Jul 292011


by Mark Pajor (follow @mpajor on twitter)


Developer walkthroughs. The videos that, above all the rest, make me feel like I’m almost playing the game. These are what keep my interest and anticipation at unprecedented levels for any game out there. Today’s Esseles walkthrough doesn’t disappoint, and it shows far more excitement in the interactive cinematics than any of its predecessors.

Opposite to the Empire’s Black Talon, The Esseles is the first Republic Flashpoint, which can be done around level 9 while leaving the Origin worlds. For the first Flashpoint you could encounter in the game, this one sure looks good. It’s clear that the game’s visuals have vastly improved since the old Black Talon walkthrough, and the team that makes the videos has learned a lot about how to make an exciting walkthrough of the game.

It's a multiplayer interactive cinematic dialogue sequence! And a trap!

While the walkthrough has a lot of great moments (making it my favorite gameplay trailer Bioware’s ever done), my favorite is the multiplayer dialogue. Though at times the players’ lines felt a bit off with the NPC reaction, it was very smooth overall. It’s a feature that looks like a lot of fun, and it’s definitely reminiscent of the banter around a tabletop roleplaying game, but more focused and time-efficient.

The best part of the dialogue in any Bioware game, of course, is when it’s decision time. In this case, the two choices aren’t entirely black and white, though it’s clear which choice is the noble and virtuous one and which is the gritty, violent one. Honestly? Not sure which option I would choose. I might just fall to peer pressure and then blame my friends for killing the poor engineers.

With Beta Weekends coming in September, I sure hope I’ll get a chance to try out the Esseles myself. What about you? Would you rather play the Esseles, or the Black Talon?

  6 Responses to “Friday Update: Bad Guys Love to Clap”

  1. Great write up Mark! I agree completely about the group dialog and being like the tabletop days of rp games…”Why did you do that?” type of conversations happening during and after grouped missions. I think the decisions, dialog choices in groups and voiced characters is going to actually bring around more people to actually role-playing their character, instead of taking some avatar from point A to kill X number of something without any real story content.

  2. the complexity of light and dark points make even an early run like this interesting. Besides the concept of loot, the impact upon your character by the overall decisions of the group you are running with intrigues me greatly

  3. They ALL picked to kill the crew on the word of some dubious diplomat and because it’s convenient? Maybe I’ll go Empire after all…

  4. Great vid. No NPC rank distinction anywhere though. Same with the Black Talon video. All officer ranks look the same? This small “attention to detail” error bugs me a little.

  5. After watching this walk through, I wanted to take the orders from my Emperor and destroy the Esseles myself. And it offers further proof that the only way that the heroes of the Republic stand a chance against the Empire is through the power of the Dark Side!

    Even Han shot first

  6. @Jason: Yeah, I was happily surprised by the dialogue options right after the moral decision. Either you get back to work, think you may have made the wrong choice, or you actually blame the diplomat. It’s good to have those options.

    @Zlatto: Definitely. I’m looking forward to my first few runs of these Flashpoints.

    @Haroun: “Convenient” can be the difference between saving the crew of your ship and having all of them die, and the blood be on your hands because you tried to have your cake and eat it, too. That’s the moral reason behind having them die (the few die so the many can live). I’m not saying it was necessarily the right choice to make, but there’s definitely an understandable reason behind it. Good thing you can decide to let them live if you want, and if you lose the roll you have a chance to argue with the ambassador afterward! =D

    @Ja”Roe: True, I hope they get those things in before launch. It makes sense that if those are added, they’d be one of the last things to go in the game, since they aren’t completely necessary (but are very nice to have).

    @Kevin: My first character will be Empire, but I have no love for the Emperor. He is only a wall between me and UNLIMITED POWAH!!!! =D

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