Review Runs

The Old Republic Sith Warrior

This is not what I would call a fun game, but the story more than makes up for it. I highly recommend that, if you care, you poke at it with a subscription and a friend (or two, or three).
Total Story Score: +19
Total Gameplay Score: -10
Cheats: Yes (my friends are my power)
Total Play Time: 5 Days // 45 Hours
Time Reviewed: 7-04-2020

Spoiler Pluses and Minuses +

Story Positives:

  • Voice acting quality is quite good, with very few exceptions
  • Voice acting quantity! There is a ton, and I mean a ton, of (good) voice acting
  • Korriban Sith Warrior was a good tutorial and intro, quickly and efficiently getting us into the times, the Sith in particular, the sith Empire in general, and introducing us to several good characters including the big one; Darth Baras
  • Darth Baras is one of my favorite Sith / Dark Side users in the entire setting. He’s pragmatic, smart, and a long-term planner who is still flawed and has his own issues
  • A second plus for Baras being easily the best villain of the original 8 stories, and a fantastic and believable character who had a logical, well-written descent into desperation as we slowly ripped his power base apart
  • The Black Talon instance is good stuff storywise, with decent branching narrative and generally good options and relevance, and is overall a good establisher for Malgus, Satile, and the cold war
  • Sith Warrior Intro is good. It does good establishment of characters, the Empire, the cold war, and our initial threat and arc of Jaesa
  • TOR in general has some of the best Jedi across the series, doing a great job of showcasing a good variety in Jedi as well as showing just how bad Jedi can get
  • TOR has, overall, what I consider the best dark side and Sith characters in… the whole of Star Wars, with a good variety and gradient between them
  • TOR has, overall, what I consider the best Republic people in the series (elite nobles, well meaning commanders, pompous jackasses, etc.)
  • Best Imperial Soldiers, with good gradient and I feel like I’m repeating myself here
  • Sith Warrior characters (as per the design; Sith Warrior gets an additional positive for quality and quantity of characters we meet throughout, including but not limited to Rylon, Rylon’s son, Rathari, Kendoh, Pierce, Timmns, Tremel)
  • Variety of perspective in Empire characters (as per the standard, an additional positive for excellent characters through the Imperial Planetary Primaries)
  • Quest follow-up mails is a great way to further flesh out characters and stories, and show a small bit of (optional) follow-up on arcs
  • Visual design of Nar Shaddaa is good stuff, also is a great showcasing of the tech, society, and that sort of grunge Vegas thing
  • Sith Warrior; confrontation with self doubts in Tatooine is just a great scene. It’s the first real time the game acknowledges your playstyle and choices, and it has several permutations (4 total) depending on what you are and what you choose during the conversation
  • Internal continuity is quite good. You have to be paying attention, but there are references to the stories of the other classes and factions all over the place
  • Alderaan Sith Warrior is enjoyable; there’s decent political intrigue in the background, they go out of their way to make a creepy scummy person and then give you the chance to constantly give them their comeuppance, and they allow the SW in particular to really flex in cutscenes
  • Nomen Karr is an engaging and interesting character, and a nice foil for Baras and yourself
  • Sith Warrior Act 1 conclusion is incredibly satisfying, even now having done it many times over many years
  • Vette is just kind of wholesome and cool
  • Voss planet, civilization, culture, and Planetary Primary are all good stuff
  • Vowrawn is just delightful, and easily one of the better Sith characters across the Imperial side in general and SW in particular
  • The finale conclusion with Darth Baras, the build up, the showcasing of your choices with other Sith along the way, and the confrontation itself is all epic and awesome
  • Aggregate: Droid language and its unique structure is neat // Rylon is actually pretty cool, especially for having only one scene to him // Visual design of Tatooine // Visual design of Hoth // Wylatt is really one of the best examples, ever, of Light Side corruption and it is beautifully horrifying
  • Aggregate: Timmns is one of the more interesting jedi we meet and, ultimately, I wish I saw more of him // Jaesa is enjoyable in her own right, hampered by her limited presence post-joining // Pierce is, despite his amoral stance, pretty easy to get along with and enjoyable to have along // Quinn grew on more than I thought he would, ultimately being an intriguing foil to Baras

Story Negatives:

