Posts Tagged ‘Trailers’

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Bounty Hunters? We DO Need Their Scum!!!

March 4, 2011

*Ahem* Pardon me while I go and have a nerdgasm — OH YES YES YES YESSSSSS THAT’S IT RIGHT THERE!!!

Okay, now that that’s out of my system, if I even have any readers left, I solemnly swear to never ever do that again. But as you know, this week’s Star Wars: The Old Republic Friday update is the one I’ve been waiting for — not-so-patiently, I might add — for more than half a year now ever since Bioware started rolling out the class videos and profiles. In fact, I’ve actually been geeking out since early yesterday afternoon, as that was when IGN first released their exclusive coverage on the Bounty Hunter video and interview.

Yes, the Bounty Hunter. My class of choice, the one I’ve set my sights on for my main character ever since it was announced, has finally gotten its update.

I love how each class trailer so far has featured a “hook” or a main theme to build the video around. For the Trooper, it’s honor and duty. For the Smuggler, he’s like “I’m-the-man-who-can-get-the-job-done”. For the Imperial Agent, it’s all about the suave.

For the Bounty Hunter, your only concern is the DEATH MARK. *Cue thriller-suspense music*

Gotta love picking out the little details in the video, stuff like delivering your bounty frozen in a block of carbonite. As usual, Darth Hater has picked out a lot of other interesting things in their dissection, which is definitely worth checking out. You can bet I’m looking forward to playing with all those abilities!

On designing specific missions for the Bounty Hunter class, Writing Director Daniel Erickson had this to say in the IGN interview:

The Bounty Hunter is his own man and always needs space to stretch out, so as much as possible missions take you into situations you won’t see with other classes. Conflicts with authority figures on both sides, stand offs with other individualists, and, of course, the epic chase are all important parts of designing a Bounty Hunter story.

I have to say, I think that’s what drew me to the class in the first place. Most of the other classes seem to be beholden to one authority or another. The Trooper serves the Republic. The Imperial Agent serves the Empire. The Jedi serve their Order. And so forth. I love how even the NPCs will apparently react most differently to the Bounty Hunters and Smugglers (the latter, of course, being the other class in the game seen as more of an “outsider”).

And well, there’s also my crush on Boba Fett…that is, before George Lucas went and destroyed all his delicious mystery.

Anyway, yes, you can probably roleplay a rogue Trooper or Agent or a “grey” Jedi, but the Bounty Hunter doesn’t need any excuse not to serve anyone. It’s just as he says in the video, “The only law in the galaxy, is the one a man makes for himself.” In fact, I think IGN even picks up on that, if their question about Bioware’s decision to ally Bounty Hunters with the Dark Side is any indication. Given the nefarious roles which many Bounty Hunters have played in the Star Wars expanded universe, I think it was the right choice. The only choice, perhaps.

Doesn’t mean I’m necessarily going down the dark path. Most likely I’ll be playing the class following my own moral compass. Who knows, maybe I’ll only hunt the bad guys. I may work for the Sith, but I’m a Bounty Hunter, I can make those kinds of decisions without clearing it with them first.

On inspiration for the Bounty Hunter class, Erickson states:

Before originally planning the first chapter of the Bounty Hunter I read every Bounty Hunter comic and book I could get my hands on. Dengar is a particular favorite both for his complicated friendship with Boba Fett and his gritty, old cowboy attitude towards life.

I see a lot of potential for this class. There have been so many Bounty Hunters featured in years and years of Star Wars history. From Calo Nord to Aurra Sing, from Bossk to Cad Bane, from Boushh to IG-88. Lots of big names to work with and ideas to draw from, so hopefully they’re not relying so heavily on Boba Fett for inspiration the same way the Smuggler class appears to be stuck on Han Solo. Erickson’s mention of Dengar and “a very diverse group of companions” available to the Bounty Hunter are good signs of things to come.

The Bounty Hunter’s role for the Empire is similar to that of the Trooper on the Republic side. One could say that they are arch enemies. Within the class, the roles are divided as follows : the Mercenary advanced class can take the role of ranged damage dealer or healer [and] the Powertech advanced class can take the role of close range damage dealer or tank. The skill trees for these advanced classes offer various ways of sub-specializing these roles (e.g. burst vs. sustained kind of damage dealing roles, etc.)

