After marching out two dozen Jedi in full regalia at Monday’s EA press conference for Star Wars Old Republic, we weren’t entirely surprised to see that LucasArts had dressed up its own meeting room to similar effect, with stormtroopers posted at the door, an interior theater worthy of a movie set, and enough costumed Star Wars folk roaming around to fill a small convention.
Oh yea, and the game was good, too.
Inside the dressed-up viewing room, a Bethesda rep walked us through a carefully groomed demo of the Old Republic, which looked stunning on a big screen. As a novice bounty hunter arriving in Hutta (home of the Hutts, obviously), our character interacted with a number of NPCs on his quest to join the Great Hunt – a proving ground for the greatest bounty hunters. True to the company’s promise, each delivered fully voiced dialogue, even through lengthy interactions. Bethesda claims this adds up to hundreds of thousands of voiced lines recorded for the game.
Perhaps more impressively, many of the optional responses available to player during a back-and-forth chat with an NPC genuinely change the game. At one such moment – a “flashpoint” in Bethesda’s own terms, players have the option of either killing or sparing a starship captain who refuses to obey an order. The result changes the entire course of the ensuing mission, which we saw when we voted as an audience to kill him, allowing a female officer to step up in his place and put the ship back on course. After slaying our way through an enemy boarding party, the company player even managed to take down a Jedi and steal his lightsaber, allowing him to loot his corpse and steal his lightsaber for a dual wield.
Bethesda smartly managed to cut us off at that high point, but safe to say, Star Wars have quite a treat waiting for them when Old Republic finally winds its way out of development.