December 22nd, 2011
In covering video games for the last seven years, I learned a little trick. If a game publisher has a title in the hopper that's highly anticipated but not without its faults (i.e. incapable of competing with other big games), said publisher will release the game the week of Christmas, hoping its flaws won't be widely known until after the lucrative and often impulsively-shopped holiday.
That appears to be the case with Star Wars: The Old Republic. Although one of the most anticipated games of any platform this year, the MMORPG is being criticized as a six year old MMO game wrapped in a Star Wars motif with voice overs.
"As an avid fan, I had high hopes for TOR, until I got to play it," said one user review posted on Dec. 20, the day the game released. "The only word worth describing it with is mediocrity. Nothing new gameplay wise... copy pasted gameplay from World of Warcraft... terrible PvP balance...the absolutely most stagnant world ever created for an MMO and horrible repeatable combat. So much money spent on development just to copy what we've already played."
Ouch. Although harsh, that user's review is indicative of a lot of the pre-release coverage of the game, which many of my colleagues found to be ho-hum in nature. Too big for its britches.
Admittedly, I haven't sat down with the game yet. And other user reviews like the game's atmosphere, presentation, and of course its lovable Star Wars theme. But it's apparent, at least for the time being, that a home run this is not. Certainly no where near the universal acclaim Elder Scrolls: Skyrim enjoyed in fast and furious fashion.
That said, what do you think readers: For those who have played the game, are mixed reviews appropriate for Star Wars: The Old Republic? Or is this game misunderstood? Or perhaps the latest to be poorly received by a bunch of jaded gamers? Oh, and is it good enough to lure you away from Azeroth?
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