Star Wars: Uprising is the first video game tie-in to the Star Wars canon following the events of Return of the Jedi. It was buffered a week after the Force Friday celebrations to give fans a chance to see what’s become of the Galactic Empire according to new books and comics such as Shattered Empire, Aftermath, and Lost Stars. Uprising, the free mobile RPG, sees us in the Outer Rim planets in the midst of a powerful Iron Blockade that Adelhard of the Empire has put into effect, cutting off all contact to the outside world.
You create a customizable character, male or female, with four races as options to choose from, and you are sent on missions throughout several worlds. Included upon the game’s launch were Burnin Konn, Mataou, Hoth, Anoat, and Bespin – with more teased to be added free down the line. Your character grows in the ranks of smugglers and rebels until you eventually find yourself taking on missions for the Rebel Alliance. Your character grows alongside his armor and weapons as they get upgraded, many being swapped out for the stronger, more durable models.
All in all, the concept is really great. I enjoy seeing the war-scarred Rebel/Imperial battleground that you traverse during Hoth missions. Learning about the fate of the people of Anoat at the hands of the Imps is really intriguing also. The story, however, just isn’t as capturing as I’d hoped. I know that the games creators, Kabam, have plenty to play with in the long run of the game’s future, even teasing EU stuff. But as it stands, the dialogue just isn’t enough to make you interested or invested in ANY of the game’s characters.
On top of the thinly veiled story is very tedious gameplay. Now, don’t get me wrong – I really am enjoying this game. I’m currently sitting at level 32/40. But every mission is the same, essentially. One way or another, I’m going to have to fight my way through 5-7 waves of enemies, be them mutated freaks, Stormtroopers, or angry Ugnauts, whilst traveling from one end of a map to another. And although the game does make it sufficiently challenging when you reach a certain point, these basic mechanics simply don’t change
With the upgrading of armor, weapons, and more, comes with it a really entertaining and time consuming side-effort. Collecting and completing upgrades on sets of items to create blueprints for your character to wear as a skin (despite what other higher level armor you’ve currently equipped). This has been a really fulfilling pastime for me. The completing of items rewards you with Chromium (a substance you can use to spend on rare items and reviving yourself if a mission goes south), something you could actually spend real money on. I like that the game gives players who don’t care to spend money on an app the opportunity to work around it, in a productive manner.
The game is riddled with small, annoying bugs. It feels like a game that should have spent more time being beta-tested. Sometimes when you click an object to interact with, but are too close to, it doesn’t react. Sometimes if an enemy is close to the edge of the map, your character’s AI won’t register him and you’ll be forced to use your special attack instead of just blasting him head on. The screen isn’t nearly sensitive enough when it comes to moving around – often it feels as though it doesn’t even register the fact that I want to move, because it thinks I’m clicking an enemy target or immobile object, when I’m not. Sometimes enemies just get stuck and walk in the same spot (happens a ton on Hoth), and/or forget you’re their enemy. This is only scraping the iceberg of issues I’ve experienced, all of which I’m sure will be dealt with in time. It’s just disappointing they haven’t been fixed sooner.
While inconvenient, these bugs aren’t the worst part about the game though. By the time you get to level 25 it becomes increasingly apparent that leveling will become a major hardship. As per the storyline, there is ONE mission per level. At the beginning of the game this was fine, as you’d just level along with the increasing difficulty. But the issue is that if your level isn’t as high the level of your next mission, you’ll need to grind experience before you can even attempt it. This seems to be remedied by the daily missions, opportunity missions, and 5 assault missions. But say you spend all your available side-missions that reward experience, getting you to the required level… Then, once you complete the next story mission you must wait an entire day just to earn enough experience to keep going. This was made even harder when, yesterday, they removed the option of doing Cartel (group) missions until your Cartel is level 20. And that’s where I am now. Waiting for tomorrow to come so that I can grind enough to do the next story quest. As a lover of RPGs, I need to point out there NEEDS to be an option to grind experience at all times. Otherwise you’re going to lose players because there’s very little progress to be had in the short term.
Another thing that bothers me is the fact that you can’t even attempt versions of the gameplay where your player score isn’t high enough. The rewards are always greater for the harder versions of the missions, but how on Hoth are we supposed to even try to get our player score higher that drastically if we can’t get any good drops? It honestly doesn’t make any sense.
I won’t even begin to complain about the minimal amount of money that drops.
The game still needs so much work before I can honestly say it’s a good one. But for something I can play freely, I’m still having a lot of fun. Even though it’s not the Star Wars game I was looking for, it has the potential to be.