Star Wars: The Old Republic Hands-On - The Bounty Hunter

We sample Star Wars: The Old Republic's bounty hunter class and the game's first announced playable alien race, the Rattataki.

In its latest demo of The Old Republic, developer BioWare showed off the bounty hunter playable class, adding another archetype of the Star Wars canon to the lineup for its massively multiplayer online role-playing game. The bounty hunter class is inspired, naturally, by fan favourite Boba Fett. "We want the game to feel as close to the movies as possible," says Daniel Erickson, lead writer. Accordingly, BioWare pays tribute to another "fan favourite," Dark Jedi Asajj Ventress, with the Rattataki: bald, pale-skinned humanoid creatures and the first playable alien race to be announced for the game.

We got to play as a bounty hunter in the latest build of The Old Republic.

Though BioWare is not talking about Rattataki race-specific attributes yet, the bounty hunter's special abilities--at lowly level six, at least--were laid out for us. The bounty hunter is The Old Republic's gadgeteer class; we played as a male Rattataki bounty hunter, packing the basic arsenal of bounty hunter toys. These included rapid shots, as well as missile blast and rail shots. We also had shocking electro darts and the obligatory flamethrower attack. At the other end of the toolbar sat "recharge and reload," a gradual health and mana restorative akin to eating or drinking in World of Warcraft. This was accompanied with an animation of the bounty hunter tuning up his or her jetpack and flamethrower.

We started out in the palace-cum-cantina home of Nem'ro the Hutt, who issued us a quest to eliminate his nemesis, the leader of a nearby Evocii village. Not only did he want us to bring back his head, but he also wanted us to thin out the ranks of Evocii guardians and scouts along the way--four of one and 10 of the other--in classic MMORPG fashion. Leaving Nem'ro's palace (home to a handful of chatty non-player characters and a Mos Eisley-style cantina band), we headed for the quest waypoints on our map, passing through the settlement of Jigunna. This was a hub with vendors and a medical bay, which formed part of the starting area for bounty hunters and imperial agents. It was sparsely populated as we played, though we're told the non-player population will be expanded for a more bustling hub area. As previously seen, environments and character models were attractive, though not excessively fancy, with strong colouring and an authentic Star Wars art style on their side.

The bounty hunter class favours gadgets and blasters.

On the far side of Jigunna was The Bog, a swampland, and the Evocii village, where we took on the inferior firepower of the Evocii defenders. In combat, the bounty hunter was mobile and aggressive--able to strafe and blast away. It's "not a cover class," in contrast to other classes, says Erickson. Here again BioWare underlined the nonstatic, not-so-automatic combat of its MMORPG. Besides a health bar, bounty hunter characters have a heat gauge that fills as the character uses its special abilities. This heat gauge, which fills quickly and drains relatively slowly, prevents spamming of the most powerful specials. The jetpack didn't come into play at this level, though it became accessible "sooner rather than later" in combat with flight-powered moves, such as, we're told, "death from above."

Upon reaching the village leader's hut, we were challenged to rethink our mission to kill and behead the leader in light of the Evocii's side of the story. This presented a "moral choice" between completing the quest as ordered and collecting the bounty or agreeing to take back another head (from one of the poor saps you already murdered on the way in). The dialogue options were arranged on a Mass Effect-style wheel. They weren't marked as "light side" or "dark side," a la "renegade" and "paragon," though there was a light and dark side meter on the character stats screen, which influences your choices. These choices are potentially more interesting for a bounty hunter--a basically amoral class--than for, say, a Sith warrior.

It is tough to gauge the real promise of an MMORPG--a game intended for an extended, persistent experience--from single quests and character class demos, but the signs for Star Wars: The Old Republic are still good. Keep an eye out for more from this game as its second quarter 2011 release window approaches.

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Discussion

91 comments
Marques123
Marques123

Still loving the progress of this game.

shadow-crow
shadow-crow

forget every thing give me my FUKlNG JET PACK

masterdude192
masterdude192

The jedi fighting styles all look very canned and boring. The only class I'm gonna play are the Bounty hunters and other blaster wielders.

valent1n
valent1n

they will use some kind of step-by-step loading method of the world, because of its size; i just hope this will not affect the performances (eg GTA 4)

darrenecm
darrenecm

I just hope Bioware doesn't take the easy option and slice up their gameworlds into discreet levels. Nothing destroys the sense of exploration and being in a world than frequent loading screens.

utbigred
utbigred

I'm really impressed on how Bioware is taking their time and trying to do their best on a great release. Of course we can never expect great releases on anything but I feel Bioware is on the right path in creating this great game. Looking at their main website, all I can say is that I cant wait for this game to come out.

sonicsidewinder
sonicsidewinder

So far it's looking a worthy game. However, MANY of the character models just look similar, and if the game will span such a long time, it might grate. Might sound nitpicky but if they're aiming for an MMO that is to focus on story aka including diologue etc, i dont wanna feel like i'm speaking to the same person or voice on every world. It's a challenge i'm sure theys-a gnna rise to.

