Ok, let's get this out of the way right of the bat. This game receives a 0 from me to balance out the mind-numbingly large amount of reviews that unrealistically rate this game a 9 or higher. It no longer amazes me but still never does cease to annoy me to no end to see time and time again how low people these days set their standards as a customer and happily dish out their hard-earned cash for unfinished and crappy products. These kinds of people are the very reason that the quality of products that customers as a whole, receive, will continue to decline with the passing of time, with the occasional exception here and there. We already are on a level where an extremely large portion of all games made these last few years are inferior on the level of entertainment and pure ability to engage to most 80's and early 90's arcade games. Keep buying into ad campaigns and hype and keep putting that happy smile on when you pay money and receive half of what you are entitled to. Keep wanting less than you should get and this trend will continue. A thank you so very much to all of these idiots for that. So let me repay them all by scoring this game with the lowest score possible to even things out a bit. In all fairness, if i was not forced to do so for the aforementioned reason, i probably would rate this game more like a 3 or 4. Still, SWTOR definitely does not reach for the stars. Let's review shall we ?
In short, all of the reasons that regularly pop up in the negative reviews are true. While the voiceover is new and refreshing for an MMO, it usually is only interesting at the very start of your time with this game for the large majority of all quests, the only exception being most class quests that for each character make up only a very small portion of the entire available questline. The graphics are mindbogglingly substandard for a 2011 game, even for an MMO. And the fact that you have seen almost every possible, stiff and lifeless btw, cutscene character animation in the game before you hit level 10 since they are recycled the whole time, does not help at all. The dialog wheel is an unnecessary addition, there only to lure you into the illusion of having a choice in what happens but it quickly becomes painfully obvious no choice you make ever really makes any difference. The only exception to this are the rare occasional choices that influence either your light or dark side alignment. But even these dialog options are derived of all meaning since it is quite impossible of playing the role you'd like your character to be without mixing light and dark side answers up from time to time. And since your 'alignment' is really nothing else but a point-gathering system to gain access to gear and only slightly and rarely changes the story of your character itself, doing that is very much discouraged. Add the fact that your dialog wheel actually shows you before answering any such question which kind of points any particular answer you choose will grant and the whole dialog system comes crashing down around you like the hollowed out shell it is. Oh, and did i forget to mention that you will also notice some of the shorter replies your character dishes out are often recycled as well, just as the corresponding animations that accompany it, as already mentioned before ?
Combat is copy and pasted wow-style, which isn't necessarily bad, except that in this game, it IS. It REALLY and TRULY is. First of all, the tried mmo style combat just does not work in this universe. It is plainly horrible to see two toons standing right next to each other, just unloading their blasters, grenades, etc, straight into each other's face for i don't know how long until someone goes down. This mmo needed something more dynamic. Sorry bioware, it might not have been easy to do, but it WAS needed. On top of that, i was surprised to notice that my dps specced bountyhunter that actually played quite well solo, got suddenly reduced to someone nearly worthless in groups for heroic quests since those have a need for crowd control abilities and single target dps of which i had 2 or 3 out of 20 skills at around level 20. Great job. Also, what many others have already stated, namely, that the world feels empty and devoid of life, is absolutely one of the major faults i felt while playing myself. This is of course due to several reasons. The scenery is too big for its own good, since most of the time you're running through huge spaces where only some scattered NPS stand entirely static 90 % of the time and almost no-one else can be seen. Contradictory enough, you at the same time also have the feeling of being guided from one space to the other through narrow corridor-like routes, without much chance for exploration. Add the extreme sharding of large parts of the world into different instances, where there is no apparent reason to do so and last but not least also, the instancing of the world itself if more than a certain amount of people quest in it, and what remains is a very empty, unpopulated, lifeless world. The voiceovers actually help this make the game feel even more like a single-player game instead of an MMO.
I'm not going to talk much about class balance in pvp or pvp in general since i never was into that myself, but from what i know and read from others, pvp is just an afterthought really. No brackets yet, (they are working on that though), only 3 warzones, the world is too empty of players for any meaningful world pvp, cannot even queue for a specific warzone yet, and bugs galore. Bugs, oh yes. Expect everything from numerous graphical glitches that you'll start noticing from early on and only increase in severity and amount the more you move to endgame, to bugs that will not allow you do certain class quests, defeat bosses in flashpoints or operations, loot chests and corpses after killing something, and many others. And to top it all off, lots of functionality that should these days be standard in any MMO is sorely missing. There is no support for macros nor mods, there is no LFG tool and the auction house is an absolute joke. It is unusable because of the intricacy of things to fill in before you can even look for an item. Even the search function does not seem to work correctly.
To summarize, TOR feels like nothing less than an unfinished product and an opportunity severely missed !