If you haven’t seen it yet, the latest trailer for Star Wars: The Old Republic is a video documentary showing off the voice-overs and how they’re recorded.
It looks and sounds fantastic, I’m sold. Even the wacky part where the director asks the actor to do “Darth Maul, but Welsh” hasn’t yet deterred me from the game. In fact, it’s a tribute to the pulling power of the video that it’s only afterwards that you stop to think ‘Wait, isn’t that kind of dumb?’ – might as well get Dave Prowse to do the voices and have done with it.
I’m also now sold on the idea of having a fully voiced game. Even in the video you can see how immersive the soundscape can be, and maybe since I’m playing through Mass Effect at the moment I’m inclined to want more of the same. Sure, there are issues with this. How will the game play for deaf players? Will you be able to skip the sound files if you want to play through again on an alt? But those are soluble. Less easy will be the issue of whether they translate it for foreign markets – if not, then this game may be for English speakers only and that cuts down the potential audience right from the start.
But what I haven’t seen yet from the SW:TOR team is any compelling reason they decided to make their game an MMO. What is it that really comes alive when you have massive amounts of players in the same gameworld? WAR, Darkfall, and Aion sold us on the huge PvP battles. That might work here too, although I’m not sure I see it as a big PvP game. Will there be massed space battles (because that’s probably what players want) or will we have to go to Jumpgate: Evolution or EVE for that? Maybe there will be a complex, fully functional economy – that needs lots of players to really make it sing. Or raids perhaps?
So far I feel as though I’m being sold SW:TOR as a single player/ small group game. Which is fine, but doesn’t answer why it’s being created as a MMO.
But maybe the clue is in the welsh accent. Competitive multiplayer sheepdog trials? That must be it!