Bioware transforms their critically acclaimed take on the Star Wars universe into an MMORPG. Does it have a shot in the market?
Jared Knabenbauer is the ScrewAttack.com Reviews Editor, Hard News host, and a host of our weekly video podcast, "SideScrollers". He has also produced several notable ScrewAttack shows, including Reboot or Retro, Nametags, and Control Issues. He specializes in RPGs, and has a great fondness for Dungeons & Dragons. A comedian at heart, he is one serious gamer.
Personally I think that Hutt Ball is the best game, where as Alderan is the worst.
LOL Indeed :)
From the publisher's perspective, that's a great problem to have!
This game looks pretty good, so long as they can keep the servers from getting too crowded and bogged down...
This game looks like it's still in alpha. Not just visually, the overall feel of the game. With all the MMO's coming out soon, this one looks the least promising or interesting.
This is a great game but I am disappointed how they ignore basically everything that was established in KotoR2. I know KotoR2 was unfinished and had a lot of problems but it did deal with some very interesting themes that we rarely see in Star Wars.
It dealt with the long term consequences of war, stagnation and corruption within both the Republic and the Jedi, the problem of the Force guiding destiny, the light and dark side of the Force also being conceptualized as peace vs. conflict rather than just good vs. evil, etc.
Plus KotoR2 did came up with the idea of the True Sith. Although the True Sith were conceived as a much more devious behind the scenes type villain that manipulate others to do their dirty work. The True Sith weren't really set up as the kind of opponent who just attack with a massive fleet. It's implied that the True Sith slowly corrupt their enemies from within, causing them to lose faith in their own beliefs, so that they can be crushed psychologically and spiritually.
I'm finding myself yell at the top of my lungs "PIMP SLAP" every time my juggernaut does a backhand and i'm starting to think i've lost my mind
This game really needs a demo or trial
Excellent point, and one that I wholeheartedly agree with. I'll add another example; remember all the people complaining about Wind Waker's graphics when it first came out? Well, looking at it now, it holds up better than pretty much any other game from around the time of its release. I actually think Wind Waker looks better than many of the second tier modern games that go for a more realistic look. Well done style will always make up for lack of technical proficiency, and will still look good long after the cutting edge hardware moved ahead.
this game looks like warcraft plus masseffect
Fantastic review Jarred, Keep up the good work :)
Yeah, I had about the same impression with the game as Jared back when I played the beta for a month or so. I managed to complete the Smuggler's campaign, and I really loved the story and most of the characters that went with that, but the side quests got REALLY irritating after a while. Extremely repetitive, especially if you're planning on completing every single one of them, but the story made me happy... though could have ended better than it did.
Or better yet, you could just blog about it and have the g1s read it. That can open a lot of eyes.
Not enough to make more people want to play it on PS3 and PC and justify a mandatory monthly fee. My point is that the MMO market is changing, hell the gaming market is changing and the PC gaming market is going to be the testing ground for whatever the new way of marketing, selling and distributing games is going to be because of the fact that PC games aren't tied to a specific hardware life cycle.
Big game developers may make most of their money on consoles by selling games at a set price in physical or digital form, but the profits on one console game are usually very temporary and that's how those companies market those games. The same reason why EA and Activision keep pushing out updated versions of the same games every year is why MMOs just aren't very profitable on Consoles. That market is all about immediate monetary gain whereas MMO's and many other PC based genres rely on their maximum profits being made over a long time. Hell, the new versions of the Wii, Playstation and XBox are probably going to be shown at this year's E3 and WoW has already outlasted the original Xbox, and will probably outlast the current one and the next one, even if it's last few years show a sharp decline. You can't have a game with that kind of life cycle on a console, so people who only play console games usually don't get as invested in their games as PC gamers do.
The PC is the oldest gaming platform that is still going and it is also the forefront of change because it is a completely open platform. The PC gaming market has already gone mostly to Digital Distribution while consoles are still trying to hold onto disc format, and now MMO developers are leading the way in this country by showing that f2p or subscription optional payment plans are not only viable and highly profitable ways to breath life into games that couldn't cut it when competing with the juggernauts of the subscription MMO world (like wow), but it is also a good way to avoid competing with games like that in the first place by making new games with the same payment options. This concept has kept many decent games from collapsing and also given independent developers a chance to experiment and corner the market.
