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Posted October 18, 2012
The Essential Guide to The Old Republic
Star Wars: The Old Republic Encyclopedia is a massive book full of useful information. It covers history, game events, species, worlds, spaceships and more. Throughout the entire book is a wide array of artwork that’s visually impressive. Quite simply, there’s a lot to like in this encyclopedia.
First off, the book covers a lot of ground. Near the front, there is a timeline covering events from the reign of the Infinite Empire in 30,000 BBY all the way to the breaking of the Treaty of Coruscant in 3,640 BBY. At the end, there’s a 24 page guide to alien species (18 pages for sentient species, 6 pages for non-sentient), a 4 page guide to droids, a 60 page guide to planets, and a two page teaser for where The Old Republic MMO will be heading next. In between is 230 pages of history and overview of every faction loaded with interesting details. There is information on ships, military ranks, important individuals, weapons, game events, unit sizes, etc. It’s just about everything you need to know to be well versed in every aspect of the game. As a non-gamer, I found it to be extremely useful in familiarizing myself with what happens in the game and its impact on the greater EU.
Beyond all the information is a ton of artwork and imagery. Every page is littered with concept art, paintings, illustrations, and a lot of game stills and screen shots. Many of the pictures are in the form of full, two page spreads. It’s worth noting that the artwork in the TOR: Encyclopedia is very different from the artwork in a book like The Essential Reader’s Companion. For one thing, much of the artwork in the Encyclopedia is computer models and scenery, where as The Reader’s Companion used extensive paintings. That’s not to say there aren’t any paintings or illustrations in the Encyclopedia, but it’s only about 10 to 15% of the total. However a lot of the computer imagery looks very nice and isn’t a loss at all. The negative factor would be the extensive use of computer models for the characters which don’t come anywhere near the level of visual splendor of actual illustrations.
The format of the book is also worth mentioning. The Encyclopedia is big. It’s actually bigger than The Essential Atlas and over twice as thick. The size is pretty much identical to The Complete Visual Dictionary (but thicker). There’s also a similarity between the bindings of the two books. As an added bonus, the dusk jacket comes off to reveal a fully colored cover with identical cover art (minus the lettering). Overall the book’s format and binding was very impressive.
For Star Wars fans who love reference books, The Old Republic Encyclopedia is a must buy. It covers a little of everything. Really, it’s like your standard set of essential guides all boiled down into a condensed collection where everything relates to the MMO game. Since I haven’t played the game, I can’t speak for gamers, but I would imagine they might find it useful if they have any interest in learning more about the Star Wars universe. With a high level of visual quality, a very nice hardcover binding, and tons of info, it's a great book.
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Posted November 20, 2012
The Old Republic Encyclopedia is an amazing volume of Star Wars
The Old Republic Encyclopedia is an amazing volume of Star Wars artwork and information. It contributes to the game, but you don't have to play the game to appreciate this book. It is worthy of any Star Wars library.
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Posted December 28, 2012