I do prefer playing classes with multiple utilities, so I’m glad the Bounty Hunter has Advanced Class options to either go tanking or healing, in addition to dealing damage.

And I suppose if we’re looking at roles and abilities, the class does have clear parallels to the Republic’s Trooper. Lorewise, however, I’ve always personally thought of the Smuggler as the Bounty Hunter’s natural “mirror”. As already mentioned above, they’re both seen as the outsiders compared to the other classes. Erickson’s words about looking at classic Westerns for tone and texture as well as his quote about Dengar’s “gritty, old cowboy attitude” underscores the similarities to the Smuggler for me even more.

From the screenshots, it appears each specialization will have its own distinct look-and-feel. I guess it’s no surprise that the Mercenary Advanced Class is the one taking it to the Westerns.

The Powertech specialization on the other hand has the more “traditional” armored look, and this is probably the AC I’ll end up going with since I love playing with gadgets and I want to tank.

The Bounty Hunter also features an update to the Rattataki entry in the Holonet under Humanoids. They’re an interesting species, but not my thing, I’m afraid. They just creep me out. That, and I’m shallow and prefer having hair. Or hey, better yet, how about a pair of long beautiful lekku?

As well, a companion for the Bounty Hunter has been revealed. Meet Mako, the “Cyber Orphan”. I have to say, I’d expected another hard-boiled, tough-as-nails description for her, and I was relieved that I was wrong. After all, we already have two crazy chicks and that’s plenty enough for now! Mako seems down-to-earth to me. And everyone loves a geek girl.

And last but not least, it’s not a real update unless it’s also got a ship reveal. Bounty Hunters will be flying around in a Kuat Drive Yards D5-Mantis Patrol Craft. Seriously, where do they come up with these names? KDY and its subsidiary Kuat Systems Engineering, however, was also the manufacturer responsible for the beloved spacecraft of Boba Fett, the original Slave I. Its influences can clearly be seen weaved into the D5-Mantis. Not the most luxurious-looking ship (seriously, that bed in the video looks like I’ll need a tetanus shot after sleeping in it), but it can fight and that’s all that matters.

Still, I would have appreciated a little more description. Like, what kind of cargo space am I looking at? Where can I pack and load my frozen carbonite prisoners for safe transport? Come on, it’s not like I can insure that crap!

Anyway, as Jaramukhti (I so wish he had a blog for me to link! Really!) pointed out from a quote from a dev, this update was probably intended to have been last week’s reveal, following the pattern of releases. Hence this week, we get something like an update-and-a-half. Which turns out to be more information and details on SWTOR at PAX East.

I can’t believe it’s next week. Seriously, the time has just flown by. At BioWare’s Booth 912, they will be providing hands-on gameplay experience for the Republic Flashpoint Taral V and the starting origin worlds. I’m not sure if I want to try for the opportunity. Strange, but in being so emotionally invested in SWTOR, it has also become one of those games I don’t want to get so intimately involved with before release. That, and I can’t promise my hands won’t be shaking so hard from excitement and delirium. I will, however, probably do my darndest to attend any presentations and Live Q&As.

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Dear March 2011, I Need More Free Time

January 4, 2011

In the last two days, I’ve made three game pre-orders, all releasing in March 2011.

March 1, 2011: Rift

“We’re  not in Azeroth anymore.” Ha! If there ever was a statement that made me laugh and groan at the same time, that was it.

I had a good time in beta, despite not being completely blown away, but the best part about MMOs is playing with others and quite a few people I know will be adventuring in Telara this Spring, which will likely make playing on the live servers a different and much more enjoyable experience.

March 8, 2011: Dragon Age 2

I’m a big fan of the Dragon Age series. Despite playing Dragon Age: Origins on the Xbox360, my DA2 preorder is for the PC version (I hope I won’t regret my decision) because 1) I prefer playing on a computer if I can, and 2) all new story and protagonist = no reason to port over my DA:O playthrough. I’m aware there will be links to the first game, but I’m thinking if there’s no sweet, sweet Alistair if I can’t continue my human noble’s story, then what the hell’s the point?

Hopefully I’ll get my fill of Rift in before DA2 comes out, but if my obsession with the first game is any indication, it won’t take me more than a few days to finish.

