No, The Old Republic does not play well. It plays like an average MMO, which is to say it feels kind of arbitrary and disconnected from what's going on on-screen. I found myself struggling to select allies and heal them at times; shouldn't that be a fairly intuitive ability? Brink, for all of its missteps, had this right in delegating that kind of stuff to a single button press. 'Course, that's a fast-paced first-person shooter and this is an RPG. So, puzzles, right? Those are an RPG thing, yeah?
Oh, they're in there. Sort of. And the rep seemed disproportionately proud of them, given how simplistic they were. This is because he was proud of the fact that they had them period, not of their quality. Look, The Secret World is out now, and its puzzles actually require players to use their heads. Why should "use the obvious environmental cue to open the way" even count as a puzzle at this point?
Long story short, we wiped. I promise it wasn't my fault. I was a good healer, and actually the first to go down because our tank bit off more than we could chew and wasn't effectively drawing agro. It didn't really provide me with any desire to go back to the game, though, in hopes of getting to that late-game content. It just made me sad as I watched so much potential wash down the drain.
I feel like, if BioWare devoted as much time to writing new story content for each class, extending the fiction in that wonderful, personal, manner of theirs, they would be so much better off than trying to find some way to compete with WoW on end-game Raid content. That ship has already sailed. With Star Wars, it's pretty apparent that what people really want is a role-playing system functional enough to let them play through stories set in the universe, stories that make them feel like a part of the universe, and they want to do so with their friends. That's the appeal of The Old Republic. The system is already there. It feels like it's just time for BioWare to start using it effectively, and I'm kind of afraid that won't ever happen.
Instead, we're getting HK-51, because everyone remembers HK-47 so very fondly and that nostalgia will make them want to play the game, right? Right?
Date: July 25, 2012
*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central. This week's is also purely a work of fiction*