Happy Christmas (or non-denominational holiday period) to you all!
To celebrate the festive season here is the new TV advertisement for The Old Republic, followed by some official stats from the launch and a summary of the early reviews of the game by the press. Enjoy!
According to Bioware there have been over 1 million registered accounts in the three days since launch. Players have logged 28 million in-game hours – roughly equivalent to watching all six Star Wars movies two million times, and they have averaged well over five hours a day playing the game. There have been more than 3.8 million characters created, including 510,000 Jedi Knights and 550,000 Sith Warriors. Finally more than 2 billion non-player characters have been killed in the eight days since Early Game Access began!
Bioware have also revealed the first post-launch content will be released next month, a good move to keep hold of subscribers when their free month runs out. You can find the details including news of a new Flashpoint and Operation here... and yes, that really is a picture of a Hutt driving a giant stompy robot in the sneak-peak picture below!
Here is a list of the (very) early press reviews of the game I have found so far...
PC Gamer award the game 93% and say "An achievement as an RPG and an MMO, The Old Republic offers something bold and new for gamers. Don’t miss out."
Ausgamers score the game as 9.5/10, saying "BioWare have remarkably pulled a rabbit out of the hat with Star Wars: The Old Republic. While they haven’t revolutionised MMO gameplay as we know it, they have delivered one of the best looking, most playable and most polished MMOs in history -- in fact, a level of polish you just don’t expect from the genre."
G4tv give the game top marks (5/5) and the author says "I honestly have spent the last few years very seriously doubting that even BioWare could pull off something as frankly crazy as what The Old Republic is attempting to do. They have succeeded far beyond my admittedly high expectations. As a KOTOR fan, I finally have my long-awaited sequel(s). As an MMO fan, I am hooked. As a Star Wars fan, I am enthralled."
TenTonHammer award 88% overall (they break their score down into different areas). "Star Wars: The Old Republic is an excellent game overall, and one well worth spending your hard earned dollars on. Even if you play it for the expertly crafted class stories alone, you're sure to get more entertainment-per-dollar than any other RPG released this year. And yes, that even includes the current critic's darling, Skyrim."
Eurogamer Italy gives the game 8/10 and clarifies "Star Wars: the Old Republic is a good MMORPG with lot of action and an awesome atmosphere."
Starburst Magazine gives TOR 9/10. "Only time will tell if the game can hold the attention of its audience with a strong endgame with continued support, updates and expansion packs. So far, this is a fantastic new entry in to the crowded market. Star Wars: The Old Republic could finally be that new (but familiar) MMO experience that many have craved."
The Guardian awards the game 4/5 saying "What I can confirm is that SWTOR more than justifies the box price, which includes the first month online. Whether it's a universe that delivers a constant flow of new surprises and challenges is something that will decide how long punters continue to shell out £8.99 month. But for me it's an impressively epic start."
I'll be back before the new year with a brief look forwards to 2012. In the meantime best wishes to you all.