Should You Play Star Wars The Old Republic in 2023?


Star Wars: The Old Republic (SWTOR) is an MMORPG which released in 2011, that immerses players in an epic journey across the expansive Star Wars universe. Developed by BioWare and published by Electronic Arts, this game invites players to forge their own path, make alliances, and uncover the mysteries of the Old Republic. In this review, we explore the captivating storytelling and exciting gameplay mechanics that define SWTOR.

SWTOR has garnered significant acclaim since its release, boasting a healthy player base with a 24-hour peak of approximately 7500 concurrent players on Steam. Its success is further highlighted by its impressive lifetime revenue of over $1 billion. Initial reviews were overwhelmingly positive, with respected sources such as IGN awarding the game a solid 9 out of 10 rating and on steam it also has Very Positive reviews from players.

To ensure the game’s continuous growth and content updates, SWTOR has undergone a transition in its development team. BioWare, the original developers, are passing the torch to Broadsword Online Games, renowned for their work on Ultima Online. As part of this transition, half of the current development team will join Broadsword, bringing their expertise and passion to the ongoing development of SWTOR. With this new partnership, players can expect solid updates and dedicated support from the game’s new team.

SWTOR’s dedication to providing regular content updates ensures that players can look forward to a dynamic and evolving gaming experience. The game’s engaging storytelling, immersive world, and exciting gameplay mechanics continue to captivate players, making SWTOR a standout MMORPG set in the beloved Star Wars universe.

First Impressions

I must mention that I am not a devoted Star Wars fan, as the franchise has never quite captured my interest. However, after delving into SWTOR, I find myself compelled to explore the movie franchise. Surprisingly, the main story quest has completely hooked me, and I’m amazed by the fact that there are multiple storylines depending on the character type chosen. The level of engagement and quality in storytelling is truly impressive, making SWTOR the first MMORPG since The Elder Scrolls Online to provide such a captivating narrative experience.

The story segments in SWTOR are well-balanced and not overwhelming. Interactions with NPCs are accompanied by cutscenes where players make decisions that shape their character’s responses in conversations. Following these exchanges, players embark on thrilling quests and engage in combat with adversaries. What sets SWTOR apart is that the entire game, including the player’s character, is fully voice-acted, making the experience truly immersive and brilliant.
However, one aspect that could be improved is the beginner experience. As an MMO veteran with 20 years of experience, I found it fairly easy to jump into the game due to familiar controls, hotkeys, and movement mechanics. However, the in-game help primarily consists of lengthy on-screen text, which many players may skip without reading, leading to potential difficulties later on. Some essential aspects, such as acquiring and using mounts/vehicles, could be better highlighted, making it clearer where and how to obtain them.

One noteworthy aspect of SWTOR is that it offers a completely free-to-play experience with no major paywalls. Despite this, my enjoyment of the game led me to purchase a one-month subscription at level 15, and I was pleasantly surprised by the benefits it provided. The subscription unlocked all the latest DLC content, and I also gained the ability to instantly create a level 70 character. For MMO enthusiasts aiming to reach the endgame swiftly, a single month of subscription allows for an unbelievably rapid progression, however I would suggest enjoying the experience and playing through the story content.

Character Customization and Classes

SWTOR excels in providing a robust character customization system, offering players an extensive range of options to create unique and captivating characters. From selecting your allegiance and choosing a specific character to exploring various origin stories, the game allows for a highly personalized gaming experience. Additionally, SWTOR presents a diverse selection of classes, each with its own distinctive playstyle and abilities. Whether you yearn to wield a lightsaber as a noble Jedi Knight or embrace the power of the dark side as a cunning Sith Inquisitor, there is a class tailored to fulfil every player’s preferences. Furthermore, once in the game, you have the opportunity to acquire or purchase new outfits, enabling you to craft the perfect look for your Star Wars character. With an abundance of customization options, SWTOR truly empowers players to bring their envisioned characters to life in the expansive Star Wars universe.

Graphics and Sound

SWTOR offers a visually appealing experience for Star Wars enthusiasts. The game showcases well-crafted environments, character models, and visual effects that contribute to bringing the beloved Star Wars universe to life. While the graphics may not reach mind-blowing levels, they still provide an enjoyable and immersive backdrop for gameplay. On the other hand, the sound design truly shines, with iconic music and authentic sound effects that enhance the overall immersion. From the distinctive hum of lightsabers to the intense blaster fire in battles, the audio elements flawlessly complement the gameplay, ensuring an engaging experience for players.

Storyline and World-building

SWTOR’s greatest strength lies in its rich and expansive narrative, drawing inspiration from the Star Wars lore. Players are given the choice to align themselves with either the Galactic Republic or the Sith Empire, shaping their own destiny as they progress through the game. You make choices during cutscenes which dictate your character being on the light or darkside and you’ll view difference scenarios depending on which options you decide to take. The attention to detail in world-building is commendable, as players are transported to iconic locations from the Star Wars universe. Whether it’s exploring the bustling cityscapes of Coruscant or navigating the treacherous landscapes of Korriban, the game captures the essence of the franchise admirably.

SWTOR can sometimes give the impression of a solo RPG game, particularly during extensive portions of the early stages. The game’s emphasis on storytelling and immersive narratives can create a sense of playing a single-player game. It is worth noting that player encounters may be infrequent until reaching certain milestones or main cities, where the player base becomes more apparent. This aspect may appeal to those seeking a more personal and introspective gameplay experience, but it could be less appealing to players who prioritize consistent multiplayer interactions.


The levelling experience in SWTOR is notably fast-paced, with substantial XP rewards for completing the main story quests. By utilizing the XP boosts obtained during your journey, you are likely to out level the content, particularly if you focus on the main story quests. However, it’s important to note that rushing through the levelling process is not recommended. Instead, take the time to immerse yourself in the captivating storylines. Exploring alt characters is also encouraged as it allows you to experience different class-specific story options.

In my personal playthrough, I dedicated myself to the purple story quests and eventually reached the level cap of 80. However, upon reaching this milestone, I found myself unsure of what to do next. The game lacks explicit guidance on post-levelling activities, and I realized that acquiring new and upgraded gear would be necessary since enemies at level 70 and beyond proved to be challenging opponents.

While progressing through the levels, you also gain Legacy levels, which are shared among all your characters. The Legacy system unlocks various perks that apply account-wide, such as increased XP gain. As you accumulate more Legacy levels, you have the opportunity to unlock additional benefits, which can be purchased from the Legacy screen.