“Star Wars: The Old Republic”: The Review

The problem with MMOs is that they’re not games: they’re second jobs.

The entire social structure of MMORPGs is heavily dysfunctional in a lot of ways, but guilds probably stand out as the worst. Generally, when you fill out an application and audition, you actually get something out of it beyond the ability to click on things with a group of other people. It’s like a high school clique meets a data entry job.

And yes, we know that’s oversimplifying. And yes, guilds have benefits, including the social, especially if you’re obsessed with the game. But beyond a certain point, all MMOs become grunt work. Some of them, like “EVE Online”, genuinely glory in it. And what’s aggravating is you have to do this to get the most out of the game. There is no fun in being required to log on and play. Period.

“Star Wars: The Old Republic” is, however, an entirely different beast.

This isn’t to say that you can’t join guilds, go on group quests, and do all those things if you’re so inclined. It’s the fact that you don’t have to. Probably the most ringing endorsement we can make for “The Old Republic” is that it’s actually fun to play regardless of how you want to play it.

In terms of structure, there’s little to report. You’ve played this before in terms of mechanics, although the automated sidekick you get in fairly short order is incredibly useful. It’s undeniably fun, mind you, but not original in most respects. What stands out is the quest structure.

As we mentioned, if you want to go it alone, you can. At higher levels, it becomes more difficult to do this…but it’s also easy to find questing partners if you need them, without needing to fill out an application. But if you want to go exploring on your own, it’s easy to do and, more importantly, fun.

Also of note: the sheer depth. The world-building was already done for them, sure, but they took that ball and ran with it. There’s an insane amount of things to do, stuff to buy, and, of course, creatures, droids, and people to kill.

In short, it’s not just a money sink: it’s actually fun beyond level ten. Definitely check it out, if you’re looking for a new MMO.