Star Wars: The Old Republic is number one on my list for upcoming PC releases, doubly so because it has the delicious flavor of a BioWare Star Wars game and an MMO rolled in to one. I know that there was a Star Wars MMO previously, but that was Galaxies by Sony Online Entertainment, and my therapist has advised me not to speak of that relationship. Regardless of how Galaxies was handled, one of the few things SOE did well was the space combat, taking away the turn-based dance endemic to MMORPG ground combat and making a more twitch-based system that resembled the X-Wing games of yore. Before the special ships were introduced and ruined the space combat with their ability to stock the highest grade equipment, blasting around between the planets was great fun. Star Wars just isn’t Star Wars without extra-planetary combat, and it seems that BioWare feels the same way.
MMO mega-site Massively (via the upcoming October issue of PC Gamer) reports that the space segments of The Old Republic will be “tunnel-based” as opposed to the free-form combat of its predecessors. If you’re having trouble picturing this sort of gameplay, think StarFox 64 or the old Rebel Assault titles. BioWare is apparently doing this to create a “cinematic” feel for players. I’ll reserve my judgment until I play the game itself, but I’d rather see a X-Wing vs TIE Fighter scenario. Massively does mention achievements, though, so I’ll be easier to mollify if that’s the case.
What do you guys think about this? Down for some rail-shooting, or do you hope BioWare will break out the combat for the inevitable PVP arenas?