Here is a review for the game Star Wars Galaxies done by Omer Altay of MMOHut.
I’ve never really been too much of a Star Wars fan, but that doesn’t mean I gave up on Star Wars Galaxies before I had a chance to play the game. I actually remember paying for Star Wars Galaxies back when it was released in 2003, but the game back then wasn’t able to hold my attention for more than a month, but hopefully after the release of four expansion packs, the game has some more engaging content and better graphics.
Upon downloading and installing this massive 3.0GB game I was presented with an in-depth character creation screen and some classic Star Wars Tunes playing in the background and you don’t have to be a fan of Star Wars to appreciate its epic music. After quickly looking through the game’s eight playable classes (Bothan, Human, Ithorian, Mon Calamari, Rodian, Sullustan, Trandoshan, Twilek, Wookiee and Zabrak) I decided to go with ‘Human’, as I didn’t know enough about the Star Wars universe to try and pick the best alien race. Whenever I’m in doubt about what race to play, I always pick Human, as they’re almost always the most balanced and ‘all around’ type race. Each of the game’s eight classes have full access to all 9 classes in the game, which include Jedi, Bounty Hunter, Smuggler, Officer, Commando, Spy, Rader, Medic and Entertainer. I decided to go with Smuggler, as it sounded like an interesting class.
Unlike other MMORPGs that simply throw you into a dull tutorial zone, the tutorial in Star Wars Galaxies is quite interesting. Players start off on an Empire ship that gets attacked and the player is rescued by Han Solo and his Wookiee friend Chewbacca. Players will learn the basics of movement while escaping the Empire’s ship. After being rescued I found myself on a ‘tutorial’ space station where I was given a few odd jobs to do while Han Solo was working on repairing his damaged ship. The beauty of this tutorial area was that it didn’t ‘feel’ like a tutorial, so it was actually fun. The numerous races and classes in the game ensure that there is a good deal of variety in the game as well.
The core gameplay in Star Wars Galaxies is a bit disappointing, as I remember when I first started playing the game back when it first launched, the game had an incredibly unique skill based progression system, but today has a more generic leveling system. Players start off by selecting their class and race and can complete all sorts of quests to gain experience. After level 10 players gain access to the game’s ‘expertise’ skills, which are sort of like the ‘Talents’ in World of Warcraft. My smuggler had three different expertise skill trees, so I presume all of the game’s classes also have three different skill trees. Each skill tree has quite a bit of skills as well, so the game does have a lot of customization and variety. Players gain new skills as they level up and improve their current skills by leveling up as well. My only complaint with the progression system is that each individual level doesn’t feel like much of an advancement, as new skills are only gained every 5 or so levels and base attributes are only slightly improved.
Perhaps the most unique aspect of Star Wars Galaxies is its sci-fi theme. Unlike traditional fantasy games with swords and magic, Star Wars Galaxies has lasers, light sabers, force powers, and Twi-Lek dancers! After playing countless fantasy games, I was quite eager to dive into this MMO. Combat feels fast paced and intense, as simply watching your character use his blaster makes the player feel as if he’s immersed in the game. On top of that, nearly all of the quests in the game make references to the Star Wars plot, so fans of the movies will definitely feel as if they’re a part of the game’s universe. This actually makes playing the game a lot more enjoyable, as questing actually becomes fun rather than just another way of grinding experience. Star Wars Galaxies is one of the few games to successfully make players feel as if they’re a part of the game world. The only other game that does this nearly as well as Star Wars Galaxies is Everquest, but that’s about it. I’m not even a fan of the Star Wars series and I was drawn into the game and 3 hours of game time flew by as if they were 20 minutes. I sort of wish Star Wars Galaxies was free to play, as I’d certainly commit a lot more time to the game if it was.
Play Housing and Crafting
On top of some unique gameplay, Star Wars Galaxies has a great player housing system. Player houses are located in the game’s persistent world, like in Ultima Online. Players can build their homes next to each other and create player cities, which enhances the game’s community. Houses can be customized and decorated as well, which is an entertaining way to spend hard earned credits. The crafting system in Star Wars Galaxies is also quite in depth. There are literally thousands of different craftable items in the game. Items made through crafting have bonus stats as well, so unlike a lot of MMORPGs, crafting is incredibly important.
WTF? Respawn Timer? Bugs?
One extremely annoying little bug I found in the game was that respawn times for certain enemies are incredibly low. For example, after killing a group of Tuskan Raiders and running up to their corpses to claim my spoils, the very group of Tuskan Raiders that I had killed respawned on top of me and quickly killed me while I was busy trying to loot their corpses! This isn’t an isolated incident either, as I’ve found that this happens in numerous locations. There really isn’t a big penalty for dying, but getting killed because of a stupidly low respawn timer is frustrating.
Another glitch I found in the game is that enemies tend to move incredibly fast at times. I remember shooting at an enemy with my blaster and all of a sudden my target would sprint off of my screen at light speed only to start firing at me again from the other side of my screen. This isn’t exactly a big bug, but seeing an enemy almost teleport behind my character is a bit silly and me feel that the developers sort of gave up on the game, as such an obvious glitch like this should have been fixed on day 1, as this happens quite often.
Enormous Game World… err Galaxy.
Perhaps the single most defining aspect of Star Wars Galaxies is its enormous galaxy. The game has 12 planets to explore and each planet has an incredible amount of quests and places of interest. Completing all of the game’s content on a single planet can easily take over 30+ hours, which means the game has an almost endless amount of content. Each planet has their own notable player run cities as well, so there are A LOT of places to explore in the game. Travel between planets can be done through public shuttles or through player controlled space craft.
That’s right, Star Wars Galaxies has its own Eve Online like space gameplay. Players can build and customize their own ships and explore space. Unfortunately though, I never got around to exploring the space component of the game, but I’ve read that some players opt to play the game entirely in space, which should illustrate that the game’s space component has a lot to offer. The sheer amount of content in Star Wars Galaxies is simply jaw dropping. Just trying to explain all of the features in the game would take ages. If you’re a fan of Star Wars, and haven’t played Star Wars Galaxies yet, do yourself a favor and give the game a download.
Final Verdict – Good
The fact is, Star Wars Galaxies is a good game. Unfortunately though, the game isn’t getting any newer. It’s been around since 2003, but has a boat load glitches that still haven’t been addressed. The game’s population is also slowly dwindling as well. On top of that, there’s another Star Wars MMO currently in development by BioWare titled ‘Star Wars: The Old Republic’ which may force Sony to shut the game down.
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