Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Star Wars: The Old Republic: Sith Inquisitor Storyline review


    Warning: Some possible minor spoilers for the Sith Inquisitor storyline.

    I am Darth Imperius.

    Born a Chiss slave, the future Darth Imperius was rescued from a life of back-breaking labor by the discovery of his force-sensitivity. Never forgetting his roots, the future Dark Lord vowed to not abuse the lesser beings of the galaxy while carrying his revenge upon those who had made his life miserable. Through a mixture of the Dark Side and the Light Side, he eventually claimed the power he'd been so long denied.

    Much like his counterpart, Darth Tremor, Darth Imperius is not the sort of Sith Lord who causally kills underlings. Indeed, many in the Republic and Empire both find it ridiculous how pleasant he can be. That doesn't mean Darth Imperius is weak, however. Countless Sith and Jedi have underestimated the self-educated darksider to their peril.

   The Sith Inquisitor was the first class I played in Star Wars: The Old Republic but my last to finish. It has fun NPCs, a coherent story, and plenty of opportunities to use force-lightning on unsuspecting fools but it never quite jells together quite the same way other character class stories do. You expect to be Darth Sidious when you're the Sith Inquisitor but you actually come off as an evil wizard Indiana Jones.
One of my favorite characters is Khen Val, your "pet monster" which you gain during a tomb raid.
    The essence of the Sith Inquisitor's story is the pursuit of power. Not born to one of the amazingly powerful force-sensitive bloodlines which litter the galaxy, the Sith Inquisitor has to cheat in order to achieve perfection. This isn't completely true, as later events in the storyline will prove, but it's close enough to be accurate summation.

    The storyline is one long series of archaeology digs and tomb raiding puzzles after another. There are, occasionally, stories to break this up but a large part of the Sith Inquisitor's tale is seeking forbidden Sith lore lost to modern darksiders. This is rather silly when you're playing a Light Side Inquisitor like me.

    That doesn't mean the storyline isn't good. It's just not really what I normally associate with Star Wars. The rivalry between the Sith Inquisitor and Darth Thanaton makes a lot of sense when you take into account both are former slaves. Likewise, I loved the character of Lord Zash. It's nice to have a friendly Sith Lord for a change. No points for guessing this only makes her more dangerous.

     The Sith Inquisitor's companions are hit and miss. While some, like Khem Val, are awesome--others are just sort of there or outright irritating. I'm not terribly fond of Xalek or Ashara Zavros, for example. Despite being a Lightside Inquisitor, Ashara Zavros annoyed me with her constant prattling about combining the Jedi and Sith way. Xalek, on the other hand, just wasn't all that interesting. Thankfully, one of my companions was a pirate and that makes everything better.

Would you believe she's one of the most dangerous darksiders alive?
    Romance fans will be a trifle disappointed, too, as the Sith Inquisitor romance options aren't really all that great. Female Inquisitors get a handsome Imperial officer to romance but the male Sith Inquisitor is stuck with the aforementioned Ashara Davos, who is basically an adult Ahsoka Tano. On my end, I can't say that I really was aching for that sort of connection to a character. NPC romances aren't much better with my favorite of the possibilities being a tech on Nar Shaddaa. Despite the truth of her appearance, I think I would have preferred a romance with Darth Zash since she proved to be one of my favorite Sith Lords in a very short amount of time.

     The best moments in the Sith Inquisitor's storyline actually come from when the tale diverges from its tomb-raiding format. When the Sith Inquisitor is trying to deal with a cult on Nar Shaddaa, when he's trying to convince a Republic scientist they're not going to kill them out of hand, and retrieving an ancient lightsaber from a gang of toughs are all questlines I enjoyed immensely.

     My favorite part of the story is on the Sith Tombworld of Korriban. Not the archaeology and exploration of ruins, but the politicking back at the Academy. They really do a great job of making you hate your rival. Yes, he's basically Draco Malfoy, a snobby pure-blooded Sith who looks down upon you for your slave heritage but that doesn't mean he's not a fun guy to show up. Unlike Draco, he's the kind of character who can kill you easily. The final culmination of your plotline with him is dramatic as well as well-written.
Not exactly the most colorful villain in the game.
    Unfortunately, I can't say the same for the Sith Inquisitor's archenemy of Darth Thanaton. Darth Thanaton is a character who was established in the Old Republic comics as a slave who rose through the ranks of the Sith through cunning and guile. None of that get's touched on, though, as your relationship and similarities are never expounded upon in-game.

    Instead, Darth Thanaton's just a bossy traditionalist who wants to get rid of you before you become a threat. I felt this was a missed opportunity and think Thanaton was a weak villain as a result. The fact he's not an especially powerful member of the Dark Council also undermines your accomplishment versus the defeat of Darth Baras over in the Sith Warrior storyline.

    In conclusion, those looking to play a badass Sith Lord would probably do better to check out the Sith Warrior. Those looking to play a manipulative political mover and shaker would, again, probably do better to check out the Sith Warrior. Those interested in playing a dark side sorcerer seeking to probe the limits of the supernatural should find the Sith Inquisitor a worthy class to play.

8/10

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