A Long Journey...
This is not to say there aren’t weaknesses. The fact you have to go through the same path for quests is tough. If you get stuck on a planet, there aren’t any questing recourses (you could PvP or do ship combat to push past but you couldn’t just go to another zone). This is where games like WoW win and my wife recently proved that out by powering through the first 70 levels. Bored or stuck? Go to another zone.
I’ve decided to go through and briefly discuss my feelings of each of the stories for SWTOR from the perspective of someone who’s done them all. I’ll be doing these in order of which I preferred and try to not spoil too much in my little write ups. Here are my insights for one of the most bad ass story driven games I’ve played in recent years.
Your character grows in amazing ways throughout this story and your companions are fantastic. If you’re a fan of a ‘pure’ Star Wars experience, the Jedi has it. You get R2, sorry T7 as a companion. Your Jedi partner has some snark and a dark past of her own. The doctor provides your scoundrel needs and Lord Scourge…well, talking too much about him would bring up spoilers.
As a Jedi Knight on the good side, you are a pure beacon of hope to the galaxy. I’ve done this multiple times and maxed the character on two servers. I enjoyed the story just that much. I’ve also played through it as an evil ass a couple of times and the outcomes are very different. If you are new to the game and want to really get into a good story, I would recommend the Jedi Knight first. They have a lot to offer any player and if you pick the Guardian, chances are good you’ll have little trouble powering through the different planets.
By the time you finish this storyline, you’re a legend in the underworld and you’ve done some fantastic things not only for your character but for the republic as well. This also has some of the best humor in the game (though the Bounty Hunter comes close second—I’ll explain later). As a male character, you can seduce a lot of people as you go on your quest. The female’s no slouch mind you…she’s got an eye for the fellas for sure.
I played the gunslinger which I liked better than the scoundrel as far as game play went. My first try was the scoundrel and stealth was neat but back then, when it first came out, I ended up falling behind because I’d sneak through and not get mob XP. The gunslinger plays most like the sniper from the Imperial Agent side and that means you do gobs of damage to everyone. I’d recommend this path if you’re inexperienced or just want to lay out some serious pain.
I also recommend the smuggler to people who aren’t into the Jedi character types or those who just want to race on the shady side of the law.
The power of this story comes from how far you go. From a slave to…well, I can’t spoil it but you attain a pretty lofty position. It’s an epic journey carrying you from the bottom to the top and all along the way, you are given opportunities to perform some of the most abominable horrors on the galaxy imaginable. Bioware doesn’t shy from letting you be a wicked ass in every storyline, so much so that if you enjoy seeing just how crazy different stuff can be, you’re rewarded for trying.
I played both Assassin and Sorcerer. The former is one of the best tanks in the game and their damage output is nothing to scoff at. However, the sorcerer character is pretty much the emperor and you bring down madness and lightning on your enemies. Both are awesome so if you want to be crazy and evil, this is one of the best choices only matched by my next entry…
The character plays exactly the same as the Jedi Knight with some different flourishes and names. Their stance is more savage and they look brutal when they start whacking people with their light sabers. When you speak to people, if you’re bad, they tend to sound pretty entitled and the British accent lends to their superiority (sorry, Brits but somehow Star Wars makes the accent sound elite…or maybe I should say congrats).
I recommend this character if you want to go on a savage campaign of betrayal and darkness. They’ve got some of the best dialogue options and they get to force choke people all over the place. This is the Vader experience (or as close as you could get to it) and if you’re intrigued by that, look no further than the warrior.
You begin as a contender for the Great Hunt and by the time you finish the game, you’ll be a notorious hunter of men, the kind of guy people hire for the REALLY tough jobs. They do a great job of making you feel like a bounty hunter, letting you take missions which involve traveling the galaxy and finding your marks. This is one of two ‘neutral’ classes (the other is the smuggler) and while that doesn’t mean you flit between Pub and Imp, you do distance yourself from politics a bit.
Of course, you can be as psychotic or decent as you want to be. There are opportunities for torture and murder all along the way. Depending on your companion, you can get away with it too. I would recommend this character for those who are interested in a storyline which is the least like a ‘traditional’ Star Wars path. It’s also fun for people who like all those Clint Eastwood movies like ‘The Good The Bad and The Ugly’. Definitely worth playing through regardless.
This was my first character on the imperial side when I played with friends. Her dialogue options were pretty amazing and she could be really evil. I loved all the times that you go undercover and sound different or infiltrate different organizations in your quest to serve the empire. Also, you don’t have to take any crap from Sith if you don’t want to (but don’t say you weren’t warned that it’s a dangerous decision).
Her companions weren’t overly memorable for me. The first one I wanted to take out pretty badly then she joined me. I didn’t max out my affection for any of them but then again, my character was a bit of a lunatic so I’m not surprised. If you like spy dramas, this character’s definitely for you. You can play them in various ways but it still is a pretty big detachment from a ‘traditional’ Star Wars experience.
You do get promoted as you go along so there is advancement. Your companions are neat and they’re explained as you build your squad and go on missions. Your ultimate villain is an Imperial military guy and while he’s wily, he ain’t super powered. Ultimately, this is a campaign as you’d expect: mission after mission with the guiding force of a superior officer. You can be a little rebellious but it’s not rewarded, that’s for sure. I made a bad guy version and committed some war crimes…which were mostly swept under the rug (though admittedly, I didn’t ‘finish’ the game that way).
If you love big guns and armor, this is definitely the class for you. If you want the ‘military life’ in Star Wars, again, this is your path. I enjoyed it but it was the second to the last one I finished. I did it with 12x XP because by the time I got this far, I was done doing side quests. I have a friend who has maxed this character multiple times so they definitely have their place in the story. Give them a try if you want a ‘street level’ experience.
The character plays just like the Inquisitor which means they could be difficult or easy depending on your build. I liked the companions, especially the voices. I chose to be an evil ass and it was amazing how bad you could be and still remain a Jedi. People just would say things like ‘it’s regrettable you had to do that’. It was pretty funny.
Perhaps if I’d been a good guy, the story would’ve ended differently. I don’t know. I might hit You Tube and find out. However, if you want to play a healing character or someone with a lower key story than the other Force users, this is for you. They can be fun to play but personally, I didn’t care for the story. Definitely at the bottom of my list.
For now, I hope you enjoy my brief write up of my experience with these characters. I didn’t want to spoil anything or I could tell you some insane tales of what I’ve accomplished. I recommend diving into this game and giving it a real chance. If you like Mass Effect or Dragon Age, you’ll love this. It’s not your traditional MMO and it’s got its problems but story sure ain’t one of them.