Studio claims that after playing their upcoming Star Wars MMO “you just can’t go back.”
Any game released into the MMO space is invariably going to be compared to World of Warcraft. Still, many years after its initial release, Blizzard’s fantasy world is the arena of choice for a huge proportion of long-term MMO-ers.
The comparision comes as no surprise to BioWare founders Greg Zeschuk and Ray Muzyka either:
“WoW in particular, one thing is, it has set consumer expectations,” said Zeschuk. “It also set a set of conventions of gameplay that have been experienced by millions, I think tens of millions of people. So, you know, you pay attention to those things, but while you’re paying attention, you’re doing your own thing.
“I think that’s actually one thing I’m excited about, particularly, with The Old Republic. It is a very different experience. I think that anybody who plays it for any length of time, it’s pretty remarkable, because they actually come away going… I think it’s the strong, individualized heroic element is so powerful in the game.”
Indeed, that element of an individual story – creating a strong sense of character and place – is something we picked up on in our recent hands-on with the game. Despite that however, we were less impressed by the game’s other elements – seemingly bolted on in an attempt to adhere to today’s MMO conventions.
“The reaction that we’ve had,” said Muzyka, “and a lot of people playing it have had – we’ve done a lot of consumer testing and there’s a lot more to go – but the common reaction we get from our fans when we play it, or the testers, ourselves, and our teams, is that frankly once you’ve tried it, you just can’t go back. You don’t want to try other MMOs anymore. I think that’s what imbuing the game with a sense of heroic purpose and identity achieves.
“We’ve got the best-of-breed features from other MMOs, progression, exploration, customisation, combat, and you know trying to use the conventions that make sense to players for accessibility wherever possible… We’ve layered on an amazing Star Wars story… Once you’ve tried it, there’s no looking back. You really want to keep playing that new approach to MMOs, I think, is really refreshing.”
Is it really a new approach? Read our to find out our thoughts on the matter.