Star Wars Wednesday - Nearly Free to Play

Today, two Star Wars video games from opposite ends of the modern PC game caught my attention. One was an update on The Old Republic's move to the free to play (sort of) model. The other was Dark Forces, the original Star Wars first person shooter. 

The Old Republic has steadily moved from the rumored free to play stage through the confirmed free to play stage right on to the "not entirely free, here's what we really mean" stage. They haven't announced the actual start of free to play yet, nor when that will exactly occur. Here is a summary. Here is the offical FAQ, that is free for everyone to decipher.

As for me, I haven't actually played TOR for several months. I hadn't played for quite awhile when my credit card expired. I always intended to play more, but with certain RPG projects consuming my free time, and my busy day job. I decided not to fix the card issue until I really meant to play. Then came the free to play announcements, and my wife and I decided to see what that really meant. Right before free to play was announced, she was given a TOR time gift card. She has held off using it until we knew what was happening next.

Well, now we know, so I'll likely re-up so she can use up the card, but it will be awhile before that happens. Maybe over the holidays. The game play has been ok, but I was really derailed by the fact that some classes had essentially the same starting storylines. I rarely like to repeat games - I just don't have the time - so that just killed any desire to continue, and my momentum at the time. I'm not the biggest MMO fan, so I figured the KotoR approach would be good for me. Unfortunately, it mainly made me wonder why it wasn't released as a single-player KotoR product. Maybe I just solo too much.

Also today, Sam Witwer tweeted about playing the classic Star Wars first person shooter Dark Forces via Steam. I loved Dark Forces when it came out, and had a machine capable of running it. Actually, I still have it. The first impression the game made on me was, "wow, you really can't hit anything with these blasters." The second was how much fun it was to play to a full Star Wars soundtrack, even a midi-style one.

Quick, my new electronic music band name is... The MIDI-chlorians.

Yes, sometimes I am one to Force a pun.

Anyway, I was actually disappointed when they turned Kyle Katarn into a Jedi for Dark Forces 2. One thing I loved about the original is the focus on everyday types in the Star Wars universe. Sometimes its hard to remember that non-Force users make up the majority of the galaxy. We'll see more of that in the tabletop RPG, with the current focus on the classic era.

I got over the Kyle Katarn thing, but I do wish there was more focus on non-Force users. X-Wing or TIE Fighter anyone? Well, at least Steam is keeping some of the old games alive.

For some still shots, you can see the sales page on Steam here.

To see some first level action, see below:


 And while we're at it...Xwing vs TIE Fighter: