Star Wars: The Old Republic Onslaught Review: 6.0 Expansion Keeps SWTOR In the Game

author img
BY November 7, 2019

After three long years, fans of one of the longest-running Star Wars video games were rewarded with a new expansion to the massively multiplayer online role-playing game. Star Wars: The Old Republic Onslaught is, technically, the seventh expansion for SWTOR, but it bears the identifier of 6.0.0. (Though currently the game is already at 6.0a, after bug-fix patch updated shortly after release.) This latest expansion brings SWTOR back to its MMO roots, featuring two storylines telling a tale of a war between the Republic and the Empire. We’ll take a look at if Star Wars: The Old Republic is worth playing in 2019, and how Onslaught fits in with the rest of the game’s content. Whether you enjoy MMOs or simply like playing the classic Knights of the Old Republic console and PC games, you might want to a closer look at SWTOR.

What is Star Wars: The Old Republic?

Outside of Onslaught, just one storyline, Star Wars: The Old Republic puts the “massive” in massively multiplayer online role-playing game. We’re not talking about the subscriber or free-to-play player base, either. Rather, this game provides potentially 1,000 hours of gameplay for those who want to experience everything it has to offer. A hotly anticipated game since 2008, the launch of SWTOR in 2011 met a mixed reception. Rollout was slow and there were bugs aplenty. Still, fans recognized the amount of work that went into producing this game and it’s eight, distinct class stories. Classes are not new in MMOs, but the four Republic/Light Side and four Empire/Dark Side characters players choose from each have their own unique multiple-chapter adventure.

Spanning around a dozen different planets (and other, one-off mission locations), players can follow the journey of Jedi, Sith, soldier, smuggler, bounty hunter, and Imperial spy. The game is now free-to-play up to level 50, so that means players can experience what is ostensibly a solo RPG for free. There are restrictions on the group content that these players can do in SWTOR but buying a single item from their in-game store gives them quality-of-life upgrades. (Also, the game gives currency to this store away for free.) Subscribing for just a month unlocks even more things, and you get to play all of the expansions to-date forever.

These stories are fully voice-acted, and the game is replete with Star Wars music, both from the films and compositions original to the game that fit in the musical canon. (The game, however, is considered “Legends” however.) All-in-all, it’s an impressive endeavor. It may not be the best technical MMO on the market, but it’s definitely in the conversation for the best in terms of what it delivers.

What Does Star Wars: The Old Republic Onslaught Bring to the Game?

As game maker BioWare Austin found itself struggling for resources, especially considering how much work Anthem needed, SWTOR fell by the wayside. In terms of expansions, rather than developing eight different stories, the game’s creators instituted a “chapter” system where all classes play as a character known as “the Outlander” and later “the Commander.” It was a revolutionary overhaul, making the MMO much more like a single-player game. However, Star Wars: The Old Republic expansion 6.0, Onslaught, brings the game back to its roots. You travel to planets and follow a mission throughline rather than play chapters. While there is still a single story, you get to see two different versions of it. Players can work with the Republic or the Empire, each of which offers a different story experience.

The threat in the expansions Knights of the Fallen Empire and Knights of the Eternal Throne was neither Republic nor Empire. It was a civilization new to SWTOR and Star Wars in general. Onslaught brings Star Wars: The Old Republic back to the classic Republic versus Empire conflict. Players travel to two new worlds, Onderon and Mek-Sha, in preparation for a “Flashpoint” battle in a war shipyard on Corellia. Both of these new locations have daily missions players can do to earn in-game items and currency. The story is interesting and gives the player the option to pick a side or stay neutral. Finally, it takes the game back to its roots while still moving the larger story forward in interesting ways. Fans really enjoy how random quest-givers from early levels in the game return to the story and remember their interactions with your characters.

What Changed in Star Wars: The Old Republic Onslaught?

Star Wars the Old Republic Onslaught Revan Up to His Tricks Image via BioWare Austin

Star Wars: The Old Republic Onslaught doesn’t really add anything new in terms of gameplay. However, the developers did add a number of quality-of-life upgrades and completely overhauled the gearing system. Up until now, players had to assemble entire sets of armor based on their classes for maximum stats. Of course, this meant that everyone in SWTOR playing PVP or Operations would eventually play the game the exact same way. The new gearing system changes that.

Instead of set bonuses, players can add a new piece of gear, called Tacticals, that allow for more customization. Similarly, gear comes with a new stat bonus called Amplifers which affect everything from combat to item crafting. Players can spend in-game credits, earned from completing missions, selling items, and loot gathering, to re-roll these stats. Players can customize their characters so that two classes that are otherwise identical play the game in completely different ways.

Finally, they’ve upgraded menu interfaces, making it easier to make cosmetic or gear changes to your character. Some players like to craft their own gear. The materials needed for this often took up a lot of the limited storage space players have. The biggest change comes with the “crafting materials storage” area. It holds an unlimited amount of these materials and every character a player has on a server can access them. They’ve also made it easier to earn currency (called Jawa Scrap) to purchase these materials from vendors.

Is SWTOR Worth Playing in 2019?

Star Wars the Old Republic Onslaught Group Run at Walker Image via BioWare Austin

Maybe you started playing SWTOR on launch and walked away. Maybe you never tried the game at all. Still, it’s worth coming back for at least a month to see how things have changed. For about $15, you can gain access to all of the game’s content for the life of the game. Even if you unsubscribe, you can still play through all of the class stories. Depending on your class, the cut-scene conversation changes, especially when you encounter a former companion or character you encountered before. Despite complaints on the game’s forums and subreddit, the player base is still active and often eager to help new or returning players. Even if you like playing solo, there is plenty there for you to do.

