Seriously. In the early stages of hype and exaggeration, I was pretty excited myself. Prior to any solid news releasing, when all I had to go on was Star Wars, Bioware, and MMO, the game seemed like it was going to be great. I was excited enough that I remember a few weeks of geeking out like a teenager, installing old Star Wars games on my system and watching the movies, even the cartoon, for the umpteenth time.
Then actual information released about the game. And clearly, it’s just another loot treadmill. A fully-voiced story line is nice—I’m a writer and a lover of story—but it’s just nice, not AWESOME COOL SAUCE INCREDIBLY MIND BLOWING NEVER BEEN DONE! I can’t even begin to count the number of times that the pacing of a game’s cut scenes slowed or ruined the entertainment value of a game to the point where I turned on the subtitles and skipped through dialogue as quickly as possible. Perhaps it’s because I know I can read faster than someone can speak, and if I’m home alone but not playing a game, I’m reading a book. I do have some young cousins who complain if even ten minutes of a movie is not in English, forcing them to read subtitles — maybe there are a lot of people adverse to reading while being electronically entertained no matter the reason or circumstance, but I hope that’s not a major motivation for many people.
And though the story lines are fully voiced, they are generic, single player story lines. Every member of the same class will get the same story and absolutely nothing will change in the game world as a result of their choices. I understand that you can bring friends along and that there are tasks in the game world not entirely limited to the class story lines, but I’m left with the question: So what?
Star Wars, with it’s magic and it’s complete disregard for real physics, has always been more fantasy than sci-fi. I really look at this as Yet Another Fantasy MMO. The combat mechanics are not new. The crafting, while with a slight twist, is nothing new. The PvP battlegrounds are embarrassingly pointless and repetitive. Fully voiced story lines might help someone with adult ADD like me to level more easily, but since there’s no impact and the stories are relatively identical for each class, I’d get the same entertainment value by watching the cut scenes on youtube and I wouldn’t have to pay for it.
As for the “but it’s Bioware” argument. That argument lost all weight with me after Mass Effect 2 and Dragon Age II. And my previous respect for Bioware’s story telling ability was lost with Dragon Age: Origins. The game play was great, but the story was just a generic rehash of a bad fantasy novel.
So, SWTOR enthusiasts, what’s so great about SWTOR?
I might still write about Forsaken World today, but I was hoping to clarify this mystery first.