You were probably hoping chapter 11 of Knights of the Fallen Empire would outshine chapter 10. And if I am completely honest with you, it does. It’s a better chapter, and the connection between game mechanics and storytelling is tighter. But I’ll get more into that later. The bottom line is that you, my friend, are waiting for the chapter to really pull you back into the game with a story that’s exciting and impactful. And the unfortunate truth is that Chapter 11: Disavowed is another chapter full of setup and exposition.
Let me break that down into the good and the bad and let you decide for yourself if you think this is a good time to come back to the game.
Since you’re my friend, I first have to disclose something to you because I feel that it is only right. And ultimately, I don’t want it to come back and bite my credibility. Between this Hyperspace Beacon and the last one, I had a conversation with BioWare producers off the record. Because it was off the record, I cannot expound on the specifics of that conversation, but I would like to mention that they reached out to me. Why? Again, the exact topics are off the record, but you need to know that they are listening not just to me but to all the fans of SWTOR, which earns them more than a few internet points.
Regardless of those internet points, however, I’m still going to tell you, my friends, what I really thought about chapter 11. Let’s continue.
Setting the scene
As you might recall from chapter 10, the Odessen Alliance obtained schematics for the Zakuul Spire by doing a mission with Firebrand, aka Kaliyo Djannis, aka the former friend of the Imperial Agent, aka the Rattataki companion. You might also remember, if you were playing a bad, bad darksider, that someone from your group of friends might have run off. I’m not going to spoil anything yet because if you were following my advice, you’re still not playing the game again. At any rate, chapter 11 picks up right where the last chapter left off, depending on which decisions you made.
Regardless of your decisions, Mr. Handsome himself, Theron Shan, will leak some of of the Spire schematics to some friends of his in the SIS. Being a Sith Warrior and friend of the Empire, you might be a bit set off by this. Hell, if you’re not a fan of anything the Republic is doing at this point, it’ll set you off. Anyway, as it turns out, Mr. Rooster-Hair’s friends are none other than the infamous Havoc Squad.
For those who haven’t played the Republic Trooper storyline, know that Havoc Squad was made famous first by galactic hero Jace Malcom at the battle of Alderaan during the Imperial invasion. You saw parts of this battle in the Hope trailer when the game launched. The roster changed up over the years, and so did its leadership. First, Jek Karden took over, then the squad became infamous with Harron Tavus as commander. On Ord Mantell, Tavus and the majority of Havoc Squad turned traitor and defected to the Empire, leaving only two people loyal: the Trooper class player and Aric Jorgan.
For the rest of that story, you should really play through the vanilla game, which you can do for free if you click on the link at the top of this article or if you follow my refer-a-friend link. (Imagine there are blinking lights around that shameless plug.)
As you might have guessed by playing through the Knights of the Fallen Empire storyline (if you haven’t, I have a link that might help you), the Trooper is no longer in charge of that little outfit and Aric Jorgan has taken her place. And that is where major spoilers come in, and I stop telling the story. But that won’t stop me from giving you my thoughts.
The good and the bad
If you are looking for chapter 11 to have some length to it, then you’ll be disappointed. I ran the whole thing in about 45 minutes, and that’s with reseting it because of the naked-Jorgan bug. (The bug’s been fixed now, but it was hilarious to see Jorgan in the grass without any clothes on. When I first saw it, I thought that maybe Jorgan had gone completely feral and let his inner cat take over, which might have actually been a interesting story. I digress.)
Despite its short runtime, I found that Disavowed had more story substance than the previous one. I think that’s because each movement and mob kill pushed the story forward. There seemed to be a reason for those enemies to be there and not just the arbitrary reason of “we have to move from point A to point B.” On top of that, the mission wasn’t just a kill quest. I actually had to figure out a puzzle — a simple puzzle, but a puzzle nonetheless.
Ultimately for me, the reason that chapter 11 works is that it clearly fed into the greater story. Although it did pull on nostalgia by reintroducing Havoc Squad and Jorgan, there was an honest-to-goodness reason for bringing them into the mix, and it made sense for the characters, regardless of the faction of your own avatar.
If you were a Trooper-story fan, then resub and play through this chapter — you’ll like it. If you want to get a jumpstart on what looks to be an amazing chapter 12, then resub now. If you’re looking for something to wow you back into the game, then you might want to hold off until Chapter 12: Dark Passages officially launches on April 7th.
Any questions? Let me know them in the comments, and I will do my best to answer them. Until next week, may the Force be with you or some such.