I’m grouping the reviews for Chapter X: Anarchy in Paradise and Chapter XI: Disavowed, released in February and March of 2016, because I believe that comparing them makes sense. Like my review of the first nine chapters of Knights of the Fallen Empire, I am avoiding spoilers so that you can decide if these chapters are worth it to you!
The most exciting thing about these chapters is that we are seeing greater consequences from player choices than we did in the first nine chapters. This makes me hope that Knights of the Fallen Empire, taken as a whole, will have significantly more replay value than I first thought — although I do have the sneaking suspicion that whatever NPCs surround each, both the noblest jedi and the most dark side bounty hunter will be standing in the same starting gate for Season 2 next year.
The star of both chapters is the returning companion, not the player character. This can be disappointing if you have not played multiple class stories and do not have a strong emotional reaction to the companion of the episode; it’s like watching a spinoff TV show without having seen the original.
Kaliyo Djannis in Chapter X, and Aric Jorgan in Chapter XI. Additional companions are available by alliance alerts after each chapter, but do not have a central role in the story.
I was left wanting to see more of companions from different classes interacting. The romance storylines also feel neglected; unless there is a conflicting former romance with the returning companion, you don’t even get a conversation that references your romantic interest.
The chapters are both quick to play through and feel padded with busywork. While there are new environments inside the mission phases, you’re returning to the same maps on Zakuul that you have seen before.
I have two major disappointments. The first came at the end of Chapter XI:
…when you receive a mission to “relax in the cantina,” exit your instanced war room on Odessan, walk to the cantina, and… after you watch some background characters mill around, the objective updates – to going back to the war room. The load screens take longer than the cutscene. You don’t speak or make any decisions. WHY IS THIS HERE? It serves no story or gameplay purpose.
The second disappointment is that the “eternal championship,” a series of PvE arena battles, has been postponed twice after being originally announced as content coming with Chapter X. Like the alliance reputation grind, this sounds as if it was meant to give players a long-term project between chapter releases. With two chapters in a row that contain no content other than the very brief story mission, my recommendation is to wait before subscribing and unlock multiple chapters at a time.
Subscribing once (by recurring subscription or game time card) unlocks all chapters that have been released up to that point, so you can get the most bang for your buck by waiting until the end of the season (Chapter 16), or at least until major new “endgame” content is actually released and playable.