What’s most impressive, to quote Darth Vader, is that despite the lack of resources the developers got, Star Wars: The Old Republic Onslaught is a delight. It provides about six hours (for the fastest players) of new story content. You also get a new Operation and two areas for daily missions. Even those who complain about lack of support and frequent updates are happy. Many are playing through their favorite class storyline again with the new alien species characters, Nautolans.

If you like MMOs but never tried SWTOR or if you enjoy Star Wars games, there is nothing to lose by trying it out. Start out as a free-to-play member to see if you enjoy it. If you do, it’s worth subscribing for at least a month to unlock perks and get the new content. Still, eight years after launch, SWTOR is still going strong. If the developers are able to put together more new content like Star Wars: The Old Republic Onslaught, they aren’t going anywhere for a while.

Featured image via BioWare Austin

GAMINGPCPop Culture

Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. The first books he read on his own were comics, and he's loved the medium ever since. He is the greatest star-pilot in the galaxy, a cunning warrior, and a good friend. His book "What I Learned: Stories, Essays, and More" is available in print from Amazon and from all electronic booksellers.

Leave a comment

Related

Pop CultureTV Shows
Facebook’s TV Shows: How to Watch Them (and Other Pressing Details)

For a company that gets as much press and scrutiny as Facebook does, it’s a little weird that their TV shows don’t get as much attention. Launched in 2017, Facebook Watch, as it’s called, has been quietly chugging along ever since. According to Facebook, they get 720 million viewers a month. And these aren’t amateur […]

BY Salomé Gonstad October 31, 2019
Pop CultureTV Shows
‘For All Mankind’ Trailer Shows The New Apple TV+ Series Set In An Alternate History

Apple TV+ brings forth another new show with latest ‘For All Mankind’ Trailer that gives us a glimpse into a world with an alternate history.

BY Shah Shahid September 30, 2019
Pop CultureTV Shows
Your Guide to Every 20th Century Horror Anthology Series

The horror anthology series is not a new beast or demon or monster under your bed. While many of us fondly remember turning down the volume so we could watch Tales from the Crypt without our parents knowing, that series was far from the first horror anthology show. And of course, horror anthologies existed off-screen, […]

BY Salomé Gonstad December 2, 2019
Jesus Christ Simulator Game Stirs Controversy

There are many things that cause controversy in video games. Firstly, people gawk at the violence in shooters and action titles, blaming it for a ton of bad things in the real world. Secondly, the male-dominated culture of game criticism and development certainly lends itself to heavy criticism. We could go on and on, but […]

BY Taylor Bauer December 12, 2019
New Studio Cloud Chamber Working on Bioshock Title

Developers kill for that moment where gamers know they are playing something special. 2K and the team at Irrational Games/2K Boston hit the nail on the head with 2007’s Bioshock. The game led to two sequels, and some pretty incredible DLC. We haven’t seen a Bioshock game since 2013, but now we’ll be heading back […]

BY Taylor Bauer December 11, 2019
Star Wars Battlefront 2 Celebration Edition is Jam Packed with Content

There’s nothing like a good redemption story. We see it all the time in comic books. A villain suddenly sees the error of their ways, turns good, and we love them for it. We don’t see it as much with video games, and no, I don’t mean characters. If a game is cast aside as […]

BY Taylor Bauer December 4, 2019
Super Mario Maker 2 Update – What’s New?

When it comes to popular Nintendo Switch games, Super Mario Maker 2 has been huge. The game is still seeing a ton of players daily, months after its release. The developers at Nintendo working on the game are ready to send more content to the game as well. In an update coming on December 5th, […]

BY Taylor Bauer December 2, 2019

Trending

The Amazing Adventures Of Kavalier and Clay Optioned For Showtime Series

Michael Chabon’s beloved novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay is coming to Showtime as a limited series. Chabon will serve as showrunner for the series, along with his wife/creative partner Ayelet Waldman. This option is part of a larger deal that the duo has struck with CBS TV Studios. The official synopsis from CBS […]

BY Emily O'Donnell December 13, 2019
No, The Cast and Crew of the New Star Wars Aren’t Contributing to The Last Jedi Backlash

Just nine days before the official release of Episode IX, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker it seemed strange that a top trending topic on Twitter was its predecessor. While The Last Jedi will be remembered for many things, most notable right now is the backlash the filmed faced. For those of us old enough […]

BY Joshua M. Patton December 12, 2019
Why Are All Of The Female Directors Missing From The Golden Globes?

The Golden Globe nominations were released early this week and some people are excited to see their favorite films and actors nominated. Unfortunately, some things were lacking from the list of nominees. Awards shows are often judged for a lack of diversity. The #OscarsSoWhite trend may have happened a few years back, but the problems […]

BY Meghan Hale December 12, 2019
Jesus Christ Simulator Game Stirs Controversy

There are many things that cause controversy in video games. Firstly, people gawk at the violence in shooters and action titles, blaming it for a ton of bad things in the real world. Secondly, the male-dominated culture of game criticism and development certainly lends itself to heavy criticism. We could go on and on, but […]

BY Taylor Bauer December 12, 2019