  • Side quests are just… not interesting, even despite having cutscenes and dialogue, and are barebones X of Y style
  • Many of the instances are just… crap storywise and have the same quantity and quality as a single sidequest on some random planet
  • External continuity is frankly awful almost every time it comes up. TOR just does not fit with the rest of Star Wars’ continuity
  • The Revan instances are especially bad, with ridiculous presentation of HK-47, Revan, and Revan’s significance to the overall plot (which itself is… silly at best)
  • Draahg is just a piss poor Darth Scion and a very Kai Leng character who’s just there and irritating and your rival for no good reason
  • Aggregate: Hoth’s Planetary Primary is incredibly boring, to the point that it felt like pure filler // Taris’s Planetary Primary is… not good
  • Aggregate: Broonmark is a completely boring one-note character and a piss-poor attempt to recreate the fascinating character study of Hanharr // Directive 7 and its entire story arc is unnecessarily large scale and ridiculous regardless (we even arrive seconds before the galaxy would be destroyed) // TOR Syndrome

Gameplay Positives:

  • The ability to escape back out of cutscenes in the case of missing or misclicking or misunderstanding or whatever
  • Reasonably good interface customization options with positioning and scale
  • Party conversation mechanics are great
  • A second positive for the great conversation mechanics and the fact that there’s a back-luck-protection built in to help ensure everyone gets a say over time
  • General co-op friendly design (party size of 4–so 2 players plus 2 companions, the party conversation mechanics, social points for grouping, most encounters and quests designed around the small group, etc. etc.)
  • Fast travel is reasonably well designed, especially if you have a house; You can warp to spots at will
  • There’s a very good built-in system to allow for cosmetics, with dyes, lots and lots of equipment which can be mix and matched, as well as ‘synching’ dye colors if you so choose
  • Additional positive for the ‘permanent transmog’ appearance option, and the ability to have multiple cosmetic suits, visibility of pieces of armor, etc.
  • Finally there are a huge variety of cosmetic options across the board
  • Housing is sufficiently varied and enjoyable for a housing mechanic, and also allows for cross-character interaction, and improves fast travel
  • Aggregate: Character design has a decent amount of options // Clear indicator of Class and Planetary quests // Leveling is sufficiently fast to allow for picking and choosing of content
  • Aggregate: Directive 7’s boss fights were actually decent, and had actual mechanics // Darth Baras’s fight is thematically appropriate and suitably fun and epic, and even better for how he uses SW abilities throughout the fight

Gameplay Negatives:

  • Travel spacing padding; aka it takes a while to get from point A to point B, and there are long, long stretches in worlds, in between quests, and just traveling around town designed to stretch out gameplay to take as long as possible as part of the usual MMO treadmill
  • Side quests are just… not interesting, even despite having cutscenes and dialogue, and are barebones X of Y style
  • Combat isn’t bad in the strictest sense of the word, but ultimately is just a bit… lacking in depth and complexity, which wouldn’t be an issue if not for the sheer amount of combat the game has
  • Encounter design is not interesting in general, usually boiling down to ‘enemy’, ‘pack of enemies’, ‘summons adds’, or occasionally they have knockdowns or knockbacks
  • Cannot swap specs in instance, and requires going to a specific NPC to swap specs
  • Space combat is actively awful at almost every level. It does not have good variety in enemies, objectives, the controls are crap, the setup is all straight gear based, and there’s a hell of a stat wall
  • The early dungeons, aside from the first two on both sides, are lacking in every way. There’s no interesting visuals, encounters, bosses, or story
  • In game shop’s mere existence is not a good thing in a game that is a subscription game (or should be)
  • Usage of in game shop is aggressive and aggravating, and there is a lot of design trying to push the Cartel on players
  • Absolutely awful ‘free to play’ mode with horrible chopping of features and options
  • Inconsistent application of Light Side / Dark Side choices, combined with an absence of third options in many cases where there should be
  • Colicoid War Games is incredibly awful in a sea of otherwise bad instances, with buggy design, poorly set up mechanics, and a total lack of tuning
  • A final negative for the ‘vanilla’ dungeons just being… awful. The mechanics are almost not even there, the layout is too long, there’s too much trash with too much health, there’s no interesting points to them (one ‘good/bad’ decision per), and the whole thing is just… not worth doing
  • Gear treadmill as vertical leveling, and also boring disinteresting gear, which is irritating to keep up with and not fun or rewarding
  • Bad design in terrain and overworld flow (Taris, Quesh, Hoth, Belsavis)
  • Slog of Belsavis, Voss, Corellia
  • Additional negative for many hours of slog across the final planets
  • Font size issues (no option to alter font sizes except for chat, and the existing fonts are entirely too small)
  • TOR Syndrome (dialogue wheel options not lining up with what you think they mean)
  • Skill design issues (ultimately disinteresting playstyles and lack of complexity in skill design)
  • The non-main Companion ‘quests’ are just… disappointing and ridiculous in their fade to black nature
  • Aggregate: The game as a whole suffers from the format and structure of how it approaches Companions, both in terms of when they join you, how they are distributed across the planets // Unable to release while in combat // Rez has a 15 minute cooldown unless you’re a healer