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Star Wars: The Old Republic's latest expansion marks the best the game has ever been

Nov 02 // Chris Carter
Let's start with some of the enhancements the expansion has made globally, outside of the confines of the new storyline. I immediately created a new character and found that there have been a ton of concessions to make it less of a slog. For starters, XP gain has seen a stark increase across the board, so you don't have to do nearly every mission on a planet to move on to the next one -- instead, you can essentially follow the core storyline and that's it. This is how it always should have been structured, as most of the sidequests are rather dull. It's also much easier to see what is and isn't story related (narrative quests have a purple tint). Gear statistics have now been simplified so you don't find nearly as much trash, and fast travel is enhanced thanks to instant access to flight paths. Companions have been severely streamlined when it comes to gear as well (in a good way), so you can basically choose whoever you want and fit them into any role you wish. Here's the biggest change: you can basically do everything, including required Flashpoints (dungeons), by yourself. It's silly to say since this is technically an MMO, but Old Republic has made a ton of concessions for solo players. For the most part when I embarked upon my journey to max out at level 50 years ago I played alone, but there were a ton of sections where I needed assistance or was required to grind to progress with the story. With the dawn of Knights of the Fallen Empire, that need is basically eliminated. In this way, it now truly feels more like a Knights of the Old Republic 3. In the past it was ludicrous to ask someone to pay a subscription fee to experience that by yourself, but it's much easier to swallow for free. As previously mentioned, the new narrative is actually quite good, and feels like a true follow-up to KOTOR. To start the Fallen Empire storyline (which now goes to level 65), you'll need to have a maxed out 60 character. By subscribing (and thus gaining access to the expansion), you'll net one max boost, so you can breeze past the previous Hutt Cartel (previously 55) and Shadow of Revan (previously 60) add-ons. From there it's dead simple to start up the campaign, as you only need to queue up the mission on your ship. Missions in Empire are now more pointed. They don't feel like a shoehorned-in excuse to justify an MMO and a subscription fee -- they feel like quests from a classic BioWare RPG. Everything is much more cinematic and imposing, and the dialogue feels more meaningful. They're also completely removed from the gamey elements of Old Republic, almost like a separate mode entirely, devoid of grindy, time-wasting activities. In essence, this is something worth paying for, especially if you have some free time and want to go through it in a month before unsubscribing again. Over half of the Empire chapters have been released, and others will subsequently be released over time. It's something I would normally get kind of miffed about (gotta keep people subscribed somehow), but given all the other improvements, I just took to creating another class instead. It took BioWare long enough, but Star Wars: The Old Republic's 4.0 build really feels like what the game should have been like at launch. Whether you're a new player jumping in for the first time or a disenchanted veteran who's cautiously interested in subscribing again, The Fallen Empire is worth a shot. [This impressions piece is based on subscription time purchased by the reviewer.]
Star Wars photo
'Knights of the Fallen Empire'
Man, I'm surprised Star Wars: The Old Republic is still trucking along. You have to give it to BioWare (and to some extent, EA) for staying with it after its mixed reception at launch, so-so expansion packs, and its tran...

Mass Effect photo
Mass Effect

BioWare announces new Mass Effect theme park ride

'Entertainment innovation" coming 2016
Sep 30
// Vikki Blake
A gaming franchise isn't a gaming franchise these days unless it has its own theme park ride. Nintendo, Ubisoft... they're all at it. And now, BioWare is too. The developer has announced that a new "3D adventure" Ma...
Dragon Age photo
Dragon Age

What a shock, Dragon Age: Inquisition - Game of the Year Edition is coming

All DLC, not all of the platforms
Sep 23
// Joe Parlock
Trespasser, the final DLC for Dragon Age: Inquisition, has been out for just over a month now. Fans have played through it, and are left in the limbo of not knowing what to do without Varric’s tender embrace. So I&rsqu...
BioWare photo

Mass Effect lead writer Drew Karpyshyn is back at BioWare

The second coming of Karpyshyn
Sep 20
// Alissa McAloon
Drew Karpyshyn, largely known for his work on the first two Mass Effect games and Jade Empire, is once again working for BioWare after a three year hiatus. The author left the developer in 2012 to work on his Chaos Born novel...
Dragon Age: Inquisition photo
Dragon Age: Inquisition

Dragon Age: Inquisition's DLC epilogue is called Trespasser

Plus, Golden Nugs for all!
Aug 30
// Josh Tolentino
Dragon Age: Inquisition isn't even a year old yet, but for some reason it feels like it's been forever since it came out. I played it, had a gay old time with my slender elven Knight-Enchanter, finished the story, then settl...
Mooncrest photo

