Game Reviews PC Star Wars the Old Republic (PC)
 
Star Wars the Old Republic (PC)

Star Wars the Old Republic (PC) Hot

Editor rating
 
8.5
User rating
 
6.8 (1)


Accessibility At A Glance Star Wars the Old Republic (PC)

8.5

   
Precision > Yes Read the detailed review please
One-Handed > Yes One-Handed gamers shoud be okay
Deaf Gamers > Yes You should have no issues with this game
Subtitles > Mostly Character text is present but not ambiant
Colorblind > Yes Colorblind gamers should be okay

About the Game

Class
Commercial
Genre
Maker
BioWare
Release Date
December 20, 2011
Multi-player
Yes
Licence Category
commercial


Star-Wars-the-Old-Republic


Billed as the most anticipated MMO to launch this year (and maybe the last few years), Star Wars: The Old Republic, is an MMORPG based on LucasArts’ famous intellectual property combined with BioWare’s signature gaming style.

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Star Wars the Old Republic (PC)
Star Wars the Old Republic (PC)
Star Wars the Old Republic (PC)

Editor review

Star Wars the Old Republic (PC) 2011-12-22 20:16:58 Steve Spohn
Overall rating 
 
8.5
Mobility 
 
8.0
Visual 
 
9.0
Hearing 
 
9.0
Steve Spohn Reviewed by Steve Spohn    December 22, 2011
Last updated: December 22, 2011
Top 10 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews

Star Wars the Old Republic

Billed as the most anticipated MMO to launch this year (and maybe the last few years), Star Wars: The Old Republic, is an MMORPG based on LucasArts’ famous intellectual property combined with BioWare’s signature gaming style.

As you would expect, the level of interaction between you and the NPCs is brought to life by the same mechanism used in Dragon Age and Mass Effect. You are given three choices of responses to every question posed to you when speaking to an NPC, making this the most interactive MMO to date, and that's just my personal favorite aspect.

SWTOR is an immersive and graphically beautiful game that draws you in with its compelling stories and fast-paced adventuring. With an intricate crafting system, PVP, 16 classes, 6 professions, and the light side/dark side system, this game has it all.

The accessibility is surprisingly well developed. As many of you know, Bioware has swung wildly between receiving nearly perfect accessibility scores and communicating daily with AbleGamers on how to improve accessibility (Warhammer Online), and receiving the lowest scores we've ever given for completely locking out segments of the disabled community and ignoring our requests for comment (Mass Effect 2).

So without further ado, let's break it down:

Mobility

The game can be controlled by using only the mouse, on-screen keyboards, most assistive technology and conventional keyboard/mouse combinations. In order to move your character, you can use the typical WASD keys or both mouse buttons held down at the same time. Unfortunately, right-click to move has not been implemented.

There are multiple options in the preferences area that can be enabled to improve accessibility. Under the control tab, there are three key options: auto looting - which enables you to take everything off of a body by right clicking, area looting - which enables looting only one corpse when multiple bodies are present, and auto targeting - which enables you to click on a spell/ability and the game will automatically target the nearest enemy.

In addition, you can change the maximum distance of your camera and the speed at which it circulates your character (sometimes referred to as mouse sensitivity). Therefore, those with low dexterity and decreased precision will both be able to set the game to a level that is comfortable for them.

One-handed gamers who can use the keyboard or mouse will be able to play the game with relative ease. There is only one section of the game, item modification, which requires holding down a key while right clicking. This can be alleviated by using an on-screen keyboard.

It is worth noting that there are three display modes available: full-screen, full-screen window, and windowed mode. In the beta of SWTOR, on-screen keyboards were accessible in both full-screen window and windowed mode. However, since launch most on-screen keyboards only work in windowed mode. This is unfortunate, but does not affect the overall gameplay.

With only a few more abilities, I would've given the mobility of SWTOR a perfect 10, something I rarely do. However, a few public battles over options have stalled the implementation of these options. Unfortunately, there are many opponents to the implementation of customizable UIs and click to move - the naysayers argue that increased customizable options present the danger of inviting “bots” to damage the game as most of them rely on the ability to click to move. This is, of course, completely false. There are already said bots in-game and eliminating the ability to click to move puts undue burden on those with strength issues. Those with illnesses such as muscular dystrophy and others that affect stamina can find it potentially tiring to continually hold down both mouse buttons repeatedly as the game requires you to do so quite a bit. Hopefully, in time, the developers will realize that this feature is valuable to the disabled community.

There are currently no mods and the developers have no plans to allow mods at the current time. You will be unable to move any of the graphical elements around the screen. There are some small options such as enabling more action bars, but for the majority of things, you will have to work with what the developers give you.
Visual

There are relatively no situations where colorblind players should be at a disadvantage. The only possible exception is when targeting enemies and friendlies. However, the target reticle changes to a thicker circle when hovering over enemies. In addition, you can tell if the enemy is an elite by how much shading is in the star on the right-hand side of the nameplate.

Text is displayed it is sometimes quite difficult to read in a small 8 point font against certain backgrounds, and it often moves quickly. The options to choose which answer are often clearly labeled with what choice or alignment you will be taking. Therefore, you should not have much difficulty reading the text, but you should be aware that there is no way to change the font or font size.

