ori and the Blind Forest
Q2 Battlefield: Hardline · Bloodborne · Half-Life 2 Update · Axiom Verge & Stealth Inc 2 · Mortal Kombat X · Grand Theft Auto Online · Broken Age: Act 2 · Wolfenstein: The Old Blood · Cyberpunk Double · The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt · Splatoon · Hatred · E3 2015
Q3 Alone in the Dark: Illumination · Batman: Arkham Knight · Yoshi's Woolly World · Cave Story · Godzilla · Rocket League & Tembo the Badass Elephant · King's Quest: A Knight to Remember · Nom Nom Galaxy & Freedom Planet · Everybody's Gone To The Rapture · Volume · Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain · Mad Max · Gears of War Ultimate Edition · Until Dawn
Q4 Super Mario Maker · SOMA · Rock Band 4 · Assassin's Creed Syndicate · Halo 5: Guardians · Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 · Rise of the Tomb Raider · Fallout 4 · Star Wars: Battlefront · Just Cause 3 · Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water
2016
Q1 Top 5 Games of 2015 · Devil's Third · Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam · Assassin's Creed Chronicles · Xenoblade Chronicles X · The Witness & Bombshell · Gravity Rush · XCOM 2 · Firewatch & Layers of Fear · Far Cry Primal · Stardew Valley & SUPERHOT · The Division · Salt and Sanctuary
Q2 Republique · Shadow Warrior · Quantum Break · Dark Souls III · Ratchet & Clank · Star Fox Zero · Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door · Uncharted 4: A Thief's End · Doom · Homefront: The Revolution · Overwatch & Battleborn · Mirror's Edge: Catalyst · E3 2016
Q3 Mighty No. 9 · Inside & Shadow of the Beast · The Technomancer · Furi & Song of the Deep · I Am Setsuna · Headlander & Quadrilateral Cowboy · Quake · No Man's Sky · Grow Up · Deus Ex: Mankind Divided · Metroid Prime: Federation Force · The Curious Expedition & Mother Russia Bleeds · ReCore
Q4 Capcom Five · Clustertruck & Lichtspeer · Paper Mario: Color Splash · Mafia III · Gears of War 4 · PlayStation VR · Battlefield 1 · Titanfall 2 vs Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare · Dishonored 2 · WATCH DOGS 2 · Final Fantasy XV · The Last Guardian
2017
Q1 Top 5 Games of 2016 · Let It Die · Dead Rising 4 · Hitman · Gravity Rush 2 · Resident Evil 7 · Yakuza 0 · Nioh · For Honor · Nintendo Switch & Breath of the Wild · Horizon Zero Dawn · Nier Automata · Ghost Recon Wildlands
Q2 Mass Effect Andromeda · Yooka-Laylee · Persona 5 · Remastered Editions · Outlast 2 · Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 · Prey · Wilson's Heart · The Surge · Injustice 2 · Vanquish · E3 2017 · Strafe
Q3 Get Even · Hollow Knight / Dead Cells

Ad blocker interference detected!


Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.