December 20 2011 will see the release of Star Wars: The Old Republic. The story is set about 3,500 years before the events of the films, and 300 years after the events of Star Wars: The Knights of the Old Republic. In the newest instalment, the Jedi have moved from Coruscant back to Tython in order to seek guidance from the Force; they are being held to blame for the victory of the Sith in the 28 year long Great Galactic Civil War. The Sith have regained control of Korriban and have rebuilt the Sith academy. A fragile peace is held between the Republic and the Sith but conflicts soon arise.
Players will be able to choose from a variety of races including human, Twi’lek and Cyborg (depending on which faction they choose at the beginning; Sith Empire or Galactic Republic) and a diverse choice of classes. Republic players will be able to choose from Jedi Knight, Jedi Consular, Smuggler, and Trooper. Meanwhile, Empire players can choose between: Sith Warrior, Sith Inquisitor, Bounty Hunter, and Imperial Agent. The usual light side/dark side dynamic has been tweaked to allow players from both factions to make their own moral decisions, so it is possible to be a Jedi Knight with full dark side alliance.
Each player will receive their own star ship that differs in correspondence with their class. With these you will be able to explore lots of the well-known worlds from the franchise including: Coruscant, Tython, Korriban, Nar Shaddaa, Alderaan and Tatooine, as well as other lesser known worlds.
After criticism that the previous two instalments lacked in multiplayer options, Bioware has made SW:TOR an MMORPG. This allows for multiplayer gaming, but interaction with non-playable characters has not been eradicated. You will be able to have companions who will aid you in combat, form bonds with the NPCs and, in true Bioware style, even romance them.
The recent beta testing has held good reviews from those lucky enough to get a place, and has shown a move from other popular MMORPG World of Warcraft. Star Wars: The Old Republic is guaranteed to be more than just a highly promising game: it is one which could dominate the MMORPG market.