March 22, 2011: The Sims Medieval

One of the changes in The Sims Medieval is a shift in focus towards the “happiness” of your Kingdom versus simply the little lives of your individual Sims. I’m most intrigued by the Quest system.

Really, it’s quite sad how much I’m looking forward to this, but I love The Sims franchise. My husband already makes fun of me whenever I play Sims 3, and when Medieval comes out, something tells me I’ll have to put up with his infernal Monty Python jokes too.

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The Smuggler Is A Classy Guy

September 16, 2010

Someone on the Star Wars: The Old Republic forums early this morning found this little gem from Machinima Realm:

Who wants to be a scruffy-looking Nerf herder?

It occurred to me that this could actually be tomorrow’s update. Well, if it is, I’m sure I’ll find more things in this video to amuse myself. Some thoughts for now:

  • Great script and voice acting, simply dripping with the cockiness and arrogance worthy of a smuggler
  • I’m liking the look of the seedy bars…in which the smuggler seems to spend a lot of time
  • Caught a glimpse of several nice looking abilities, from the dual-blaster gunslinging to lobbing some sort of explosive device to even stealthing!
  • Dost my eyes deceive me? ‘Tis a WOOKIEE at 1:01 shot putting some poor guy into oblivion
  • The smuggler running at the end there and stopping short with his blaster raised? That’s so Han Solo.
  • On what I think of the Smuggler — four words: My. First. Republic. Alt.
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Industrial, Resourceful, Beautiful Corellia

September 10, 2010

Corellia was the latest planet to be revealed in Star Wars: The Old Republic. For those still keeping track, that raises the planet count to 15. Well, as the Corellians say, “The bigger the galaxy, the sweeter the homecoming.”

A major political and economic center, this planet is also notable for being the birth place of Han Solo. As Star Wars planets go, Corellia might not be as well-known as Tattooine or Naboo, but it’s hardly obscure, so it’s not so surprising that it would be included in the SWTOR line-up.

First thing I thought when I saw the planet was: This is not your Star Wars Galaxies Corellia. Things aren’t sounding too hot for the Corellians in the Old Republic, however. The description seems to imply that this shining beacon of the Republic has suffered an attacked from within by “Imperial influence”, leaving parts of the capital in turmoil and destroyed. Gosh, I hope that won’t stop me from getting to ride the trams.

This planet update along with the last one featuring Nar Shaddaa have been my favorite ones so far. The look of Corellia may be more subdued than say, Coruscant, but something about the images I see makes me feel an old familiarity with it. The landscape is still alien, but not in a way that makes me feel like I’m far from home. I thought the place looked like it could almost be a future earth — Corellians being one of the first human societies to develop hyperdrive starships and explore space a significance not lost on me.

Though I would love to see more strange, exotic planets like Manaan or Kashyyyk for future updates, I’m quite happy with what we got to see of Corellia. I don’t know if it’s because I’m paying more attention as we inch our way towards release, but the environments seem to look better and better with each reveal.

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Mysteries Of Knights Of The Old Republic, Meatbags

September 4, 2010

The new Star Wars: The Old Republic video that came out of PAX today is nothing short of awesome, a treat for KOTOR fans and especially those of us who have been vexed all this time by the mystery of Revan.

Dammit, you know you can’t be throwing around images of a certain helmet and using words around like “rebirth” without getting me all hot and bothered. What does this mean? Will SWTOR reveal the fate of Revan? Surely, after 300 years, it won’t be so trite as to have him still alive? As always, more questions than answers, but without a doubt, this was more of the kind of update I was hoping for this weekend. And it was nice to see an old “friend” at the end there.

Still, Bioware, you’re all dirty, dirty teases.

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Now Let’s Blow This Thing And Go Home

August 18, 2010

Yesterday a new Star Wars: The Old Republic space combat video was released as a special for Gamescom 2010. Short as it was, I was very excited when I saw it.

I was also able to pick up the latest issue of PC Gamer yesterday which features space combat in SWTOR, so I wanted to wait until I had the opportunity to peruse it before I put my thoughts together. It was nice having some reading material to go with the awesome imagery from the new trailer, because in a way the footage and the new article complemented each other very well. Like sources have already confirmed, space combat can be described as a “tunnel shooter”, but damn…being on rails has never looked and felt so good.

