The numbers are in, and it looks like BioWare and LucasArts have another massive win under their belts. Over the Christmas weekend, 5.5 million hours were logged on the development duo’s latest project, Star Wars: The Old Republic. In total, 60 million hours were spent in the game in the first week of its release and it now has over 1 million users.
The game is set 3500 years before the Episode 1 begins and about 300 years after The Knights of the Old Republic. After the shaky peace treaty that ended Knights of the Old Republic, a new wave of young heroes rises to combat the dark Sith forces that promise to hurdle the galaxy toward destruction at the hands of the Dark Lord of the Sith, Naga Sadow.
The game was developed by Austin-based gaming firm, BioWare, whose Mass Effect series basically shifted the dynamic of video games from “shoot-em-up with lots of explosions and story as an afterthought” to “story first, explosions later.”
There was some question as to how this would translate to the studios first ever MMO but The Old Republic continues in this tradition beautifully. Each of the possible character selections have their own in-depth storyline. I found myself becoming so attached to my so-bad-she’s-good Sith Warrior that when it was time to put down the controller I found myself wondering how she was doing. Was she was lonely? Did she have enough to eat? Was she low on stim packs?
OK, that might be exaggerating a bit, but the fact is, this game is absolutely engrossing. Each character’s unique storyline is a beautiful touch from one of the leading developers out there, and with LucasArts in the mix, you know things are going to look beautiful.
The massiveness of this MMO is mind-boggling. The game is about as expansive as the universe in which it is set. There could easily be 2000 hours of content within the game. So, giving a definitive review after only a few days of gameplay is tough, but I’ll put it this way: It appears the Force is strong with this one.