virtualvoyages: an old worn book on a black back ground, a glow at one corner of the book (Default)
[personal profile] virtualvoyages
First, the nonspoilery review of the two classes I've finished (and they will come as a surprise to no one).

Agent: Totally awesome!  Epic fun spy fiction along the lines of James Bond (though less ruthless if you play Light Side).  Oddly enough, quite possibly the furthest to the Idealism side of the Sliding Scale of Idealism vs Cynicism, if played Light Side.  The vast majority of LS choices line up nicely with good (though I will note that many only work because this is an idealistic story as you are frequently endangering your mission by being LS) and it is tropetastic in the best possible sense.

Smuggler: I love the dialogue options, but the story did not hold up at all well. I felt like it's twists were more on the order of retcons and the story just felt a bit generic.  (Rather than centered on you/your chosen career the way the Agent story is.)  While it still has a number of LS choices that are on the idealistic side and the story itself could still be argued to be, it's set in a not-so-idealistic world.

Now for the more spoilery class reviews and some tweaks that I think would have made the game a ton better.


Agent: Ouch.  You're really handed a cosmic "kick me" sign with this choice of profession.  Which is fitting, yes, but I was surprised when the game actually went through with Keeper's "go get tortured" plan in Chapter Three.  I half thought it would opt for some less sadistic version, but nope!  Then again, after the entire mind control plot of Chapter Two, why was I surprised?  Also, I think this class must win for number of times knocked out, gassed, or otherwise rendered unconscious.  Did I mention it was tropetastic?

But what I really wanted to talk about was the ending.  Or rather that there are endings, actual different endings depending on what you do over the course of the story and how LS (or DS?) you are.  I qualified for the "LS" ending - I was nice to Arden Kothe's team and spared them all and was hard LS - but I didn't choose it.  What would happen to the Minister, Keeper, and rogue Intelligence if I did?  Awesomely, if you say no to Kothe, you part on good terms.  He's a better man since meeting you and hopes to become better still. :D  I influenced a Jedi to be a better person.  Sweet!  Also, this leaves you with a friend in the SIS.  Ha!  As you may guess, I went with the... rogue IMF ending?  I'm not sure what else to call it.  You're working with the Minister, Keeper and their rogue Intelligence...to protect the Empire, yes, but it's implied that now you really will be protecting the Empire from itself, too.  (You always kinda were, but you're out from under all Sith control now.  And the Minister explicitly says you can follow your conscience.)  It's awesome!

The only glitch in the entire story is the question of what becomes of Darth Jadus and Darth Zhorrid.  Jadus escaped in my version, never to be heard from again.  Zhorrid also never came up again.  Er... did she just lose interest in Intelligence?  Did Jadus off her?  (The rest of the Dark Council might have.)  And Jadus is apparently wandering the galaxy... doing what, exactly?  I sort of know why the game forgot about him, since there are a lot of options of what becomes of him, but they do manage to handle the two options regarding Arden Kothe.  Oh, well, what's one forgotten evil Sith Lord?


Smuggler: So much wrong, where to begin.  Now, keep in mind, I still had fun.  And, like I said above, the dialogue is often awesome.  (I also must note that playing as a female Smuggler, it was quite fun to get to do things that female heroes are rarely allowed to do in fiction.  You can be a braggart and if you get a comeuppance for it, it's the kind male characters get.  If. You save a twit noble on Alderaan by being his champion in a duel.  People want to kill you.  Basically, it's just really nice to watch the story of a female hero who gets to be tough, kind, reckless, unlucky, adventure seeking, honorable... and never pay for it, never be threatened with rape, never treated like a second class citizen.  I know this is just the result of a gender neutral story, but I haven't felt it as strongly on the other class stories I've played as a female character.  I like seeing the story of a female character whose adventures aren't focused on her gender - just as male characters' adventures aren't focused on their gender.)