There are several things I took from the PC Gamer article. First is that while space combat is an important and anticipated feature in SWTOR, gameplay is likely to be a heavily directed and controlled experience. Second is that for better or worse, Bioware is taking space combat in very specific direction, and that is to capture the most iconic and memorable space action moments from the movies and somehow recreate them in their own way for the game, so I would be expecting to do some trench runs and asteroid dodging.

My gut feeling is that the devs have a very good idea of what they want players to see and feel while they are experiencing space combat, and presumably utilizing things like “hot spots”, cinematics and a “tunnel shooter” style is their way of strongly steering us towards all of that.  After thinking about it, I realized I don’t have much of a problem with this. So space combat isn’t going to entail a “fly-anywhere-you-want” type of gameplay, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done well or won’t be fun. In fact, I’m more comfortable with the fact that Bioware appears to have a clear direction in which they want to take space combat, as well as concrete goals they seem to be actively pursuing. Despite all the information we’ve gotten on space combat in the recent weeks, I still get the feeling that Bioware is being really careful when it comes to the topic; it’s a fine line between feeding the hype and releasing what they know they can deliver.

In any case, I think they have been pretty transparent with what they have revealed so far. On rails or not, I would rather have a polished space experience at launch complete with well-defined objectives than a half-assed, muddled end product that doesn’t know whether it’s coming or going, which might be the case if they were trying to please everybody. I’m certainly not trying to appease people who are still less than impressed by SWTOR’s space combat, but what I saw from the video did indicate to me how much care and work must have been put into it — everything from the ship movements, visuals, sound effects, voice work, music, etc. A part of me does kinda hope that the quality of the trailer might have at least lifted the spirits of some of those who were disappointed before.

Another thing I realized after reading the PC Gamer piece was that there is a lot of potential for space combat. All throughout the entire article was a sense of hope and suggestion that what we get at launch will continue to be a work-in-progress that may one day contain more aspects of space combat, perhaps features like difficulty levels, PvP and co-op gameplay or even missions in space that would affect players on the ground. The positive angle makes me think that people who maybe aren’t so happy with space combat right now can look forward to future possibilities.

There’s more to the article, but it would be too much to go into the finer details. A few things I do want to mention is that there are plenty of nice images (some that are very similar to what we see in the trailer) and a lot of interesting speculations, such as mission types and ship classes. Related to the latter, I noticed at least six different models of ships in the video and recognized the two that were confirmed (Corellian Vanguard-class for Jedi Knights and Consulars, Fury-class imperial for Sith Warriors and Inquisitors).

One last thing is that there was also an offhand comparison to the Star Wars: Rogue Squadron games when describing the gameplay. After watching the video I can definitely see that. Gotta say, I loved that game back in the day when I played it on the N64…just please, all I ask is leave out the repetitive, irritating “Rogue Squadron, where’s our cover?!?!” type dialogue, which quite possibly was the most annoying video game line of all time.

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Some Love For The Republic

August 13, 2010

A heavy update from Bioware today. First, the entry for the Jedi Knight, a class that needs no introduction, has been updated in the Holonet, and the two Advanced Classes of Guardian and Sentinel have been confirmed.

There’s an awesome new video added for the class as well, though admittedly I’m more excited by the quality of the combat and movement animations than I am by the Jedi Knight class. Gotta love how the cheeky little punting of the Bounty Hunter into the Sarlacc pit at the end there has already been dubbed the “Chuck Norris roundhouse kick.” Anyway, compared to some of the older class videos, it’s really amazing to see how the graphics and animations have evolved. That, in my opinion, is the most impressive part of the footage.

Not that the Jedi Knight class doesn’t look like it would be a hell lot of fun. Out of all the classes, however, I think it’s the least likely one I’ll play because all the others simply look so much more interesting, though I have no doubt they will be overwhelmingly popular at launch. Come to think of it, despite the iconic nature of the class, I haven’t personally met anyone so far who has said they will be rolling a Jedi Knight as their main when the game releases. But hey, maybe the new information and trailer might manage change a few minds.

Also, as a nice follow-up to the playable species revealed last week, the Inhabitants section has been updated with an entry on the Miraluka. *shudder* The idea of their vestigial eye sockets still creep me out no matter how many times I look at them.

As well, the newest installment of Blood of the Empire.

And look! Some droid love! He’s so cute…