Friday, August 12, 2016

Shaken, Not Stirred

I've always wanted to play a spy, because it is the ultimate acting exercise. You are never what you seem. --Benedict Cumberbatch

The 60's era spy genre, as interpreted by the SWTOR Agent class story, has all of the classics covered: danger, double crossing, sex/romance, an insidious enemy, and a dashing, heroic character at the center.

And no easy choices.

Although it was before my time by several
years, I'm familiar with this tune by Johnny Rivers.

I'm about at the end of Chapter 2, and I recognize all of the signs for a big reveal and/or turning point that sends me on to Chapter 3.* But the more I've thought about the class story that I've seen so far, I've been impressed with how clever Bioware has been to humanize the story and get you on the agent's side.

(Spoilers after the break)

Until you get to the end of Chapter 1, the hardest decisions that the Agent has to make are at Nal Hutta. I'm sure this isn't by design, but I found the decisions in the low level planets to not be that hard. If you play primarily light side as I did, you have to skirt the edge between light and dark choices, taking the occasional dark side choice, just to keep from blowing your cover. Even the end of the Alderaan story didn't faze me too much, as my "spy sense" suspected that both the Killiks and House Cortess were hiding their true intentions. 

And really, the fact that Darth Jadus was behind the entire plot in Chapter 1 didn't shock me either. (Particularly given the speech he made to the Agent in the Prologue.) But the choice you were confronted with to try to stop Jadus, that was hard. 

I approached that decision not as part of a greater storyline, but rather given the situation at hand: Jadus had to be stopped, but the price for ensuring he could be was high. And the background audio once you made that dark side choice didn't help either. 

The "fighting terrorism" theme morphed into the "double agent" theme in Chapter 2, which was more plausible given the ending of Chapter 1. Kudos to Bioware for giving the SIS a sinister feel all their own, which after having dealt with Theron Shan in the later game I wasn't sure they could pull off.

But that they did.

The different planets became a series of good cop - bad cop SIS agents, with a guest appearance by Watcher X as the "dead mentor" that Star Wars seems to specialize in.

There's plenty of deception and hidden agendas on both sides of the aisle, which makes for a good spy story. At the same time, I was starting to wonder who the rest of my companions would be. I knew Vector would join --you can't avoid that knowledge if you've been around SWTOR for very long-- and that Doctor Lokin was going to join up given the KotFE storyline. I'm also aware of someone else joining later --again, courtesy of KotFE-- but the others were a mystery. One of those two missing companions finally was filled in at the end of the Hoth story, and it'll be nice to have a somewhat "normal" person on board after the Chaotic Neutral whacko (Kaliyo), the member of the Borg Collective (Vector), and the Werewolf (Lokin).

I'm pretty sure that the Agent's companions are the most bizarre bunch in all of SWTOR, and that makes me wonder just what the Agent did to deserve such a crew.


I've not been a very good boy, however, and gone on to finish Chapter 2.

It's not that I'm squeamish, but more like I just know that the story will likely suck me in for several hours, and I really don't have time for that right now.

So I did what any normal SWTOR player would do, and started a second Inquisitor.

I'm sure that I'll eventually cave and continue with the Agent's story, but I'm just not ready for that sort of commitment yet.

*Bioware is good that way.


  1. I'm just waiting for you to binge on the second half of KotFE, now that it's fully released!

  2. That might be a while. We've got a LOT of work this Fall and Winter ahead, with college applications and scheduling (and performing) auditions.

    Not to say that I'm not curious, mind you, but I realize my own limitations. It only took me about [REDACTED] years to figure that out.