Star Wars: The Old Republic Previews

The recent Star Wars: The Old Republic press event that lead writer Daniel Erickson hosted has led to two more previews, the first of which is at NowGamer:
So what's unique about The Old Republic? Well, it's made by BioWare, for one. Almost immediately the game's quality is clear; brilliantly colourful and clear, but detailed visuals, expressive animation, fully voice-recorded audio for every speaking character and an engrossing narrative. In fact, it's the emphasis on story that we were most impressed with the early stages will feel familiar to fans of both Knights of the Old Republic and Mass Effect with the latter's dialogue-wheel system front and centre, offering players the customary choices of a positive, negative and arrogant response (silver-tongued smugglers for one will have more dialogue options.

Initial exchanges on Tython actually feel like much like a single-player RPG and that's to the game's credit many decisions you make through the dialogue system will earn you Light Side or Dark Side points, indicated after the event on-screen (think renegade and paragon in Mass Effect), but unlike offline titles which enable you to revert to a previous game save, such decisions are non-reversible. Are you going to help the lost Padawans get revenge on the Flesh Raiders? Are you going to destroy an enemy elixir or sell it for profit? How about jettisoning a whole engineering deck including crew for the good of a starship, when there are possible alternatives? All of these choices will affect your force balance, and potentially come back to haunt you later on in the game. Story is king in the Old Republic and decisions are for keeps.

And then we move to Ten Ton Hammer for the second:
While storyline missions typically involve NPC questgivers to maximize on the cutscene potential, many missions are handed out via a Directory Terminal, which doubles as a resource to help you find your way around. Speaking of travel, in lieu of mounts, your mode of fast travel planetside is speeders - a one way, point-to-already-discovered-point trip (similar to how mounts worked in Dark Age of Camelot) that will cost you a few credits. Players will come to appreciate those speeders, because the seamlessly integrated play areas in Tython felt huge. Huge, that is, without wasting space or providing plenty of otherworldly eye candy to make your first-time journey by foot enjoyable.

Kalikori Village had a Directory Terminal and a Republic Speeder stand, which came in mighty handy since I dinged more than a few levels here. The Village served as a trailhead into the Flesh Raider infested mountain trails, and Raiders found these Twi'leks easy pickens.