You'd probably prefer it if I didn't mention World of Warcraft in this review. Seven years on and it's getting boring, I have to agree. But that's tough for both of us, because Star Wars: The Old Republic wouldn't exist without Blizzard's online world, and it's impossible to discuss without referring to it. There are two elephants in this room.
The Old Republic is largely made in WOW's image, and it's the latest and probably the last attempt by a cowed and frustrated industry to unseat it. Never has a game stopped an entire genre in its tracks like WOW has with massively multiplayer online gaming.
With the Star Wars and BioWare brands attached and an unimaginable amount of effort and money expended on its making - this Herculean project would make James Cameron or Cecil B De Mille blanch - The Old Republic has been given every chance of success. It has the timing right too, arriving just as WOW players' ennui has finally begun to outweigh Blizzard's genius for reinvention, and the old warhorse's subscriber numbers have started to fall. Could we really have a contender here?