SicklySunStorm
SicklySunStorm

I hear you TLM16 - I just want another great single player KOTOR sequel, MMORPGs do not interest me.

TLM16
TLM16

I'll be honest - whether or not I think this game is going to be any good aside (I'm currently undecided), I'm selfish and I don't want to share my gaming experience with other players. Nor do I want to rely on other people to complete a quest. Nor do I want to pay monthly. Etc. etc. etc.

shuade
shuade

What will make this game Shine above the rest of the MMORPG's is the fact that each character class has over 200 hours of story driven voice acting. This is something no other MMO has cared to try. Story is what makes this game so different.

Neogenic
Neogenic

@ElitistMrX2 Come on now. You know that companies do like to make money where they can. Asking for a free MMO on a console would be like a cardealer giving you a Bentley for the price of a Fiat Panda.

TLM16
TLM16

"Palace-cum-cantina" so didn't make me laugh. I apparently have a child's sense of humour.

Bloodiest_Rayne
Bloodiest_Rayne

@elitistMrX2 Why would you care about the monthly fee? your an elitist! aha :) but they would never change that. that console port would be cool though and i would love it if they did that. Too bad they won't though :(

ElitistMrX2
ElitistMrX2

the only things i would change about this awesome looking game would be being able to somehow port it to home consoles and not having to pay every month. i would like to see this kind of game on the ps3 or xbox.

RandyRedCat
RandyRedCat

Bioware will not let this fail, if they can create incredible worlds from practical scratch (that albeit some fit in pre-existing niches) imagine what they will create with around 25 years of pre-existing lore knocking around. Even if this IS just like any other MMO in terms of combat/controls. It will be an Experience to remember, not just a chore and grind to play.

Rysuken
Rysuken

It will be just like every other mmo.You really think they are going to mess with mmo standards and what makes then good or bad. It will have a couple cool new ideas but it will not do anything that every other mmo has already done, they dont need to. People will flock to it because its Star Wars, just look at the current SW game it sucks and people still play it.

Neogenic
Neogenic

@jamie20028926 Check out last year's PAX report. Bioware said: "We are are not making KOTOR 3. We are making KOTOR 3,4,5,6....". I am not saying that they should make KOTOR 3 or make SWTOR exactly conform to the KOTOR series, but it would be nice to find some references as to what happened to Revan, The Exile, HK47 and so on.

jamie20028926
jamie20028926

when will people get that this game has nothing to do with KOTOR and is not a sequal... this is an MMO based on the time line of The Old Republic... hence the name... and so far, it sounds really good, with a good veriety of classes and the potential wealth of choise reguarding race and look of your character, i'd say this is going to be an epic game.

Vegna_Infamous
Vegna_Infamous

"We started out in the palace-cum-cantina home of Nem'ro the Hutt" I c wat u did thar gamespot. lmao!

Viktormon
Viktormon

I'm sure this won't be a game designed to appeal the general MMO public, but the RPG players who want to play Bioware's epic tales together with their friends. Aka, perfect game for me.

coreybg
coreybg

@Neogenic The main reason they say it won't be like other MMOs is because of the storytelling and the voiced NPCs.Unlike other MMOs you'll get to choose what you say instead of just "right click,accept,mob grinding" They've also said that your actions,will actually matter,make an impact on the world of some sort which has never been seen in an MMO as far as I know.It may not be suitable for everyone, but if it actually is as good as they claim, there's gonna be a lot of players.

MrDouglas
MrDouglas

"I can already see the first few months of this game being 80% Jedi and sith running about" As it should be, it's The Old Republic era after all, with thousands of Jedi and Sith out in the open; would be more weird if there were 80% bounty hunters or smugglers running around and just a small percentage of Jedi and Sith :)

Neogenic
Neogenic

Even though i am a Bioware and Star Wars fan, i am still wary on this one. From the information that they are showing on their website, this is shaping up to be a standard MMO. They have just shown their "advanced class system", which isn't all that different from the standard skillpoint system most MMO's utilise. I am not saying it's a bad thing, this might be a good thing in fact if utilised properly, but there isn't a lot of inovation shown here so far. Here's hoping the MMO will turn out well enough to keep playing for the next couple of years...

coreybg
coreybg

Well,hopefully it won't be as unbalanced as WoW when it started,but even if it is I'm sure they'll get it fixed.

