ZAM at E3: Details on Star Wars: The Old Republic

We stopped by BioWare's E3 booth to get the latest news on Star Wars: The Old Republic's raids, an epic Alderaan quest and more!

New Trailer: “Return”

The introductory cinematic trailer that was unveiled at E3 tells the story of how the Sith re-conquered their home world of Korriban. Since the events of Knights of the Old Republic 1 and 2, Republic forces quarantined Korriban in an effort to prevent Sith artifacts from being smuggled off-world.

"Return" Intro Cinematic

What’s fun about Star Wars: The Old Republic cinematic trailers is the homage they often play to the movies. In “Return,” we see a reversal of the Episode One duel between Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan and Darth Maul; instead of being two Jedi vs. one Sith, its two Sith against a lone Jedi Master. I won’t spoil what happens; suffice to say it’s well worth your time to check out.

Development Update

BioWare representatives emphasized throughout the demo that their goal with Star Wars: The Old Republic is to “completely redefine the MMO genre.” To make that happen, the company identified four universal components of MMORPGs in need of innovation: Exploration, Progression, Combat and Story. BioWare singled out the story component for being the proverbial weak link with the current industry offerings. To make up for this deficiency, Star Wars: The Old Republic features hundreds of hours of storytelling. “In many respects,” one rep said, “Star Wars: The old Republic is Knights of the Old Republic 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 rolled into one game.”

Touting the game’s open-ended decision-making system, BioWare showed off one scenario on Tatooine where a player can either vanquish a Sith foe, earning dark side points, or encourage him to switch sides and become a Jedi. BioWare makes it clear that these choices hold far-reaching implications. The sum of these multifaceted decisions — spread over 50 levels— is what makes each character truly unique.

Tatooine Developer Walkthrough

Ultimately, it’s difficult to gauge Star Wars: The Old Republic’s progress since BioWare rarely shows off anything that isn’t perfectly polished. However, from last year’s show, improvements in environmental and character models were evident. The addition of the codex was a familiar and welcomed way to expand lore, along with a fully voiced dialogue system lifted straight from BioWare’s other space opera, Mass Effect.

While the jury’s still out on whether Star Wars: The Old Republic will indeed be the next “big thing,” its development is slowly but surely coming along. The only real question looming on our minds is when we’ll finally get to play.

Christopher "Aurum" Wyatt

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