Look at what High Rez has done with Global Agenda, they are a small studio with a pretty decent scifi shooter MMO. They originally launched the game as buy to play, with a payment plan in mind for their territory control match system, but quickly realized that they might be able to grow their audience and make more money by going F2P and allowing people to either lvl faster with booster subscription options or get new/more stylish aesthetic gear through a cash shop. They have managed to not only expand a ton on the original game but have also expanded their company and have also bought the Tribes license. Right now they have GA working for them, Tribes Ascend is one of the most hotly anticipated PC shooters of this year and Smite (their next original property) is looking good as well. All of their games are either F2P or going to be F2P and they have shifted their corporate goals towards changing the way that F2P games have worked up until recently.
The same can be said for a lot of upcoming games and it's making the idea of a mandatory subscription fee look almost old fashioned by comparison. This is something that Blizzard has obviously taken notice of as Diablo 3 (while not really an MMO) will have an auction house that will not only allow people to buy things with real money (making their company some extra profit) but will allow players to make real money through the game too. This is a logical next step and I would bet that Blizzard's next real MMORPG project is subscription optional and that games in the future will allow people to actually make some real money by selling fake items, something that has been tried in the past with things like Second Life, but has also been envisioned in scifi films, television and books for years now. Hell, if you want to see a good example what the future might hold in terms of technology, I would look at the world of OZ as portrayed in the movie Summer Wars. I know, it's like Second Life on steroids, but as companies like Valve push for more integration and trading of items between platforms and games and tying them all together through one platform that also integrates gaming with social media I'm sure that something like that might actually come into being and be successful. It just might now have a user interface like Second Life or PSN's Home where you have a digital version of yourself that navigates a digital world from one game to the next, it's more likely that you will have one piece of management software that ties everything together on multiple devices and allows you to do things on social media that effects your games and vice-versa.
Sry for the long semi-phylisophical post. Read it if you want, I tend to go off on tangents like this all the time, maybe I should right a book.
The graphics are indeed nothing mind blowing but well stylized. I like them except for one HUGE one. The draw distance, especially with bloom. It just looks so ... off ... to see all that grass and rocks pop literary a few feet in front of you're character.
But I do like me some Huttball !
And yes it's a "by the numbers" mmo, but I'm fine with that because it's a breath of fresh air to play some other classes and areas than wow (even if it's been 2 years since i played the game)
I'm certainly playing all the classes for the class story line quests and than I'll see if end game or something else was able to hold my interest.
I would disagree with all the reviews, including this one, complaining about graphics.Sure they don't look cutting edge, but I would wager that 5 years from now they will be appealing to look at. Perhaps not jaw dropping but pleasant and this is never mentioned in any of the reviews I have read/watched. They have learned from one of (what I believe is) WoW's greatest tricks, looking nice by choosing a style over straight up realistic graphics. Take a game like Oblivion for example, I remember that game looking fantastic at launch but loading it up a few weeks ago on my PC it sure does show it's age. However anyone that has ever flown over Nagrand in WoW with a long draw distance can tell you how awesome a sight that is, fields of green and flowing water for miles around. From a game that on closer inspection is less than impressive. For MMOs particularly that is a great strength as personally I find a game like TOR or WoW easy to look at for many hours.
Edit: TF2 pulls this off well too.
first review I ever watched.
I agree that they are for vastly different tastes, and I am more of an action guy, so I like it more. I am also more of a fan of comics and their storylines and characters. I would say that DCUO is more of an action rpg MMO than an action MMO with RPG elements. RPG elements make up half of the game, so I think its more of a hybrid.
Great review, Jared. Much of the same I've been experiencing with the game and though its very similar to WoW, the stories and their takes on the trinity MMO roles is enough to keep me coming back for more.... Also its been one of the cleaner MMO launches in recent memory with only slight bugs here and there.
Good review Jared but this game is boring as hell.