If a new Star Wars movie and Battlefront game aren’t enough to satisfy your Jedi hunger, then fear not, for BioWare’s got even more Star Wars goodness to throw your way this year.
Knights of the Fallen Empire is the new expansion for its MMO, Star Wars: The Old Republic, and it’s looking to go back to its strong story telling roots with an all-new plot.
It all revolves around two force-wielding brothers, whose differences look set to erupt into a massive conflict, with plenty of lightsabers and blaster fire in the process, obviously.
The CGI reveal trailer by Blur - the same studio that produced the excellent Deadpool movie trailer and re-mastered Halo 2 cutscenes - is certainly very impressive, although we have to stress that being a CG trailer, it doesn’t show off what to expect from the expansion’s graphics or gameplay.
You are the centre of the universe
Well, sort of. While SWTOR remains an MMO, the latest expansion focuses solely on your character, the Outlander.
BioWare, it seems, wants to recreate the sense of being part of an epic story, which is what the original KOTOR nailed, and it might be enough to tempt back players who have left the franchise since then.
Your in-game actions will have direct consequences in the game world too, adding weight to your decisions.
In our E3 demo, we had to make a choice between letting a city’s generator overheat and blow up (killing thousands in the process but making our escape easier), or holding back and saving them, while being under heavier fire.
For the purposes of time, we allowed the city to blow up (sorry everyone), which caused our in-game allies to view us differently, as you'd expect.
Another choice we had to make was whether or not to kill a pursuing guard. Let him live, and he might one day show you the same mercy. Kill him, and we’d never have to worry about him again.
Consequences to in-game actions are always a plus in our book, as they enable you to get more invested in the story, and we’re looking forward to just how deep BioWare will let us go in this new expansion.
It’s worth noting that BioWare isn’t totally abandoning the multiplayer aspect in Knights of the Fallen Republic, but it has yet to reveal the full details.
All fans welcome, old and new
You’re going to have to subscribe to SWTOR to play the expansion, but the Knights of the Fallen Empire expansion itself is free to all subscribers, new and old.
You’ll have to be at least level 60 to play the new expansion however, which means you’ll have to level up your character before you can dive into the new content.
MMOs can be a massive time sink, but, there’s currently an XP acceleration boost which will lets you burn through all of the existing content and expansions at a faster rate, ensuring you’re ready to rock come launch day.
Failing that, you can jump straight into the Knights of the Fallen Empire story as a fresh level 60 character, if you don’t fancy ploughing your way through four years’ worth of content.
Bear in mind that if you choose this option however, you won’t be able to go back and play any of the old content.
When’s it out?
Excellent question. You can dive in on 27 October, ahead of Battlefront’s 17 November launch date, and The Force Awakens' 18 December release date. What a year for Star Wars fans.