Released in late September, Star Wars: Uprising has been fairly well-received by casual players, if not so well by gaming media critics.
At it’s heart, Uprising is a dungeon crawler, gear collector like Diablo. Your character fights a variety of enemies in various environments as gather equipment and currency to improve said equipment as well as hirelings you can send on missions for more equipment and currency.
Some of the criticism leveled at the game comes from that angle. And there are things that can be improved, including perhaps more immersive environs and goals other than stuff, stuff and more stuff.
But, I’m going to tell why I love playing it.
I’m a Softie for Star Wars
Yes, this game does not have any of the big names or even minor name characters. But, there are familiar sights, sounds and feels.
The game is set just after Episode 6 (Return of the Jedi) in the Outer Rim reaches of the Anoat region of space. This is important because though the Emperor was tossed over a guardrail on a Death Star that later nova’ed, remote parts of the galaxy haven’t heard the news yet.
As lower-level hustlers and gofers, you and your sister Riley work for another low-level hood about to make a big score, when you stumble onto the truth of the Empire’s major defeat. A defeat the local governor has been so far successfully hiding. It’s a secret he will slaughter whole populaces to protect…including YOU and your criminal associates.
So, with such a set up… I’m in.
Easy To Play, Basic MMO Set-Up
Uprising is an open-class system. That means that you can learn a wide variety of special skills and mix-and-match them for personal preference. Add that to a fairly nice character customization set that gives you options to become the rebel you want, including your approved display name.
The number of faces, skin colors, and species options are not going to be anywhere as deep and specific as a PC or console MMO, but Kabam! gives enough options to make my Rebel feel enough like my own creation.
Or for quick and dirty creation, just click Random.
In addition to your look and gear, which you pick up and customize (there are no gear stores, per se), you also ‘learn’ abilities.
These abilities are based on the mentor you seek out and they fall under traditional career skill types like; Bounty Hunter, Bodyguard, Enforcer, Rebel, Saboteur, Smuggler, and the recently added Diplomat and Commando.
I like that I’m not forced into a skill track like in Star Wars: The Old Republic. I can combine the Smuggler’s Dive Roll ability and the Bodyguard’s Grenade, it’s a favorite weapon in my arsenal. You can swap out your six skill slots as you add new ones or want to customize your load-out for the next adventure.
I Need A Bigger Closet
Star Wars: Uprising is gear-heavy. But you can decide whether to toss out or salvage old gear as you acquire new gear.
These items can then be swapped out or pre-loaded into 5 different Gear Sets you can choose from.
But Kabam! incentivizes you to hold onto old gear as you get rewards for upgrading weapons and outfits, as well as completing sets or ‘blueprints’ of items. This is one of my weaknesses. I love collecting and completing gear sets, often doing extra missions hoping to find elusive ones.
As you find and upgrade items, the Armory fills in those items. Each new item found or completed gives you a reward.
Complete an entire outfit and you can then assign it to your character’s appearance.
This incentive also ties into your Crew.
Ever Since I was a Kid, I Wanted to Be Rebel Scum
In addition to acquiring things, you acquire people. This motley variety of aliens and humans can be sent on missions for you to bring back new gear, materials or even more crewmates.
Just like your gear, the characters can be upgraded which improves their performance and chances at successfully completing missions. But, to improve them – you must complete the elements in the Armory they use.
This element of the game is really good for the casual. You can send out your minions instead of having to actively run the missions yourself to obtain gear and material. Then, just check in to cash out.
The Rebel Set
Like other Disney MMO games of the past, Uprising gives incentives on teamwork and being social. Some mission levels are harder going solo and getting the highest rewards pretty much require creating a party.
I’m fine with that. I joined a Cartel (their version of a Guild), and check in the open chat regularly to find crews. While trying to type replies in chat can be annoying and the chat stream can stagger, it’s good knowing there’s other rebels to help or just say hi. Generally, folks there are fairly cordial.
The Co-Op system can lag some so try to do those missions when you have a strong Wi-Fi connection. Players can set up teams and work together to resolve a mission, sharing any rewards along the way.
Currently, there is no direct PvP, and I for one don’t really miss it. If you like being competitive, Sector Battles allow you a chance to outdo other players.
The Downsides of the Force
First glaring absence. No Jedi and no Sith, at least at first. The Dark Helmet looking guy? He’s the bad ass head of the Purge Troopers, but not a force user. Players can work their way toward learning Light and Dark Force abilities and build a light sabre, but will take some time.
I’m okay with this, too. I didn’t even play a Force-user in The Old Republic and it’s good this game isn’t filled with Jedi and Sith.
Next issue is the limited number of locations.
Initially, there are only 5 systems. Burnin Konin, Mataou, Hoth, Anoat, and Bespin. Each system has a couple of unlockable locations, but even that seems confining.
I’m hoping that once the storyline of Uprising continues, the galaxy you can travel to and experience will grow.
These planets have their own specific sets of enemies, environmental hazards and types of equipment and material. Seeing the same sights and fighting the same goons repetitively can wear on you some.
Back to The Grind
Another downside to many games that have lots of leveling and crafting is the repetitive playing of basic missions to locate gear and upgrades. As a casual, that means it may take a while to truly progress and the single-player story missions do have Level requirements you must meet in order to proceed.
For example, the next mission may require you be Level 24, but you’re only Level 22 – so you must do other tasks to level up before moving forward. It can be a little frustrating.
However, Kabam! does give you things to do with repeatable missions, Assault missions and occasional Sector Battles. And the game is well supported. Their team is always coming up with new events, new features and updates to fix issues and try to keep fresh elements coming almost daily.
Compared to other reviews you may have read regarding Star Wars: Uprising, my giving it an 8/10 might seem generous – but play is subjective. I play Uprising once or twice a day; several times daily during Sector Battles. I’ve been playing it since the first of the year, and I can see the potential it has moving forward.