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Hands on with Star Wars: The Old Republic

Impressive. Most impressive

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First Look So I have been waiting and waiting and waiting and finally the gaming world is flooded with Star Wars: The Old Republic beta keys.

Star Wars: The Old Republic

Slays against the machine

My first question is, what level could I get to before Sunday night? After that, I don’t get to play again till 20 December, the day the game is released to the public.

I heard some complaints about the length of the server queue States-side, but I was in after two minutes. I managed to get in to a medium-high PVE server. After deciding to roll a Sith Inquisitor - a spellcaster with force lightning to fry all and sundry - I spent some time in character creation playing with the sliders.

The options available for character tweaking are acceptable but fairly limited for this day and age. Whatever, I ended up as a cute short Sith girl with black pigtails, gold eyes and a lip ring.

Goths, FTW.

Star Wars: The Old Republic

Night of the old reptilian

The main thing that makes SWTOR stand out is that it attempts to involve you more fully in the storyline and Star Wars mode of storytelling by presenting every plot-based interaction as a cut-scene with dialogue options very much in the Knights of the Old Republic and Mass Effect style.

I can foresee problems with this already. You're going to meet people with the cut-scene loading symbol above their heads, and that's going to zap your suspension of disbelief a little. But they do bring the story to life in a way I haven’t seen before in MMOs.

Star Wars: The Old Republic

Holograms.. talk to me

Interestingly, how you tackle missions can affect my lightside/darkside rating - I ended up with a bunch of lightside points for not following orders and torturing a fellow student. But, according to other beta players, these points won’t affect gameplay. That's a shame, and an opportunity missed, if true.

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