Sunday, February 08, 2015

Shadow of Revan from the Republic Side

I finished the Republic story of Shadow of Revan with my Jedi Knight. Shintar was right, the Republic version does make a little more sense than the Imperial version. Things are explained a little bit better in the Republic dialogue.

It's still not a very good story, but at least it's logical now.

I did find it interesting how, even though the missions and cutscenes are the same on both sides, the dialogue is different. For example, on Rishi, the pirate faction you belong to is different. Imperial characters belong to the Howling Tempest, while Republic characters belong to a different gang who everyone thinks are cannibals.

So even though the stories are the same, they must have recorded at least twice as much dialogue as scenes.  You always hear that voice acting is the big cost in SWTOR, but maybe this means that it's really the missions and cutscenes which are expensive, rather than voice actors.

Overall, I don't think I approve of the way this Bioware team handled Revan. Revan was the signature character of Knights of the Old Republic. He deserved a better ending than being a random crazy Force-user boss. In some ways, I feel the current Bioware team was disrespectful of the KotoR Bioware team in their handling of Revan in this expansion.

I think this expansion was a missed opportunity in terms of story. I mean, why not spin a story around the Revanites recruiting the main character? After all, why wouldn't Revan want to ally with Jedi or Dark Council member, or character of similar status? Such an ally would only help his plans. And then, there's a lot of places you can go from there. I think a story like that would be a far more suitable Chapter Five story than what we got.


  1. I think they've stated before that the voice acting really isn't that expensive, it's things like branching conversations that consider previous choices which eat up time and money. People just don't listen. :P

    My question would be, if you think the story of Shadow of Revan is disrespectful towards the character, do you think the previously assumed ending of him going mad and dying in a mid-level flashpoint was actually better?

  2. Neither SoR or the Foundry feel like an appropriate send off for Revan. Cynically, it feels more like a naked grab at gaining new subscribers. Story-wise, it feels more like using Revan to force events into motion to reintroduce the Emperor. If Revan was supposed to be the driving force of this expansion cycle he should have been the last boss of the last operation of the expansion, not the last boss of your leveling quest line.

    I honestly don't think we're done with Revan until the Emperor is finally killed. I think Revan will show up for that fight.

  3. I have mixed feelings about Revan in swtor, too. I still need to finish KotOR 2, though, so I might still be missing some pieces of the puzzle.

  4. @Shintar, I never took the Foundry for the ending of Revan's story, though I supposed it could have served as one. It was fairly obvious that Bioware would bring him back at some point.

    The thing is that stories like these generally follow a pattern: thesis, antithesis, synthesis. We have Revan as a normal hero before he challenges the Emperor. Then in the Foundry we get a broken Revan who is a villain. In SoR we should have gotten a Revan reforged, who is a hero once again (even if he isn't the "main" hero).

    Instead we got broken villain Revan again, doing stupid plots that only fail because of storywriter fiat. Revan, locked in mortal mental struggle with the Emperor for 300 years, is somehow the only person who underestimates the Emperor.

  5. @Piper: Rise of the Hutt Cartel was only about the Hutt Cartel for one planet as well, so I can easily believe that Revan's story ends where it does and that we'll move on to other things soon.

    @Rohan: Interesting point of view - I felt that the story did end with a proper synthesis. Up until Yavin 4 I agree, it looks like Revan is just a not particularly competent villain, but the big reveal at the end made everything come together very nicely in my opinion.