Star Wars: The Old Republic has held a number of beta testing weekends at this point so let's do a rundown of links and excerpts regarding what's being said about the upcoming MMO from around the web. Most of the excerpts we've included stem from the reviewers' final thoughts/conclusions on the game. Make sure to click the links for more specific gameplay breakdowns and a wide variety of screenshots.
Let's start with an HD video preview courtesy of FleshEatingZipper.com. Make sure to also click the link for a short positive write-up about the game.
ABC.net.au like's what's been displayed of the MMO so far but would love an Austrailian release date:
"The Star Wars franchise had always given Bioware a head start in regards to MMO development, but it was a lead that would easily disappear if the game had significant flaws. Fortunately that hasn't occurred and SWTOR is a polished, engaging and fun experience. There's enough new stuff to interest a hardened MMO player for at least a few months. For Star Wars enthusiasts and new MMO players, there's real long-term enjoyment to be had here.
If you're burnt out with the whole MMO gaming approach then SWTOR is not necessarily going to turn you around, but for the vast majority that's not an issue. I'm fairly confident in saying that SWTOR is going to cause a big splash, both in attracting players from current MMOs as well as bringing in a significant cohort of new players.
The challenge for Bioware is managing those initial few days, weeks and months to prove SWTOR is a stayer. From my playing of the game, the foundations are solid and the weather is looking good for the foreseeable future. That said, a local launch would be nice."
MightyAction.com keeps up the positive TOR energy after playing as a Jedi Consular:
"Star Wars: The Old Republic was very fun and exciting to play. I was not able to explore any raid content or PvP content, but for casual gaming, I think this game is an excellent choice. Combat was entertaining without being to punishing and the story line experience we come to love in great RPGs is interactive and makes you want to play and explore the world. It is refreshing change from burning out on the cruel level grind we have come to expect from past MMORPGs out there."
PlatformNation.com goes a different route and uses their beta test experience to provide a number of pre-release tips for future TOR gamers:
"Greetings fellow Star Wars fans! This past weekend I, along with many other excited gamers, was given the chance to beta test BioWare's Star Wars The Old Republic as they conducted their final stress test weekend before the game's release this December. This was the second beta test I have taken part in, but this is the first time I have been allowed to write about it. I won't waste too much of your time with my opinion or first impressions of the game, as you can find countless opinions on the forums, but I will touch on it briefly. The graphics aren't likely to impress enthusiasts, but the story and gameplay are both solid. Those looking for something dramatically different from the standard MMO style of play might feel disappointed as well, because the game does borrow heavily from others in the genre (just as WoW borrowed from EQ). However, for those of you who have been keeping up with this game and know what to expect, the experience should be extremely satisfying.
As I played in the beta tests, I seemed to notice certain questions and issues being asked or raised again and again in general chat, and decided to type up a sort of starters guide that addressed some of these common questions and issues. You won't find any amazing, game changing tips or suggestions bellow, but rather things to help your first days in The Old Republic go a bit smoother. These are merely some basic suggestions and tips to get things started, but I hope that any of you who also took part in beta tests will throw in your two cents in the comments bellow. No one likes to run around lost, wonder where they are supposed to go, or waste precious play time trying to figure out something that could have been easily avoided with a bit of guidance."
Games.on.net is optimistic about The Old Republic's prospects for success but shares the frustration from above at the lack of an Australian release date.
"What I've seen in beta reminds me of what we saw in the beta stages of vanilla WoW. What has been refined are the elements that make questing stale, and while other MMOs have tried to remedy this with advanced PVP or Live PVE, both have failed since many players aren't interested in being forced to play with others. The Old Republic's gentle "social" (their words!) nudging mixed with their clever knack at creating compelling plot lines could be the solution to that problem.
It's only been a few days of testing and we're still about 3 weeks away from the US release but, sadly, Australians have been shafted with an awkward "we're aware of you but we don't care" stance in relation to a release date. This is a shame, since The Old Republic presents such a tight, professional package that threatens to make us fall in love with MMOs again. Here's hoping that a release date is announced soon."
VGRevolution.com must have enjoyed their beta testing experience considering the word "amazing" is used a couple times in their preview conclusion:
"I've only scratched the surface of Star Wars: The Old Republic. The bottom line is the game is amazing. Bioware has created an amazing universe and while it is an MMO at its core if you want to play a little more as if it's an RPG you can. The best part is if you don't want to be social you really don't lose out, yes you can't do Flashpoints solo, or warzone solo and some Heroic areas solo, but skipping these spots won't take away from the LONG story you'll be adventuring through. For those that enjoy MMOs and love playing with other than you'll be in heaven with just about every part of the game. The only major thing that I would love to see added is a flashpoint group finding system. There are also some UI changes like how you outfit your crew that needs some streamlining, but as the game stands now it's a must buy this holiday season!"
Forbes provides a double shot of TOR articles with some brief first impressions as well as a longer 2-page preview. From the more detailed of the two posts:
"BioWare are not going to please everyone with "The Old Republic". When I left the beta, the chat window in the top left of my screen was already starting to ring with the occasional complaint of repetitive gameplay and a loss of momentum after the opening, scene-setting missions. However, they seem to have produced a good-looking, engaging universe. For some, myself included, this will only increase the feeling that a "Mass Effect" MMO would be terrific. But markets are markets, and even a big-name franchise like "Mass Effect" would struggle to hold its own in a market where Gandalf and Conan have faltered. For EA, "The Old Republic" is not unlike "Battlefield 3" a well-thought-of franchise being polished to a shine and unleashed against a prime Activision Blizzard money-maker. And, like "BF3", "TOR" doesn't need to outsell its rival - success would probably be taking and defending a beachhead of 1-2 million players or more, and keeping those numbers when Blizzard releases the next expansion pack for "World of Warcraft". On the available evidence, and especially if EA can stick to release just before Christmas, that should be a realisable ambition."
IGN discusses healing powers and playing as a Sith Sorcerer:
"The Old Republic is still in its beta testing phase right now so some of the skill specifics could still change between now and the mid December launch, but what I've seen so far leads me to believe a pure healing role in group encounters can be fun. It starts off a bit dull, but considering how I also have plenty of lightning-based attacks to help me plow through traditional questing content, I don't have to run through the whole game cowering behind my Companion. The skill trees and abilities may not be revolutionary, but they do appear to be well made."
Rebelscum Breast Cancer Awareness Charity Patch Posted By Philip on November 25, 2014: Thanks to everybody that ordered patches. I sent a check for $1,600.00 to the National Breast Cancer Foundation on Monday. While it's not as much as I hoped for, it's still very much appreciated. They will remain for sale in the store for anybody that still wishes to purchase them. Details after the jump.