Mooncrest's Kickstarter cancelled due to lack of support

It'll return with gameplay footage
Aug 12
// Joe Parlock
A few weeks ago, a group of former BioWare developers took to Kickstarter with the idea for Mooncrest: a single-player RPG with real-time Dark Souls inspired combat, a “cinematic” conversation system, and environm...
EA Access photo
EA Access

Dragon Age: Inquisition is free with EA Access

Still only on Xbox One
Aug 05
// Jordan Devore
EA Access continues to be a surprisingly good value for Xbox One owners. The service has added Dragon Age: Inquisition to its lineup as promised. If you're a subscriber ($4.99 per month, $29.99 per year), you can download and...
Knights of the Fallen Emp photo
Knights of the Fallen Emp

New Star Wars: The Old Republic - Knights of the Fallen Empire trailer shows off gameplay

Back to 'BioWare-style storytelling'?
Aug 05
// Joe Parlock
BioWare has shown off some more of its upcoming Star Wars: The Old Republic expansion, Knights of the Fallen Empire, at gamescom. The newest trailer that actually shows gameplay can be seen above. The expansion will feature ...
Promoted blog photo
Promoted blog

Better with age: Knights of the Old Republic 2

Promoted from our community blogs
Jul 16
// James Internet Ego
[James experiences a true aging taste with Knights of the Old Republic 2. The first time might have been an experience, but every subsequent playthrough was about challenging his old notions of morality and re-evaluating his ...
Dragon Age: Inquisition photo
Dragon Age: Inquisition

Try Dragon Age: Inquisition before you buy

It's on PC only, though. Boo
Jul 15
// Vikki Blake
For a limited time only, you can play Dragon Age: Inquisition for free on PC. The free sample comes courtesy of EA's digital platform, Origin, and enables you to access up to six hours of the main campaign story, an...
Dragon Age: Inquisition photo
Dragon Age: Inquisition

Future Dragon Age: Inquisition DLC will be PC, PS4, and XB1 only

No Varric in a speedo for Gen 7, sorry
Jul 07
// Joe Parlock
Bad news for people still trudging through Dragon Age: Inquisition on the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360: you won’t be getting any more DLC. In a blog post on the official Dragon Age site, it was announced all future DLC for...
The Old Republic photo
The Old Republic

Star Wars: The Old Republic's next expansion is story-driven and free

'This is the expansion for our players'
Jun 15
// Brett Makedonski
BioWare has been at the helm of Star Wars: The Old Republic for a fairly long time now. Come December, the game will have been around for four years. All the while, BioWare's been tweaking, expanding, and enhancing the p...
Dragon Age DLC photo
Dragon Age DLC

Dragon Age Inquisition lead: more story DLC on the way

More meaty areas
Jun 01
// Chris Carter
BioWare isn't quite done yet with Dragon Age: Inquisition. Although it developed one bit of story DLC so far in addition to a heap of free multiplayer updates, development lead Mike Laidlaw notes that more is on the way,...
Dragon Age DLC photo
Dragon Age DLC

Dragon Age's Dragonslayer DLC is all rather elementalry

Right away, great Captain Planet!
May 06
// Brett Makedonski
The casting sheet for the Dragon Age: Inquisition multiplayer DLC has been posted, and the lead roles go to three new characters with formidable skills. They'll need those skills for kills (Agent) because dragonslayin' ...
Star Wars photo
Star Wars

BioWare writer would 'love' to work on another Star Wars RPG

May the 4th was with him
May 05
// Vikki Blake
BioWare writer David Gaider has hinted that he'd "love" to work on another Star Wars RPG. Though BioWare developed Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and the MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic, there are no Star Wars games ...
Dragon Age DLC photo
Dragon Age DLC

Dragon Age: Inquisition gets free multiplayer expansion tomorrow

For fun, pronounce the 'age' like 'karaage'
May 04
// Steven Hansen
Still spending your evenings with the devil's brew (beer) getting no-scope headshots and setting bears on fire in Dragon Age: Inquisition's multiplayer? Perhaps you will enjoy BioWare's Dragonslayer expansion, which is coming...
Dragon Age DLC photo
Dragon Age DLC

Dragon Age: Inquisition DLC coming to PS3, PS4, and Xbox 360 this month

After a PC and Xbox One timed deal
May 01
// Chris Carter
Dragon Age: Inquisition was a return to form for BioWare, but sadly the Jaws of Hakkon DLC was initially limited to the PC and  Xbox One platforms for a limited time. Thankfully, it will now be available on the PS3, PS4,...
Mass Effect photo
Mass Effect

Details on Mass Effect 4 may have leaked

Don't let the reddit thing scare you off
Apr 20
// Joe Parlock
Oh, another story about apparent leaks. I can already hear you screaming “this is bullshit”, but bear with me because there are things which actually give some credence to this one. Okay? Okay. A reddit user has c...
Deals photo

