Hearing The Old Republic

Computer games only really rely on two senses for interaction, seeing and hearing.

While seeing is clearly the more important of these, to neglect sound would be a fatal mistake for any gaming company, now ten years ago, or even ten years into the future.

Some time ago we did an article on The Soundtrack of SWTOR, but only now has Bioware released any details on the combat and other external special effects that will be found in the game.

The new article goes through just how developers are choosing sounds, in order to make them fit well with the different classes and abilities these classes have.

Revealed is how each class is given its own persona, then has sounds tailored around this in order to fit as well as possible with the game. For example, unsurprisingly Jedi is a cool and calm class, so its sound effects for the various abilities are all about soothing and gradual build ups.

This contrasts well with classes like Inquisitor, who have very sharp and abrupt sounds. There are no slow build ups in volume, but rather when an inquisitor unleashes a storm of force lightning all players around him will know it from the wall of sound that hits them all at once.

Many players do not actively notice sound during a game, but this is generally because they are focused on the visuals. One way to test what sound adds to your game is to turn the volume off during play and see just how different things are.

Us at SWTOR Republic certainly know how big a deal it is, and we hope Bioware keeps up their great musical feats, such as those found in the game’s precursors, KOTOR I and II.

The SWTOR soundtrack in production.

The SWTOR soundtrack in production.