Back to the wrong.  As I've mentioned before, the game cannot freaking remember that you're a criminal, even in your class story.  I think I was really expecting a story more along the lines of, oh Brian Daley's trilogy about Han Solo, or even AC Crispin's.  Driven a bit more by your career, even if you're also doing good things.  Yeah, I guess you're supposedly taking over Rogun's criminal empire later on, but that's really not handled all that well - the taking over part feels kind of tacked on.  (Would a more straightforward criminal story fall afoul of the ESRB or something?)  Hell, it mostly feels like a second rate Agent-type story, which is too bad.

Also, the morality is all over the freaking place.  It's DS to help Ivory, whose main crime is that he's a criminal. (Like you are!)  But LS to spare Rogun, who... let's just say he didn't get his name because he ran a place where you could buy cuts of meat.  Also Rogun supposedly was working for the Republic, and somehow you were hurting the Republic by taking out his criminal enterprises.  What?  None of that really makes sense.  I know they were aiming for a more cynical end world and story but they got incoherent and retcony instead.


Overall Game Story

While I'm really glad they didn't go with Good vs Evil (and not just because my favorite class is Empire side), I think they went too far in making it Evil vs Evil.  Did we need a flashpoint that makes it clear that the Republic wants to commit (or at least isn't opposed to) genocide?  Hell, the Empire just wants to conquer everything.  Does the overall story need to make it seem that the Star Cabal was right?

Also, once you get to the war part of the game you mostly interact with assholes Empire side and nicer people Republic side.  I do not understand this decision, either.  For that matter, I think it's a bit of a problem for them to have set it up so that the two sides stories periodically clash and so that both sides end with winning Corellia.  (Especially when the two stories of how the Empire took Corellia don't match.  What is this, eight different alternate realities?)

If I'd been designing the game, I'd have made each class the hero of their own story, moved the game story (the Empire and Republic conflict moves from cold war to actual war) to the background - something you bounce in and out of but aren't necessarily directly involved in, and made each planet's story more planet focused and less Republic/Empire focused.  Because the way they did it leads to a lot of clashes between Class and Planet/Main story.  (How can you erase your identity as an Agent after having given a holonet broadcast speech to Corellia?  What about way back on Balmorra where you're there undercover, but also directly helping the Empire there.  Why is the Republic continually going to a criminal for help? Gah.)

A good example of Planet story fitting but being planet focused is actually Hutta. Both the Agent and the Bounty Hunter have good reason to do the planet story - both want to impress Nem'ro.  It all flows together very nicely.  Some planets would require more rewriting than others, but I think it would've worked better if the planets were more subtly about the Republic/Empire conflict.  I realize this would mean less interacting with members of your faction and more interacting with planetary people, at least until later when direct Republic/Empire conflict actually makes sense.  Of course, its very hard to write stories that are logical for all four of the classes on each side - a small problem with having both those working for each government and those who are independent, not to mention that Sith and Jedi occupy very different positions in society than Agents and Troopers.  Still, I think it could be done.  (I'd probably step back how quickly the Sith and Jedi characters become important.  Nothing wrong with them ending the game amazing, but they get rather remarkable rather quickly.)

Actually, the power thing bothers me rather.  I get liking power fantasies, but the Main story turns all of the characters illogically powerful to a degree that just doesn't fit with Star Wars canon.  (The Class stories don't seem to make this mistake.)  Republic side on Corellia is just absurd on a Smuggler.  How many Sith Lords do you take out?  Four?  Five?  Since when can a non-Force sensitive beat a Force user in a straight up fight?  I'm sorry, but I saw The Empire Strikes Back; I know what happens when you bring a blaster to a Force duel.  Not having as much direct Republic/Empire conflict would help with that, too.

Basically, I'd write it so the planetary stories were the side stories and the main focus for each Class was their Class story.  Your Class story takes you to a planet, but there's also stuff that needs doing there...which might help your faction's cause, but which also benefits you in some way and/or is just the right thing to do. 

Or, perhaps they should've made a co-op playable single player game with eight different stories and avoided most of these issues.

Profile

virtualvoyages: an old worn book on a black back ground, a glow at one corner of the book (Default)
virtualvoyages

March 2016

S M T W T F S
  12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728 293031  

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 22nd, 2017 11:38 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios