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Monday, August 07, 2006
 
Starwars Galaxies - PC Review 2006


Starwars Galaxies (SWG) is an ambitious Massive Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game (MMORPG) from Sony Entertainment. It is a game surrounded by history and controversial views. The actual product itself has been around now for a number of years but has been significantly re-invented by Sony twice since going live.

These large changes that Sony made have often been open to fiery debate by both old and new players. For the purpose of this review I will treat the game as new and try only to refer to the game in it's current form.

The Starwars Galaxies starter kit has everything a new player needs to get up and running. You start by choosing from a set of races and then pick one of the available iconic careers. They are iconic because each career is based on a starwars character. A career may have you searching the galaxy as a bounty hunter or if you prefer learning the path of a Jedi. You can even customize the look of your character and give them a name.

Once your finished with the character generation you can launch into a specially designed training level that helps teach you the basics of your chosen class. During this level you will run into the likes of Han Solo and even Boba Fett.

Your character develops by gaining experience levels. With each level new skills and rewards become available. The maximum level is 90 but even with a regular player it will take many hours of gameplay to reach this.

The galaxy itself consists of planets from the star wars films and books. A recent addition was the volcanic planet Mustafaar which was seen in the final Star Wars film. To play on this planet you will need to purchase the online expansion.

Each planet has it's own eco system and day / night cycle. As you grow within the game you will eventually be able to purchase your own home and vehicles. As well as the land based game you also get to fly around in space. The vehicle you fly in will depend on both your alignment (Rebel/Imperial/Neutral) and your piloting skill level. You can upgrade various components on your starship such as it's engines, shields and weapons.

Both the land and space areas contain a wide range of missions. Some are short while others are lengthy but all will give some kind of reward for completing them. One way of completing difficult missions is to create a group with other players.

Starwars galaxies is set at a time somewhere between the first (A new hope) and the second (the empire strikes back) films. Throughout the game you will come across reminders of the clone wars. In one mission it is even possible to obtain some old clone armour. There are rumours of the time frame moving on for the game but so far nothing offical has appeared.

Combat takes place in real time whether it is ranged, melee or force powers. The combat system shows by a simple colour icon as to whether or not you are likely to win a fight.

For myself the verdict is not out yet on this game. I know that Sony are planning on making many improvements and additions in the near future. Star Wars fans will be at home in the SWG universe. All the favourite places are there like the Mos Eisley Cantina and the waterfalls at Naboo. The social aspect of this game creates the potential for all kinds of adventures. Although it's good to make alliances in SWG it also works just as well if you prefer to take the single player approach.

I would like to give this game a higher score but as I feel it is still yet to be improved I shall lower it.

MMORPG fans may find this a disappointment where as hardcore Star Wars fans are more likely to stick with it.

Misty Pathster's Score - 7/10
 

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