And now for the Galactic Republic.
Starting planet Tython | Advanced classes Jedi Sage, Jedi Shadow | Races Human, Miraluka, Mirialan, Twi'lek, Zabrak | Personal ship Corellian Defender-class Light Corvette
The Jedi equivalent of the Sith Inquisitor. They can hold their own with a lightsaber, but prefer to use Force powers like Project, which throws debris and heavy objects in the world at enemies.
Starting planet Tython | Advanced classes Jedi Sentinel, Jedi Guardian | Races Human, Miraluka, Mirialan, Twi'lek, Zabrak | Personal ship Corellian Defender-class Light Corvette
Jedi version of the Sith Warrior. Mastery with lightsabers, backed up by Force powers including Master Strike which hits an enemy three times in quick succession and stat-boosting combat 'forms'.
Starting planet Ord Mantell | Advanced classes Gunslinger, Scoundrel | Races Cyborg, Human, Mirialan, Twi'lek, Zabrak | Personal ship Corellian XS Stock Light Freighter
Smugglers can use grenades to blind targets, and favour a blaster pistol in combat. They can also resist stun and fear attacks and can use Barrage to spray a wave of blaster fire at groups of enemies.
Starting planet Ord Mantell | Advanced classes Commando, Vanguard | Races Cyborg, Human, Mirialan, Zabrak | Personal ship BT-7 Thunderclap
Troopers are all about blaster rifles, grenades and fast melee attacks. They can fire explosive rounds, equip heavy armour and use Full Auto to fire a continuous stream of blaster bolts at enemies.
Your race is purely an aesthetic choice; there are no racial bonuses. The important thing is your class, as it determines how you'll be playing the game. You have to decide whether you want to specialise in ranged combat, supporting other players with healing and buffs, tanking, or any number of roles - all determined by how you progress through your skill tree.
Bad to the bone
We've tried every class, but our main character is a Sith Juggernaut. Their class quests see you training at the Sith Academy on Korriban, then eventually becoming the apprentice of a Darth and doing his evil bidding across the galaxy.
Sith are generally bad guys, but you can still veer on the 'light side' - being fair, diplomatic and helping your fellow Sith. We, however, have gone fully evil. We've stabbed friends in the back and screwed people over for credits, all of which contributes to our dark side alignment. Like in KOTOR, this affects your appearance, giving you sunken eyes and palid skin.
One of the best moments was when we first received our lightsaber. You don't just get given one as a Sith - you have to earn it. In our case, we had to fetch it from the enemy-ridden tomb of an old Sith warrior. This is part of the class' main quest, and up until now we'd only been using training blades. Then we finally got our first saber - about ten hours into the game - and suddenly we really felt part of the Star Wars universe, albeit thousands of years before the events of the films.
The setting is a big part of the game's appeal. The world's design and atmosphere is beautifully realised, and Star Wars fans will be overcome with nostalgia when they fly to familiar planets like Hoth and Tatooine. The game is initially linear, but by following your class quests you unlock your starship and are able to travel across the galaxy at will. Planets are ranked by level, so you won't be able to do quests if your skills aren't high enough, but you can still explore and socialise with other players.