We may not have a hard-set release date yet for BioWare‘s inaugural MMORPG, Star Wars: The Old Republic, but the fact that pre-orders are being taken and a collector’s edition has been announced indicates that the game is on target to arrive this holiday season. It’s hard to really get a sense of what the developer is doing differently without actually playing the game, and although that’s still not an option you can get the next best thing with this newly released extended clip.
Electronic Arts has released a full video playthrough of a single mission taken from early in the game. Accompanied by commentary by BioWare director of production Dallas Dickinson, the video aims to show off those elements that make The Old Republic special in comparison to other MMOs. The increased focus on a narrative is highlighted best, as you can see multiple fully voiced cutscenes play out over the course of the 13-minute video. Improved graphics and UI elements aside, these scenes could easily have been pulled from the developer’s Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, which is regarded by many as the franchise’s best video game.
If The Old Republic demonstrates the same emphasis on building an absorbing Star Wars story that KOTOR did, it could be a winner. While some early previews have criticized the gameplay for feeling too much like World of Warcraft, The Old Republic‘s multiple classes — each with its own story spanning tens of hours — appear to offer players yet another reason to invest in the MMO for long-term play.