The holidays are still a month away, and while many of you may be planning family events or merely a break from work, there’s plenty who are already counting the days until the release of Star Wars: The Old Republic. An MMO demands free time and there should be plenty when the game releases in December, with character and class customization being one of the most satisfying and important aspects of a fulfilling role-playing experience. Now we have a look at The Old Republic‘s character creation, and how many choices will be made avaialable.

BioWare has had plenty of experience crafting interesting narratives and granting players the power to shape their own journeys, and there’s no question that the Star Wars universe has plenty of factions and fiction to work with. Still, the player creation choices for BioWare’s other series Mass Effect (and even Dragon Age) didn’t offer as rich and extensive a gallery of options as other titles, like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, for instance.

Eager fans would certainly love nothing more than to sit back and spend a few hours fine-tuning their very own Jedi Knight or Smuggler, but that just won’t be a possibility for a large amount of perfectionist gamers. Now we have the next best thing, as CynicalBrit has recorded over 20 minutes of spoiler-free footage, detailing the character classes and appearance options available for The Old Republic.

The video does skip the game’s opening cinematic, so be sure to check that out before delving in to the skin tone and hairstyle extravaganza. Check the video out below:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzsD2iO918U

Whether it’s choosing the size and shape of your Human, the head-tail patterns of your Twi’lek, or perhaps going the darker route and selecting a particular sinister mask for your Sith Miraluka, the options look good so far. The ability to lock certain aspects of appearance and randomly generate others is a nice feature, and one that will hopefully be added to more games in the future. Obviously there will be complaints, since the option to change certain elements (the Zabrak’s tattoo color for one) isn’t provided, but not every game can give everything to everyone.

Hopefully the options will expand in the future, but we wouldn’t count on it. The extra restrictions on the Trooper class in terms of race is curious, so we’ll be looking to hear BioWare’s explanation. Whether it’s due to the fiction of the game’s universe or merely a balancing issue, it’s hard to believe BioWare wouldn’t have good reasons to restrict some aspects out of the gate.

The sheer number of changes between Sith and Jedi and their respective classes are proof that this extended development time has been put to good use. In fact, many who had planned on walking the lighter path may change their minds when seeing the particularly stylish random options for the Sith Zabrak. It’s unclear just how much is being kept behind the curtain until the game’s official launch, so it is possible that even more options will be included in the retail release.

What do you think of the number of options so far? Has seeing these classes in action convinced you that your usual go-to class may not be the one you start The Old Republic with?

Star Wars: The Old Republic will be bringing a world of choices to gamers everywhere when it’s released for the PC on December 20, 2011.

Follow me on Twitter @andrew_dyce.

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