Origin Spring Sale: Dragon Age: Inquisition and Battlefield 4 are 50% off

This mega-sized list is everything in Origin's Spring Sale
Apr 02
// Dealzon
Around 9:00am Pacific today, EA launched an Origin Spring Sale with discounts on PC Games up to 50% off. The sale only applies to select titles and most games activates on Origin (though there are a few Steam titles mixed in ...
Dragon Age DLC photo
Dragon Age DLC

Dragon Age's Jaws of Hakkon DLC is holding off on PS4, PS3, and Xbox 360 until May

It's currently in the warm embrace of Xbox One and PC
Mar 30
// Jordan Devore
Jaws of Hakkon, the new $15 Dragon Age: Inquisition story DLC that released last week for Xbox One and PC, won't be available to download on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and Xbox 360 until May, BioWare has confirmed. Obligat...
Mass Effect photo
Mass Effect

Yup, the next Mass Effect will have multiplayer

And you could help make it?
Feb 11
// Robert Summa
Chris Wynn, developer of the upcoming Mass Effect (not Mass Effect 4?), has more or less confirmed that the next installment will indeed have multiplayer. Wynn posted on Twitter that the team is currently looking for an onlin...
Shadow Realms photo
Shadow Realms

Development on new BioWare IP Shadow Realms ceased

It will fade into the darkness
Feb 09
// Darren Nakamura
Shadow Realms had a very cool idea going for it. The tabletop RPG-inspired, four versus one gameplay reminded me of board games like Descent or Level 7 [Omega Protocol]. The modern fantasy setting seemed like a nice break fro...
Mass Effect 4 drops last- photo
Mass Effect 4 drops last-

BioWare GM: Dropping last-gen consoles has a huge impact on Mass Effect 4's gameplay goals

Hopefully, these assertions aren't disingenuous
Feb 03
// Jason Faulkner
Like my grammy after we put her in a home, the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360 are slowly fading away to make room for the new generation. Aaryn Flynn, general manager of BioWare Canada, spoke about how Dragon Age: Inquis...
EA financials photo
EA financials

EA had a 'record-breaking' quarter behind Dragon Age

But no sales figures
Jan 27
// Brett Makedonski
It was a given that Dragon Age: Inquisition was going to be a big hit for both Electronic Arts and BioWare. That's a no-brainer for the conclusion to a triple-A trilogy. But, even the publisher seems to be taken a bit ab...
FemShep photo

FemShep is Mass Effect's true, original Commander Shepard

Decade-old animation tests uncovered!
Jan 09
// Brett Makedonski
Part of the beauty of the Mass Effect series is that you can be whomever you want. There isn't a pre-ordained hero that tries to save the galaxy; you can make Shepard male or female, good or evil, gay or straight. "I'm C...
Shadow Realms photo
Shadow Realms

New BioWare game Shadow Realms possibly 'rebooted'

Has it been rebooted into something cooler?
Jan 06
// Mike Cosimano
BioWare's upcoming four-on-one modern fantasy multiplayer game Shadow Realms has been "rebooted," according to sources at Kotaku. The game will supposedly change from an episodic free-to-play title to a full release. This new...
DA:I Multiplayer photo
DA:I Multiplayer

People are soloing Dragon Age: Inquisition's multiplayer mode on the max difficulty already

I'll just be weeping in the other room
Jan 03
// Nic Rowen
If you're having trouble with something in a game, never check the forums. It will just rub salt in the wounds. I picked up Dragon Age: Inquisition over the holidays and have been logging some time in the game's multiplayer ...
Dragon Age: Inquisition photo
Dragon Age: Inquisition

Dragon Age: Inquisition launch trailer will make you want to play Dragon Age

Nov 18
// Brett Makedonski
This launch trailer for Dragon Age: Inquisition isn't short on anything. It doesn't skimp on gorgeous shots of the expansive universe. It has plenty of the ferocious winged serpents that adorn the franchise's namesake. ...

Dragon Age: Inquisition, Far Cry 4 & More AAA Weekend Deals

Uh, more time please?
Nov 15
// Dealzon
Deals brought to you by the crew at Dealzon. FYI: sales from certain retailers go toward supporting Destructoid. Next week Tuesday we get two Triple-As from two big publishers: Dragon Age: Inquisition along wit...

Dragon Age: Inquisition deals for Origin & Xbox One (updated for release)

Just stay clear of me Alistair
Nov 13
// Dealzon
Deals brought to you by the crew at Dealzon. FYI: sales from certain retailers go toward supporting Destructoid. On Tuesday, November 18 BioWare's Dragon Age Inquisition makes its debut on all major videogame platforms for th...

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