Sirbobislost
Sirbobislost

I can already see the first few months of this game being 80% Jedi and sith running about

joegio13
joegio13

@coreybg actually it was lucasarts that forced obsidian to cut the content. Lucasarts is obsessed with release dates. and obsidian wanted to delay release, so obsidian was forced to cut the content.

m7oda10
m7oda10

bioware should make Kotor 3 seriously .i don't know what's wrong with Lucas arts

Ozzy6996
Ozzy6996

This is KOTOR 3 on steriods

coreybg
coreybg

If Obsidian were making Kotor 2 without LucasArts the game would be a complete fail.If you've played the game a lot u'll notice that there's a lot of cut content because of hurrying to release the game.And there's a TON of restored content in kotorfiles.com I mean,obsidian didn't only cut off minor stuff,they cut off and entire planet!I hope they don't get to work on Star Wars games in the future.

meanman67
meanman67

Since most of us?? wants a kotor 3!!! they should just let Obsidian make the game?? so we can have both. This game on paper sounds really good!! thou??

mr_butterson
mr_butterson

No doubt it will be a great game, but personally I would have prefered for Bioware to go ahead and make KOTOR3. But oh well can always hope they do so in the near future

Bigsteve3570
Bigsteve3570

Looking forward to the Sith Inquisitor preview!

krelmmaster
krelmmaster

I am looking forward to trying out this MMO, yet despite my love for almost all BioWare games that have ever been released i have to say i am a little skeptical on how they plan to pull this off. I really don't think an MMO driven by heavy story telling through spoken cutscenes is going to appeal to the majority of the MMO crowd. The fact that it's Star Wars automatically guarantees a very healthy start for this MMO but will it last? Can BioWare provide a deep enough MMO experience other than a great story? I really hope they pull it off but until i have experienced it first hand i just can't seem to get excited for this game yet.

Kashmiro
Kashmiro

Thanks Slapchow I was about to say the same thing, Kotor 1 was amazing and made by Bioware. Kotor was average and made by Obsidian (the company behind Alpha Protocol btw). Hopefully this game is great, the battle system seems interesting and more flashy than WoW just hopefully they have some good PVE and PVP aspects.

Hate_Squad
Hate_Squad

well i have to say the graphics look way improved but the wow battle system and some annoying things(pre-set cover points for the smuggler? what is that?a snes era game?)ruined the game for me

Slapchow
Slapchow

@Siddha19, KOTOR 2 was made by Obsidian not Bioware. I really hope this game is good, otherwise I will be sad to see the future of KOTOR tarnished.

Siddha19
Siddha19

I would rather wait another 5 years than see them mess it up like they did with KOTOR2. Please do a good job folks!

aonekaraoke
aonekaraoke

I hope this mmo really works out well.Lets hope Bioware have found the magic formula to beat Blizzards ageing MMO.

mariostar0001
mariostar0001

@MrRozeco @Neogenic That makes more sense then, I forgot about them.

Neogenic
Neogenic

@mariostar0001 In this case it's the "Sith Empire", not the empire that was created by Darth Sidous.

TheJamin
TheJamin

cant wait :( i want it now! but i dont want them to release it until its ready!

Natedog2001
Natedog2001

This Game Looks Insane. I Love A good MMO. I was seriously addicted to WoW back around new years, but then i got an Xbox 360. I plan to get the game, Star Wars is Epic.

AlphaWolF_J
AlphaWolF_J

this sucks for me as i never liked starwars,but love Mass effect and know a bioware MMO is gonna be freaking awsome. I want a mass effect MMO WAAAAAA!

nevryn
nevryn

@Dekanis That's a very respectable thing to be able to admit. Bravo. I myself have avoided MMOs since my days in WoW for similar reasons. I will say though I think I found a solution (at least for myself). Just avoid the guilds. Most of the research out there is finding the truly addictive part is the social aspect, not the game itself. Now I realize the social part is a critical component of MMORPGs, but not everyone has the time to really get into games. There's just some ability to be more able to stop when no one else is relying on you or there isn't some sort of social pressure to keep playing. It's worked pretty well for me, though it might be confounded with the fact that none of them have been great games.

Dekanis
Dekanis

Sad to say.... I get way too tied into games like this. They take up a lot of my time, which could be spent in an otherwise more useful way. For anyone who is going to get this game good on you, have fun. But for me, I have a way to addictive personality.

Pete5506
Pete5506

Im not a fan of MMORPG's but this is sounding like something I will have to get

MrRozeco
MrRozeco

@mariostar0001 the sith empire existed long before the galactic empire their is a difference and a lot of casual star wars fans make that mistake go to wookiepedia and look it up if you want to know more