Star Wars: The Old Republic Adding Galactic Starfighter Expansion
When BioWare released Star Wars: The Old Republic in December 2011 it was – at the time- the most expensive game ever created. Combining the costs of using the Star Wars brand and offering an MMO with NPCs that are fully voiced in a game that’s heavily reliant on story and narrative was an ambitious goal, but one that arguably missed the mark.
The Old Republic didn’t quite fill the itch of the much-desired Knights of the Old Republic threequel and after launching with a monthly subscription requirement, the game had to quickly evolve to embrace a free-to-play system within its first year. As the successor to the canceled Star Wars Galaxies MMO, many fans were shocked that the “most expensive” Star Wars game didn’t actually involve… stars or star battles outside of an on-rails arcade shooter element. That finally changes with the Galactic Starfighter expansion.
Although almost two years too late for some, the timing of a space sim expansion couldn’t be better. In-development titles including Star Citizen (the most successfully crowdfunded game ever) and the Oculus Rift (virtual reality headset) inspired EVE Online spinoff EVE: Valkyrie are pushing the genre back to the top and if any brand must support space sims, it would need to be Star Wars, especially with all of the news surrounding the return of the film franchise under new parent company Disney.
The official announcement is devoid of the geeky fun details on weapons and customization, but the Galactic Starfighter expansion will be 12 vs. 12 PvP combat mode where players can upgrade their starship. What ships are available, how many, and how expansive the customization options are remain a mystery but the screenshots and artwork reveal 3rd-person (out of ship) gameplay with Scout, Gunship and Strike Fighter variants for the Imperial and Republic factions along with some examples of the paint jobs. We’re also unsure how the seemingly separate mode plays into the core MMO experience, or if it does at all.