Legends of Star Wars: The Old Republic
Where players crafted their own stories in Star Wars games, SWTOR guides them along a different path. The story-based gameplay that drives most Bioware titles is in full force in SWTOR, and that is an excellent thing. Customization isn’t nearly as advanced as it was in the prior MMORPG, but the lack is hardly noticeable when you’re following a detailed and in-depth plot as it twists and winds through a legendary part of Star Wars history.
Of course, the Legendary part is a bit of the problem. Very little in SWTOR is canonical, as it takes place in an era not included in the current canon and a setting initially only fully explored by some amazing Bioware games from 15 years ago. It makes for a fun romp, but it’s a romp through a timeline that only really exists in that game, cutting it off from the Star Wars setting as a whole. The great wars of the Sith lords and the Old Republic are all but forgotten by the time modern lore picks up the tale of the Skywalker family, and only the Hutts seem to care.
Perhaps we’ll someday see a return to the Old Republic era, but it seems a long, long time away. For now, best to take the good: great storytelling and fantastic voice acting, and leave the details of the Old Republic wrapped in the shroud of Legend.
All the Casual MMOs
Speaking of leaving much in the past, all the casual MMOs to come before, between or after these two can pretty much stay where they are. These games were either designed as a cash grab, to drum up support for some marketing release or reasons other than a solid MMO team wanted to make their own Star Wars galaxy.
Most of these are collections of minigames with a single gathering hub, a Club Penguin for Star Wars fans, or a port of various PC and mobile games. I was a day-one adopter of Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes, but that’s not a sound basis for an MMO. We’ll throw the youngling out with the bathwater if we have to because there’s very little here for new or old Star Wars fans.