Hearing

There are full subtitles available for all conversations with NPCs. There are no close captions for ambient sound. As stated above, the text is sometimes difficult to read, and moves very quickly.

At a glance

Mobility

Mobility impaired gamers should be okay (but may only be able to play for a limited time depending on strength/stamina)
One-handed gamers should be okay
You can adjust mouse sensitivity
You can adjust camera speed and distance
You can play with only the mouse
You can play by using the keyboard almost exclusively
The user interface cannot be moved (-1)
There is no click to move option (-1)

Recommended score 8 out of 10

Visual

Colorblind gamers should be okay
Font and font size could not be changed (-0.5)
Text sometimes moves quickly and there is no option to slow it down (-0.5)

Recommended score 9 out of 10

Hearing

Deaf gamers should be okay
The game is fully subtitled
Ambient noise is not close captioned (-0.5)
Text sometimes moves quickly and there is no option to slow it down (-0.5)

Recommended score 9 out of 10

Additional notes

Some users are reporting using auto hot keys as a valuable tool to increase the accessibility of SWTOR. Please check our forums for more information on the program and any issues you might face.

Forum member HeadbanGER has listed his VAC profile for SWTOR, which you can download here: http://www.ablegamers.com/558-pcmac-wait-you-can-game-on-a-mac/4156-vac-profiles.html#6256

It annoys me that we cannot play Wookies.

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User reviews

Average user rating from: 1 user(s)

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Overall rating 
 
6.8
Mobility 
 
7.0  (1)
Visual 
 
5.0  (1)
Hearing 
 
8.0  (1)
 
Star Wars the Old Republic (PC) 2012-02-26 14:49:50 R Bruynzeel
Overall rating 
 
6.8
Mobility 
 
7.0
Visual 
 
5.0
Hearing 
 
8.0
R Bruynzeel Reviewed by R Bruynzeel    February 26, 2012
Top 50 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews

SWTOR: Fun, but my eyes hate it.

After playing SW:TOR for a few days, I've found it to be somewhat low vision unfriendly. I'm enjoying the game, but nowhere near as much as I could. Granted this is a “new” game, but a lot of these concepts are now common in other MMO's.

My first problem was with the manual: http://www.swtor.com/gamemanual/how-to-play
This lacks so much information. There is nothing about customzing, chat, or even how to reach certain options. Any new player should spend some time digging through the various menus. A lot of useful features are available, but turned off by default. (A simple example is item compare for compainon equipment.)

The interface colors are an issue for me. The blue on blue made me completely miss several tabs. A simple border in a lighter color would have made them a lot easier to spot/stand out.

The chat system in itself is messy. I would have liked the (by now classic) tab split between various channels. It's not there by default, and I had trouble just setting up a second window for guild/party chat only.
It's not difcult, but it isn't explained in the game. Not to mention feels like needless work that should have been part of the base chat window setup.

The default chat font size is 14 point, but can scale between 10/18pts. (Right click on chat tab-> bottom option.) As far as I know there is no way to change the font itself, and that is a bigger problem for my eyes. The ingame font has pretty poor spacing causing me eye strain/headaches after a while, so by now I would kill for verdana.

On screen text shows up shorter than I would like. Especially for the alien speak I've come to rely on the conversation logging. This is only a problem when playing with others, since there is a time limit on making your character's conversation choice.

No auto attack, or close on target for melee characters is a choice. I understand the why, but it does make things slightly harder for some. Target nearest enemy works, but it does fail once in a while. Usually a quick tab will solve that though.

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About the Author
Steve Spohn
Author: Steve Spohn
Steve Spohn is the Editor-in-Chief of AbleGamers & Outreach Chair for the Foundation. He is an expert in gaming with disabilities and assistive technologies and can be seen on MSNBC, CNN, G4 and more.

People in this conversation

  • Hi, ablegamers! I'm a SWTOR player who recently created some tutorials on how to play SWTOR with a controller. In the midst of this, I was made aware of how controller use alleviates gaming difficulties for many mobility-disabled gamers.<br /><br />While the solutions I've provided work, it's more than should be required. Thus, I've created a customer support thread trying to convince BioWare to provide controller support for the benefit of such players. However, I feel my request would have much more influence if your foundation and community members put their voices behind it. See the thread here: http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?t=33411<br />I've also sent Stephen Reid, SWTOR's Senior Community Manager, a tweet on the subject, as he's proven extremely receptive to the wants and needs of the playerbase:<br />http://twitter.com/#!/Rockjaw<br /><br />Also, for any players interested in learning how to play with a controller in the meantime, I've created a technical support thread here:<br />http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?p=77851<br />And a tutorial blog here:<br />http://swtorpeeps.blogspot.com/<br /><br />I hope this helps anyone that was discouraged from playing this awesome game due to limited control customization. Hope to see you in game!

  • Guest (Shaun)

    Could we get an update on this games since "Rise of the Hutt Cartel" was released. There are some new game mechanics that may give disabled gamers some issues like the macrobinoculars.

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