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I had high hopes for this game and had been following much of the beta reviews and snippets here for the past year and so took the plunge.
The intial download took much longer than expected as the download rate see-sawed from min to max and back almost contantly until it was completed. Once installed and past the three short vids from EA, Funcom, Nvidia the game actually begins. Hmm, just three character slots, is this a slightly better Star Trek Online? It seems not as the character creation options are as limited as you'll ever find in a recent AAA MMO.
Now my machine isn't new, but also isn't a slouch, it happily copes with other MMO's on reasonable settings. Right there on the Character creation screen I could tell my fps was in single figures. Not good. So I enter the config and drop the feature way down and move onto actually playing, except the fps is still bad. So I quit/relog and lower feature still. Same problem, so switch to DX9 which provided a marginal improvement. For the next few weeks I'm going to see this fps problem and find out that some people with top end machines are having the same issue.
SW:TOR I apolgise for cursing as your loading screens as I didn't realise there would be another MMO in the pipeline that would steal your thunder. For example, at one point my characters faction standing required I travel to London. So I wait to load Argatha, then London, find out I have to go to New York, so load Argatha again, and now New York, and finally The solo instance. Each loading screen over a minute long.
The game is basically just a horror themed MMO with an adult Scooby Doo feel. It is very well written in places, and has some nice dialogue which chimes well with the part of the world you are playing in which is totally spoiled by cut scenes in which you character is static, mute and expressionless. All conversation with you is one sided.
The quests are also well written, but again let down by the clunkiest questing system out there. Why limit so severely, why have no quest drop option?
Now the quests do have a difficulty rating, but this is of no use if you have chosen unwisely in what role you wish to play. My first time round was based on a little research which recommended various decks, and generally taking a tanking role in MMO's I'd opted for Bodygaurd (a Hammer & Shotgun combo). This was not much fun for a beginning character as it has no threat and little dps made worse by the poor drop rate of appropriate gear. You find yourself in melee fights dying quite a lot as spend almost all your time avoiding the special monster attacks and hitting as hard as a concussed fly would.
And here's the rub. You cannot respec, and fair enough you will eventually learn every discipline, but if after a weeks play you realise that your choice has been a waste of time, you will have to spend another week just to get back on track as you replay most of the starter area again to gain points. That is if your second choice turns out well, if not...hmmm.
More clunk in combat. The fighting is pretty poor limited to seven active options, which is just button bashing against the badly animated Scooby Doo bad guys.
Frustrating as all this was, it was not helped by crashing especially after using the limited in game browser, nor with server lag (I'm a very old gamer and know when a server is struggling). And we wont say anything about the crafting, lol.
I really wanted this game to be one I could grow into, spend some time enjoying. The lore turned out to be just a mash-up of old conspiracy theories, a little classic horror, myth and borrowed movie ideas. As a result there was no surprises, no "Oh Wow" moments just an endless stream of cliche thrown around a poor MMO engine.
The Secret's Out.